Trail of the Month

Explore Sedona’s Best 5 Vortex Trails by ATV!

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee describes the wonders of Sedona’s many vortex areas. Although he has explored these spectacular trails on foot, adventure lovers can now experience these amazing energy centers following a short ride on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). The ATV can take you places you might not otherwise attain as you create a journey discovering the vortexes and energy of the land.

Sedona ATV Rental

But first, “What is a vortex?”

Vortex energy can be experienced strongly in Sedona, especially in certain areas. These areas are known for healing, calming, or energizing sensations which may be experienced when you visit. The staff at Vortex Healing ATV Rental, featured in this article, offers a free vortex energy orientation help visitors understand and feel vortex energy along with maps and helpful guides for meditation and energy self-healing.

Although there are many options to experience the energy of this land, here are 5 of the best vortex trails in the Sedona area which can be explored via ATV as well as on foot:

Schnebly Hill

Schnebly Hill: This lookout is one of my personal favorites. In fact, I once timed this just right and was able to see both the setting sun and the rising moon from our vantage point! The very rough dirt road ascends upward using one of the oldest original roads in Sedona and is great fun in an ATV.

Dry Creek Road

Dry Creek Road

Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge

Dry Creek Road with hiking to Devil’s Bridge: If you’d like to combine a short ATV ride and some hiking, Dry Creek Road and Devil’s Bridge are a good choice.

Shaman's Cave

Shaman’s Cave: Ilchi Lee’s description of this beautiful vortex in The Call of Sedona is enough in itself to make you want to visit this amazing cave for quiet reflection and meditation. Shaman’s Cave is visited by Native Americans and spiritual teachers and leaders for inspiration.

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

Black Mountain

Black Mountain

Black Mountain and Sugarloaf Mountain: A very exciting ride into the pristine countryside where you’ll enjoy unusual red rock formations and spectacular desert views as you change elevation.

Greasy Spoon

Greasy Spoon Trail: This trail offers a very bumpy, rugged drive as you traverse rocks and enjoy scenic views on your way to a truly amazing view of Secret Mountain. This one becomes more slippery and difficult when wet.

And here are a few practical tips for your Sedona adventure: Remember to dress appropriately, including hiking shoes, hats, sunglasses and layers of clothing that can be added or removed. Take along plenty of water. Take your camera to capture your impressions and your experience along the way!

Most of all please treat the land with respect as you visit Sedona’s sites. Travel in designated recreational areas and avoid doing damage to local plants. Never ever carve or damage rock faces and please, take only photos and leave only footprints on marked hiking trails. Never throw a cigarette butt from your vehicle and pack a small bag to contain your trash as you drive and hike to protect wildlife and help keep Sedona beautiful!

For more information and help with planning your adventure, visit Sedona Vortex Healing ATV Rental.

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.

Experience Verde Valley and Sedona Area with Birding and Nature Festival


If you are visiting Sedona this spring and love birding, add the 2016 Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival, to your itinerary. This unique recreational experience includes birding tours and guided walks and other activities. Scheduled for Thursday, April 21 through Sunday April 24, 2016, the event includes a “Family Nature Fair & Open House” on April 23, 2016.

The Verde River Valley, one few remaining free-flowing rivers in the Southwest, is teeming with wildlife and plant life to be explored. Fed by tributaries from the Colorado Plateau, perennial streams flow out through Sedona, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Cornville, Lake Montezuma and Camp Verde and make the valley most unique! These waterways connect diverse life zones ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 feet in altitude as they travel through pine-fir forests, oak tree woodlands, pinyon and juniper forests and areas of desert scrub. Quoting from the website,, “this vast watershed is habitat for one of the largest concentrations of resident and migratory bird life anywhere in the southwest.”

The Verde River Valley offers many trails to be explored, and each is unique in its own way and in how the experience of your journey will unfold. Why not approach nature with an open heart and view the land and its inhabitants with fresh eyes as you go?

