Big Red Rocks (Sedona, Arizona)

Red Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; sunset trio

Sedona always calls me back. This time, it was the mountain bike trails webbing out from Bell Rock that enticed me from the rear-view mirror. Next time…

Red Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; window through redRed Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; trail viewSurprisingly, Sedona reminds me a little of Las Vegas. One of those “you’ll find what you’re looking for” sort of places with a split personality that alternately caters to the New Age/ Art Gallery set(s) as well as to outdoor enthusiasts. I hereby confess that I bypassed the town of Sedona completely this time, seduced instead by the scenic hiking opportunities that spread out beyond its arty abundance.

Red Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; sunset (white limestone/red)Sedona’s eclectic mix of art and new age shops are obviously a huge draw for many. But its monolithic red rocks anchor the Arizona town firmly into the more natural beauty from which it sprung to life. The slightest stirring of passing clouds sweeps the dramatic landscape with ever-shifting thrills of color. And within the fleeting minutes of a Sedona sunset, the giant rocks glow appearing to radiate their own buried light…

Southwest of Sedona off of State Route 89A, the trails of Red Rock State Park meander along the region’sRed Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; prickly pear; vertical view famed Oak Creek and up reddened trails into the pinyon-juniper biotic zone. During my recent visit, silvery sagebrush, prickly pear cacti and gnarled junipers sparsely dotted the higher elevations. Liberal amounts of oxidized iron colored the clay, limestone and sandstone varying shades of red. Occasional flowers bloomed stubbornly out of what sometimes looked like shards of broken clay pots along the trails.

Red Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; The House of Apache FireThe mysterious House of Apache Fire is perched above it all, teetering into ruin on the edge of a cliff. The forlorn adobe structure begs questions. Its intriguing history includes lavish living, the dismal deterioration of a marriage and the shady maneuverings of a cult…

Red Rock State Park; Sedona, Arizona; The House of Apache Fire; CU

Ultimately the adobe house and former Smoke Trail Ranch acreage landed in the preserving arms of the Arizona State Park Service. And this lovely land, spotted from the air and selected to be a very private get-away became Red Rock State Park and another compelling reason to return to Sedona…

More “Arizona” to come…


28 Comments to Big Red Rocks (Sedona, Arizona)

  1. It looks so lovely and you make it sound so peaceful , beautiful, and wonderful.

    Don’t you just love it when you find a place (or preferably ‘places’) in the world where you can really connect with everything around you in nature and sort of blend right in with it?! I do.

    Tranquility. Refuge. Ahh…

    Thanks for sharing, Heather. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  2. Great commentary with wonderfully clear pictures. Excellent, Heather.

  3. You always take such beautiful pictures !!!

  4. Heather

    Kimba,
    I’m a sucker for spectacular scenery. Breathing in “beautiful” does something good for us, huh? I like the “blending” idea. That is definitely part of the appeal…

  5. These are great photos. This kind of landscape is so alien to us here in New Zealand. We have no desert and no arid areas at all. We are mainly lush and green.

  6. More On Health

    Which Cam do you use
    You always take such beautiful pictures !!!

  7. Hi Heather, I followed the link here from Susanne’s site. This scenery is amazing, no wonder you gave the town a miss and went for the hiking opportunities.

  8. Heather

    Thanks JEAN-LUC and mee mOe. I’ve noticed that I tend to mentally frame images even without my camera… Kind of hate to be without it!

  9. Heather

    Suzanne,
    There’s nothing wrong with “lush and green!” Except maybe the rain required to produce it… Can’t wait to check out your Egypt/Italy adventure!

  10. I love this type of scenery but have only once seen a glimpse in real life. this summer, my daughter and I hope to take a roadtrip to see such visions. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  11. Hey Heather…

    You definitely have mad “virtual tour guiding” skills…it’s as if I was there experiencing the whole first hand…

    I can only dream of one day touring the great outdoors and sucking up all that peace and tranquility…one day, one day…

  12. Heather

    More On Health,
    My photos are taken with either a Panasonic DMC FZ5 digital camera or my old Minolta 700x film camera (passed down to me from my dad). I’ve been pleased with my digital but really miss all the great lenses that worked on the latter. I’ve had my eye on a Nikon…

  13. Heather

    Thank you Max-e! I had to check out your site, of course, and was quite intrigued! Loved reading the posts of your most recent trek… I’ll definitely be back for more.

  14. Heather

    Half-Past Kissin’ Time,
    I hope to take my kids west this summer. Nothing is planned yet and gas prices could temper my planning, but I’d love to expose them to a little more of that incredible landscape.
    Hope it works out for your daughter and you! I have such sweet memories of the “solo” trip Hannah and I took last September…

  15. Heather

    JollyJo,
    You’ve just got to get yourself out there! In the meantime, I’ll be happy to be your “virtual guide!”

  16. It looks so beautiful~ I love your blog and will be back to visit for more.

  17. Land Projects UK

    Hi Heather,

    I always enjoy looking at your photoshoots! They are beautiful and looks so cool. 🙂

  18. todd

    Always a joy to read your writing heather,Todd

  19. kris mortela

    Those red rocks are simply amazing. I would love to see that place. My family plans to visit Grand Canyon this summer so a side trip to Sedona will be a good icing to the cake. Nice blogs, i enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures.

  20. Heather

    Thank you Heidi!
    I have some great photos from a canyon hike that I’ll post tomorrow. Hope you’re having a good week!

  21. Heather

    Land Projects UK,
    You made me smile! I still get a rush when I see a “good” shot.

  22. Heather

    Hey Todd,
    Thanks! Writing about the fun stuff kind of extends the adventure for me. Always a good thing…!

  23. Heather

    Kris,
    What a great summer trip! Sedona (and Montezuma’s Castle) would be close enough to add. I also highly recommend the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon to the north of Sedona (posting on that hike tomorrow).
    I’d like to get back to the Grand Canyon myself. I hope you have a wonderful adventure (and tell me about it)!

  24. WOw!!

  25. Hi Heather-
    Thanks for sharing some super pics – the Red Rock State Park indeed seems like a great place to visit! Perhaps you would care to add a review at trivago?
    Cheers,
    Pierre

  26. Heather

    Thanks Pierre,
    I’d be happy to add a review. Red Rock State Park made for a wonderful afternoon.

  27. That house on the top is very impressive! I guess it is abandoned

  28. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

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