Mystical Sedona and Its Surrounding Area
Should you decide to stay an extra day or two, this would allow some time to enjoy the majestic beauty of Sedona with your friends, family or newly found kindred spirits you met at the convention. It will truly be a spiritual event to visit and experience the higher energy / consciousness of the vortexes which have made Sedona World Famous – as the “Metaphysical / Spiritual Capital Of The World”. Below we have put together a short history of the area and a small list of some available activities.
Sedona, Arizona, has always been a pilgrimage destination. From as far away as Canada and Central America, ancient tribes and people journeyed to Sedona for healing, teaching, learning and an exchange of wisdom. Sedona and the surrounding area were considered to be sacred ground long before the first Europeans stepped foot on the continent of North America.
The ancestors of the Hopi came from the south, Yavapai from the West, Athabascans from the North, and Apache from the East. Each has left their imprint on the land. Today, visitors come from all over the world to visit the metaphysical / spiritual capital of the world. Many come to experience the powerful natural earth energy referred to as the “Sedona Vortexes”.
The Sedona vortexes are acknowledged by the scientific community as places where the earth’s energy is released. Legends through the ages say that if you stand in the middle of one, or even near one, it could have a profound effect on the human consciousness.
The area’s dramatically-shaped red sandstone rocks are said to emit powerful energy partly because of their high concentration of magnetic iron. Over the centuries, as people have gathered here to celebrate, worship, seek knowledge, and expand consciousness, they have added their own human energies.
Sedona often serves as a central point from which visitors and vacationers can easily visit the near by ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and cave drawings, as well as the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, and Petrified Forrest National Parks and Monuments.
There is no doubt that Sedona and the surrounding area is one of the best places to enjoy and commune with a wide variety of God’s most majestic natural wonders.
Many Graduates, their guests and families plan to stay an extra day or two either before or after the Convention / Graduation to further experience the majestic beauty of Sedona and surrounding areas. It could truly be a Spiritual adventure as you experience the higher energy consciousness and vortexes for which Sedona is famous.
Interesting & Fun Things To Do
(Listed in no special order)
Meditate at each of Sedona’s vortex energy spots. From the Airport Mesa vortex, enjoy one of the more spectacular, panoramic views. Cathedral Rock, near Red Rock Crossing, is the most photographed rock formation in the area and is said to exude a softer more feminine energy. Bell Rock is distinctive and appropriately named and is said to emit a stronger more masculine energy.
Walk the labyrinth. One of Sedona’s labyrinths is open to the public and is located on Kaloff Place behind the Lodge at Sedona B&B. The labyrinths date back to prehistoric time, and is perceived as sacred space. It seems to have been an integral part of many cultures, such as Celtic, Mayan, Greek, Cretan, and Native American. Today, labyrinths are still being used throughout the world as meditative and healing tools. When considering the labyrinth, there are only two choices: walk it, or don’t walk it! If walked, it can change one’s life.
Spend a night away from the resorts… camping! A perfect way to enhance your stay and get closer to nature. The camping in the Sedona area is some of the most enjoyable in the Southwest United States. May weather is generally quite comfortable, neither too hot nor too cold. There are a number of U.S. Forest Service and private camping grounds. Camping in Oak Creek Canyon can be a special treat. There are very good two web sites that present abundant information: the National Forest Info Website.
Montezuma Castle, near Middle Verde Road off I-17, is a preserved Sinagua pueblo ruin. It is five stories high and contains 20 rooms, built in a recessed cliff above the fertile valley. Native American oral histories throughout the United States tell of visitations from the ancient Prophet known today as Jesus, the Christed One. Each Tribe referred to Him by different names. While in the Four Corners area, He was called Mahnt-Azoma and His sacred name was given to the sacred places now known as Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle. Approximately one hundred years later, the Mexican Monarch was named Montezuma according to legend because he had features and coloring that resembled the pale prophet. People mistakenly think that the places were named for the Mexican Monarch although he never traveled that far north and had not even been born when the places were named.
Montezuma Well was an underground pool. After the roof caved in, the Sinagua built pueblos there. The hourly water flow has never varied since federal troopers began measuring it in the 1800’s. Native Americans still go to the well to collect water for their sacred ceremonies. There is a feeling of peace at the well that can be profound.
Visit the Buddhist Stupa – Amitabha Stupa (Enlightened Presence) in West Sedona. Stupas are one of the oldest forms of sacred architecture on the planet. For millennia Buddhist practitioners have built them to promote spiritual deepening, healing, prosperity, and peace. (From highway 89A, take Andante Rd. north. Go to Pueblo Drive, turn left. Signs for the Stupa will be on your right. Please consider that you are on a sacred site and proceed accordingly.)
Palatki Heritage Site – Two trails take you to the area of over 6,000 years of Arizona rock art. Indigenous rock drawings can easily be viewed. Because the site is a protected area, call the US Forest Service to make reservations.
Pack a picnic lunch and eat outdoors in the grandeur of red rock country. The spiritual energy of Sedona can be felt in many places. Day use areas in Oak Creek Canyon and some of the parks in Sedona are equipped with fire pits and barbecues.
Start pedaling! Take advantage of the numerous bike trails throughout red rock country. Stop to take in the breathtaking views, meditate, pray, enjoy a snack or commune with nature. There are several rental shops and tours available in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.
