The area surrounding Sedona, Arizona is simply spectacular. I don't know the history, but you'd have to think somebody back in the 1920's or 1930's dropped the ball when this area wasn't made into a National Park.
Because it should have been!
We were here for a half a day back in 2005, and our memory of that half day was that we didn't like the artsy fartsy tourist town, although the scenery was great.
After spending yesterday touring around the area and going for a 4 mile hike overlooking much of the town, my opinion is the same, but perhaps stronger. We really don't like the town, and it's far too busy for us...too many people, too many cars, and too much traffic. Oh, and the scenery is not only great, it's spectacular!
But unfortunately, the town itself is not RV friendly...at all.
Overnight RV parking is against the law, and it's very difficult to find daytime RV parking near the central area. There is one RV park in town and understandably, it's very busy, and very expensive.
We had overnighted at a pretty good boondocking spot (GPS 34.811799 -111.893092) 8 miles west of town though...
We woke up to balloons!
Taken from Sherman's roof at 8:00am.
We relaxed a little too long in the morning, and it was after 11:00am by the time we set out for the town of Sedona, only 8 miles away.
Sedona's population is supposedly only 10,000 people, but it feels much larger than that. It's fairly spread out, and the main drag starts quite a bit west of town.
Heading towards Sedona.
First order of business was to find somewhere to park near the Visitors Center. I had spotted a large lot near the far edge of the central area, but when we got there we learned that the large, nearly empty lot was for some kind of arts council building and there were all kinds of signs stating that parking was monitored and it was for that building only, and no overnight parking allowed.
Lots of parking for cars, but not for a 28' motorhome!
We managed to park on the side of the highway just at the far entrance to town. The town center is actually quite close to there, since it's a National Forest on the other side of the city limit so there is no more city growth in that direction. So it wasn't a far walk into town.
Too much traffic.
We went into the Visitors Center and got some maps and ideas on which of the many hiking trails we wanted to try during our short stay. I bet you could be here a month and hike a different trail every day. Maybe two months!
There's a big parking lot up near the airport, and that's where we headed next. There's a beautiful viewpoint there, as well as a few trailheads.
View of Sedona.
We had some lunch, and then chose the Airport Loop Trail, a relatively short 3.5 mile (5.5 km) hike that literally goes around the airport. The airport itself is actually set up on top of a hill, so the Airport Loop Trail does give some pretty good views.
Ruth, on the access trail from the viewpoint.
See the people on the hill? That's where we're headed.
I kept trying to visualize Sedona...without Sedona!
Like I said, it should have been a National Park.
The fairly steep road that Sherman had to go up (and down) to the viewpoint near the airport.
On the Airport Loop Trail.
As I said, the scenery is simply magnificent. And even though you have to deal with the busy town, the area is not to be missed. In fact, we're staying another day to do another hike.
But to stay another day, we had no choice but to drive 8 miles back to our boondocking spot. For a couple of dollars worth of fuel, it's worth it to experience more of the Sedona area.
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