Sedona , Arizona (June 26, 2005)

First stop in the Cross USA trip - Summer 2005


There is a mystique of positive health effects from the natural energy in Sedona and surrounding canyons. Although not knowing enough to be a believer, I'm nevertheless curious of what created this belief. So when my cousin in Phoenix suggested that Sedona scenery is beautiful and its weather is nice in the summer (when it was 108 in Phoenix at the time), I have enough incentive to take the first detour in our cross country trip to check it out. Instead of heading east on I-10 per our plan, we took I-17 north to Sedona.

Our trip did not start on a good note. Halfway to Sedona, we saw a big forest fire with smoke covering a good portion of the sky. When we got to Sedona, we made the mistake of stopping by a real estate office disguised as a visitor center that really was selling timeshares or some such real estate investment. As soon as they found out we already had hotel reservation and not interested in attending a sales seminar, the smile quickly faded and we became almost invisible to the hosts and we did not get much useful tourist information. By the time we checked in to the hotel, it was late in the afternoon. Fortunately, the knowledgeable hotel host directed me to Red Rock State Park for sunset pictures of the Cathedral Rock with clear instructions so I was able to reach the park without wasting any time. In late June, the creek at this park was crossable. However, I had to wade through the creek to get to a spot that I could see reflection of the Cathedral Rock. I suspect that the creek would be hard to cross earlier in the year, and dry out late in the summer. When I was there, there was enough water that flowed at a reasonable rate to give good reflection of the rocks. Despite getting there late, I was able to set up the camera to snap a few pictures before sunset. Had I gotten there earlier, it's possible to find better compositions.

Early the next morning, I drove up the Airport Road to check out sunrise sceneries. Unfortunately, smoke from the forest fire the day before was now covering most of Sedona. Instead of crisp morning light as I would expect of the high country, it was brownish and hazy. So, I settled for dreamy pictures instead. Not knowing what else to check out in Sedona with that smoky sky and unclear on how to find out about the health benefits (especially with the smoky air), we departed Sedona and headed to Grand Canyon.

For me, Sedona was a nice place to visit and certainly a great break from the hot weather in Phoenix. If you can't get to the Utah Red rock national parks, Sedona would be a nice substitute. However, the praises about the place created an expectation in my mind that could not be met. In any event, my curiosity was somewhat satisfied and I don't have to keep wondering what Sedona looks like. If one is looking for a resort, this would be a good area to be in especially during the summer month.

The few pictures I took of Sedona are posted HERE.

Some travel tips:

  • Sunset pictures: I found Red Rock State Park to be a great place for reflection pictures of Cathedral Rock. Take either Upper or Lower Red Rock Loop Road off of Alt-89 highway to get there. Bring sandals to wade the creek to picture spots to get reflection of Cathedral Rock.
  • Sunrise pictures: Drive up Airport Road . You should be able to capture panoramic pictures of Sedona and surrounding mountains. On a calm day, you'll also be able to capture images of hot air balloons as well.