I am traveling to Sedona, AZ for the first time next week, and would love some insider advice. I am looking to spend most of my time outside (no shopping/restaurants) hiking and exploring, and would love suggestions for less-traveled hiking trails and lakes/streams/rivers along the way to cool off in the Sedona area.
Sedona is a hikers paradise even for the non-hiker. Unlike the Grand Canyon where you have to be a hardened mountain man to really explore it, Sedona only requires a water bottle and a ten minute walk at most to access its most stunning red rock formations.
The best swimming is at Grasshopper Point and Slide Rock State Parknear Oak Creek Canyon. The photo above shows swimmers headed to Slide Rock near the base of Cathedral Rock. There were fires earlier this year that shut down swimming for a while so you will need to check the status when you arrive.
You should stop at the Sedona Visitors Center to get a guide to all the trails available. Most are accessed by simply parking at the trailhead with a Red Rock Pass.
I don't consider myself a true hiker so I really enjoy the easy hikes to all of the major red rock formations. It is quite easy to be so immersed in the natural beauty of Sedona that you lose any interest in the shopping & restaurants. Unlike the Grand Canyon where rim views are the closest most of us will get to its true beauty, you are truly immersed in the beauty of red rock Sedona.
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