Sedona, Arizona may have a resident population of just 10,000 souls, but it draws nearly 4 million visitors and an estimated 700 million tourism dollars annually. Glimpse Red Rock Country, and you, too, may schedule a spiritual realignment with the healing vortexes.
8 Reasons To Visit Sedona
Glowing in shades of cadmium and ochre, sandstone pinnacles, spires, buttes and domes prove that "all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow." Sedona's Permian miracles draw plein air artists from round the globe, all hoping to capture the ever-shifting magical chiaroscuro. The Schnebly Hill Formation's presence is far more than visual, however. The area is renowned for its swirling vibes of spiritual energy.
A four-season mecca, Sedona has a temperate, semi-arid climate. Enjoy more than 300 sunny days and maybe 19 inches of rain a year. Winter temps range from 30 to 60 while summer sees 60 to 96, with little to no humidity. Sedona is also "one of just eight Designated International Dark Sky Communities," which means no light pollution, just stars upon stars.
Rock art and cliff dwellings at sites like the Palatki Ruins testify that native peoples have held Sedona sacred for thousands of years. The Sinagua, Yavapai and Apache have all called the area home. Yavapai, Apache, Hopi and other tribes continue to honor the site and share their culture.
Movies And Stars?
The setting for nearly 50 movies, mostly Westerns, since Hollywood first discovered it in 1923, Sedona's red-rock landscape hosted stars like John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, Elvis Presley, Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford. Johnny Depp's Dead Man was filmed here, as was National Lampoon's Vacation. Stars are still rumored to have property here but value privacy.
Hiking, Biking And "Jeeping"
Sedona has more than a hundred hiking and biking trails through forest, canyon and mountains. The main trails cover three areas – Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, Munds Mountain Wilderness, and Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. If hiking or biking is too rugged, Jeep tours let you explore while enjoying the views.
New Age Vibe
Shops and galleries abound, specializing in art, Native American and Southwestern jewelry, rugs, pottery, baskets, kachinas, sand paintings, sculpture, crystals, precious gemstones, auras, tarot cards, palm readings, psychic massages and more. Restaurants offer organically grown, insanely healthy (or decadently evil) gourmet creations. Gracious resort amenities and spiritual practitioners can rejuvenate any ragged edges.
With nearly 40 annual events, Sedona has at least one festival every month, including the Sedona International Film Festival, Mountain Bike Festival, Yoga Festival, Great Sedona Chili Cook-Off, Photofest, Plein Air Painting Legacy Event, Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, Winefest and Festival of Lights.
Sedona has four main energy vortexes, all easily accessible. The airport vortex is considered masculine, conveying strength. Cathedral Rock is considered feminine, conveying goodness. Boynton Canyon balances the two, and Bell Rock benefits masculine, feminine and the balance. If you can't feel the energy, look for marker cairns and telltale juniper trees (the more twisted the trees, the more potent the energy).
If you're a road-tripper or RV enthusiast, a trip to Sedona can easily be combined with a visit to the Grand Canyon (about 2 hours drive from Sedona). Even Las Vegas and Los Angeles aren't crazy far. An estimated 5 hours will get you the 278.0 miles to Vegas, while the 482 miles to LA may take closer to 7 hours. Use the chance to cruise Route 66 and check out spots like Oak Creek Canyon, Hoover Dam and Flagstaff along the way. Take advantage of gas travel savings you may get with your credit card to save on costs.
Flying is a good option if your vacation schedule is tight, though you will have to count on renting a car to get out to Sedona from Phoenix. Take time to get the cheapest flight, and check if your credit card gives you rental card deals or auto rental insurance.