Here in Sedona, we are blessed with four mild seasons. If you love to hike, you truly appreciate this, because you can hike the same trail in each of the seasons and visually capture a completely different beauty in the red rocks. I am a novice photographer and absolutely love taking pictures and it’s amazing to see what each changing season will hold.
Spring is upon us now and this is the time of year when our red rock country comes to life. Snow melt from the high country fills our pristine Oak Creek and creates waterfalls in the canyons. The shades of the forest evergreens deepen, desert cactuses blossom, wildflowers sprout out of the red earth, and our flowering trees burst with shades of pinks, yellows, whites and reds. From some of the north facing mesas, you are apt to see snow on the San Francisco Peaks outlined in the distant horizon. Top off this kaleidoscope of color with a pristine blue sky and you see perfection.
Spring also offers near perfect temperatures for exploring the back country with cool mornings and mild daytime highs. There is a hike for everybody here in Sedona. Just let us know what you’re up for and we will send you on your way!
Visit our web-site at www.sedonareal.com for our fantastic on-line spring specials!
If you only have one day … Use code NET for a great rate on a one night stay. Rates start at $122.00 through March 14th; March 15th – April 20 rates start at $151.00.
If you can stay longer and enjoy more trails … Use code NETF for a discounted multi-night stay. 17% off 2 nights or more through March 14th; or 17% off 3 nights or more March 15th – April 20.
We look forward to helping you enjoy springtime in Sedona!
Blog Contributed by Debbie at Sedona Real Inn and Suites
/>As the train winds along the banks of the Verde River, sunlight filters through oaks and sycamore trees, revealing shades of blue, green and grey in the water. Reflective shards of yellow shimmer at the surface. Overhead predator birds come and go, searching the bottomland and the craggy canyon walls for small animals. Hawks, buzzards and even eagles make this river corridor their home. They are used to the train, and do not stop circling while it passes.
Cliff dwellings, corn cribs and other remnants of a vanished Native culture can be glimpsed in niches high up the sandstone walls, the past standing silent guard over the present. So goes a typical afternoon spent on the Verde Canyon Railroad, a relaxing journey filled with the ancient rhythms of wildlife, shifting sunlight and the river itself. For four hours, passengers can forget where they came from and where they are going, letting the river take them where only it knows the way.
The Verde Canyon Railroad traces its lineage to the days when copper was king, and ore and materials needed a way out of the mining boom town of Jerome. As a working railroad, it ceased operation in the early 1950’s, when the mines shut down. In the early 1990’s it gained new life as a scenic railway, following the same route as in bygone days, showing off a remote riparian corridor that is mostly inaccessible by any other mode of transport.
Departing the station in the historic town of Clarkdale promptly at 1:00 pm daily, the train turns around midway at the old Perkinsville ranch property, and returns along the same route, reaching the depot by 5:00 pm. Passengers enjoy comfortable seating, good visibility from anywhere inside the cars and shaded viewing platforms to enjoy scenery in the open air.
First class seating is extra plush, featuring upholstered booths with tables, a full bar in each car, and an hors d’oeuvres buffet. An attendant who fills drink orders doubles as tour guide, pointing out distinctive geological features and signs of Native culture on the surrounding cliffs. Passengers are briefed on the railroad’s colorful history as well as alerted to the occasional riverfront homes visible from the train, wilderness outposts still occupied by special arrangement with the Forest Service.
For those who love the entrancing combination of sublime scenery, vibrant history and intriguing cultures, Sedona and the Verde Valley may be just for you. To help you create an unforgettable Sedona experience, Sedona Real has teamed with the Verde Canyon Railroad to offer the Ride the Rails package. Choose one night in a Royal King Corner suite or a Real Double Queen suite with patio or deck, and receive two first class tickets for the train, with full amenities. Explore the unique, high desert river country and know you’ve found a delightful bargain.
Winter can be a great time to explore Sedona’s parks. The beauty is always there but the winter months incur much less foot traffic and the peacefulness is a delight.
Red Rock Crossing, aka Crescent Moon Ranch, is a longtime favorite of mine and I recommend it regularly to guests visiting for its beauty and proximity to Sedona Real Inn. And for those of you wanting New Year’s inspiration, I’ve included the great special our hotel is offering for January!
