5 Ways to Make Your Sedona Trip More Eco-friendly

Eco-friendly Tourism in Sedona, AZ

It is likely you have heard term “ecotourism” and are familiar with the phrase, “Take only pictures, and leave only footprints.” At the heart of the philosophy of ecotourism is a deep respect for the earth and a desire to protect and to keep it clean for all who share this beautiful planet. Whether you’re planning a Sedona vacation to see the red rocks, enjoy the sparkling creek waters, or visit a vortex and meditate among the crimson canyons, it’s the perfect place to practice traveling in an eco-friendly manner. Here are five practical tips on how to help preserve the stunning natural beauty of the area.

1. Conserve Water: Arizona is located in the Upper Sonoran Desert, which means awareness of water usage is always important. Help conserve local resources by consciously taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and shaving.

2. Limit Your Energy Use: If you are renting a room in Sedona, turn off the lights, air conditioning, or heater and TV as you leave or whenever not in use. Reusing towels and linens for multiple days instead of having them changed daily is another way to help save both energy and water.

3. Reduce and Recycle: Many Sedona hotels and resorts offer recycling containers for the public. A little extra awareness can help keep recyclables out of landfills. Bring your own BPA-free water bottle to carry while hiking and refill from larger containers. Go all out and visit one of the local water stores to purchase reverse-osmosis, distilled water, or structured waters and refillable quality plastic hiking bottles. Return or recycle any pamphlets, newspapers, and magazines you collect along the way and consciously reduce the number of bags, cups and napkins you use at fast food restaurants.

Mnimize eco footprint

4. Leave only Footprints . . . and make sure those footprints are on marked hiking trails to avoid harming native flora! You can obtain free advice and maps from local stores that sell hiking gear and supplies, and guided tours are always a great option. Pack a small bag to contain your trash as you hike, and also consider picking up anything left by others along the way. This not only helps keep Sedona beautiful, but also protects wildlife from ingesting or becoming tangled in the trash as well.

Be mindful to use the hotel restroom or facilities at the trailheads before you depart. Dispose of sanitary waste properly and please, to avoid contaminating Sedona’s beautiful creek waters, never ever leave diapers or other waste along the trail or worse yet, place them in or near the creek’s edge.

5. Be a Traveler, Not a Tourist: Sedona has much to offer so take time to explore the region, visit the dynamic rock formations, and learn about the extraordinary diversity of plants, birds, and animals, including many rare species present here. At times, the area can be extremely dry, so be sure to light campfires only where permitted, extinguish them well before you leave, and never throw a cigarette butt from your car.

Sedona’s recreational areas and historic sites should be visited with the utmost reverence and respect. As Ilchi Lee states in The Call of Sedona, “Every land has a sacred mountain or a place of wonder where people gather, drawn by the extraordinary energy there . . . I have traveled to many places around the world . . . but I have yet to encounter a place that draws the heart as does Sedona.”

Love Sedona as if she is your own and leave her as you found her; a rare jewel indeed! Remember, consciously being an eco-friendly traveler and paying attention to how you travel helps conserve our beautiful planet for the enjoyment of generations to come.

For more information on how small changes in our behaviors as individuals can add up to big results for Earth, visit the Earth Citizens Organization’s website at earthcitizens.org.

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance writer on nature, creativity and wellness, Lynn is also a visual artist, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Trail of the Month: Sedona Wetlands Preserve for Bird Lovers!

If you’re into birding and are looking for a pleasant and easy place to go, Sedona’s new
Wetlands Preserve at the Sedona Wastewater Reclamation Plant will fill the bill!

Sedona Wetlands Preserve, Sedona AZ

Photo courtesy of Lynn Trombetta.

Occupying approximately 27 acres just south of Sedona’s Wastewater Reclamation Plant, the Sedona Wetlands Preserve is a man-made wetlands. This enticing little park and bird habitat is just a short drive from uptown Sedona and its quiet, reedy lakes and maintained walking paths will prove to be a favorite for birdwatchers.

