Red Rocks and Vortexes: A Day in Sedona
Sedona, Arizona is a hidden gem that you can find nestled along Highway 89A towards Northern AZ, about halfway between Phoenix and Flagstaff. You can find plenty of delight spending the day in a mars-like land, a setting that has provided authentic desert backdrops for plenty of classic Western films.
Sedona is also a metaphysical hot spot, perfect for those who are seeking some positive energy from the vortexes. You can enjoy a variety of breathtaking sites and desert trails, all in one day’s adventure.
Airport Mesa Vortex
The Airport Mesa vortex is one of Sedona’s most accessible vortexes and only requires a short walk. According to Sedona’s official travel website, vortexes are “thought to be swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration”. They also add that although the entirety of Sedona is considered to be a vortex, the Airport Mesa vortex is one of the locations where “the energy crackles most intensely”.
The half mile hike up to the vortex goes over stunning red rock boulders and a switchback. It is easy to hike as well as to find, as it is just off of the main road through town, Highway 89A. Parking is limited, so go out early for a less crowded experience. Even if there are some crowds (and there usually are in Sedona), don’t let that stop you! Before you go, pick up a few crystals at the town shops for the full vortex experience.
While the trail is not accessible for wheelchairs, it is pet friendly and open to the public year-round. The vortex boasts 360-degree views of mesmerizing red rocks and will bring you to ultimate serenity. And things get even more scenic in the fall; consider these 12 ways to enjoy fall in Sedona.
Bell Rock Loop Hiking Trail
As you find yourself exploring Sedona for the day, carve out some time to hike this iconic trail. As the name suggests, the Bell Rock Trail features an enormous red rock formation in the shape of a bell. The trail takes about 1-2 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly. However, the path is only a moderate challenge, so the trail is suitable for the whole family.
With epic views and geological formations that impress the senses, the 2.2 mile Bell Rock Loop Trail is definitely worth checking out. The parking lot is located just off of Highway 179 and is easy to find.
If you are driving north to Sedona from Phoenix, you can see the behemoth rock formation as you approach town. This trail provides numerous outlooks and photo opportunities so you can take a bit of Sedona magic with you when you leave.
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park has always been a favorite for families visiting Sedona. You can take the whole group to this site for unlimited fun. The natural swimming hole is made possible by the rushing water of Oak Creek that has smoothed out a large area of rocks. Commonly known as one of America’s top swimming holes, Slide Rock State Park is definitely a unique experience.
Known for its 80-foot slippery shoot made of sandstone beneath the water, Slide Rock is an adventure waiting to happen for any age. Slide Rock can be a highly trafficked area so be sure to plan accordingly when visiting Sedona. Drink plenty of water, and always follow the state park rules and regulations.
Taking a day trip to Sedona can be filled with mystical vortexes, beautiful trails, and natural swimming, all in one epic town. There is so much you’ll be able to take in with just one visit, due to the rich culture and natural history on display. However, the dreamy landscapes and alien-like rock formations will have you wanting to go back for more.
Guide by Andy Attilio
- Fossil Springs Trail (33.8 miles)
- Twin Arrows Trading Post Ruins - Historic Route 66 (33.9 miles)
- Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (37.4 miles)
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (41.7 miles)
- Watson Lake Park (42.2 miles)