The drive to Sedona from Meteor Crater was about four hours and uphill most of the time. But everything that goes up must come down, so thank goodness for our diesel engine brake feature which made our descent much safer down the winding roads and into the Sedona Valley (which is still around 5000 ft of elevation). It was hard to keep our eyes on the road because the views were so incredible. Red rock formations rising into the sky all around you. I must say it was breathtaking.
Reaching our campground was another pleasant surprise. We stayed at Rancho Sedona, which is within walking distance to some of the major shopping and galleries in Sedona. The park itself is beautifully lined with Sycamore trees and a beautiful creek that runs along the back. We made reservations here way in advance and snagged a beautiful site on the creek.
Our first full day we toured the town (mostly on foot) and did a little shopping. Sedona has several shopping districts connected by two state highways and a system of many, many roundabouts. It made me think of an airport layout with terminals everywhere. At first it was a bit confusing but a trip to the visitor center fixed all that.
Hiking around Sedona is spectacular, there are all kinds of hikes and difficulty levels for everyone. We were able to take in two challenging trails. The first one was the West Fork Trail. This is a 6 mile (round trip) through heavily wooded forest, slot canyons, rock overhangs and many creek crossings (13 times each way to be exact) bordering the trail. This creek became my nemesis because I didn’t feel confortable walking on wet stones or fallen tree trunks and I definetly didn’t want to take a spill. But I’m a bit of a whimp, Leo on the other hand loved it. There are some beautiful views of the canyon walls along the way and the tree canopy keeps the trail cool, even though the day we hiked the temperature was around 95, we never noticed any temperature discomfort.
If you want to know how a mountain goat feels then the Airport Mesa loop is the hike for you, it is right by the airport in the center of town but you never see the airport at all, it’s an amazing hike. This is a 3.5 mile loop that takes you up, up and away over the city of Sedona. The trail is very narrow and rocky so we needed to walk single file most of the way. The views at every turn are spectacular.
At the end of the loop there is a very short summit trail, where one of Sedona’s famous Vortex is supposed to be, so we hiked that as well and crashed into a wedding ceremony being being officiated by a Native American, with chanting, some sort of liquid being offered and thrown into the wind (Leo’s guess …whiskey). So we got vortexed and probably included in some of the wedding pictures. A great way to end the hike. Tomorrow we’re off to our next adventure at the Grand Canyon, till then be happy y’all 😄