With this approach to the experience, you will become significantly changed as the life inside of you becomes more fully awakened. Ilchi Lee explains in the pages of The Call of Sedona, “That life rejoices and is glad to see other life. When the life inside of us awakens, we can truly say that ‘every blooming flower is beautiful , , ,’ People who feel that, ‘I really have a bright and beautiful life inside of me,’ and come to know it, also know that other life forms are just like them.”

Try a birding adventure or nature hike and create within yourself a “walking, waking meditation.” Enjoy the sights and listen for the call of wild birds as you explore nature and enrich your life with a keener awareness of all life.

Enjoy your journey!

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Amitabha Stupa: Experience a Sacred Landmark Among Sedona’s Magnificent Physical Beauty

Many come to Sedona hoping to have a spiritual experience among the inspiring beauty Sedona has to offer. On the “not to miss” list of places to visit and surround yourself with the energy and essence of Sedona is the Amitabha Stupa in West Sedona.

Amitbaha Stupa

Buddhist practitioners have built this sacred form of architecture for millennia “to promote spiritual deepening, healing, prosperity and peace.” In the beginning, stupas were often simple mounds of earth and stones which evolved to be the burial tomb for important kings, and then later were created as religious monuments to honor the living and remind people of the seeds of enlightenment they carry within.

A stupa serves to represent the entire Buddhist path, and is a receptacle for offerings and support where people can express connection and devotion to the Buddha mind. Stupas are rare in the West, so being able to visit Amitabha Stupa, which sits like a jewel on the Sedona countryside is a rare experience for visitors to the area. Graced with a bronze image of Amitabha, the Buddha of Limitless Light, the Stupa is filled inside with hundreds of millions of prayers, ritual objects and sacred relics.

If you have come to Sedona for spiritual discovery, plan to spend some time at the Amitabha Stupa. You don’t have to understand Buddhism to enjoy your time here, where the gentle sound of distant wind chimes will lull you into the magic of the place. All are welcome to visit this very peaceful site: explore, meditate or pray for yourself or for loved ones, for peace and to end suffering in the world.

A focused breathing meditation works well to allow your mind to empty and to begin to experience the pure energy of peace that is palpable here. If you choose to circumambulate the Stupa, begin by standing and sensing the bottom of your feet as you connect to the earth as described in the chapter, “Whole Body Walking” by Ilchi Lee in the The Call of Sedona, “Stand with both feet and feel your body, which connects heaven and earth.” He adds, “Slowly start walking with your senses opened to your body’s sensations and to the life energy in the woods.”

How to get to Amitabha Stupa:
From the Y in uptown Sedona travel Highway 89A west (toward Cottonwood) a short distance to Andante and turn right. Travel a few short blocks to Pueblo and turn left. Proceed 50 yards and park.

• Difficulty: Short hike on uneven terrain to arrive at the Stupa and additional smaller similar trails surrounding the Stupa.
• Please be respectful and quiet of others who are there praying, walking and meditating. No smoking or unauthorized activities.
• Usage: Moderate. This is a sacred site on private property that is open to visitors during daylight hours.
• For handicapped access or group tour assistance, please call 877-788-7229.
• Shaded meditation platform with chairs. There are porta johns available.
• Dogs allowed on a leash. Be mindful and watch for possible snakes on trails during the summer.

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Trail of the Month: Old Cottonwoods Filled with Birdsong Offer Good Spot for Clear Water Meditation

Oak Creek, Arizona

For Ilchi Lee, the landscape surrounding Sedona has offered many adventures into varied terrain. If you’re in the mood for a peaceful walk near the waters of Oak Creek where you can enjoy the sound of birdsong, try the Page Springs creekside walk. After a leisurely stroll through beautiful old cottonwoods you will reach just the right spot beckoning you to sit and meditate a bit.

From the Sedona “Y,” zero out your trip odometer and travel southwest on Highway 89A toward Cottonwood for 11.25 miles (18 km) to the Page Springs Road turnoff. Turn left onto Page Springs Road and travel it to the 14.0 mile (22.4 km) point. You will have arrived at the beginning of a bridge which crosses Oak Creek. Pull off to park in a spot on the right shoulder of the road, just before you actually cross the bridge.

