If you’ve never been to Sedona you are in for a treat. Whenever we visit Sedona I always wonder what the first explorers thought when they rolled up on the awe-inspiring Red Rocks surrounding this spiritual haven. Whether you’re an avid outdoor explorer, a spiritual gangster, or someone who just wants to take a casual walk through nature, Sedona has something for everyone, and it’s only a short hour and half drive northwest of Phoenix.
The Red Rocks of Sedona are one of the most beautiful natural sites to behold in the United States. Sedona’s canyon walls are made up of nine layers of stone from different geological periods spanning hundreds of millions of years. There are six layers of sandstone, two layers of limestone, topped with one igneous layer of basalt stone. The different sandstone and limestone layers were formed by wind-blown sand dunes or mud deposited by inland seas. The red colors are the result of iron oxide staining the rocks over millions of years.
Then, running through this vast arid, dry landscape is an unexpected babbling creek. The waters that fill Oak Creek come from the many natural springs along the course of the creek, but also ebbs and flows from the melting snow from the neighboring northern mountain range.
Mother Nature did her best when she created Sedona. The beauty of the Red Rocks does seem god-like and inspires spiritually minded people from all over the world to visit Sedona to experience its energy and power. The rocks supposedly exude mysterious cosmic forces and the area is known for swirling centers of energy, called vortexes, that are conducive to healing, meditation and enlightenment. A few of the more popular vortexes are located at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon. Even if you’re not a big believer in mystical powers, you can’t help but feel inspired by the scenic beauty surrounding Sedona.
Here are a few of my favorite places to visit in and around Sedona:
It’s not often that you see a river running in Arizona, which makes the beauty of Oak Creek even more special. The headwaters of Oak Creek begin at about 5,700 feet in elevation, in steep escarpments below the edge of the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau. Unlike the surrounding dessert trees, scrub and brush that cover the red rock areas of Sedona, Oak creek is surrounded on both sides by lush Sycamore trees.
If you’re up for a splurge I highly recommend staying at L’Auberge de Sedona. L’Auberge de Sedona is located in the heart of Sedona bordering Oak Creek. During the more moderate Spring and Fall months, if you stay in one of the Creekside Cottages, you can open the doors to the patio and listen to the running water of the creek day and night. Take a few steps down the path from your room and sit on a rock while dangling your feet in the cool spring water. L’Auberge de Sedona also provides a fine dining experience at their restaurant Cress at Oak Creek with seating inches away from the edge of Oak Creek. Even if you aren’t staying at L’Auberge de Sedona, eating lunch or dinner on the side of the creek is well worth the experience.
There is no shortage of ways to experience the red rocks surrounding Sedona. One of my favorite Sedona adventures involved a Jeep tour. Pink Jeep Tours are probably one of the best known Jeep tour groups in Sedona, because, well, their Jeeps are pink. But there are several tour groups in town, and no matter which one you choose, you are destined to climb rocks and explore places in Sedona that not might not be possible on foot. Plus, you are hands free as a passenger with infinite photos opportunities everywhere.
Hiking and meditation
Hiking in and around Sedona does not disappoint. Hiking allows an intimate and lingering view of the red rocks that can’t be experienced in any other way. There are hundreds of trails in the area and none disappoint.
If you want to connect with the spiritual power of the rocks you can stop almost anywhere along the trail or seek out solitude to relax and meditate. Before you close your eyes, however, be sure to look up and take in the 360 degree breathtaking scenery that surrounds you. Don’t be surprised if you’re not alone in your spiritual quest as shaman, yogis and healing practitioners abound in the area.
If you’re into the healing power of crystals, you are in the right place too. Crystals are believed to have the power to amplify healing forces and raise the vibrations of your surroundings. Crystals and stones that represent the seven chakras are a good choice to bring along, or if you’re like me bring crystals that represent and enhance individualized meaning (I like amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz). If you forget to bring your own, or you are new to the healing power of crystals and want to learn more, there are several local stores with vast crystal selections located throughout Sedona.
Sedona and flower
If you want to reconnect with Mother Nature and use flower to assist with this connection, Sedona is an excellent place to imbibe. Flower heightens the senses and facilitates deeper meditation making the visit to Sedona even more meaningful.
What flower you choose depends on your goal for the day. If you want to hike and explore all day you may need an energizing sativa or sativa-dominant strain like, Pineapple Express, Sour Diesel, Lemon Haze, or my personal fave go-to strain, good ole Jack Herer, might be in order.
But if you want to find a place and meditate for the better part of the day then a more calming, thought provoking indica or indica dominant strain might be a better choice. A few to consider are: Granddaddy Purple, Blue Dream, Northern Lights, Girl Scout Cookies and Jack the Ripper.
For a list of dispensaries in the area, check out Leafly.com for more information.
Remember, do not drive while impaired, follow all local laws, wear sunscreen and stay hydrated, and above all else, please respect Mother Nature and do not disturb or take anything nature provided away from the area.