About two hours north of the Phoenix metropolitan area lays the bustling artists community of Sedona. The area’s natural beauty and high desert terrain attract many from the Phoenix area to get a little break from the summer’s heat. The 4500 ft (1370 meter) altitude provides cooler temperatures, though in the hotter months, Sedona can still be in the mid to high 90s Fahrenheit (30s Celsius).
If you were to bisect Arizona with a line from east to west, the line would be near a natural escarpment known as the Mogollon Rim. About 200 miles long, the rim rises about 2000 to 3000 feet (600-900 meters). Since much of the underlying layer of rock is easily eroded sandstone, wind and weather have worn away much of the underpinnings of the rim leaving behind spectacularly beautiful buttes and canyons. The cliffs and buttes contain a high degree of iron oxide which gives the area that deep red color.
The city of Sedona has a population of only about 10,000 residents, but on any given day, visitors to the area increase that number a thousand fold. Art galleries, shopping and restaurants are the major in-town attractions, however the beautiful scenery won’t be found in town. Jeep tours or self-driving tours will guide the tourist to those iconic sites like Cathedral Rock or Bell Rock.
Hiking trails are plentiful, as are trails that are open to mountain bikes, motorized vehicles or horseback. If you plan to spend some time on the trail, an overnight in a hotel or campground is recommended, but book early, especially in the busy season. Bring your camera, and plenty of water. Hikes range from short and easily accessible to long and arduous; all have scenic views aplenty. The gallery of images were taken along three different trails; Crescent Moon Ranch in Red Rock State Park, Bell Rock Pathway and Thunder Mountain Trail. I submit for your viewing pleasure, a photo gallery of the scenery at Sedona. Click on an image to view in larger size and scroll through the gallery.