If you're not careful, Sedona will steal your heart. It's one of my favorite places to visit here in Arizona.
Not only is it a convenient two-hour drive from campus, Sedona also has a drastically different kind of scenery from southern Arizona. While the terrain surrounding Phoenix is the standard desert you'd expect, Sedona is full of red rocks, rivers, forests, and beautiful mountain landmarks that are fun to hike.
The City of Sedona has very strict building codes. None of the buildings can have colors that would clash with the beautfiul Sedona scenery. Even McDonald's had to change its iconic yellow arches to teal. (The nuggets are still the same!)
Sedona also has a lot of funky little stores that sell rock lamps, Native American jewelry and really cool candles. The candles showcase the care and craftsmanship that the candle makers put into the designs.
Sedona is home to so many different kinds of hikes. They differ in difficulty level, so it's a great place to bring a beginner or seasoned hiker. The hikes can vary from nature walks to super intense day-long hikes.
A Sedona parking pass costs around $10, and you can buy one at any of the parking spots at the trailheads.
My friend took the picture above at Devil's Bridge. While it may sound daunting, it's not a difficult hike. After seeing some photos of the bridge, I decided to see it for myself. I expected a strenuous hike, but it was really easy to do overall.
The hike features a steady incline, only getting somewhat steep once you get closer to the landmark. Almost the entire time, you can't even tell where the bridge is. When you get to the top, you have that "Ohhhh" moment. Don't get me wrong though, the hike is beautiful! If you're looking for an easy hike with amazing pictures, Devil's Bridge is a strong contender.
This hike is Doe Mountain. It's also a pretty easy one, but it's an uphill battle the entire time. But once you get to the top, it becomes a plateau with a 360-degree view of your surroundings. The best time to do this hike is before sunrise, but make sure you bring flashlights. Watching the sun come up over the mountains, sitting on the rocks with your friends, and just kicking back enjoying the view is one of life's greatest pleasures!
On the way down, the sun lights up the area, exposing what you missed during the darkness. I suggest taking your time on the way down, rather than on the way up. You definitely don't want to miss that sunrise!
Check out Cathedral Rock below.
You don't want to miss this iconic Sedona landmark. The hike itself is short, but the way up can be kind of sketchy. There's a couple of times where you'll have to use your hands to climb up. The downhill can be scary if you have a fear of heights, so I played it extra careful on the way down. The tumble would be devastating.
If you visit Arizona, make time to visit Sedona! You can feel magic as soon as the rocks start changing from brown to red on the drive into town. Plan a trip, bring your friends, complete a hike, and enjoy the beauty!