We arrived into Phoenix on Sunday afternoon and we were greeted with temps in the 100’s which we didn’t mind as we came from a climate that is seeing unseasonably cool temps for this time of year so we were in heaven. We caught the shuttle to the rental car agency and when we arrived, could not believe the size of the facility! We headed to the Hertz counter and my husband HAD to inquire about the special edition Shelby GT-H convertible and of course, they had one, so being his 40th b-day, he spoiled himself.
Taking in the views and the heat; we began our journey to Sedona with the top down. The 2 hour road trip felt like ½ hour. Even though there wasn’t much to look at it and we felt like we were out in the middle of nowhere, we loved it. We took I-10 to I-17, Hwy 179 to AZ89 into Sedona and when those red rocks came into our site for the very first time, we could not believe the view. We were in awe. We did make a stop at Montezuma Castle on the way to Sedona and I am glad we did. As we approached Sedona, we made a stop at the ranger station first thing and grabbed our red rock pass. ($15.00 for the week) As we made our way into town, we were expecting some delays due to construction but we had none at all. In fact, the entire week we were there, we hardly had any delays whatsoever. They keep the flow of traffic moving very nicely and it really wasn’t a nuisance to us at all. We arrived at The Sunset Chateau, checked in and then headed out to the grocery store (Bashas), picked up some things for the week and then toured Sedona to get ourselves acquainted which took no time at all. We enjoyed our first sunset in Sedona, came back, had a nightcap and could not wait for the next day to experience our first full day in Sedona.
The next day was hubby’s b-day. We were up early and did the Airport Loop Trail at 6:00 am where the trail begins right across the street from where we were staying and enjoyed the views all around the loop. Then we did Cathedral Rock. Temps still were in the high 90’s and it was a tad difficult but come hell or high water, I was making it to the top! When we got to the top, we signed the book that someone had placed for all to sign. It is placed under a tree, in a Tupperware container and protected by rocks. What a view from Cathedral Rock. Beautiful…………. That evening we headed to the Enchantment Resort for the b-day dinner and it was excellent. The food and the views were great and the resort was beautiful.
Tuesday we headed to the Grand Canyon. Took the scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon and the views were spectacular!!! What a lovely drive. Again a 2 hour drive felt like it was a ½ hour. We had the top down of course and enjoyed the drive immensely. I won’t get into the Grand Canyon as I will post this trip separately, but I will say that I could not get over that impressive view and it’s just something that everyone needs to see and experience at least once in their lifetime.
For the remainder of the week, in a nutshell, we spent the majority of our trip in Sedona hiking. This trip was not about relaxing, taking tours or shopping. (possibly next time) It was all about experiencing the outdoors in those amazing red rocks! As well as doing the Airport Loop Trail, we also did Coffee Pot, Doe Mountain, West Fork, and Broken Arrow as well as a few trails in Red Rock State Park. The weather started to turn on Thursday and on Friday we received quite a bit of rain so our hiking trips were cut short which was disappointing as we wanted to do more. We could NOT get enough of this majestic scenery! Doe Mountain is a great hike. Once you get to the top you have to walk the entire rim which adds another mile to your hike. Lovely views from the top. Broken Arrow - AMAZING views!! It’s no wonder it is “the spot” for the Pink Jeep Tours. West Fork Trail is absolutely beautiful as you wind your way through the trail crossing back and forth over the creek many times and there are many types of vegetation in this canyon. These trails are NOT to be missed. Coffee Pot and the Airport Loop are nice, easy trails with still awesome views. All the trails are marked clearly with the cairns and markers people made from rocks themselves so it is very hard to get lost or off the beaten path. There are boxes placed at the beginning of every trail that have a trail sign book where you put your name, date and time. I think it is very important everyone signs this book before heading off onto the trails.
The morning we were leaving we woke up to see a light dusting of snow on the very top of the red rocks. The temp changed 40 degrees while we were there. We visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross which you just have to do when you come to Sedona. There is just something about the church when you walk in, sit down and take in the beauty of this place. A feeling comes over you that you just can’t explain and I am the last person to be of the spiritual kind. We opted not to do the Pink Jeep Tour (hubby refused) and I do not regret this at all. We enjoyed learning and experiencing Sedona on our own. I am sure we could have learned a lot more but this could be done on our next trip to Sedona. If you are in to hiking, I HIGHLY recommend “Sedona Hikes” by Richard and Sherry Mangum. This book came in VERY handy while we were there and we used it every day. I know many have mentioned the sunsets in Sedona and it is definitely not to be missed. Forewarning that there are a TON of people at the top of Airport Road and on the little knoll before the top as well. The knoll is the best spot but if you can find any other place to go if you want some privacy - do it! As I learned from people in the forums (especially RedRox) it’s not about watching the sun go down, it’s ALL about watching the Red Rocks change colors as the sun sets. Quick mention of the Vortexes. I did not experience any kind of “feelings” or “sensations” but I must admit, being in Sedona itself and being surrounded by the red rocks, hiking every day, all day, did give us a feeling of tranquility and peace if that means anything. …………….
We will be back and I cannot wait to do more and see more of Sedona. I can see why people have picked up and moved here after visiting. I would do it in a second if I could. I envy all who are there and enjoy those views every single day.