Sedona has branded itself as the “most beautiful place in the world”. Well, I don’t know about that, but the Red Rocks that are the backdrop of Sedona certainly make your mouth wide open in awe. It is springtime in Sedona and we found a nice campsite in Cottonwood, called Thousand Trails, just about 30 minutes from Sedona. Hotel prices can get quite expensive, but we did manage to find a place to camp for $19/night, with electric. There was also a pool, hot tub, and a lodge here with several activities you can participate in. We have not come across any rattlesnakes, tarantulas, or scorpions here in the desert, but you can hear the coyotes all night and the birds first thing every morning. If any of these things worry you, then camping in the desert might not be a good option for you. Of course, we had some concerns, but with so many other campers here, and learning more about the bugs and snakes here from Scott and Pat at the Albuquerque Bio Park, many of those concerns were put to rest and we slept quite well in the frigid desert nights. If you are going to camp, bring a good sleeping bag and an air mattress to get off the ground. It does hit the high 30s and low 40s here…..brrrr!
This area has so much to offer. There are several State Parks, the Coconino National Forest, the Red Rocks, a Ghost Town, Pueblo Ruins, and of course Downtown Sedona.
Downtown Sedona is a great place if you like to shop in expensive stores, have a nice meal out at a higher end restaurant, or like to be harassed as you walk down the street. It appears that most of the downtown area was bought out by Diamond International. If you have ever been on a cruise just about anywhere, you know what this means…..sell, sell, sell. Lots of high-end shops including jewelry shops, and people on every corner trying to offer you deals on activities if you listen to their timeshare spiel. It’s a shame because as you enter Sedona from the south, the amazing mountains are the first thing you see, and then there are cute local shops revolved around crystals, yoga, metaphysical wellness, etc. It was a really fun and quirky vibe until we got to the newer area. We did walk around downtown to see the various statues based on Western movies, and we stopped off for lunch, but other than that, we spent most of our time hiking among the beautiful red rocks.
One of the most popular hikes is Cathedral Rock. This formation sets itself apart because it is one of the five main vortices in the area. Unfortunately, parking is very limited at many of the trailheads, so after several attempts, we finally found parking elsewhere and decided to hike Bell Rock, which is also known for its strong vortex. The hike was only a couple of miles with a mild to moderate incline, depending on how far you go up. We opted to climb about half way up. The climb to the top gets more strenuous and involves rock scaling. Unfortunately, neither of us felt the vortex energy, however, how could anyone be in a bad mood with such amazing views??? When we finished Bell Rock, we did climb to the top of Baby Bell, which was a moderate hike involving some climbing. From here you can see almost all of the major formations in the area.
Sedona has so much to offer people who love the outdoors. The scenery is breathtaking, and the vibe still has that new age feeling to it, outside of the new downtown. I don’t know how much power the vortices have on people, but the nature there is truly healing. This was bucket list stop for us, and I hope we inspire you to add it to your list as well.