Famous Vortexes

Even though the whole Seodona area is a vortex, there are most well known four spots where you can connect with the energy here: Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, and Boynton Canyon.  The closest of the Big Four vortex sites is Airport Mesa, with Bell Rock perhaps the most conveniently located on the highway that heads south to I-17 and Phoenix. Though each is marvelously beautiful, Cathedral Rock is perhaps the most photographed and Boynton Canyon hosts the most popular hiking trail.


With its distinctive bell shape, Bell Rock, an electric vortex, is the most renowned of the four major vortexes and considered to have the strongest flow of energy in the area.

Spiritual Attributes:
The energy here will breathe inspiration into your soul and help you gain new perspectives, perceive new levels of awareness, stimulate new thoughts and ideas, and even increase psychic abilities. It is known for helping to uncover one’s life dream and purpose and envisioning one’s future. It covers the whole area around the rock formation, so you do not have to do any climbing to experience the energy.

How To Get Here:
From uptown Sedona, take Arizona State Route 89A to the first traffic circle (the “Y”) and go left down Arizona State Route 179. Drive for about 15 minutes (6.4 miles) and you’ll see a rock on the left that looks like a large standing bell. There are two parking lots from which you can access Bell Rock. The first in this direction, Courthouse Vista, is the closest to the base of the rock. The second, Bell Rock Vista, is just before you reach Bell Rock Boulevard in the Village of Oak Creek.

If you are coming from Phoenix, take I-17 to Highway 179 (exit 298) and follow it until just after you pass through the Village of Oak Creek area of Sedona. You will first see the Bell Rock Vista parking lot on your right and then the Courthouse Vista parking lot on the right after you pass Bell Rock.

TIPS: The energy is so “electrifying” here that you may feel not just empowered but invincible. If you feel like Peter Pan and want to fly, don’t (some people have and are no longer here). Instead, stand still and ground yourself, imagining that roots are growing from your feet into the earth and rock. If you choose to climb up, take extra care and do not stand too close to ledges where one might crumble (it has happened). If you feel that energies or aliens are trying to communicate with you, know that it’s happened to others. Just leave a note before you take off in the spaceship.


Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed rock formations in Sedona and has two vortex sites: the water and banks of Oak Creek closest to Cathedral Rock, and the “saddle” between the two towers.

Spiritual Attributes:
The Native Americans referred to Cathedral Rock as the Sun God. It’s a name befitting this formation for it shines especially beautifully at sunrise and sunset. The energy here is subtle but very powerful and deep. It soaks inward so that just by sitting quietly, your mind will start to become more calm and at ease. Deep meditation here will help you to access earth energy as well as the deeper knowledge within you – which might be communicated through your spirit guides. The energies here are known to help release negative emotions or memories. Don’t be surprised if you start to recall past lives.

How to Get Here:
The easiest way to get to this spot is from the Red Rock Crossing picnic area. Drive 4.3 miles west toward Cottonwood on 89A from the junction of Highways 89A and 179, and turn left at the light on Upper Red Rock Loop Road (FR 216). Then go 1.8 miles and turn left at the bottom of the hill on Chavez Ranch Road. Follow the pavement .8 mile and turn left into Crescent Moon Park. All roads except the short segment leading from Red Rock Crossing Road to the picnic area are paved. The parking lot is open all year. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; during off-season, it is open from 8 a.m. until dusk. Parking costs $9.00 per vehicle and $3.00 per individual/bicycle.

First Vortex Site: Drive as far into the park as possible. From the parking lot, walk upstream 1/4 to 1/2 mile to the red rock beach area. Walk east along the creek toward Cathedral Rock. The strongest energy is where the creek is closest to Cathedral Rock. At this point, the spires of Cathedral Rock are hidden behind the cliffs on the other side of the creek.

 Another approach to Cathedral Rock:
This vortex can also be approached by taking Route 179 south from the Highway 89A /179 split, past Bell Rock, and into the Village of Oak Creek. Make a right at a roundabout onto Verde Valley School Road and follow it 4.5 miles, which is past the point where the pavement ends. You will see a parking lot on the left. There is a trailhead across the street for the Baldwin Trail. Follow it until you reach the Templeton Trail and make a right onto it. Continue for half a mile and you’ll find yourself walking along Oak Creek at the base of Cathedral Rock. That trail will run along Oak Creek until it begins to loop around the base of Cathedral Rock.

Second Vortex Site:
The other vortex spot is on the “saddle” of Cathedral Rock between its two main spires. This vortex is a cone-shaped pile of black lava rocks and is located just below the western ledge of the saddle. It opens up our ability to communicate and to connect to our feminine or nurturing side. There is a trail that leads up to the saddle, which is most easily reached from the trailhead at a parking lot on Back-O-Beyond Road, which is off of the first roundabout, 3.4 miles from the Highway 89A/179 split and one mile past Chapel Road.  Travel 0.6 miles down Back-O-Beyond to the parking lot on your left. The trail head is at the south end of the parking lot. It requires a Red Rock Pass to park there and takes almost an hour to climb to the top.

