Imagine the excitement and overwhelming gratitude and just plain awe that is possible to experience entering Oak Creek on the way to Sedona Arizona.
I may have had such feelings well up in me because I had just spent around 7 hours almost entirely in the car through a mostly boring and visually uninspiring drive from Central Utah.
Save for a handful of gorgeous highlights along the way of course.
But I just couldn’t wait to get here and finally take in all the visual and spiritual aspects of this part of Arizona that makes it so appealing.
Stuff To do
Alright let’s go through some of the major attractions of this majestic land.
I will include what I experienced personally, and a few I had hoped to do as well.
- Sightseeing ventures
There are 4 major vortexes in the Sedona area.
- Airport Mesa
- Bell Rock
- Cathedral Rock
- Boynton Canyon
Airport Mesa Vortex
This one was right in town by the Airport Mesa as you can tell by the name.
And supposedly the most popular because it is so accessible.
There are so many eclectic and neat places to stay in Sedona and yet I had help making my choice of lodging because this little gem was within hiking distance of it.
Let’s jump to the next morning after traveling all damn day locked in a car with my extreme need to get outdoors and start my Sedona experience.
This took place about 5:30, 6 AM and after being coffee’d up with my pack on my back and my just as excited husband in tow, We headed up the trail pointed out to us by our helpful front desk clerk at A Sunset Chateau.
While simultaneously enjoying the crisp late September Arizona morning, enjoying all the many plants and wildlife, I thought to myself the whole way up, “Yes we have a jump on everyone!”
It was clearly too early even for a Saturday for hardly anyone to be at the vortex for a while. We would have it all to ourselves. I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were all kinds of people already there when we arrived. Thankfully we didn’t drive because the tiny parking lot was already filled to the max!
We did however experience a pretty cool moment standing at the Vortex, when a coyote yipped into the early morning air just a short distance from where we were all standing.
Only feeling slightly disappointed, we decided to do the Mesa Airport hike that follows around the Airport and gave us a pretty complete high ground view of gorgeous Sedona. I’ll talk a bit more about this hike in the hikes section of this post.
The second time I tried to catch this vortex in solidarity
The next morning, my husband and I set out even earlier than the previous day to watch the sunrise at this sacred site. This time we drove, and as we neared the parking lot, I knew we weren’t going to have our moment. Right after we arrived, the tiny parking lot actually filled up.
We made our way to the top of a rock formation I believe they call the mini mesa and found a suit able spot to watch the sunrise and drink our coffee.
Even though we couldn’t actually watch the sunrise because it was cloudy, it was stunning enough just to see the small city come into light and life.
Some people say they feel something at the vortexes. An energy, a buzzing, some people claim they’ve had a vision I’m sure. I wish I could say the same, but I had none of those. However, my experience was this quietness, gratitude, and even love for all the people there that morning as we all watched the sun rise over the valley together.
We didn’t get the opportunity to check out the other vortexes while in Sedona on this trip unfortunately.
But I feel I will be going back, hopefully soon, and will have the chance to see at least one or two more during my next visit.
Hiking in Sedona
So, lot’s of hikes to be had in Sedona and nearly all of them popular.
This whole area is pretty much beautiful so you really can’t go wrong.
Here’s a few I got to do
- Mesa Airport loop
- Devils Bridge
- Chuckwagon & Mescal trail
Mesa Airport loop hike
This is a hike that begins at the vortex and goes all the way around the airport.
There’s other hikes that shoot off from this one but we didn’t want to stray too much.
This is a great hike to see pretty much all of Sedona from a descent point of view on the mesa there. We encountered the least amount of people on this one but that could be because it was like 7 AM on a Saturday morning.
I knew this would be one of my last hikes for the area and wanted to make it a good one.
So I choose this highly trafficked jaunt that went up, up, and up there towards the end, with a basically vertical staircase to the top and to the “devil’s Bridge.”
There were so many people on the hike that day that we literally had to wait in line at the staircase portion of this hike. But everyone was friendly of course (they’re hiking duh)
And you also would have to wait in line to get your pic standing on top of the bridge. We didn’t partake in the picture taking however, But we hung around and stood in awe of all the people the had come here to to do the same. This hike also follows a jeep trail (that is also popular) in order to get to the final destination.
Chuck Wagon & Mescal Trails
These trails wind all around the Devils Bridge trail and interconnect with each other. When I set out to do the Devils Bridge, It was a Saturday morning in Sedona so it was very busy and parking was next to impossible. All I know is we parked on the side of the road, found a trail called mescal and followed the signs (and people) to the bridge. It’s kind of easy to get lost in all these connecting trails so pay attention so you don’t end up wandering around for too long like we did. These were easy, beautiful trails and I highly recommend spending the extra time exploring here.
There’s a ton of hiking to be done here, believe me it was a bit overwhelming trying to prioritize what little time I had in Sedona, and I knew hiking was going to be a big part of it. But choosing the right hike for you can feel a little crazy after all you see there is to offer.
Hot Air Balloons
Of Course you can get a lot from a hike or two but there’s always hot air balloon rides if you’re feeling a little more adventurous.
My husband and I booked a balloon ride with Red Rock Balloons in Sedona, for which I was so excited for but unfortunately, got cancelled due to the winds not being right for landing that day. We rescheduled and had a cancellation again for the same reason. This was disappointing but definitely not the balloon company’s fault. I’m just glad they played it safe.
This would’ve been a big step for me in getting over my fear of heights, but there’s always another time….maybe even another place to try again.
There’s 2 balloon companies in Sedona.
Red Rock Balloons – (link for website here)
Northern Light Balloon Expeditions – (link here)
Both of which looked very safe and credible.
Jeep and ATV excursions
There is a company or two that provides jeep/ATV excursions for your exploring and viewing pleasure as well. Here’s a few out of a handful to offer in Sedona.
pinkadventuretours.com – You get to ride around in a pink jeep!
Sedona Off road Adventures – sedonajeeptours.com – They have red jeeps & hummers.
safarijeeptours.com – These guys have a dozen or more experiences to choose from.
I did not participate in one of these sightseeing delights, but I did see quite a few of them buzzing around and it looked like everyone was having a good time. So, definitely worth considering.
Sedona is largely known for a wonderful showcasing of arts and crafts.
Head over to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village and check out the shops & galleries, and browse the collections of artwork, rocks & crystals, clothing and small museums all grouped together in a gorgeous old world Spanish setting.
You really can’t go very far and not find an art gallery or shop in Sedona.
Check out walksedona.com for some real time direction to really explore this exceptional city.
I really can’t say enough good things about this area. I miss it and I would love to go back someday and soak in more of the delightfulness this special place has to offer. It can get a little toasty and dry in Sedona so be prepared and make sure you visit in the cooler months of the year.
Thanks for reading! Check out my video showcasing most of the hikes I did in Sedona!