A Spontaneous Trip to Explore Sedona Arizona
On the first day of 2016, Trevor and I decided to take a trip and explore Sedona Arizona. We literally packed our bags in our SUV, headed out with friends to watch the ball drop in California and darted off at 12:30am for our neighbor state. Call us crazy, but the spontaneity was just what we needed to kick off our new year. I would be starting a new job the following week and we both had four days off to venture out of the city – so why not?
It was early in the morning when we arrived. We were restless, groggy and ready to hit the hay – well, until we pulled up to Sedona anyway. We had no idea how beautiful this city truly was. After catching glimpse of those big red canyons at sun up, all we could say was “Wow”. We quickly caught a second wind. The beauty was unparalleled and breathtaking in it’s own right. I’d say, the vibrant colors and shapes of these Mountains are what makes this place truly unique and worth visiting. After all, I’d never seen anything like it.
Almost to Sedona at Sunrise
Tired and groggy – Must drink coffee!!
Entering Sedona…That’s the infamous “Bell Rock” on the left.
Trevor and I only had two days there and once we arrived in the city, we wanted to explore as much as we possibly could. We quickly searched for affordable 4+ star hotels using Hotel Tonight and Expedia. We found a great deal on Hotel Tonight for a hotel called called “Poco Diablo“. For $180.00 on a Friday night, we booked a King Suite with a balcony and scenic view of the canyons and golf course. The hotel was also equipped with an indoor spa and fireplace. Can’t beat that Frugal Fancy and last minute holiday find, ha! We were stoked. Poco Diablo was in close proximity to the uptown area and was perched against beautiful red canyons. Most of the action, in terms of restaurants and shopping, is located in West Sedona and Uptown Sedona (Uptown Sedona having most of the nicer and newer spots). I wouldn’t worry too much about where you stay, though. Almost every resort in Sedona features amazing views, hiking trails and is close to the action.
Our First Dining Experience
Once we were checked into our hotel, we headed out for lunch. We definitely built up an appetite after all the driving. We decided on a spot called the “Canyon Breeze” – known for it’s quick and easy dining experience and scenic views. Grab a bite to eat at the food counter and sit on the gorgeous patio – you get a 180 degree view of one of Sedona’s beautiful Red Canyons. Tip: The Pink Jeep tours are right out front. While we did not get to experience the tour, I’ve heard it’s a world of fun and adventure.
Hiking in Sedona
Sedona, also known as “Red Rock Country”, is a hiker’s paradise. Take my word for it. You will find peace and tranquility here. The tops of canyons boast some of the best views I’ve ever seen. Even if you aren’t the hiker, these red rock formations are really inviting. It’s almost as if they are saying “climb me or you will regret it”. I wouldn’t consider myself the avid hiker, but I do appreciate a great scenic view. Every time I completed a hike, I felt like little foot when he found the great valley (if you caught that reference, we’re probably around the same age, ha!) We decided to drop by the visitors center in Uptown for a map of the different trails. While I wish we had a enough time to hike up every trail, we decided to choose two and stick to it. The first trail, Lizard Trail, was a relatively short distance, but steep. The second trail we chose, Big Park Loop, was longer but easier to hike.
Lizard Head Trail…
The first trail we picked was the Lizard Head Trail going up Dry Creek Rd. It’s a 1.63 mile hike with an ascent of 258.37 ft and a maximum elevation of 4,723.95 ft. The trail is known for its rock formation that resembles a lizard. I took a liking to this trail because it was just challenging enough, was perfect for our time constraint and provided the perfect reward once we reached the top….a stunning 180 degree view of the valley and sunset.
Bell Rock Path and Big Park Loop…
There are a few trails and routes you can take around Bell Rock. We started on Big Park Loop and sorta ventured off track a few times lol. Anyway, not sure what trail we wound up on, but here are a few photos we snapped on this journey.
Spirituality, Energy, Vortexes & Stacked Rocks
Apparently I missed the boat on this one. After taking notice to countless stacked rocks every where I turned, I had to ask the question…why? I was reluctant to disturb the rocks as they seemed intentionally set. I later learned that Sedona is a major hub for spirituality. One quick google search on Sedona and you will find hundreds of articles on the metaphysical aspects of the city and learn that thousands of people journey to Sedona every year on spiritual quests. Apparently, stacked stones is seen as a symbol of a protective entity – a way to ward off evil spirits and protect energy. One of the ancient indian tribes of the area (the Hopi), practiced this ceremonial ritual. For more information on this topic, click here.
(I tried, ha!)
Moments Off the Beaten Path…
Not every moment was planned out. Often, we’d find a neat spot and would take a few moments to take in the scenery. Here were a few of those moments…
Photo taken on route 89 near Midgley Bridge – Road that takes you up to Flagstaff and Grand Canyon
Photo taken heading up north on Soldier Pass Road
Photo taken at the Enchantment Resort on Boynton Pass Rd. – This resort packs with luxury. Perfect place to stop for some food and drinks.
Photo taken next to Starbucks lol
In front of the Bell Rock
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and I wish you all success, happiness and health in the new year. For some more interesting reads and things to do in Sedona, check out these pages: