After our time in Phoenix, AZ, we headed into Sedona. This time we boondocked at an un-named BLM road about 20 minutes outside of the heart of Sedona. It wasn't one of the prettiest sites we've stayed at but it was close to everything we wanted to see and do so it was perfect in that sense.
We did get an amazing surprise our first morning there though! Sometime just after sunrise, we look out our window and see multiple hot air balloons heading our way and very close to the ground. One landed within 50 feet of the front of our rig! Turns out, the area we were parked in was one of the "landing/pick up" locations for one of the local hot air balloon tour companies! We had the same thing happen just a few mornings later!
Our week in Sedona was packed! There were so many things we had tagged to see - and there was zero possibility of us getting to do all of it in the amount of time we had.
Sedona Airport has an interesting setup! It's on top of a mesa that sits above the town. There are a few hiking trails around the airport but nowhere that you can get close enough to see the runway. We did drive up to the top parking area - you can pay a $3 fee to park in the large lot and have easy access to the trails. There is also a scenic lookout just across from the parking lot with a great view of the town. Surprisingly, you can fly your drone here! We did the Summit Trail after checking out the viewpoint. It's a pretty easy hike to an impressive view of Sedona.
We took a little detour down toward Cottonwood to check out the Tuzigoot National Monument. We didn't give ourselves much time to explore but the area was very interesting and they have a great little museum. There were also Park Rangers on the path around the pueblo to answer questions which was nice.
From Cottonwood, we drove to the Red Rock Scenic Byway (Highway 179). It's a 12.5-mile drive that offers some amazing views of the rock formations in the area.
So if you don't have time to do a hike or if hiking just isn't your thing, this is a great way to check out the area. It also meanders through some cute shopping and dining areas so there's plenty to do along the way.
The Scenic Byway also takes you to a few trailheads - all of the trails in this area spiderweb around the formations and link to each other - so you can make your hike as long or as short as you want to. We started at the Bell Rock trailhead which leads to a nice wide path with amazing, straight-on views of Bell Rock.
We drove down to the Courthouse Butte trailhead to the Bell Rock Climb (on the opposite side of Bell Rock.) This trail is a little different in that it leads you to a general area and then you can go off in any direction you choose. Some people had climbed really high onto Bell Rock. We stayed a little lower and followed around the rock until the path got too sketchy and we turned back. Next on the road is Little Horse Trailhead. We hiked Little Horse trail just under 0.8 miles to a small clearing on the left of the path. From there, we had views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, Cathedral Rock, and Chapel of the Holy Cross. We had planned to hike to Chapel of the Holy Cross but we ran out of time.
Some other things we were able to check out in the area were Tlaquepaque Village, some art galleries, and shops. There's something for everyone so whatever your interests are, you can find something to meet your needs.
Every time we took something off of our "to-see" list, we learned about two more things we wanted to do! So we'll definitely be back this way.