There are no signs to direct you, since this is a hiker-made trail. Follow the trail down the hill to the creek, then move south, away from the trailer park which is there. The trail is easy to follow and the creek banks are lined with immense cottonwood trees which offer rich, shady habitat for many species of birds, including blue herons.

You will be passing near the Arizona Game and Fish Hatchery, and if you call ahead for operating hours, you can include a visit here in your adventure. The walking trail eventually tapers to a point against a hillside, cutting off further travel. You will find strange, burnt-mauve colored rock formations here. Pause awhile and enjoy the sounds of nature. Try this clear water meditation for a mind-refreshing experience:

Sit somewhere comfortable, keeping your back straight, and begin to breathe a little deeper. Allow your breathing to become even slower and deeper as you open your senses to all of the beauty that surrounds you.

Focus on the sound of the nearby water and allow it to penetrate your awareness until hearing becomes the most present sense. Imagine that the creek’s water comes to you and begins to flow from the top of your head, through your entire body and out through your toes. Is it flowing freely, or is there some blockage as the water moves along? Allow the water to remove any obstruction with cooling, persistent sensations.

Next, focus on the crown of your head as the water continues to flow. Imagine the water has the gentle power to wash away any negative thoughts or energy, refreshing your brain with cool, clear energy.

Next, visualize that the water has found its way into your innermost organs. As it moves freely through your body from head to toe, it gently cleanses away stagnant energy from your heart, lungs, stomach, liver, small intestines, large intestines, and kidneys and carries away any and all negative energy.
Empty out! Let nature in! Enjoy a few deep breaths before you return your consciousness to the beautiful, peaceful place where you are. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and enjoy the walk back!

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Hike High and Gather Oak Creek’s Pristine Landscape into an Energy Ball Meditation

Ilchi Lee - forest hike

In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee writes about his many adventures into the woods and rockscapes of Sedona where he has hiked and meditated. If you would like to try a somewhat difficult hike and reward yourself with a solitary meditation in a pristine forest landscape at the apex, then the scenic Sterling Pass Trail is a delightful choice.

This beautiful but steep hike can be accessed by traveling north from the “Y” in Sedona on Highway 89A toward Flagstaff for a distance of 6.2 miles 9.9 km (mile post 380.4). There is no dedicated parking here; just tuck your car in somewhere safe along the roadside and watch for traffic as you exit your vehicle. Look for a small metal sign which reads “Sterling Pass #46” at the trailhead. Remember, never hike alone, be sure to tell others where you’re going, and always carry plenty of water.

The Sterling Pass Trail wanders across the Oak Creek streambed several times as it climbs steeply through the dense, cool forest of pine, fir, and spruce trees. After the first 0.25 miles 0.4 km, the highway sounds fade into the distance and the trail seems positively mystical. At 1.25 miles 2.0 km, the path will rise above the trees for views of highly sculptured canyons of varying shades of color, including white.

The crest of this mountain pass is at about 1.65 miles 2.6 km where you will arrive onto a saddle which is surrounded by stands of oak and maple trees. Many hikers stop here before turning back. It’s a good, quiet place to try Energy Meditation. After all, what better place than atop a lofty mountain pass to ponder your connection to the energy of our universe?

Find a spot where you can sit comfortably in a cross-legged position. Relax into “where” you are. Look out across the landscape and breathe deeply, drawing in the scent of the forest trees.

Imagine you can gather the energy of all that lies before you into a ball that you can hold between your hands. Raise the ball of energy to chest height and focus on seeing and feeling the energy of the sphere.
Try to sense everything about the energy within the ball as it sits between your palms. Meditate on the sensations of size, color, warmth or coolness, and magnetic or electric. Stay with the feeling of connectedness between your mind, the energy ball, and the landscape. Experience this feeling as it is: small or vast, within or without, spiraling, or still. Then play with the sensations as you imagine the energy ball growing larger or smaller, changing color, or growing heavier in your palms.

