Entertainment Magazine: Arizona: Sedona

Sedona Hiking –
Secrets of the Red Rocks

Being in on a secret is to be among few people who know something.
 
Sedona and its array of stark red sandstone formations provide a backdrop of magnificent beauty for any activity in the Verde Valley region of Northern Arizona.

One of the best ways to enjoy the spectacular landscape is to get out into it; in other words, take a hike and discover what nature has to offer.
 
There is a vast range of trails available to interested parties in the Sedona area, especially in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. For the avid hiker, there are plenty of strenuous and breathtaking treks. For those just venturing out in a new pair of boots, there are numerous leisurely beautiful outdoor strolls. The key part however is that you must get into the backcountry to be in on the secrets that Sedona has to offer.
 
For the casual day-hiker, Vultee Arch Trail provides the best of sheer wall views and Red Rock wilderness all in a fairly level and dry two-mile excursion. The trail begins along a dry streambed lined with typical Red Rock Mountain vegetation like yucca and juniper and gradually flows into a stand of shady ponderosa pines making for a cool hike even on the sunniest days.


 


After reaching a junction at the 1.75 mile mark you reach your reward, a breathtaking 40-foot wide red sandstone bridge, Vultee Arch.

The arch is named after a couple, Gerald and Sylvia Vultee, who crashed their plane and died nearby in 1938. It is a beautiful spot to pack a picnic, rest, and soak in the wilderness.
 
If a challenge is what you are looking for, then it doesn’t get any better than the Secret Canyon hiking trail. The start of this trail is less than 6 miles from the main highway and the road to get to the trailhead can only be used by high clearance vehicles.  The trail opens flat through low desert scrublands and enters a wide canyon mouth about 2 miles in.

The beginning of this trail does not provide much shade from the sun so come prepared with adequate water and snacks for the long haul. At this point you enter a world of constricting narrows, sheer cliffs, and steep ascents. Expect plenty of hand over foot hiking as you cross boulder-filled channels and small dryfalls. Secret Canyon is home to a number of seasonal pools, waterfalls, and creeks so be prepared to get your feet wet. Take these small moments to relish your surroundings and admire the ridge formed rocks against the Arizona sky.
 
These two trails fit the bill for whether you are new to adventure or an active outdoor hiker. These trails and all others in the area enable you to delight in the natural rock formations specific to Sedona.

At El Portal Sedona Hotel, owner Steve Segner is a proficient hiker and an incomparable source of knowledge about the trails in the area. His boutique hotel offers guests personalized concierge services for Sedona and will coordinate drop-offs and pick-ups at trailheads for any guest's convenience.

The owners and staff at the pet friendly Sedona hotel are more than willing to sit down with guests and help them plan their stay by aiding them in choosing the appropriate hiking trails to packing a picnic lunch for a day trip to the Grand Canyon. Nowhere else can you find hikes that offer everything from Indian ruins to shade-filled wooded hikes near Oak Creek, from natural stone bridges, towering red rock canyon walls, and mysterious energy vortexes. Sedona is a destination that is one of a kind.
 
There are things unknown that are not meant to be completely understood.  The beauty of nature can only be treasured and that’s letting you in on the secret.

For more information: El Portal Sedona Hotel, 95 Portal Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336. Call 800-313-0017 or 928-203-9405. [email protected]

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Places to hike around Sedona

  • Boynton Canyon Trail - hike deep into a box canyon, view ancient ruins left by the Sinagua Indians.
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument - view of the Native American past at one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in America.
  • Red Rock State Park - follow a ranger, take a self-guided tour of this 286-acre state park.
  • Slide Rock State Park - Slip down the natural water slide and go for a swim in this unique park.

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