Sedona Wetlands Preserve, Sedona, AZ

Photo courtesy of Lynn Trombetta.

How to get to the Sedona Wetlands Preserve at the Wastewater Reclamation Plant:
Begin at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona. Travel southwest on Highway 89A toward Cottonwood. The preserve is located at 19655 State Route 89A, between mile markers 365 and 366, halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood on Highway 89A. This is approximately eight miles west of Sedona. Slow down to locate the unmarked road and make a right hand turn when you see Sedona’s wastewater treatment facility gate. Turn left immediately onto the gravel paved road that leads to the parking lot.

FAQs

  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Easy walk encircling several small lakes.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Low
  • Elevation: none
  • Length: Approximately 20 minute walk (Or longer if you are bird watching!)
  • Facilities: yes
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Walking shoes are adequate.
  • Dress for the weather
  • This trail is okay for young children, but there are open lakes with reed covered banks, so watch children carefully. Good choice for family bird watching, and there are a couple of picnic tables available. Be sure to dispose of all trash—help keep this area pristine!
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to photograph a wide variety of local and migrating birds.
  • Parking: designated area.
  • Read sign at trail head and please follow park rules. Take a friend, and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!

Trail of the Month: Doe Mountain

If you’re ready for an uphill trek, the very popular Doe Mountain trail is a great choice. With an elevation change of 524 feet, the trail will zig-zag you quickly up the side of Doe Mountain onto a somewhat flat, bare rock mesa. Follow the rock cairns there at the top to the other side and enjoy spectacular 360° views of Sedona and the Secret Mountain Wilderness. But use caution here: the trail ends in a ledge that drops off several hundred feet!

Doe Mountain

How to get to Doe Mountain Trailhead:

Zero out your trip odometer and begin at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona. Travel southwest on Hwy. 89A toward Cottonwood. Turn right on Dry Creek Road. Drive to the stop sign at 6.1 miles (9.8 km) where it joins Boynton Pass Road and turn left. Travel to the 7.7 mile (12.3 km) point and turn left onto this stretch of Boynton Pass Road again. At the 8.9 mile (14.3 km) point on odometer, the parking area will be on your left.

FAQs

  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Stay alert noting entry and exit points and take care at the top ledge, which drops off several hundred feet.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Moderate to Heavy but there is ample parking (as well as restroom facilities).
  • Elevation: Gain 524 feet; Elevation Min. / Max: 4602 to 5126.
  • Length: about 0.9 mile each way, 1.8 miles total.
  • Facilities: yes.
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • In springtime, the weather on the trail can be sunny and warm, or cold and blustery, so plan accordingly. In summer, this trail will be hot, so hike early.
  • This trail is not recommended for very small children. A walking stick is a nice way to stabilize your balance along the way, but is not necessary.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: Early in the morning is a good time to assure parking, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Read all signs at trail head. Don’t hike alone, and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!

By Lynn A. Trombetta

An Ancient Call to Sedona Beckoned Photographer Susie Reed

Photographer Susie Reed shares her Call of Sedona, a call that changed her art and changed her life.

LT: Susie, how did you first learn about Sedona?

Susie ReedSR: I first learned about Sedona in 1993. I was running a small business in Marin County, CA and my office manager came to me one day all excited; she wanted to go to Sedona, her friends had gone and it was so great, she had to go right away. Within 2 weeks she came back and she showed me these photographs she took with her little pocket camera, and then I was like, “I gotta go to Sedona.” I’d never seen it before; I didn’t know what it was. Christmas of that year we came out here and we arrived at night. We woke up in the morning to all of the beauty here, and I just fell in love with it immediately. I started to make annual pilgrimages out here, before I finally moved here at the end of 2005.

LT: You have photographed various subjects through the years, but discovering Sedona’s Native American rock art and a series of events changed the course of your career. Please tell us about that.