TIPS: This area has its share of stories about paranormal occurrences. Keep yourself open to the possibilities, especially regarding messages that may contribute to your greater self-understanding.


This is an electric vortex and the most accessible of all the vortexes with a 360-degree view of Sedona’s breathtaking sunsets.

You will understand what the term “breathtakingly beautiful” means when you view the sunset from here. Later, you can stargaze from rocks that have been warmed up all day by the sun – an amazing experience! As you look up at the wide-open night sky, it’s as if the whole universe is within you and warming your heart with its light.

Spiritual Attributes:
Airport Mesa is the closest vortex to the center of Sedona. The “upflow” energy charges physical power and creative inspiration and, as with all electric vortexes, facilitates access to higher mental planes and helps with thought projection, which is especially useful for prayer.

How to Get Here:
From Arizona State Route 89A in West Sedona, turn onto Airport Road. About a half a mile up the road, you will see a small parking lot on your left. A Red Rock Pass is required to park here. From here, you can access the Airport Mesa loop trail, which is 3.5 miles long and rises 200 feet. It’s one of the easiest trails in Sedona to access and traverse. At the beginning of the trail there is a mini-mesa which is said to be the vortex spot.

If you continue up Airport Road to the top, you will find a larger parking lot with an outlook area dotted with viewfinders. Both sites offer spectacular views of major Sedona landmarks.

TIPS: There are two vortex areas – the top of the hill that you can reach from the small parking lot and the actual mesa, as mentioned above. You can also park and walk down the road about 100 yards; then walk directly to the right on a short, “up and down” path to the edge of the mesa. This is a magical area. Standing on the mesa and looking out at Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Cathedral Rock in the distance is exhilarating. Many feel this alignment of these other energies with Airport mesa brings even more power to this vortex site. This has always been a favorite spot for medicine wheel and other ceremonies.


Boynton Canyon, an electromagnetic vortex of balanced energies, is the most mysterious and sacred of the four main vortexes of Sedona.

The hiking trails of Boynton Canyon are generally flat and surrounded by many tall trees that emit fresh energy, making it ideal for walking meditation. This long box canyon is about 2.5 miles long with a 400-foot gain in elevation. It takes roughly four hours to hike in and out. The first third of the trail skirts the Enchantment Resort. Low-growing shrubs like agave, yucca, manzanita, and juniper line the path. After about 30 minutes, the height of the shrubs and trees increases and the forest becomes so tall it hides the rock cliffs on both sides. At the end of Boynton Canyon is a stone cliff, which makes a shallow V-shape. At this point, if you go up the path of rock steps on the right, you can look down on the whole canyon.

Spiritual Attributes:
It is said that the native Yavapai-Apache would not dare enter this area without first purifying their body and mind through fasting or deep meditation. The Apache believed there was a powerful feminine spirit that lived in this canyon. Even today, native tribes hold private sacred ceremonies here that are far from the public eye.

The energy here is very balanced and quietly peaceful. Walk in deep meditation here and clear your mind of thought and concerns. It is important to listen very carefully to your intuition – and then follow it! Let it be your guide, especially if you feel you should stop at a particular place.

How to Get Here:
To reach the parking lot to the Boynton Canyon Trail, take Dry Creek Road off of Arizona State Route 89A in West Sedona. Dry Creek Road ends at a T-intersection. Turn left onto Boynton Canyon Road and follow it until you reach another T-intersection. Make a right onto Boynton Pass Road until you see the signs for the Boynton Canyon trailhead, which is just outside of Enchantment Resort.

Alternative Route to Rachel’s Knoll: Enter Boynton Canyon Trail and then walk 250 yards up a hill and take the left fork to stay on the trail. After another 400 yards, when the road forks again, go to the right onto the Vista Trail and follow the road to the large medicine wheel on Rachel’s Knoll (total walk 1/2 to 3/4 mile – about 15-20 minutes. The energy is strong around this knoll, which has been the site of many ceremonies.

TIPS:  One very special place to feel earth energy is around the Kachina Woman formation. At the Forest Service parking lot, take the trail starting at the sign-in box and hike east toward the descending ridge. The formation is easy to identify. You may see blue auras here.

 It’s interesting to note that more than a few people, some in very “left brain” professions, have had strong visions of past lives here – especially those spent as a Native American. If this happens to you, don’t worry that you’ve lost your mind. You have gained a gift through the lens of this magical place. 

Other Great Vortexes Mentioned in The Call of Sedona Book

 It has been said that Sedona is just one huge vortex made up of many smaller vortexes.  Aside from the commonly accepted “major” vortices, then, there are many other smaller sites that hold a special power and attraction for people. In fact, some consider them to be among the more mystical sites in the area.


Fay Canyon is a sacred and divinely beautiful canyon where trees line both sides of a wide and easily navigated trail. Fay Canyon Trail is an easy trail, 2.2 miles round trip with a 150 foot elevation. The main Fay Canyon Trail ends at a rockslide as the canyon divides.  A short climb to an overlook gives majestic views of Fay Canyon and Bell Rock in the distance.

