Ancient spirits are rumored to inhabit the rusty-red landforms that soar above this enchanting, cottonwood and sycamore-shaded bend in Oak Creek Canyon. That’s because, in addition to being one of the most photographed locations in the world, Red Rock Crossing also is one of Sedona’s vortex sites—places on earth noted for their high spiritual energy. The area’s beauty and cooling waters attract religious pilgrims, tourists, and those who just want to enjoy majestic views and cool breezes along the creek. Many of the trails in the park are stroller and wheelchair-accessible while shaded ramadas, restrooms, access to swimming holes, water chutes and fly fishing combine for a memorable, family-friendly daytrip.
Himalaya-Berry (Arizona blackberry)
Habitat: introduced species found mainly in Oak Creek Canyon and Grand Canyon NP
Elevation: 4,000 – 6,000 feet
Lush riparian greenery flanks the creekside trail
HIGHLIGHTS: kid-friendly, water play, some barrier-free trails, picnic armadas, world-famous views
LENGTH: 2 miles roundtrip (for the unpaved creek walk)
ELEVATION: 4,000 feet
DOGS: dogs must stay on leash and out of the water
DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 125 miles one way
Drive west from Sedona on AZ 89A to Upper Red Rock Loop Road (Forest Road 216) and follow the signs to Red Rock Crossing.
Bio: Serial blogger, manic hiker and “mom” to a dozen adopted dogs, Mare Czinar has been exploring Arizona trails for more than 20 years. After being led astray (or just plain confused) by outdated hiking books and online resources (hence the tagline: We got lost, so you don’t have to), Czinar sought to create a fully vetted, frequently updated online hike travelogue with current driving and hiking directions to spare fellow hikers the mental and physical wear-and-tear of aimless wandering.
In addition, blog entries are amended when road closures or wildfires restrict trail access. When not working, blogging, writing about the great outdoors or picking up dog poo, Czinar attempts to “stay found” while checking out new trails.