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Sedona, Arizona

I’m having a good time visiting friends in Sedona, Arizona.

Here’s some vital information you might need when visiting:

1.  64 percent of visitors come to Sedona seeking some kind of spiritual experience.  The National Forest brochure even talks about vortex sites saying “Sedona is believed to be a vortex meditation site”.  Local bookstores give away free maps to the vortex areas and claim the junipers twist in the direction of the energy.

NFS signage unique to Sedona

NFS signage unique to Sedona

2.  You will need a Red Rock Parking Pass in order to park at trailheads on federal lands–our lands.  Arizona State Parks have other passes ranging from $6 – $125!! You have to display your parking pass in your car at the parking lots for the trails.  Luckily, living next to Yellowstone, I have an annual Park pass which allowed me to obtain a parking pass for free.  Also, in addition to your parking pass, some trailheads on national forest lands cost extra $$, the most popular being West Fork trailhead.  Some sites, such as the Palatki Cultural site, require reservations.

Parking pay stations are at some of the trailheads

Parking pay stations are at some of the trailheads

3.  October is the busiest month, my friends tell me.  Makes sense because the summers are really hot here.  In any case, go hiking early as it gets hot by mid-day; and watch the sun, as it goes down quickly and gets cold.  One day we drove out to the surrounding ponderosa pine forests.  There were no tourists, only a few hunters, but the landscape was not unique.  In the surrounds of Sedona, where the spectacular red rocks dominate, the trails I walked, usually no more than 5 miles in length, were full of hikers of all ages.  One of the most popular and most beautiful trails, Boynton Canyon, is in a wilderness area that abuts a lengthy golf course.  An older woman hiking the trail took this photo below and told me “Its an outrage.  I’m posting this on UTube.  John Muir would have a fit.”  Glad there’s some people still outraged by this, especially in ‘Wilderness areas”.

Private golf course abutts a Widerness area in Sedona

Private golf course abutts a Widerness area in Sedona

Sedona was missed.  It should have been a National Park, its that beautiful and special.  Unfortunately, most views contain houses, as one German visitor put it to me.  That being said, its still worth a visit at least once in your lifetime.  Most city people are completely entranced and satisfied with the level of ‘wild’.  My elderly hiker who took the above picture told me she had come with a large group of hikers in a tour.  None of them noticed this level of defacement.  All were enthralled with the beauty, as they should be.

There are plenty of great photographers with photos of the Sedona rocks on the web.  The light plays on the rocks, always changing the way they look at different hours of the day.

Light changes the red rock

Light changes the red rock

Red buttes of Sedona

Red buttes of Sedona

The oldest inhabitants of Sedona lived here

The oldest inhabitants of Sedona lived here

Sedona is unquestionably beautiful, relaxing, and special.  Its just not wild enough for me.

One Response

  1. […] along with my visit to Sedona, Arizona last year, (which also is a natural wonder but not a National Park) what really stood out was its contrast to […]


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