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Archive for the ‘Eco-Tourism’ Category

Munds Wagon Trail

by: Editor on 11/2/2017

 

Whether you traverse the historic cattle route near Mitten Ridge and Merry-Go-Round Rock by horse, ATV, mountain bike or feet, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a unique view of the Sedona area—and get a peek into history. Also known as Trail No. 78, it connects the Margs Draw Trail to Schnebly Hill Trail and Huckaby Trail. Although it’s well-marked, it’s considered a moderate hike with only occasional shade provided by the cypress trees.

If you start at the east trailhead, which is close to Bear Wallow Canyon, you’ll get a gentle descent before the trail levels out and begins to circle around Merry-Go-Round Rock. Here, you’re treated to a fantastic view of the canyon before starting another descent west. Switchbacks on Schnebly Hill Road take you right into Bear Wallow Wash for quite a long stretch before a moderate incline begins.

A Hike to Remember

Once you’re above the floor of the canyon, views abound—particularly of Mogollon Rim and the red rocks nearby. Keep going further to get a view of the city of Sedona and the variety of rock formations. The trail comes to a finale at Huckaby Trailhead. The full trek can be a challenge, and many visitors prefer to design their own shorter treks by taking on a portion of the full route.

It’s similar to one of the most popular cattle trails leading out of the city, which started in 1896. However, the cattle trail wasn’t complete until 1902 when it was funded by Coconino County. Open year-round, November is a great time to explore this trail thanks to the cooler weather.

 

Snoopy’s Belly

by: Editor on 10/15/2017

 

You’ve likely seen this aptly named formation in photos and movies. Just outside of downtown, a little imagination and the right angle turns one of the state’s famous red rock formations into an image of Snoopy sleeping on top of the dog house. Located in Little Shane, Sedona, it’s pretty tough to get a clear view from close to the formations. Instead, head to Little Lane right off of Highway 89 and north of the Highway 179 intersection. Here, Snoopy is sleeping just east and to the right of the larger red rock formation.

There’s also Lucy Rock nearby, and both formations can be seen somewhat from nearly every part of Sedona. Snoopy Rock, also known as Snoopy’s Belly, was originally named Saddle Back Rock. However, so many people agreed it was clearly the beloved character that it was officially renamed.

A Dog’s Life

Although Snoopy’s Belly is certainly a unique name, it and Lucy Rock are far from the only formations named after what they resemble. In and near Sedona, there’s also Coffee Pot Rock. Spend a little time looking closer at the formations, and you just might find some images that jump out at you.

October is the perfect time to stroll outdoors, taking in the red rocks and enjoying their natural beauty.

Discovery Channel Telescope

by: Editor on 9/30/2017

 

Located in nearby Happy Jack, Arizona, the Discovery Channel Telescope is an easy to spot landmark managed by the Lowell Observatory. Featuring two configurations, a prime focus and Ritchey-Chretien, the telescope has been in use since 2012. The 4.3 meter aperture telescope is a collaborative project between The Discovery Channel and Lowell Observatory, crafted at a dark sky site within the Coconino National Forest.

Now, DCT is also part of research teams at Boston University, the University of Toledo, the University of Maryland and Northern Arizona University. Costing $53 million to build, it’s made a serious dent in the observational capacity of Lowell Observatory and has been foundational in a number of studies. The first DCT light images were captured in April 2012.

A Light Show

Created for a number of optical configurations, the first goal was to capture high-resolution images at near-infrared and visible wavelengths. It’s also meant to capture deep imaging surveys of the sky at night, as well as capturing moon images at bright phases—previously not possible using other telescopes.

At 85 feet long and 62 feet in diameter, special permits were required from the US Forest Service to build this massive telescope. It weighs 6,700 pounds and the finishing touches were completed by the U of A’s College of Optical Sciences. Current research includes studying Kuiper Belt objects and the material composing comets.

 

 

 

Sedona Airport Overlook

by: Editor on 8/13/2017

 

Explore one of the most accessible hiking trails in Sedona, ranked as easy to moderate and recently renovated to include guide ropes and steps. Trails are flanked by rocks, and there are a number of conservation areas where hikers can enjoy the natural beauty of the region. At just 60 feet of total ascension, this gentle hike is the perfect way to get acquainted with Sedona and enjoy sweeping desert views.

The initial incline takes hikers towards Airport Lookout Summit Trail. Fences and cables keep the local natural area well protected without disrupting the adventure for hikers. The new trailhead sign to Overlook Point Summit leads hikers directly ahead, or you have the option to head left towards the Coconino Loop Trail. Manmade steps have replaced the rough, slippery trails featured before the 2015 renovation project.

Plan for Dusk or Dawn

The August heat can be intense in Sedona, and hikes are best planned for sunset or sunrise. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy how the colors reflect across the desert landscape. Well-defined steps are featured throughout the trails, and hikers find rock plateaus as the trail increases in incline.

The last trail leg has plenty of cables for balance, and at the peak of Airport Lookout Summit part of the Coconino Loop Trail can be seen. Also look for Courthouse Butte and the famous Bell Rock from this vantage point.

 

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!