Oak Creek Canyon
On your way to Sedona, make sure you take the scenic route through the Oak Creek Canyon. The vistas offered are breathtaking - the swirling backcountry roads are worth it!
sedona: red rock country
Sedona is the place where you're going to want to get a large ice cream cone and enjoy a spot under a water mister; that's exactly what I did to take in the view of the stunning, jagged peaks of Red Rock Country.
When I first saw the itinerary for my Arizona trip, I was so excited to see Sedona on the list! Our stop in Sedona was slated to be one of our final days in Arizona - a little treat for us after some long days of hiking and exploring trails. We had both heard very positive things from people who had been there before us, so we were looking forward to it. The stunning views of the bright red rocks did not disappoint!
Our route consisted of all backroads. Our first stop of the trip was actually my favorite part of the day - a short downhill "hike" - to see the view of a beautiful river gorge called the Oak Creek Canyon. The vista is a perfect place to pause, take in the view, and marvel at all of the beautiful life around. There are countless pine trees and steep, dramatic mountain faces that carve out a definitive canyon - a mini grand canyon of sorts. Arizona truly is a haven for anyone who loves scenic overlooks like this!
A small market apparently pops up (I'm not sure how often) with local artisan sellers, some of whom are Navajo, to sell jewelry, crafts, and other beautiful handmade goods. I got my mom and I a beautiful beaded bracelet, made by a nice gentleman named Amos. I liked the bracelets because they both had the symbol of the Eagle Feather on them, to remind us of our amazing week in the Southwest.
Next stop: Sedona!
We made our way down the very canyon we had just peered down from, winding down extreeeeemely tight hairpin curves that hugged the jagged rock formations. This is the best way to see the canyon up close, if you're able to look out the window (luckily we didn't have to worry about driving!). We drove by Slide Rock State Park, which is a little swimming hole down in the base of the canyon with wonderfully sloping rocks that serve as naturally-formed water slides. It looked so much fun!
When we finally reached Sedona, we noticed a big temperature difference - it got really hot! Arizona is hot all over, but Flagstaff had been a delightfully cool respite from all of the heat earlier in the week. Resting in the middle of the towering red rocks is downtown Sedona, a charming little main street with restaurants, cafes, and shops. Unless you're really into shopping, the landscape takes the show, without a doubt. The rocks festoon (I learned that word!) into the most intricate molds, creating dramatic shadows and curves in the highest peaks of the rocks. Because it is summertime, the bright red hue of the mountains are accentuated with lots of green trees, covered in bright sunshine. But if you look closely, you can see even from my photos the different colors of the rocks - they're not just red. This reflects the different types of geological formations within the rocks, formed over millions (some, billions) of years. Arizona is a geologist's dream!
The day ended with a giant ice cream cone (not a good idea) because it proceeded to melt all over my hand :) but it was a delicious cool down!