Last weekend, I took my three month old Australian Shepherd puppy, Rory, to Red Rock Crossing for a walk along the creek. It is especially nice for those traveling with their furry friends as it is one of the few pet friendly parks in Sedona offering creek access.
We started out strolling down the sidewalk and through the meadow passing the picnic areas and restroom facilities. We could see glimpses of Cathedral Rock peeking through the bare winter trees as we made our way.
We then entered the path locals refer to as the Enchanted Forest. The short trail through the forest is encompassed by gnarly, big rooted shade trees. There are also several little side paths where we were able to access quiet areas next to the creek. Rory had a blast running alongside Oak Creek and dipping his paws in the crystal clear but chilly water.
Exiting the Enchanted Forest, we land on a massive slab of red rock sandstone. Although I’ve seen it personally many times before, that famous and majestic view of Cathedral Rock towering behind the creek never fails to strike me with awe. Cathedral Rock is noted as being the most photographed place in Arizona next to the Grand Canyon, and in my opinion, this is one of the best vantage points. The different seasons and various times of day all offer a unique and beautiful view.
Rory has given his enthusiastic approval of the park and wants to share with all his furry friends. Crescent Moon Ranch is a day site area with an entrance fee of $9.00 per car and is open daily from 8am to dusk. It is also very close to Sedona Real Inn starting with a beautiful winding drive down Upper Red Rock Loop Road.
Feel free to call me at Sedona Real Inn at 800-353-1239 to make your reservation and arrange all your (and your furry friends) activities!
See you soon,
Concierge at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Boynton Canyon is recognized as one of the most popular hikes in Sedona. I’ve hiked it before but didn’t make it all the way to the end. This time I was bound and determined I would do so. My goal was to get that beautiful picture taken from the back canyon wall looking outward. I usually hike alone and being somewhat directionally challenged, I prefer to hike trails that are fairly well travelled. This trail does get a lot of foot traffic, especially on the first leg.
The first mile of the trail skirts around Enchantment Resort that sits in the mouth of the canyon. The views on this section looking down at the resort and into the canyon are beautiful, but I found the noise from the resort to be a little distracting. I think many hikers just do this part and turn around not realizing the real beauty of the canyon begins after you get past the resort.
The next couple of miles were truly enchanting as I traveled into the heart of the canyon. At this point, I saw few people and the only sound was that of the canyon. There is a gradual climb and it’s realized as you see the change in the terrain and experience the drop in the temperature. During the winter months, you can expect to find ice and snow in the back of the canyon.
Boynton Canyon is also well known for being one of Sedona’s famous vortex sites. I’m a gal from the show me state of Missouri and a natural skeptic, but even I can’t deny that there is something special about this canyon. I tell my guests that the vortices are subject to everyone’s own interpretation, and that to feel it is to believe it.
The last half mile or so was a steady climb up the back wall of the canyon. I did some huffing and puffing but I made it! I ventured up a little onto a sandstone ledge and as I looked outward, I saw and experienced the true beauty and feeling of Boynton Canyon. Plus I got my picture! J
Boynton Canyon is approximately seven miles round-trip and rated as moderate. The Red Rock Pass is required to park at the trailhead.
Contributed by: Debbie Dubois, Concierge @ Sedona Real Inn
The Fall colors of the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon are hard to beat during the month of October. Friends from Prescott joined me and my husband on a weekday in mid-October and away we went with cameras around the neck and walking sticks in hand. We reached the Call of the Canyon parking lot at 10:30am and glided into the last parking spot available. It was our lucky day! After meandering the trail for about a mile and grumbling amongst ourselves that we were too early for colors, we were all of a sudden in the middle of a kaleidoscope of red, pink and yellow hues. It was absolutely breathtaking! Canyon, Creek and Colors, the 3 C’s to a perfect hike. The actual defined trail is 3.3 miles one way encompassing 13 maneuvers crisscrossing the shallow, rocky Oak Creek. Our hiking sticks came in very handy on those slippery creek crossings. The Call of the Canyon/West Fork Trailhead requires a $9.00 per car fee for parking at the site.