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.
Broken Arrow is Pink Jeep’s most famous outdoor adventures and we had a chance to check it out again last night. This was my fourth time doing Broken Arrow and honestly, it never gets old. Our tour guide this time had so much new information about the plants and animals in the area. I really enjoy all of those little factoids. Great weather too. A little cloud cover kept the tour nice and cool. Had a blast taking in the panoramic views of Sedona!
If you’d like to have your own Pink Jeep adventure we have a “Rock and Roll Jeep Package” at the hotel that features the pink jeep broken arrow tour, or you can book your tour with our concierge team. Just call 1-800-353-1239 and they’ll even get you a little bit of a discount. If you’re planning on visiting in September or October call us soon because that’s a busy time of year and the tours fill up quickly!