When you are ready, close your eyes and lower your palms to your knees for a few deep, finalizing breaths. Finish your meditation by rubbing your hands together quickly until you feel their warmth, and then smooth your palms over your face and neck to transfer the energy from your meditation into a physical form that you can feel.

Keep this energy within as you open your eyes and prepare to hike back down the mountainside!

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

3 Cool Summer Hikes – Tips & Trails

When it’s summer in Sedona, it’s best to choose a hike that offers some cool shade along the way.

It’s always calming to sit near water as the temperatures soar in the summer. Ilchi Lee says, “Sitting under a rock or tree you like at Oak Creek Canyon and listening to the sound of the water is also a good meditation. While listening to the sound of the water, your mind effortlessly becomes comfortable and calm.”

Here are 3 Hikes that take you up the canyon to get you near the cool waters of Oak Creek and offer some shade to make your hiking experience a pleasant one.

First, some summer tips to keep in mind:

Hike Early: Get on the trail before 7:00 a.m. if possible with a goal to be finished hiking by 10:00 a.m. to avoid the heat of the day.

Remember the Elevation Factor: Even if you are used to heat in your hometown, remember that Sedona is located in the Upper Sonoran Desert of northern Arizona at an elevation of 4,500 feet. This may affect your stamina and endurance as you hike.

Keep Cool: Take along plenty of drinking water; there are no water fountains out there! The dry heat of the desert can be deceptive. A small spray bottle filled with water is an accessory worth its weight for cooling power.

Clothing: Wear appropriate clothing in layers, a hat and suitable boots or shoes.

Midgley Bridge

HUCKABY TRAIL: Follow this moderate hiking trail as it passes under Midgley Bridge, which spans Wilson Canyon just north of Uptown Sedona, and descends down to the creek. Take a little picnic here and dip your feet into the creek. If you were to continue hiking southbound for about 3 miles through the inner gorge of Oak Creek Canyon, the trail grows more difficult and you’d end up at the trail’s other trailhead at Schnebly Hill. To get there from the Y intersection in Sedona, go north on Highway 89A toward Flagstaff. Just before you cross Midgley Bridge (pictured), carefully turn left into a very limited parking area. The trail is marked.

WILSON CANYON TRAIL: This is a nice trail choice found on the north end of Midgley Bridge. The first leg of a longer trail, hike for just 0.25 miles for a quick turnaround point. Further on, the trail meanders up the canyon for a total hike of 1.5 miles (2.4 km). To get there from the Y intersection in Sedona, go north on Highway 89A toward Flagstaff. Right after you cross Midgley Bridge, turn left into the parking area. (Again note that parking is limited for this popular spot.) The trailhead is easy to locate by walking toward the picnic tables at the end of the parking lot where you will choose “Wilson Canyon #49.”

WEST FORK, OAK CREEK: This one is an all-time favorite . . . if you can get in! Arrive early and enjoy the trail that traverses the lush west fork of Oak Creek Canyon. That being said, this one works just fine for a midday hike, as it takes you into a cooler, narrow wooded canyon. What starts out easy grows more strenuous after the first couple of miles as you cross the creek several times and gain some elevation. Turn back at your own halfway point. To get there from the Y, take 89A north through the canyon approximately 10.5 miles (16.8 km), turn left into the main entrance. Entrance fee required. Read the previous article about this world-famous destination.

Additional Tips:

  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Carry a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Parking: Early in the morning is a good time to assure parking, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Read all signs at the trailhead. Don’t hike alone, and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!

Do you have a favorite Sedona hike? Use the comment section below to tell us so we can feature it in an upcoming article!

Lynn A. TrombettaBy Lynn A. Trombetta: A freelance web writer on topics of art, music, and wellness, Lynn is also a wildlife artist/photographer, professional flutist, recording artist, and published author.

Trail of the Month: Ilchi Lee Deems Slide Rock State Park a Great Place to Play like a Child in Nature

Okay, not much of a hiking trail here, but if you’ve got an old pair of cut-off blue jeans and a wish to escape the heat of summer, this is the place to go! In fact, Fodor’s Travel listed Slide Rock State Park as one of America’s 10 Best State Parks in 2014! Here visitors can see the Pendley Homestead, one of only a few homesteads still intact in the canyon and examples of early agricultural development in Central Arizona.

