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Dominating the outskirts of Sedona with its impressive visage, Cathedral Rock is one of the most recognized sandstone formations among the red rocks that define the city's landscape. Carved by nature, the rock makes for an exhilarating hiking excursion, with vantage points along the way dazzling visitors with stunning views of the surrounding vistas. Hikers and explorers can follow the Cathedral Rock Trail to access some of the landmark's best overlook points to bask in the scenery unfolding all around. Owing to its scenic environs, photography sessions are particularly rewarding.
Designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, the chapel was built in 1956 and rises 200 feet from the ground between two large red rock formations. One of the most distinctive features is a 90-foot cross, which can be seen from the ground along State Route 179. A massive stained glass window turns the chapel's interior into a kaleidoscope of color at certain times of the day. No services are held here, but it provides an ideal setting for spiritual reflection and prayer as well as incredible views of the Red Rocks. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
A popular site in Sedona, Airport Mesa is situated along the Table Top Mountain. This spot is also known to have high levels of healing energy, as it is one of the few vortexes dotting the city. The trail looping around Airport Mesa is quite picturesque, enabling visitors to admire the surrounding scenery while focusing on their introspection and meditative practices. Sedona features several landmarks that have effortlessly contributed to its popularity among hikers and adventure seekers, and Airport Mesa is one of the most well-known ones among them. So if you are in love with the idea of adventure sprinkled with a dash of healing, Airport Mesa is the place for you.
Offering stunning views of the most scenic landscapes in the region, the Devil’s Bridge is a 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) out and back hike. Bear Mountain, Long Canyon and Doe Mountain are among the other splendid red rock formations that form part of the dramatic views from Devil’s Bridge. Though the hike is slightly challenging at times, don’t let that deter you from visiting this place. The time and energy you put in is well worth the great views and the amazing photographs.
Endowed with a remarkable natural heritage, Red Rock State Park park is an enchanting mosaic of fabulous rock formations. Sprawled across 286 unspoiled acres (116 hectares), this popular park is the perfect starting point for hiking, picnicking, bird watching, and photography excursions. At an elevation of approximately 3,900 feet (1,200 meters), the air is always rejuvenating. Enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of the natural creek threading the landscape, and soak in the serenity of the area. A visitor's center and gift shop complete the package for those who seek a deeper insight into the region and its striking natural features.
Nestled in a corner of the Coconino National Forest, Honanki is widely-acknowledged to have been built by the Sinagua people around 1130 to 1280. Honanki in Hopi stands for 'bear house' and is a prime example of the exquisite masonry construction that was developed by the Pueblo Indians during those times. This exceptional heritage site is one of the region's largest and is believed to have accommodated close to 60 denizens during its prime. The settlement still exhibits a complex progression of rock art made by the tribes of Apache and Yavapai.
Rand-McNally named Highway 89's panoramic path through Oak Creek Canyon one of the most beautiful drives in America, designating it Arizona's first scenic route. Towering trees line the beds of Oak Creek, whose natural springs are said to have healing powers. The water winds through mountain shadows to Sedona's famed red rock vistas. Four mild seasons support a canyon kaleidoscope of wildlife, foliage, and fun. Attractions include hiking, biking and trout fishing and be sure to stop at the Slide Rock State Park.
With an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet (1524 meters), the Slide Rock State Park features a 30 foot (9.14 meter) natural rockslide within the creek. Take a couple of hours and enjoy the nature walk while you relax under the Arizona sunshine. Visit the onsite market. Camping and hotel accommodations are offered in Oak Creek and nearby Sedona. Swimming is allowed, however, water quality varies, so please call in advance to verify the accessibility. Bathrooms are accessible in this open space; however, nearby park areas are inaccessible. Credit cards are not accepted.
The Palatki Ruins, which are believed to have been occupied from 1130 to 1280, are located northwest of Sedona, Arizona. Known for the pueblos carved into the sandstone cliffs, these ruins also contain several sets of ancient pictographs and petroglyphs, which are estimated to be between 3,000 and 6,000 years old. One of Sedona's largest ruins, Palatki, which translates to 'red house' in the Hopi language, consists of two separate pueblo dwellings. The existence of dual pueblos suggests that two different family groups inhabited the area simultaneously. There are several other ruins nearby, including Honanki and Tuzigoot, which is located in Clarkdale, Arizona.
Translating into "the best of everything," Tlaquepaque is a picturesque recreated Mexican Village offering a unique collection of galleries, restaurants, shops, and a quaint chapel. Named for a particularly beautiful suburb of Mexico's Guadalajara, the open-air market built in the '70s exudes the flavor and charm of Mexico. Fine dining is available at several on-site restaurants, including El Rincon or Rene at Tlaquepaque. Lovely galleries abound, such as the Mountain Trails Gallery with wildlife paintings and sculptures. You will also find spiritual artwork at the Andrea Smith Gallery.
Red Rock Scenic Byway is also called State Route 179 and is named for the red sandstone and rock compositions along its 7.5-mile (12.07 kilometers) stretch. It is a designated All-American Road and the state's first one. Along its path lie many interesting sites, scenic stops, trails and much more. You won't merely drive through but will want to explore its marvelous sights and scenery. Flanked by stunning bluffs, canyons, lush foliage and featuring meandering twists and turns, this highway is indeed worth traversing. It starts in the Village of Oak Creek or Big Park and then heads to Sedona. You will find the Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock along this route.