There are few natural spectacles that will overwhelm your senses like driving through Oak Creek Canyon and approaching the red rock wonders of Sedona, Arizona. As you are driving through the canyon, and pass through what seems like an endless stream of roundabouts you are greeted by the sound of tens of thousands of cicadas singing during midday. It’s easy to imagine them being your own personal Sedona welcoming party…so be sure to roll the windows down!
There are simply not enough superlatives in the English language to describe the jaw-dropping beauty that you will encounter. Time and time again Sedona’s beauty will steal your breath away and take the words right out of your mouth. Just like the first time you visit someplace new, it will resemble the first kiss, but repeat visits will continue to astound you no matter the time of day or the time of the year
Early morning and late afternoon you will be treated to impossibly blue skies and as the sun rises and sets the red rock formations will take on a depth of color that will fill your dreams. Even at high noon when the light is usually the flattest the colors of the landscape continue to explode. At night, thanks to minimal light pollution, the sky becomes a vast blanket of stars including some of the best views of the Milky Way you will ever witness. Don’t forget your binoculars!
If you are fortunate enough to visit Sedona during the monsoon season (July & August) you will be treated to short periods of heavy rain accompanied by copious amounts of thunder and lightning. If the rains come after dark the sound of thunder rattling through the canyons and the sight of lightning bouncing off the red rocks is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once the rain has stopped much-needed relief comes from what can be some of the hottest months in the region and ensures that the night skies will be clear for Sedona’s much revered and well-loved star gazing.
On our recent trip to Sedona in September of 2015 to celebrate 20 years of blissful marriage, my wife and I were greeted by Indian Summer and the meadows dotting the region were still covered in blankets of wildflowers due to a longer than usual monsoon season. While the clear air and the daily temperatures spoke of the approach of fall, the landscape was still singing with spring. Meadows of yellow, orange, red & purple wildflowers sat nestled amongst the red rocks making for a Plein Air painters dream. Or in our case…a hikers dream!
Needless to say activities are numerous in Sedona, from Jeep tours into the backcountry, to hiking in and around the various red rock monuments or heading out to Slide Rock State Park for a dip in the icy cold waters. If you are an art lover, gallery hopping in town or at Tlaquepaque can consume an entire day. If you would like to experience the surrounding landscape from the air, an early morning balloon ride is the absolute best way to take in the majestic red rocks and verdant valleys. And of course, this being Sedona, daily spa sessions at the resorts and massage destinations are numerous. You can finish off your day of activities with world class, creek side dining at L’Auberge de Sedona, Rene’s in Tlaquepaque or many of the other fine dining establishments in and around Sedona.
There is a wide variety of lodging accommodations in and around the Sedona area. Our five-day trip found us staying at the Enchantment Resort & Spa nestled deep in Boynton Canyon. This world-class resort is hugged on 2 sides by a box canyon and the surroundings are as peaceful as it gets. The resort staff will leave you to your own devices or will pamper you until the cows come home. It’s your choice. There is no need to go out to dinner either as the food at Enchantment’s three separate restaurants is as varied and healthy as it is good.
From the resort, it is possible to leave your room and without getting in your car, to hike for hours. One direction will take you deep into Boynton Canyon while in the opposite direction you can hike up to the Kachina Woman & Warrior Man rock formations to take in the fantastic views. While there, and if your karma is properly aligned, you can experience one of the five major vortexes in the region. Powerful stuff.
Speaking on the topic of Sedona’s fabled vortexes I offer this observation.
Although Sedona, like many other mystical locations on earth, promotes the “vortex” experience everywhere you go there is truly no need to go searching for inspiration as the beauty of the area and the wonders of nature will find you.
On our many trips to this area, over the seasons and the years, the magic and the beauty continues to astound us. We hope that the same holds true for anyone traveling to this unique corner of the west.
Happy travels…and don’t forget to roll those windows down!