Chapel of the Holy Cross#5 in Best Things To Do in Sedona
If you only have time for one cultural site, the Chapel of the Holy Cross should be it. This stunning church – designed by sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude (a student of architect Frank Lloyd Wright) in the 1950s – protrudes from the red cliffs less than 4 miles south of Sedona's "Y" intersection. The main stained-glass window is held together by a giant cross and overlooks the Verde Valley.
While many recent visitors rave about the spectacular views, most say the site's peaceful atmosphere is the central reason to stop by. Reviewers also warned of limited parking and heavy midday crowds – plan a morning visit for a more tranquil experience. Others said it makes for a nice stop along the Red Rock Scenic Byway (the chapel is located at the byway's north end).
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a Taize Prayer Service every Monday at 5 p.m. There is also a gift shop that is open daily from 10 a.m. Admission is free, and parking is available just a short walk down the cliff side from the church. For more information, visit the official website.
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#1 Hiking Trails
The region boasts more than 100 different trails, each offering its own unique experience. Most lead into the red rocks, offering intrepid explorers plenty of postcard-worthy photo ops. Travelers are enthralled with many of Sedona's trails, but one of the most popular is the Cathedral Rock Trail, which starts about 4 miles south of the "Y" intersection. Though it isn't the easiest trek, the trail does offer great views of one of Sedona's most notable red rock formations. Recent visitors said the effort is definitely worth the views. For a less strenuous journey that still promises Cathedral Rock panoramas, try the Airport Mesa Loop, an easy path located near the Sedona Airport. Other popular hiking trails include the Bell Rock Pathway, the Devil's Bridge Trail, Boynton Canyon and Palatki Ruins, which features several ancient Native American ruins and cave paintings.
When making your way to a trailhead, consider stopping at The Hike House, where recent visitors rave about the helpful and knowledgeable staff. This facility – located across the street from Tlaquepaque – is devoted to preparing Sedona hikers. Using their unique Trail Finder database, the staff members at The Hike House can help determine which trail is right for you based on your time frame and skill level. This facility also houses a shop specializing in hiking gear and a cafe chock-full of healthy treats. After stopping here, you'll be well dressed and energized to hit the trails. The Hike House also offers guided hikes; reservations can be made on the center's website.
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