There is so much to see and do in the west. Nearly everyday I come across a beautiful picture of a place I haven’t heard of, and I have to remind myself that we can’t go everywhere, and we will need to save some things for another time. Trip planning is hard when you want to go everywhere! We did decide to add in a quick stop in Sedona, since we were passing through.
I’d heard of Sedona, but didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it was a region full of natural beauty, Brian thought it was a artsy city. Turns out it is both. Sedona is a city, in the middle of Coconino National Forest. There are a few state parks nearby as well, and the “scenic drives” are the main roads going through town.
Sedona is known for beautiful red standstone rock formations. The 4,500 ft elevation also keeps the temperature pretty mild. It was in the 60s, which is much more comfortable for us than the temperatures we’ve experienced lately! It did get chilly at night though, especially when we accidentally left the vents open all night. We boondocked on forest land, which seems to be a popular option around here, there were many other RVs camping in the area.
The first thing we did was stop at the visitors’ center for a map. We asked the ranger for any hiking advice, and she basically said “there are 300 miles of trails, they’re all good, good luck finding parking at the trailheads.” Not very helpful!
The next day, we basically picked a hike at random from the map. But, when we attempted to drive to the trailhead, the unpaved forest road was in such bad shape that it wasn’t passable, even in a 4×4 pickup truck! So, we had to pick another hike.
Again we pretty much picked at random, and were lucky enough to find street parking 0.3 miles from the trailhead. We were starting to see that Sedona is crowded. We hiked the Brins Mesa trail to the Soldiers Pass trail. The trails were crowded, but the views were really beautiful. And we were hiking through a conifer forest, which is so different than the hiking we’ve been doing recently.
The hike took us passed interesting rock formations and a large sinkhole. There was a group of about 10 mountain bikers that must have been doing a beginning mountain biking class, and they kept stopping, and we would catch up, and then they would pass us, until we caught up again. These trails formed a loop and we hiked about 8 miles!
In addition to the mountain biking class, we also saw a Segway tour, helicopter tours, and many Jeep tous. There is a lot of activity in Sedona! It’s pretty crowded with tourists, but with good reason, because it is beautiful.
The next day Brian wanted to hike the West Fork trail because he read that it was a great trail and a good representation of Sedona. He also somehow got the idea that it was a 3 mile hike, so we planned to hike it and then check out the shops in Sedona. When we got there we saw it was an 8 mile hike!
It was a great trail though, it went alongside a creek, and crossed over the creek about a dozen times. There were either stones to hop across or skinny logs. We had thankfully each brought one trekking pole to use as a walking stick, which was really helpful for balance crossing the creek! The trail also came up close to red rock cliffs and it was shady and cool in the forest, it was a great hike!
Afterward, I was too tired to do much! We attempted to go to some shops, but couldn’t find any available parking. I wonder if it is extra crowded now because there are still schools having spring breaks. We did see a lot of families on the trails.
It was a short and sweet stop in Sedona, and I’m really glad we added it to our itinerary!
Day 194| Mile 19,853