SR: At first I was completely satisfied with photographing the landscape. I call Sedona “a photographer’s paradise.” We were out here at Christmas in 2009 and we drove up to the end of this dirt road and we saw a sign that said “Palatki.” We hiked in, and we went up this hill and I remember you could like feel the presence of the ancients. And then we got up to the top of the hill and discovered all this amazing rock art that we had no idea was there.

That was a real big experience for me. When I got home, I looked at my pictures; I was even more taken with them. It’s just interesting to see how when you frame out the rock art in the photograph, you can almost see it better. I just got hooked. And then when I’d come to Sedona, my primary focus got to be photographing the rock art.

LT: The rock art images at the site are truly amazing; it is easy to understand how they would inspire you!

SR: I think they contain a power and energy from when they were originally created that is timeless. What we see today when we go out to most of the rock art sites is they’re faded from exposure to the sun and weather, and unfortunately in some places they’re defaced with graffiti, sheared off canyon walls or lost to development. It’s really kind of a shame. But there’s just something about those images that I think is timeless, and I think some of them were probably made by the shaman of the tribe and they’re very powerful, healing images.

Native American rock art

LT: Please tell us about the point when, like Ilchi Lee, your Call of Sedona became a life quest.

SR: So, I went back, probably a year or two after the trip where we first came across Palatki, and I was out here by myself and the place I was staying had one of those little travel magazines with a small article about rock art and they mentioned this one site that wasn’t open to the public and something in me went, “I gotta go there.” It was the same thing as when I thought, “I gotta go to Sedona.” So I spent about two and a half years over several trips here, trying to find where it was, and eventually I found out that the Forest Service had taken over the property. So I called and went through a whole chain of people before I got to a lady who agreed to let me go.

I drive out there and park at the gate and I see there is a Forest Service truck on the other side of the gate. And this man gets out, and he comes over and I tell him what I’m doing, and he says, “I’m out here to give a tour of our new sites to some of the forest service workers and the docents, would you like to join us?” Like perfect timing! It was Peter Pilles, the head Archaeologist in the Coconino National Forest.

So I went on a tour with them and I was so grateful that he gave me this opportunity that I brought him some photographs on my next trip, and this relationship developed between he and I where he essentially became my mentor. I’d never studied archaeology; my degree is in fine art photography. I started planning trips to Sedona based on arrangements I made with Peter to shoot archaeology digs, field schools, a restoration project at Honanki, a docent training at Palatki and more. Over the years, I’ve donated hundreds of photos from these shoots and others to the Coconino National Forest archives.

LT: You mentioned that, unfortunately there have been times when visitors to some sites have caused intentional damage to the rock walls and art.

SR: Once I was talking with Peter and he was telling me that this site had been graffitied, and I was really upset. I asked him, “Are we better off keeping these places hidden?” And he said, “No, education is the way to go.” Based on Peter’s influence, I really learned that one of the ways to preserve these places is through education.

So when I do talks, I always let people know what happens when people go in and graffiti a wall or do damage. It really has turned me into a conservationist and preservationist. I do think it’s important that we go visit these sacred sites, and they just don’t stay empty, because I think it keeps the energy in those places alive. To me, going there is like going to church.

I realized at one point when I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to share the rock art photos, I thought, ‘you know, I can share these photographs, people can still see and experience the rock art and we can leave these sacred archaeology fragile sites untouched.’ So people can still experience what‘s there without having to go physically to the place.

I’m really thinking the ancients still want some of that to be seen. I guess in some ways that’s why so many doors have opened up for me to get my work out into the world. It’s almost like they have an energy—there’s something energetically in them that we respond to, whether we consciously get it or not.

LT: Please tell us about your current projects and what may be on the horizon for you.

SR: I’ve been nominated for the Sedona Mayor’s Arts Award in the Individual Category, which is an honor. At their last ceremony, they showed a video about me and my photographs that helped people become more aware of the rock art. I feel like I have a partnership with the ancients whose rock art I depict. I think, ‘if they were sitting in the room, while I’m working in my studio, would they be pleased and excited about what I’m doing?’

