Of all of the places I have traveled, Sedona, Arizona in the southwestern United States, is one of my all time favorites. The Sedona area is called “Red Rock Country” because of its rich, red colored sandstone cliffs and spires. The scenery is breathtaking, and for the photographer in me, there is always something beautiful to photograph.
My family and I flew into Phoenix, Arizona and drove north to Sedona on Interstate 17. After traveling for so many hours to get there, we just wanted the quickest route to Sedona, and this was the best choice. Although I know for certain that the desert in this area is filled with amazing beauty, the views from the Interstate were far from inspiring. The landscape began to change the closer we got to Sedona and as we rounded a bend in the highway, this was our first glimpse of the red rock. I think we all let out an audible gasp!
Sedona seems to have it all. There are breathtaking landscapes to enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing and camping. There is a large art community of hundreds of artists of all mediums, and over forty art galleries showcasing contemporary, traditional, and Native American art.
People also visit Sedona to experience the energy field, or so-called power vortex, in the area. There are many holistic centers and different spiritual and metaphysical experiences to be had through meditation, energy healing, and aura readings.
As we traveled from one end of town to the next, we noticed a building that seemed to be rising out of the red rock. It is a Roman Catholic chapel called the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and it’s open to visitors. No matter what your beliefs, it is worth the short drive up the hill to see. The architecture is award winning, and the view, from outside or inside the chapel, is spectacular.
Because of our uninspiring drive up the Interstate, we made certain that our itinerary while in Sedona included a drive on the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Road (89A). True to its name, it is a very scenic route, which travels beside Oak Creek. You feel the temperature cool slightly as more and more large pine trees line the road. The combination of the red rock cliffs and the deep green pines are a beautiful sight. There is an extreme change in elevation from bottom to top, and the difference in the temperature is very noticeable. You go from the hot, dry Red Rock area to a lush, green area at the top of this route.
You can see from the photo above, that as you get closer to the top, the road gets very curvy. There are hairpin turns, and you need to drive slowly. I can say that at certain points on this road, it can even be a little scary!
The Oak Creek Vista is at the top of the mountain. You have amazing views of the Coconino National Forest from here. When we visited, there were Native American Indians selling jewelry and other items. They were more than happy to share their stories as to how an item was made, its history, and what it means to them. I purchased a gorgeous hematite necklace.
I found Sedona, and the Oak Creek Canyon area, to be very inspiring. It’s a relaxing place where you can just kick back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, or take part in some of the more adventurous outdoor activities.
Written by guest blogger Judy Salcedo