Famous for the Red Rocks of sandstone, Sedona is a prime destination for outdoor adventures and spiritual pilgrimages. With cliffs, canyons and rock formations that glow with those iconic Southwest hues in early and late sun hours, this is a wonderful part of the country to bring your manual camera.
Over 100 hiking trails exist in the area, some of them perfect for mountain biking as well (with prime single-track spots). Other outdoor activities include horseback riding, golf, trout fishing, swimming and bird-watching. Red Rock State Park and Oak Creek Canyon are great places to start. There’s also rock-climbing and canyoneering available.
If you want to hop on a tour, local Jeep tours take you around to see wildlife, sweeping scenery, and even ruins with centuries-old rock art. You can visit Monument Valley (and the iconic road you may recognize from Forrest Gump and The Searchers) in the Navajo Nation Reservation.
You’ll also come across opportunities to raft the Colorado River or visit the Grand Canyon, both popular activities for which people travel across the world. One of the nation’s Pre-Columbian cliff-dwelling ruins, Montezuma Castle National Monument, is nearby, too.
If you or anyone in your party has a hankering for alternative therapies, know that Sedona is considered a prime spot for meditation, prayer, and finding inner harmony. Often called ‘electric’ or ‘magnetic’ Vortexes, these sites have certain energy flows that supposedly foster spiritual healing. Thus, you’ll find yoga, spas and health retreats easy to come by. Powerful spots like Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock have been noted to hold strange energies. For reasons tied to string theory and Native American rituals, Sedona has recently become something of a hot destination for those inclined to do some metaphysical thinking.
Even if you don’t believe, there’s certainly no harm in a good nature hike!