Slide Rock

In The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee remarks about the area, “In the summer, this creek with water cold as ice is the best summer retreat.” He adds, “…the best thing you can do is to play in the water here at Slide Rock, play to your heart’s content like a little child.”

The park does offer several short hikes, including a nature trail, and it is close to several Coconino National Forest hiking trails. In general, the trails may offer sightings of an array of wildlife and birds to enjoy along the way.

This extremely popular Sedona destination is a great place to take older children who understand water safety. At the end of the natural red-sandstone water slide is a body-cooling swimming hole. For obvious sanitation concerns, plan to have a talk to be sure youngsters use the modern restroom facilities and drinking fountains located above the creek before you begin.

Pendley Homestead Trail: Explore bits of the original dwellings, the old apple orchard and even see some farming implements used historically at the homestead and enjoy thrilling views of the Oak Creek Canyon walls along this easy 0.25 mile trail.

Slide Rock Route: This primitive, moderately difficult trail along Oak Creek is the main access to the Slide Rock Swim Area. Brave the 0.3 mile trail to enjoy the natural water slide in the cool waters of Oak Creek. The path begins near the apple picking barn, traverses steps leading to the creek and then crosses the creek via a small footbridge.

After crossing, avoid stepping on any sunbathers as you proceed north along the warm, sandstone shelves. Note that if the area is experiencing high run-off, the footbridge will not be in place and you will have to stay on the west side of Oak Creek. If you continue to walk north, you will arrive at an eight-foot wall. You can either turn around here or negotiate the wall to explore the remote, more primitive areas upstream, unless advised otherwise.

Clifftop Nature Trail: Enjoy some scenic views of the Slide Rock Swim Area on this casual 0.25 mile trail which begins near the apple barn.

How to get to Slide Rock State Park:
Begin at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona and travel north on Highway 89A toward Flagstaff for 6.9miles 11.0 km to milepost 381.1 and the well-marked entrance to Slide Rock State Park. Enter the lot, where you will pay a fee, and park.


  • The park is open year round except on certain holidays. Admission required. For more information on hours and fees visit the website at
  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Usage: Moderate to very heavy. Plan to arrive early. Parking is limited and you may have to wait to gain entrance into the park as other vehicles depart.
  • No pets allowed in the Slide Rock Swim Area. In other areas, pets must be on a leash and attended to at all times. Please, DO NOT leave pets in your car!
  • Smoking only permitted inside vehicles in the parking lot.
  • No glass containers of any kind allowed.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended. Enjoy with caution, rocks and creek beds are slippery when wet.
  • On warmer days, this trail can be hot, so hike early.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a picnic or a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you. Damaging or removing rocks, vegetation, or public property is prohibited.
  • Stay in designated areas.
  • Take your camera to capture the views and the fun!

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Montezuma Well National Monument

Montezuma’s Well, located about 50 minutes from Sedona, near Camp Verde, offers much to ponder in an easy meander that will take you near pueblo ruins and an ancient pit house, and to the very edge of the Well. Your visual journey back in time includes Sinagua dwellings carved into the limestone cliffs of the Well, which will fascinate your imagination as you gaze down into the Well and watch waterfowl glide across the water’s surface at this desert oasis. Be sure to take the short trail to the outlet below Montezuma Well, which brings you to a tranquil shaded forest near the swallet run and offers welcome relief from the desert sun. Here you will see the 1,000 year old irrigation ditch that is still in use by local residents today. Entrance to the well is free.

Montezuma's Well

In his book, The Call of Sedona, Ilchi Lee offers several meditations. The serene place at the base of Montezuma Well where the water flows is a nice place to try his Purifying Emotions Meditation, found on page 192. Take some time settling into the energy of this very special location and then give it a try.