I also photograph a lot of the landscape and teach photography. I was lucky; in 2009 I got accepted into Goldenstein Gallery, where now I’m one of only three photographers she exhibits.

I also do some customized jeep tours. I kind of fell in love with the land all over again, going out on tours, like when I first came here. For a long time, most of my photography was rock art sites, but now I go out to all the amazing places on the land. It’s so beautiful and healing, and no place is ever the same twice.

I love going out on the jeep tours, especially with people from out of town, because it helps me to see it new and fresh, how I used to feel when I’d come to visit: How special it is to be at these places!

LT: Thank you, Susie!

By Lynn A. Trombetta

A Place of Perspective

Sunrise over the mountains

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise. Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.”
-Robb Sagendorph

The very thought of sitting atop a mountain at sunrise has uplifting energy of its own! In fact, by re-imagining such an image at a later time following the experience, we can know the same bliss, perspective, and emotions that occurred when we actually lived the experience.

In primitive times, it is likely that living in cliff-type dwellings or having access to places where the horizon could be seen afforded a sense of greater safety as impending storms, unknown visitors, and even hunting prospects could be surveyed from that vantage point. Places such as the Native American Palatki Ruins and Montezuma’s Castle are examples of cliff dwellings in the area surrounding Sedona that illustrate this point.

But being on a hill at sunrise offers more than a visual survey of the land. Our mind responds to the soothing curve of the horizon and begins to slow to the rhythm of nature. Time becomes irrelevant, as thoughts slow and become more spiritual and peaceful. The bustle of the world fades into the distance. We develop new perspective on life.

In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee comments, “Every land has a sacred mountain or place of wonder where people gather, drawn by the extraordinary energy there. Sedona is no different.” There are many mountain tops here from which to gain perspective. Soak up the experience until it crowds out your concerns and fills all of your senses. Then take that experience home with you to call up in your mind’s eye, wherever you roam.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Palatki Indian Ruins

Palatki Indian Ruins, located just northwest of Sedona is one of the two largest cliff dwelling sites in Red Rock Country, and there is much evidence of the Sinagua civilization here. Free guided tours are available daily with a reservation.

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee tells us, “According to the archaeologists who research ancient Native American sites, the Native Americans who lived in northern Arizona from thousands of years ago have long regarded Sedona and its surrounding Oak Creek Canyon as an especially sacred place. The Native American sites discovered here are not centered on Sedona, but encircle it. The Native Americans regarded this place as sacred land and lived outside Sedona, visiting it only when they were conducting rituals or religious ceremonies.”

Palatki Indian Ruins

Photo by Lynn A. Trombetta

Palatki Indian Ruins, located 13.5 miles (21.6 km) northwest of Sedona, is the remains of one such dwelling. One of the two largest cliff dwelling sites in the area, there is much evidence of the Sinagua civilization here. There are two main hikes departing from the small visitor center and both are short, climbing not much in elevation. Reservations and a Red Rock Pass are required, but there is no charge for the ranger-guided tour you will be given as you discover cliff dwellings and rock art. No pets are allowed at this site. For reservations call 928-282-3854.

How to get to Palatki Indian Ruins
Zero out your trip odometer and begin at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona. Allow about 45 minutes travel time from the “Y” if you are traveling by car, as opposed to an SUV or other more suitable vehicle.

Travel southwest toward Cottonwood 3.2 miles (5.1 km) to Dry Creek Road, where you will turn right. Drive to the stop sign at 6.1 miles (9.8 km) and turn left onto the paved road.

Drive 7.7 miles (12.3 km) to the fork in the road. The right fork goes to Enchantment Resort. Take the left fork, an unpaved road, FR 152C, to Boynton Pass. This road is quite rough and travel is slow if you are not in an SUV or other suitable vehicle. You’ll begin to feel like you are traveling into no man’s land, but there are signs to guide you at various points along the way, and surprisingly, cell phones work!

