Sedona is known for the natural beauty of its stunning red rocks that the locals have affectionately named and shamelessly promote. You can enjoy the natural sculptures of Sedona by visiting a vortex, drinking in the beauty of Slide Rock State Park or hiking in Sedona’s Red Rock State Park.
Experience a Sedona Vortex
Ask any of the locals what to do in Sedona, and they recommend watching the sunset from Airport Mesa. Airport Mesa also happens to be a vortex location. Believers of the metaphysical consider a vortex a high-energy spot, and Sedona has a handful. The vortex is a common ground for the kinetic energy to influence the life in and around a particular area. Visitors to vortexes claim a tingling sensation, a refreshed outlook and inner peace. Is there an unseen force at work? Or are these feelings, commonly reported by visitors and locals, just a state of mind?
It can’t be denied that Airport Mesa has one of the best sunset views in Sedona. The limited parking fills up fast an hour before sunset. If you aren’t an enthusiastic outdoor athlete or hiker, this vortex and scenic look out is perfect. The 3.5 mile, circular trail is not too strenuous or difficult and offers easily accessible views of other popular rock formations such as Coffee Pot rock, Courthouse rock, Bell rock and Cathedral rock, just to name a few. It may be that the crowds at this easily accessible vortex throw off the claimed energy field that is found on Mini Mesa. Maybe, to feel the energy of a vortex, you have to feel as though you have escaped the crowds, alone and absorbing nature.
You can check out the Sedona vortexes with this vortex map.
Slide Rock State Park
This Arizona state park is one of the best summer destinations that offers natural beauty and fun in one. The smooth natural rock formations of the river bed and the rushing water offer a natural water slide, while the large flat stones on the bank provide a fabulous place for sunbathing and catching up on that latest novel. It can become extremely crowded during warmer weather, so if you want to escape the crowds, hike up the river and immerse yourself in a still-water pool or observe the wildlife stopping for a drink.
In the winter it may be too cold to enjoy swimming in the creek, but the hikes and the views are breathtaking especially with a fresh snowfall. The Slide Rock State Park used to be the Pendley homestead, a 43-acre apple orchard that was developed by Frank L. Pendley in 1910. The Pendley Homestead Historic District was accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places in Dec. 1991. The Pendley apple farm is one of the few homesteads still preserved in Oak Creek Canyon. Enjoy the history of the apple farm as a scenic and cinematic destination, James Stewart’s “Broken Arrow” was filmed here along with others, and hike the Pendley Homestead Trail (.25 miles), Slide Rock Route (.3 miles), or Clifftop Nature Trail (.25 miles).
Summer or winter, plan your visit to Slide Rock State Park in Sedona.
Red Rock State Park
The Red Rock State Park is located on the south side of Sedona along the 89A and had numerous trails suitable for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The 286-acre nature preserve includes a 1.4-mile stretch of Oak Creek that flows through this amazing riparian habitat.
The park also features an environmental educational center with daily activities such as a daily guided nature walk at 10 a.m. and an educational presentation at 2 p.m. The guided nature walk is lead by a naturalist who explains the ecosystem and habitat of the Red Rock State Park and Oak Creek. The walk lasts about one-and-a-half to two hours and covers the wildlife, vegetation and archaeology of the area. The educational presentation led by a park ranger or a guest speaker can be a combined indoor/outdoor activity that includes a specific, special presentation and on occasion an outdoor hike. Bring water and your camera!