Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Great Weekend for Hiking and Outdoor Activities in Sedona, Arizona
February 21st – 23rd, 2014
This February has given Sedona, Arizona great weather for hiking and outdoor activities and this weekend is no exception! Afternoon temperatures are going to be in the high 60′s perfect for hiking the red rocks and enjoying the outdoors. We do want to remind all those visiting this weekend that the early morning and evening temps are still in the mid-30s so keep that in mind when packing for your weekend getaway.
Below you will find some of our favorite hikes including the popular “Guided Bird Walk” and “Nature Walk” at Red Rock State Park. If you are a guest at our Sedona hotel this weekend make sure to fuel up in the morning with our complimentary hot breakfast, I personally like to fuel up for a hike with yogurt and granola, but I have heard a lot of our guests are digging our new pancake machine! Have a fun weekend!
Top picks for hiking and recreation in Sedona and the Verde Valley this weekend
Red Rock State Park Guided Hikes this Weekend
- Guided Nature Walk – Everyday (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Red Rock State Park gives you the opportunity to join a naturalist and go on a guided nature walk where you will learn more about the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek and other aspects of the Park. Plants, wildlife, geology, history and archaeology are some of the subjects that may be discussed. Please feel free to ask questions, all the guides at the park go out of their way to answer questions and love for you to be involved in the conversation. The walk lasts one and a half to two hours.
- Guided Bird Walk – 02/22/14 (9:00 am)
Meet up with other bird lovers at the visitors center and enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of the most popular parks in Northern Arizona . Bird enthusiasts can join a naturalist for a “Guided Bird Walk”. Beginners as well as advanced birders are welcome. Rangers recommend that visitors bring their own binoculars. A limited number are available for loan from the Park.
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Bell Rock Pathway
This trail takes you on a scenic journey of the red rocks with panoramic views that can’t be beat. This hiking trail is marked as easy to moderate and there are other paths and trails that lead off the Pathway for you and your family to explore. The Pathway is about 7 miles round trip and it is important to remember it is not a loop. Keep that in mind while you are enjoying your hike and remember you have to hike back the distance you go in. You do not have to hike the entire pathway to enjoy some great views of the red rocks. As soon as you walk the first 10-15 minutes you will be close enough to feel the energy of Bell Rock and get some great views!
Directions: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179 in Sedona, take 179 south 3.6 miles to a paved turnout and trailhead parking on the left (east) at milepost 309.8 for the South trailhead, .2 miles south of the entrance to the United Methodist Church for the North trailhead. Visit our Bell Rock Pathway Photo Album.
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Red Rock Crossing – Crescent Moon Picnic Site
Red Rock Crossing is one of the most popular places to take a leisurely hike and take some great photos of Cathedral Rock. The Crescent Moon Picnic Site offers pathways that take you to the crossing where Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek meet. There are Picnic Tables, grills and well maintained restrooms. Enjoy a little water play in Oak Creek, walk the pathways and visit Buddha Beach, considered to be the site of a powerful vortex. You will find a variety of rock cairns, last time I was there I was overwhelmed by the complexity of some. Make sure to visit our blog next week for a more detailed post about Red Rock Crossing.
Directions: Drive west from Sedona on US 89A. Just outside town, turn south on FR 216 (Upper Red Rock Loop Road). Drive about 1.5 miles and follow the signs to Red Rock Crossing. All roads except the short segment leading from Red Rock Crossing Road to the picnic area are paved.
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West Fork Oak Creek Trail
There are a number of reasons why West Fork is the most popular trail on the Coconino National Forest. You’ll know some of them once you’ve strolled beside the pleasant little stream that ripples along the canyon floor and look up, way up, at the dizzying cliffs that tower above it. This hike is most popular in the fall when vibrant colors take over the trail, but now is also a great time for this hike, just keep in mind this hike will be cooler than the others, if you start early or late in the day you will want to dress in layers!
To access the West Fork Oak Creek Trail drive north 9.5 miles from Sedona to about halfway between milepost 385 and 384. The trailhead is on the west (left) side of the highway. Visit our West Fork Trail photo album.
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Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Cottonwood)
The beautiful park with the unfortunate name sits on over 400 acres in Cottonwood, Arizona and is right next to the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area. The temperatures at the park are often mild, due the park’s elevation, and make it an ideal place for outdoor activities. This state park is a short distance from Sedona and has numerous hiking trails, not to mention trails for mountain biking and horseback riding. You can even take along a nice picnic lunch for your family and take in the scenic view at any of the picnic tables around the park.
Directions from Sedona: Head south on Arizona 89A, continue straight through AZ RT 260 intersection in Cottonwood, turn right onto N 10th Street to the park. Visit our Dead Horse Ranch Photo Album.
Our favorite Sedona Hiking Resources
Tips for Hiking in Sedona
- Make sure to bring plenty of water. Even if you are only hiking a short distance, hydration is key. Take more than you think you will need.
- Create a hiking backpack that includes water, first aid kit, protein snacks, trail map, compass, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- It is always safer to hike with others. Always let somebody know what trails you plan on hiking.
- Wear suitable clothing and shoes for hiking.
- Don’t leave the trail. The ecosystem of the desert is fragile and leaving even a footprint can damage it.
- The trails in Sedona and the Verde Valley are very traveled and it is unlikely that you will come across a rattler, however if you tromp around off the trails you are asking for trouble! With that said be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife of Sedona!
- Bring a camera to take some amazing shots.
- Know your limitations.
- Don’t rush your hiking experience. Take your time and enjoy the scenery.