How to get to Montezuma Well:
Allow about 50 minutes travel time from the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona. Take 179 south through Village of Oak Creek until you meet up with I-17. Continue south (right) on I-17 to exit 293. Exit and follow the road signs for four miles as you pass through the towns of McGuireville and Rimrock until you reach the entrance to the Well.

Sinagua Cliff Dwellings at Montezuma Well

Sinagua Cliff Dwellings at Montezuma Well


  • Open year round. There is no fee.
  • Difficulty: Easy, mostly paved trail with some elevation change.
  • Usage: Light, to moderate
  • Length: Several short trails to explore
  • Facilities: yes – one restroom in parking area.
  • Pets must be on a leash.

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 very 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. This is still considered a sacred place by many, so please show respect.
  • 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.
  • Stay on the existing trails.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Try Ilchi Lee’s Energy Meditation Along Fay Canyon Trail

If you’re looking for a great, easy hike suitable for all ages, try the Fay Canyon Trail! Ilchi Lee speaks of this lovely spot in The Call of Sedona and offers an energy meditation, “Communicating with Trees,” to be used for a unique experience with the old forest of oak trees found here.

oak tree

This all-weather hike has a relatively flat elevation through much of the main trail and takes you through a picturesque canyon on the side of Bear Mountain in a 2.3 mile (3.7 km) round trip. More adventurous types can take the side trail which branches off to the right at just over 0.5 mile (0.8 km) for a steep, difficult trail to Fay Arch and Indian ruins. (Recommended for sure-footed more experienced hikers only.)

How to get to Fay Canyon 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 intersects Long Canyon Road and turn left onto FR 152C. Travel to the 7.7 mile (12.3 km) point where it intersects Boynton Canyon Road and turn left onto this stretch of Boynton PASS Road. At the 8.2 mile (13.1 km) point on odometer, the parking area will be on your right.


  • 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 300 feet; Elevation Min. / Max: 4500 to 4800.
  • Length: about 1.2 miles (1.93 km) each way, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) 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.
  • 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.

By Lynn A. Trombetta

Trail of the Month: Two Sweeping Points of View

For those who would like to experience spectacular views of Sedona, but are unable hike to the high points, there are two especially breathtaking lookout areas that are easily accessed by car just minutes from uptown Sedona.

Photo by Lynn A. Trombetta

Photo by Lynn A. Trombetta

Looking west: Airport Mesa is a popular destination for enjoying a sunset and a wide view photo opportunity for the whole family. Also, as Ilchi Lee points out in The Call of Sedona, Airport Mesa is a choice place to do a sunrise or sunset meditation. Try his Chakra Light Meditation at Sunset (page 200 in the book).

How to get there: From the Y in Sedona, travel southeast on Highway 89A toward west Sedona for just 1.0 mile (1.6 km) to Airport Road. Turn left onto Airport Road and drive uphill to the top where you will see a visitor’s area on the right and a parking area on the left. Park in the designated parking lot and then walk across the street to the lookout area. Look west to enjoy a panoramic red rock view.

Looking east: After leaving Airport Mesa, when you reach the bottom of the hill turn left onto Highway 89A. Travel on 89A toward Cottonwood a distance of 3.2 miles (5.1 km) to the Upper Red Rock Loop Road (Milepost 368.9). Turn left and follow the road 0.6 miles (0.9 km) to a turn off on the left. This very small lookout point is not well marked nor maintained, so take great care to watch where you are driving and pull in slowly to avoid damage to your vehicle. You can get out and walk a short distance to take photos of the nearly prehistoric view of the land as you look somewhat east. Or, if you prefer, stay on the highway to enjoy the amazing views from the comfort of your car. Traveling this road for approximately 5.4 more miles will take you to a left turn that leads to Crescent Moon Ranch Park, where you can turn around and head back, or pay a “per car” fee and enter this famous, scenic park.


  • Open year round.
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Facilities: no
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots and hats are recommended.
  • This area is recommended for older children.
  • 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.
  • If you leave your car, be smart about it, especially on the unmarked pull out. Stay close and on visible walking area used by others. Use unmarked areas at your own risk.

By Lynn A. Trombetta