At 11.7 miles (18.7 km), turn right onto FR525. Just a short distance later, at 0.1 mile (0.16 km) from the last junction, turn right onto FR795 and go about two miles to the parking lot at 13.5 miles (21.6 km) on your trip odometer.

Check in at the visitor center to connect with your guide. The rest is easy: not only will your guide show you the way, he will fill you in on the rich history of the site and point out details you might otherwise have missed.

Note that the portion of the tour that leads up to the ruins requires a climb of about 60 rock steps. Walking sticks are available for adult use at the visitor center.

FAQs

  • Reservation required. Guided trails open year round with tours 7 days a week. There is no fee.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Rocky trail with some elevation change.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Light, to moderate; scheduled tours only. There is ample parking (where you’ll find the only restroom facility).
  • Elevation gain: 50 feet.
  • Length: about 1.8 mile loop.
  • Facilities: yes – one restroom in parking area.
  • Pets not allowed.

Special Tips

  • Hiking shoes or boots and hats are recommended.
  • In springtime, the weather on the trail can be sunny and warm, or cold and blustery, so plan accordingly. In summer, this trail will be warm.
  • This trail is not recommended for very small children. A walking stick is a nice way to stabilize your balance along the way, but is not necessary.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: Park in the first area to the right as you enter the area that leads to the visitor center.
  • Don’t visit the area without a reservation and stay on guided trails.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Pondering Our Connection

“Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.” – Terry Tempest Williams

connectedness of nature

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee not only writes about his love of the red rocks, blue sky, and energy of Sedona. Meditations to receive the good that Sedona has to offer are also a large part of what Ilchi has chosen to share.

In his LifeParticles Energy Meditation he reminds us, “Remember that the whole universe—your body, mind, soul, and all of nature—is made of the same stuff, the energy you are feeling with your hands now. Remember that right now, in the moment you feel the energy, you are connected with the whole universe.”

Out in nature, we easily realize we are swimming in this sea of energy. If you indulge the thought, you can imagine how the very air that touches your skin and the rock that supports your body connect to each and every particle of life on the planet and beyond.

With these thoughts, not only do we come to understand our “connectedness,” but also our “oneness.” With our powerful human brains, we are able to comprehend all of this in a way that in some ways separates us from the other creatures with which we share Earth. And yet, it is this very understanding that connects us more wholly than we may ever truly fathom.

Pondering the connection is good. Living it is great.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Song of the Summer

blue jay

“In summer, the song sings itself.”
– William Carlos Williams

What a beautiful sentiment to wrap around a summer day! Arizona days are quite warm, and Sedona is no exception. Yet even when the desert sun, as Ilchi Lee says in The Call of Sedona, “has been scorching as though it would bleach the whole world,” the scene is alive with the “song” of nature.

Nature’s song is so full and so present that as quickly as you isolate the pleasure from this desert breeze or that exciting flicker of a blue jay’s wing, something new captures your attention. We are like children in a candy store—a delight at every turn!

As we settle in to the scene, quieting our mind and stilling our body, we become a part of the great beauty that surrounds us. Nothing has changed . . . this presence was always here, we just were going too fast in our mind to notice the gift of the moment!

And there is no greater time or place than this to ponder the idea of contrast. In the heat of summer, we can recall the cold of winter. In the brightness of day there is the darkness of shadow. In our most difficult times, there is the glimmer of hope.

The concept of contrast is good to remember as we soak in the beauty of a place, and recognize ourselves as part of the song.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Chapel Trail

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee devotes an entire chapter to the area of the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This chapter is titled, “The Land Where Prayer Comes Easily,” and he suggests visitors make time to see this Sedona landmark, which sits between two stunning red rock ridges.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

There is a moderate hiking trail that can be taken to explore this intriguing area. Known as the “Chapel Trail,” this rocky, narrow trail begins with the Little Horse Trail and is approximately 2.1 miles each way. Parking at the Chapel to hike is not permitted, but you can hike to the Chapel using the Little Horse Trailhead.

