Sedona Arizona

Sedona is an Arizona desert town near Flagstaff that’s surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. It’s noted for its mild climate and vibrant arts community. Uptown Sedona is dense with New Age shops, spas and art galleries. On the town’s outskirts, numerous trailheads access Red Rock State Park, which offers bird-watching, hiking and picnicking spots.

Dramatic sandstone formations such as Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock appeal to photographers and enlightenment-seekers, as does the modernist Chapel of the Holy Cross, built into rust-colored rocks. Oak Creek Canyon has trails for hiking and mountain biking, plus sites for camping and fishing. Part of the canyon is home to Slide Rock State Park, named for its natural water chutes, popular for swimming. Native American petroglyphs can be seen in the Coconino National Forest heritage sites V Bar V, Palatki and Honanki (the latter 2 also feature cliff dwellings).

Oak Creek Canyon

Airport Mesa Loop Trail

After visiting one of the four famous Sedona vortexes, we enjoyed a beautiful 4.5 mile sunset hike around Tabletop Mesa.

There is no other hike in the Sedona area that offers such awe-inspiring views as the Sedona Airport Mesa Loop Trail. It offers hikers a 360-degree panorama with views of almost every major red-rock landmark along the perimeter at an elevation of 4,500 feet.

 

The Mojave National Preserve

Lovely desert wilderness…..

Driving in from the from Las Vegas, Nevada to the north, the road turns from paved to dirt and then to very rough dirt. Not awful, but the Park Service does advise 4WD vehicles only. The desert dusk scenery is lovely and I am the only vehicle on this 40 mile stretch of road. I find plenty of open campsites at Hole-in-The-Wall Campground and settle in for the night.

The Mojave National Preserve encompasses 1.6 million acres, including portions of the Mojave, Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts  About half of the Park is congressionallly designated wilderness.

Sunrise Hike: Rings Loop Trail, Hole-in-the-Wall Nature Trail and Barber Peak Loop Trail

Mojave Yucca

Buckhorn Cholla Cactus

Banshee Canyon

The ascent is so steep, hikers climb using iron rings mounted in the rock for hand and toe holds in two sections.

Beavertail Cactus

Barrel Cactus

Although the landscape appears barren, the Mojave Desert is home to a plethora of wildlife including Bighorn Sheep and the Desert Tortoise.

Lovely desert landscape

Sunset