Spiritual Attributes:
As a rule, many trees around a mountain make an area good for meditation. The natural rock bridge, hidden about 20 minutes from the entrance, is a particularly special place for meditation.

How To Get Here:
To reach the trailhead of Fay Canyon Trail, take a right on Dry Creek Road off Arizona State Route 89A in Sedona. Dry Creek Road ends at a T-intersection. Turn left onto Boynton Canyon Road and travel another 1.5 miles to another T-intersection. Turn left onto Boynton Pass Road and travel another 0.5 miles to the parking lot on the left.


This is a very special power spot and was recognized by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who designed the chapel, as a perfect location for meditation and worship. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a very small chapel that belongs to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and is managed by the Saint John Vianney parish. The building was designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a student of the world-renowned ecological architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and was completed in 1956. The high terrain offers a bird’s eye view of Sedona below and Bell Rock in the distance. Red rocks shaped like people surround the chapel like a folding screen. These “rock people” are called “The Twin Nuns.”

Spiritual Attributes:
Aside from the beautiful view afforded from the chapel’s high perch in the rocks, this vortex is permeated with the feeling of beauty, peace, and contemplation. You will feel that “all is well.” If you sit in the church and pray, then lift your head, it seems as if the clouds are racing into your eyes to expand your vision. If you’ve just come to admire the view, you’ll find that this is a place where prayer or meditation comes effortlessly – even if you had no intention to do so.

How To Get Here:
The Chapel is located at 780 Chapel Road in Sedona. Take Arizona State Route 179 south to Chapel Road, then turn left and drive to the end of the road. You will find several parking areas that lead to a steep walk up to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.


Schnebly Hill is a very powerful vortex and a sacred area where Native Americans held ancestral ceremonies. Schnebly Hill Vista is the highest lookout point people normally visit on Schnebly Hill. The vista is about 1,800 feet higher than Sedona and looks down Casner Canyon toward the town. When you sit on the hill called Merry-Go-Round, you can see formations fittingly nicknamed “Cow Pies” in the distance and tall red rocks surrounding you. From here, you can see Steamboat Rock and Mingus Mountain, as well as Route 89A somewhere in the distance, just after it emerges from Oak Creek Canyon and before it crosses Midgely Bridge. Coconino National Forest charges a daily $5.00 parking fee or accepts a Red Rock Pass. Most drivers in a high clearance two-wheel drive vehicle can negotiate the Schnebly Hill Road if they take it slowly. A family sedan is not suitable as the road becomes very rocky in places. The road is impassable when wet.

Spiritual Attributes:
This is an enchanted place made even more so by its red rocks sculpted with thousands of intricate and fascinating carvings and its spectacular vistas. Its energy is different from the other vortexes – it seems more complex, and yet very uplifting and supportive. This, too, is a wonderful place for meditation and ceremony – especially at Merry-Go-Round rock. Sedona locals have held many ceremonies here.

How To Get Here:
On Arizona State Route 179 from uptown, go down to the roundabout at the bottom and turn up Schnebly Hill Road. The paved road turns into a dirt road about a mile from Route 179. Schnebly Hill Vista is another five miles.

TIPS: There have been reports of special healings here from otherworldly energies.


Oak Creek Canyon, a 13-mile gorge along a river that flows between Flagstaff and Sedona, is a place where you can not only enjoy the area’s red fantastically-shaped cliffs and varied evergreens, but where deciduous trees show their jewel-toned colors in autumn.

The invigorating forest fragrance is the first thing that welcomes you as you enter the canyon from either direction. Streams of water gurgle and shout robustly, effortlessly making your mind comfortable and calm. They symbolize an aspect of life that always has hope and is willing to take on all challenges.

The many attractions along the canyon include hiking, biking and trout fishing. You’ll also find camp sites and resorts. At the Slide Rock State Park, you can swim and picnic at a natural water slide. It has bathroom facilities and a gift shop. Parking at Slide Rock is $20 per vehicle during the summer and $10 per vehicle otherwise.

Spiritual Attributes:
This riparian area is bursting with the energy of nature and its gifts of water, flora, and fauna. The energy here is highly energizing and, at the same time, very relaxing and balancing. Your breath becomes smoother, you feel yourself smiling, and you either let out an audible “ah-h-h-h” or you just feel a deep inner relief. Some people feel, or have seen, fairies and sprites dancing about. It is no wonder some call it an enchanted forest.

How To Get Here:
State Route 89A, the main road through Sedona, is also the road that winds through the canyon towards Flagstaff.

TIPS: Try communicating with the elementals of this area. If you have a question, ask them to show you a sign or answer telepathically. Have a conversation with one of the trees (If there are people around, converse with your mind. A spirited and audible conversation may result in a “911” call.) Be open and “speak” with true sincerity, as if you were speaking with a friend. You will get answers if you do.