Red Rock State Park#5 in Best Things To Do in Sedona
Although Sedona is surrounded by towering red rock formations, many recent visitors recommend a trip to the official Red Rock State Park specifically to see Cathedral Rock – one of Arizona's most famous landmarks. This 286-acre nature preserve – located about 10 miles southwest of the "Y" (the intersection of routes 89A and 179) along Oak Creek – boasts great views of Sedona's more famous formations. Stop in at the visitor center to learn about the area's history, guided nature walks and moonlight hikes. The park's Oak Creek offers an opportunity to enjoy a picnic lunch cool down, so be sure to pack your swimsuit if you plan on visiting in the summer months.
People rave about the natural beauty of the park and many go as far as saying it is their favorite place in all of Sedona. The park is popular with people of all ages as hiking trails vary in difficulty and length; it even offers a Junior Ranger program for children ages 6 to 12.
Red Rock State Park has daily activities year-round and is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last entry at 4:30 p.m. (the visitors center opens at 9 a.m.). From mid-May to August, the park is open from 8 a.m. to dusk. Entrance fees are as follows: $7 for adults (ages 14 and older), $4 for youths (ages 7 to 13) and free for children 6 and younger. Additional fees are associated with overnight camping. For more information, visit the park's 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. For a less strenuous view of Cathedral Rock, 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. This facility – located across the street from Tlaquepaque – is devoted to preparing Sedona hikers. Using their unique Trail Finder computer program, 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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