How to get to Little Horse Trailhead to connect with the Chapel Trail:

Beginning at the roundabout on Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, travel south on Highway 179 for approximately 3.6 miles (5.8 km) and turn left at the Little Horse Trail parking lot. Turn left here crossing northbound SR 179 to the parking area.

Check in at the trailhead signage. The Little Horse Trail connects to Chapel Trail. Follow the directions to begin your hike from the Little Horse Trailhead, which is lower and in the trees. After about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), you will intersect the Chapel Trail at the base of Twin Buttes. Stay alert to follow the trail. Soon you will see the Chapel of the Holy Cross in the distance.

The trail goes up a bit in elevation here and you can enjoy views of Cathedral Rock to the west and Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte to the south along the way. Enjoy the magnificent cliff faces of Twin Buttes to the right from this close vantage point. Stay on the high part of the trail, avoiding the gully. The trail ends at the lower parking lot of the chapel. The Chapel is usually open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, although the hours may vary.

FAQs

  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Rocky trail crosses small, usually dry washes. In cold weather there can be ice on the trail. Stay alert, you may find you are sharing the trail with trail bikers.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Moderate to heavy but there is ample parking (as well as restroom facilities).
  • Elevation gain: Up to 300 feet
  • Length: about 2.4 miles each way
  • Facilities: yes
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • In springtime, the weather on the trail can be sunny and warm, or cold and blustery, so plan accordingly. In summer, this trail will be hot, so hike early.
  • This trail is not recommended for very small children. A walking stick is a nice way to stabilize your balance along the way, but is not necessary.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: Early in the morning is a good time to avoid the rush and a full parking lot, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed – just in case!

Trail of the Month: Crescent Moon Creek Walk – Good Place to Practice Ilchi Lee’s “Purifying Emotions Meditation”

This pleasant, easy walk traverses the site of one of the most photographed scenes in Sedona, and is suitable for all ages. There are benches and spots along the path where you can sit and relax or meditate along the banks of Oak Creek with Cathedral Rock in the distance.

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, AZ

This pleasant, easy Crescent Moon Creek walk traverses the site of one of the most photographed scenes in Sedona, and is suitable for all ages. There are benches and spots along the path where you can sit and relax or meditate along the banks of Oak Creek with Cathedral Rock in the distance. In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee offers a “Purifying Emotions Meditation” that can be done from a quiet spot with the soft sound of Oak Creek’s flowing waters here.

A fee is required to enjoy this scenic area and parking is just inside. Park anywhere and from this, the west end of the park, follow the pink colored sidewalk toward the creek. It is here you will see the famous view featured in so many photographs of Sedona. Go east along the sidewalk, parallel to the creek. Take your time . . . there are benches and relaxing places to sit as you make your way in this lovely place.

After about a quarter of a mile, the sidewalk ends and a dirt path takes its place. This area is the site of the Old Chavez Ranch. From here, the trail moves closer to the creek, eventually traversing a broad, redrock shelf. There are many side trails as you go, but stay on the main trail, as they all lead to the same place, eventually ending at a big curve where the creek splits and a power line crosses.

How to Get to Crescent Moon Creek Walk
Beginning at the roundabout on Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, go southwest on Highway 89A towards Cottonwood for 4.2 miles (6.8 km), to the Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Turn left and follow the loop to the 6.0 mile (9.6 km) point and turn left on the paved road toward Crescent Moon Ranch Park. Follow this road for another 1.0 miles to the entrance booth at Crescent Moon Ranch Park, where you will pay a fee to enter.

FAQs

  • Open year round. Good all-weather hike except for very cold or very hot days.
  • Difficulty: Easy, pleasant walk
  • Usage: Moderate to heavy
  • Elevation gain: level
  • Length: Approximately 1.0 mile each way
  • Facilities: yes
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips

  • Hiking/walking shoes and hats are recommended.
  • This trail is recommended for all ages.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Parking: fee required
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!

By Lynn A. Trombetta