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Archive for the ‘Eco-Tourism’ Category

Verde Canyon Railroad

by: Editor on 6/24/2017

 

It’s not just a train ride, it’s “Arizona’s longest-running nature show.” Step on board the perfectly refurbished train car and you’ll feel whisked away to the golden era of train travel. Get a drink, sit back and relax on this 20-mile journey that takes you through the past century of Arizona’s history. However, you’ll still have all the comforts of the modern era including the most comfortable seating and climate control (a must in June!).

The train cars are also available to rent for special events from weddings to corporate gatherings. No matter your journey, it all starts at the Depot where you’ll be flanked in historic décor and you can learn about the history of railroads in Sedona. Enjoy a light meal, or swing by the gift shop.

All Aboard!

Nostalgia is rich throughout your adventure, and the train features outdoor viewing cars, is ADA friendly, and food and beverages are available for on-board purchase. You’ll get the star treatment as you wind through the canyon, taking in the red rock buttes as bald eagles soar overhead.

Special events are scheduled throughout the year including the Locomotive Ride-along, Eagle Watch, Wild Splendor featuring raptors, and the romantic Sedona Area Starlight Train Tour on June 10th. Only available four times per year, you won’t want to miss out on this moonlit journey.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park

by: Editor on 6/2/2017

 

Things are wild in Sedona when you spend the day at Out of Africa Wildlife Park! Choose from a variety of rides, encounters and meet and greets from the Predator Feed to the Tiger Splash and Giant Snake Show. As a conservation and sanctuary, you’ll meet and see a variety of exotic animals who call the outskirts of Sedona home. The park is largely an educational and research facility where animals are cared for and enjoy their life in a habitat as close to wild as you can get.

Get the Behind the Scenes Tour to learn more about what goes into caring for these incredible animals. Combine your package with a zipline tour for a “Zippin’ Safari” that lets you check out the park with an eagle-eyed view. Fall in love with one of the animals? “Adopt” them to help support their care and maintenance.

A Roaring Good Time

Feed a tiger, cuddle with a sloth, or schedule a campout and spend the night amidst your new friends. You can visit the website any time to get a sneak peek of the animals, including the latest additions. Book your package online, and add à la carte options to customize your trip.

Hop in the resident “unimog” and explore the grounds with a skilled guide at the wheel. Armed with goodies for the herbivores, you might have a giraffe poke his head inside for a quick snack. You never know what to expect at the park, but one thing’s certain: You’re about to make a lot of new and unique friends!

 

Hop on the Red Rock Magic Trolley

by: Editor on 5/22/2017

 

Have you seen the little red trolley cruising around Sedona? That’s the Red Rock Magic Trolley, offering a variety of tour options so you can take in the best sights and hidden gems of the region in one fell swoop. Tours range from 55 – 85 minutes depending on which is selected, and it’s a fantastic quick trip even for locals who haven’t explored every nook and cranny of their gorgeous town.

The trolleys are also available for private rentals, as is renting a fleet of vans. Popular for business conferences, weddings and more, it’s a unique way to get around Sedona. However, day tours are by far the most popular. Guides are always local and know every inch of the city—as well as a few jokes to keep the party going.

Get on Board

Choose from three tour options, and book your reservations online. The Chapel of the Holy Cross Tour showcases the most visited destination in Sedona, just down Highway 179. Tickets are just $15 for adults, and the trolley departs seven days per week at 3 p.m. Choose the Boynton Canyon Tour and see Jordan Park while finding out about Native American history and the western film industry. These tours are $25 for adults.

The Bell Rock Tour’s highlight is the “land of giants” where vortex sites and the most famed rocks are the stars. Tickets are $25 for adults to join this 85-minute tour. You can opt for a Sunsetter Tour, too, and see the rocks in a brand new light!

 

Bell Rock for Hiking

by: Editor on 11/2/2016

 

The Red Rocks are renowned for hiking, mountain biking and exploring, but don’t miss out on Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s smaller hidden gems. It’s a short, accessible hike at just 0.75 miles long and takes you up the northern face of the aptly named Bell Rock. The trail is marked clearly and begins at the Bell Rock Pathway. At the peak, you’ll take a loop before gently descending.

This is a favorite short hike for locals and can be a popular pick on weekends and holidays. It’s best to tackle this outing early mornings or on off days, such as weekdays and key holidays (Thanksgiving is a perfect pick!). Many rock climbers also try to take on the rock itself.

A Rocking Good Time

The slide area is a unique challenge that some hikers like to attempt, and to the east is a spot where you can try to climb even higher. Getting to the peak of the spires is an obstacle nervier hikers attempt, but you’ll need plenty of experience for this. To go above and beyond turns Bell Rock into a hazardous and strenuous hike. However, the rewards are incredible with views you can’t get anywhere else in Sedona.

The short trails and numerous options make Bell Rock a great choice for groups with a variety of skilled hikers. Take the northern parking lot to the base of Bell Rock for a simple hike, or choose the Lower Bell Rock Trail. A moderate hike can be made via the Upper Bell Rock Trail, or try the Ascent if you’re an experienced hiker.

Visit Honanki

by: Editor on 8/12/2016

 

The Honanki Heritage Site is located in Red Rock country and, along with the sister site Palatki, are the biggest cliff dwellings in the area and are estimated to have formed circa 1200 AD. The Hopi ancestors, the Sinagua, called Honanki home and used the space to raise families, create tools and leather goods, and prepare meals. In the nearby area, the Sinagua hunted rabbit and deer, which are still found in abundance today. There are a number of nearby edible plants, too.

680px-Honanki_Ruins_near_Sedona_(4107570462)

Today, the heritage site can be found on the outskirts of Sedona and is governed by the US Forest Service via the Red Rock Pass Program. The site is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here, you’ll find an interpretive site and restroom facilities. A Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required for all vehicles and can be purchased from a number of local retailers.

Rules of the Rocks

Pets are only allowed in the parking lot area. There are hiking trails throughout the area suitable for most ages and abilities. To access the site, head 17 miles northwest of Sedona on Highway 89A via West Sedona. Past mile marker 365, you’ll turn right onto Forest Road 525. Follow 525 for 9.5 miles past the Loy Canyon Cattleguard trailhead.

Many consider Honanki a spiritually rich site, and it’s a favorite for meditative walks. It’s a must for any Sedona visitor and a welcome respite from the bustle of the city.

 

Walks are for the Birds

by: Editor on 7/24/2016

Every Wednesday and Saturday, a complimentary guided walk is offered at the Red Rock State Park’s Center for Environmental Education. Meet on the viewing deck right above the visitor center, and a birding enthusiast will take you on a journey for all birding levels and nearly all ages/abilities. Whether you’ve never gone birding before or you’re a seasoned pro, this is a gorgeous way to get to know some of the feathered locals in the area.

Bring your binoculars and allow the Audubon Society’s designated Important Birding Area (IBA) to showcase some of the many bird species that call Sedona home. All walks are included with the requisite park entrance fee. Come to 4050 Red Rock Loop Road for a unique experience, or call 928-282-6907 for more information.

A Rocky Start

Red Rock State Park is home to the Mars-like red sandstone caverns that offer some of the best photography experiences in the area. Preserving the “riparian habitat” that runs along Oak Creek is the primary mission of the park governors, and offering birding walks is one of the many ways to share the beauty of the red rocks with locals and tourists alike.

If you don’t have binoculars, swing into one of the many outdoor stores in town, because you don’t want to miss this!