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.
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.
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!
by: Editor on 4/4/2016
Meet fellow bird lovers at 9am every Wednesday and Saturday during the month of April. Located at the Visitor Center of the Arizona Red Rock State Park, a naturalist guide will take you on a walk suitable for birders of all levels. Binoculars are recommended. If you prefer a DIY approach, start from the Hummingbird Patio and don’t forget the Visitor Center’s roof! Most birds can be spotted in the riparian area near Oak Creek. All walks are included with park entrance fees.
Daily guided nature walks are also available starting at 10am. Meet with a volunteer as you’re taken on a journey throughout the park. Learn about various life zones, wildlife, geology, archaeology, and the history of the park.
Meet Mother Nature
Inside the Visitor Center is a theater, where displays and exhibitions are in constant rotation. Information on the flora and fauna of the area, an interactive Sedona map, and the House of Apache Fire’s computer program information booth is here. “The Natural Wonders of Sedona” narrated by John Conway is featured many times throughout the day.
There are also special events throughout the month but may be posted on short notice. From Native American drumming to meditative walks, check with the State Parks system to see what will spring up in April!
by: Editor on 3/26/2016
Outdoor adventurers come from around the world just to discover the incredible hiking in and near Sedona. Airport Loop Trail might not have the best name, but it’s an enjoyable trail that offers a prime view at Overlook Point. The elevation shift is mild, the parking lot is clearly marked, and there’s enough trail to allow for a lengthy hike if that’s your MO.
At Bell Rock Pathway, hikers enjoy Bell Rock (of course) as an easy to spot final destination (and a great space to break for lunch). The eastern part of Twin Buttes can also be seen from this trail, as well as a little wooden bridge that’s prime for a photo opportunity.
Take a Hike!
Doe Mountain Trail takes you up the west side of a sloping mountain and is best tackled in the morning so you can enjoy shade both up and down the trail. Just 0.7 miles long and with an elevation change of 400 feet, this is a trail that most ages and abilities can manage. At the very top there’s a steep stepping stone section, so proper footwear is a must.
Also check out the Crescent Moon Picnic area, Dry Creek Vista, and dozens of more trails surrounding the Sedona area!
by: Editor on 3/20/2016
It’s a gorgeous destination in itself, but if you want to explore more of Arizona, Sedona is home base to some fantastic day trips. Head over to Red Rock State Park, the aptly named destination where the fantastical red rocks loom over you. It’s a great drive, and the hiking and mountain biking options once you arrive are well worth the quick trip.
Slide Rock State Park is in the other direction, and for many outdoor enthusiasts, birders and photographers this is the best park in the region. It’s a top destination for rock climbing and bouldering too. Pack a picnic lunch or swing by one of Sedona’s local restaurants to pick up takeout and enjoy it in the great outdoors.
What a Trip!
The Tuzigoot National Monument is a must-see and not far from downtown Sedona. It’s also a great spot for water sports from jet skiing to SUPing. Near the town of Clarkdale and close to the Verde Canyon Railroad, you can easily spend the entire day in this charming region.
The Out of Africa Wildlife Park introduces you to exotic animals from around the world in a sprawling natural habitat. Just off Highway 17, it’s a short drive from Sedona and fun for the whole family.
by: Editor on 3/2/2016
Truly take a break from it all when you spend spring break in one of Arizona’s most peaceful and beautiful cities. Oak Creek Canyon is the perfect escape for hiking, mountain biking, camping, and fishing. Cathedral Rock is a gorgeous destination where hikers feel whisked away to another world. At Chapel of the Holy Cross, stunning architecture is built right into the rocks and there are a number of trailheads nearby.
Sedona stargazing is some of the best in the country, whether you plan to rent a truck and sit back in the bed for an evening of wonder or want the most remote camping spot possible. Trailhead Tea, the “best of the best” local tea shop, is nestled close to a favorite trailhead offering the perfect way to perk up or relax before and after a hike.
Spring Has Sprung
There are over 50 spas in Sedona, each catering to whatever indulgence strikes your fancy. Whether it’s a hot stone massage, deep tissue massage, body wrap, mud bath, mani/pedi combination, or something else you have in mind, make sure to carve out time for a little pampering.
Sedona is also a foodie city, with an eclectic mix, from the Elote Cafe for authentic Mexican fare to Dahl & Di Luca’s Italian eatery. Plan your spring break now and enjoy all Sedona has to offer!