Sedona, Arizona – Come for sport or spiritual pursuit, but either way you’ll leave breathing deeper and feeling the zen effects of its rich, red and orange sandstone skyline. Known as a spiritual mecca for the New Age practitioner, many flock to this modest little city in the desert to experience tranquility, balance and nature at its finest.
With a vibrant community of artists, alternative healers and those simply looking to unwind, Sedona has put its stamp on the world by attracting people from all walks of life. A intriguing history, moderate year-round climate, and an array of outdoor activities make this city one of best for a retreat you won’t forget.
Built in 1930, Sedona’s iconic Midgley Bridge (named after local rancher & businessman, Major W.W.Midgley), spans 200 feet across Wilson Canyon, just before entering the main entrance to downtown Sedona. If taking in the scenery isn’t enough, there are four hikes connecting to Midgley Bridge that range from 2.2 – 5.6 miles (roundtrip).
*Tip: Avoid going on peak days as the parking lot is limited to very few cars.
A great hike for introspection and awesome views of the city below. This trail is not for the faint-hearted or un-experienced hikers, as many parts can be steep and require some climbing, but if you’re up for the challenge, it’s well worth the effort. Once you reach the top, you may find a notebook containing the thoughts and wishes of past adventurers. Leave a message to those who will follow in your footsteps!
Easily one of the most photographed sites in Sedona, Cathedral Rock is great for hiking, photography and meditation, no matter your level of experience. It’s quite common to see yogi’s making their way down the trail with yoga mats and man-buns in tow.
There’s a first time for everything, and if you haven’t experienced the therapeutic calming effects of a sound bath, why not give it a go while you’re in Sedona? The magic lies within the vibrational tones and energy transferred from chimes, crystal bowls and other instruments that are intentionally directed towards those in need of healing and balancing within. No sound bath experiences are exactly alike, as each shaman or meditation leader has their own approach or venue for these practices.
As one might expect in a healing vortex like Sedona, there are a handful of exceptional spa resorts to choose from. Many offer day or week-long passes for purchase, even if you are not a guest of the resort. It’s easy to get in the zone with great amenities like yoga classes, gym, pools, jacuzzi, sauna/steam rooms and massage services, especially when surrounded by such serene views.
*Check out TripAdvisor‘s top Sedona Resort & Spa’s of 2017 for ratings and pricing info.
Healing and aligning oneself is undoubtedly one of the most sought after reasons for visiting Sedona. It makes no difference if you believe in the powers that be or not, the raw, spiritual nature of Red Rock country works its alchemy without consent to those who sojourn. However, if you desire to delve deeper into your metaphysical enlightenment, you are in the right place. This is the mecca of healers, gurus and shamans, available to aid in your spiritual journey. Choose from a myriad of practices such as reiki, energetic balancing, tarot readings, musical alchemy, reflexology and obtaining ascension tools.
Forget WholeFoods, on the weekend, stroll the Sedona Farmer’s Market for live music, fresh produce and artisanal goods. Take this opportunity to meet other like-minded folks in the community and support local businesses. Just remember to bring cash and your appetite.
*Be sure to check out their website for more information as their days, times and locations change throughout the seasons.
Slide Rock State Park
Located 7 miles north of Sedona, Slide Rock State Park is definitely worth taking the day to enjoy and soak up the sun. Lay out, picnic, explore, swim and slide down the rocks! For more privacy and less of a crowd, try visiting on an off-day during the week, as it is quite popular during season. Pictures don’t do this park justice. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself.
*Please note that this is a state park and entry fees are applicable – for more information please visit the official Slide Rock State Park site.
It’s hard not to feel small once you venture far enough inside the Mescal Trail, into the ‘Red Rock Bowl’. Although the trails are marked ‘Extreme’, ‘Difficult’, and even ‘Canyon of Fools’, don’t be discouraged. Amongst the desert cacti and rich red walls, you’ll find avid outdoorsmen running, biking and hiking this 5 mile (roundtrip) trail. If you’re adventurous, you can climb up to some caverns and plateau’s for spectacular views.
*Read up on the Native American history of the land beforehand for a more interesting experience on the trail!
Catch a Red Rock Sunset
“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”
Nothing can quite put the cherry on top of a great day, like a beautiful Sedona sunset. No two are ever alike, yet each one seems to outdo the next. There are plenty of incredible places to catch the sunset, from one of the many hiking trails to the Airport Mesa overlook, or just in the comfort of your own backyard.