Enjoy all that Sedona and the Verde Valley have to offer this Summer
By: Lisa Peters
Visiting Sedona, Arizona anytime of the year is fun, but for me, I love spending summer time with my family and friends in the red rocks of Sedona! Yes, it can get hot in the afternoon but summer is the perfect time for early morning hikes and beautiful sunset hikes.
For me there is nothing better than taking a sunset hike on Bell Rock Pathway, camera in hand, ready to take some amazing shots as light dances across the rocks. I also love taking my friends and family up to the airport mesa to take in a beautiful view of Sedona as the sun starts going down. As for early morning hikes, anywhere! I do prefer taking strolls instead of hikes in the morning, with that said my family enjoys the early morning bird walks at Red Rock State Park.
What about the heat of the day? The thing about Sedona and the Verde Valley is during the summer you never really know whether it’s going to be hot and sunny or whether an afternoon storm will move in! I like it both ways. On the warmer days there are a handful of fun things we like to do as a family. Out of Africa Wildlife Park is usually first on our list. We get there as soon as the park opens, the adults and kids in the family always have a good time visiting the wildlife. My Niece is particularly fond of the park and I don’t think she could handle a visit without seeing one of the parks most popular attractions “Tiger Splash” and of course her favorite is the White Bengal Chalet!
Horseback riding is great in the early morning too, seeing the landscape of this area while feeling like a cowgirl rates high with me. I love the true western experience, it is about the only time you will find me in a Cowboy hat and boots. Love it!
We also really enjoy taking jeep tours into the red rocks. Our favorite would have to be the “Broken Arrow Tour” from Pink Jeep. That never gets old. I could take that tour every week and be just as excited every time. They are also offering a new tour called “Touch the Earth Vortex Tour” that we have not been on yet but are looking forward to checking out this summer.
When we are in need of a cool down, we can often be found exploring the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, especially in the heat of the day. Known as the “Art and Soul of Sedona” Tlaquepaque’s courtyards are beautiful, galleries extraordinary, and the shade offered by the magnificent sycamores is very welcome on a hot day! Tlaquepaque is one of my very favorite places to bring my mom. She goes goggle eyed in the galleries, some of the art in the village is just breathtaking and we always find something for her to take home as a reminder of her visit.
As for the occasional storm that pops up, I rejoice in them, the red rocks get a good washing, making them even more beautiful, seeing the lightning in the red rocks is mind blowing, and the rainbows that are produced from the storms can’t be beat! Every now and then you will get a double rainbow arching over coffee pot rock which is just beautiful! And remember this is a dessert, rain is welcome and needed so celebrate it! When a storm does come along it usually will not last long and is followed by beauty.
As most people know by now, the switch backs that go up Oak Creek Canyon are open but the recreational areas are closed. The area is in a healing process after the slide fire and because the summer storms can produce flooding and slides shutting down these areas are safety precautions. I understand that some people are very upset about the closures’ but take this time to enjoy the many other hikes in the red rocks. Before you know it the Canyon areas will be back open for exploration with new growth welcoming your return to the canyon.
I hope everyone has a great summer filled with friends, family and good times. If you are going to be visiting Sedona with your friends and family this summer I highly suggest taking a moment to check out the vacation packages at the Inn of Sedona, they can save you money on some of the activities mentioned above.