Sedona Arizona: History Wrapped in Beauty with a Touch of Mystery

The City of Sedona, located in upper Sonoran Desert region of Arizona, can’t help but be a world famous tourist destination. The town is nestled in the Coconino National Forest at an elevation of 4,500 ft. The mild climate allows abundant greenery year round and Mother Nature has painted the Canyons and hills a brilliant scarlet and orange. The area is steeped in beauty and history as well as a bit of cosmic mystery.

The beauty of the Sedona area is self-evident. Every way you look is a picture postcard. The red sandstone rock formations contrast sharply with the lush greenery. Blue streams and small lakes abound and wildlife is abundant in this southwest paradise. The view at sunrise and sunset are particularly spectacular. The red rock cliffs and hills seem to be on fire from within.

Red Rock State Park is a 286-acre nature preserve especially dedicated to environmental education. Set in beautiful forest lands with many creeks and meadows, it is a great place for bird watching. A recent Bird count found 33 species in the park. Take a camera and your sense of wonder on one of the many hiking paths to get your fill of ohs and ahs. Many areas are handicap accessible and are family friendly. The Park also offers many Special Programs, Seminars, and Themed Nature Hikes.

History is all around you in Sedona. Tours can be arranged to the Palatki Ruins location of the Sinague Cliff Dwellings. These homes, built so long ago, have an almost modern skyscraper look. Several stories high they were seen as a safe haven for the long ago dwellers. Prehistoric Petroglyphs, carved and painted by unknown early Indians can be seen nearby. The huge formations and still spaces give a sense of time suspended. The winds seem to carry words spoken and songs sung in another time. Pottery shards and other evidence of these ancient civilizations can still be found.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a manmade addition to the wonders of Sedona. Completed in 1956 it is the creative vision of Marguerite Brunswig Staude, local rancher and sculptor. She took her inspiration from the Empire State Building. Modern in style the soaring form shares and compliments the red cliffs of the surrounding area. The Chapel is open daily for quiet meditation. In 2007, Arizonans voted it one of the seven men made wonders of Arizona. By chance or maybe by cosmic intervention the Chapel is located near one of Sedona’s famous Vortex areas. Believed by some to be areas where the energy of the universe culminates and by others to be unique concentration of human energy and experience, the Vortexes are seen as special places of healing for the mind and body. Sedona is the center of many Vortexes.

Our favorite walk:

Cow Pies Trail 2.5 miles on Hard Red Rock

Why we love it:

It is an easy family friendly hike. The kids love the name. The ‘Cow Pies’ are the large round flat rock along the trail.


Always bring plenty of water and Sun protection.