Visit Red Rock Crossing. Red Rock Crossing is one Sedona’s most visited spiritual vortexes.
Drive along 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. There are places to pull off the road. Take a deep breath…. take in the fragrant aroma of the pine trees…. then hug one! This is the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in the United States. The trees actually smell like vanilla. Resting your back against a pine tree and meditating or praying is said to be beneficial when you are moving through grief.
Native American hand crafted Jewelry and other goods are usually available along 89A by the Dairy Queen or at the top of the switchbacks.
See Indian Gardens. While driving through Oak Creek Canyon don’t miss the Indian Gardens – This spot is referred to as the “joy vortex”. There is often live entertainment there.
Take a ride on the Sedona Trolley for a fun and informative, fully narrated 55 minute tour that takes you to historic spots, breathtaking views, inspirational landmarks and vortex sites. There will be plenty of photo opportunities.
Lace up the hiking shoes. The many destinations include famous landmarks like Vultee Arch, Submarine Rock, Wilson Mountain and various American Indian ruins. The Native Americans still consider Sedona as a Spiritual Center and sacred ground.
Take a short walk. You do not have to be an avid hiker to enjoy the Sedona area. Hiking trails can be a short as a half mile or long enough to satisfy even the ardent explorer. Taking time to enjoy the beautiful red rocks can be a very spiritual experience.
The Sedona Arts Center, on Art Barn Road in Uptown, has dozens of shows to attend, a gift shop and a Members’ Gallery where local artists latest works are displayed.
Visit Tuzigoot National Monument. The Sinagua people built and lived in this pueblo. See the ruins that still exist and learn how the Sinagua lived on this small mound above fertile soil. Walking around the pueblo provides a mystical experience all its own.
Hike to Boynton Canyon Vista, which is high on the list of the most beautiful places to see. It’s also considered to be a sacred site to the Navajo, Yavapai, and the Apache – and is also one of the Sedona vortexes.
Listen closely and you can hear the songs of Sedona’s many birds. The Verde Valley is a riparian area that draws many species. A birding guide will put you on your way to identifying them. If you are a birder, bring your binoculars.
Great West Tours specializes in one-day tours originating in Sedona and visiting some of the beautiful locations in Northern Arizona like the Grand Canyon, The Hopi Reservation and Antelope Canyon as well as one-day float trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. All tours pick up at your hotel and include one meal. Travel Northern Arizona with knowledgeable guides in our comfortable 14 passenger mini-buses.
Take a scenic Pink Jeep four-wheel drive. Trips range from those with a Spiritual focus to those designed for photographers.
The Museum of Northern Arizona – Here you’ll find artifacts and exhibits that explain the culture and history of the area. There are many exhibits from the Native Americans that originally populated this area. The gift shop offers Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni art.
Enjoy the views from Schnebly Hill Road, which winds above Sedona. The road is unpaved, rocky and has pot holes. You will need a 4 wheel drive vehicle or sports utility vehicle for this drive. Do not take your rental car on this drive.
Explore the world of art. You will enjoy browsing Sedona’s many galleries. Many creative people have settled here because of Sedona’s unique energy and beauty. There are arts and crafts from many Native Americans at the shops.
Navigate the Verde River in a canoe, available for rent in the Verde Valley. Though an easy river to float during most times of the year, flows can change quickly. Check with the US Forest Service for the latest conditions.
Visit Jerome – it’s the town high on the hill above Clarkdale. Once the fourth-largest city in Arizona, it boasts a history as bright as the copper it produced. Because of the soil and the way buildings were constructed, many slid down the hill. There are also said to be “Haunted places” in Jerome. There is usually a live band playing weekend afternoons and evenings at the “Spirit Room.”
Visit the Sedona Public Library. There is usually a display with a local focus and there is plenty of reference and reading material on Sedona and the surrounding area to help you plan your excursions while visiting. There is a statue of Sedona Schnebly at the library. The town of Sedona was named for her. Sedona Public Library has computers available for general public use. There are paperback books available for a nominal charge for reading on the way home. The Sedona Public Library was built without any federal or state money.
Notice the plants around you. The ranger stations have information to help you identify the flora you see. Many were used for medicines and food in the past.
Grab a sketchbook and a few pencils. Sit anywhere and begin sketching. Don’t say you can’t do it; let the beauty and the spiritual energy of the area help you be inspired.
Take a train excursion on the Verde Canyon Railroad from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. The engine will take you through rugged red rocks where you may see an American bald eagle or blue heron. Leave in the morning and return in the afternoon; in between, you will be enchanted by what you see. Some of the train trips have a staged robbery that takes place on board.
Ride on horseback. Tours range from one-hour to daylong excursions. The trails are beautiful and the ride can be inspiring.
See Sedona from the air. Airplane and helicopter tours, as well as balloon rides of red rock country are available.
Hang-glide off Mingus Mountain. Drive on State Route 89A through Cottonwood and Jerome and on up the Mingus Mountain to picnic, hike, watch hang-gliders or leap off the mountain yourself. There are also Ponderosa pines on the Mingus Mountain. If you haven’t already hugged and smelled a Ponderosa Pine tree, you can do that here. Be mindful of your clothes as sap may be running from the trees.
The Grand Canyon is about an easy 2 hour drive north of Sedona. Take a tour or drive there yourself and enjoy the exhibits. Take a bus or walk around one of the original “7 Wonders of the World.” People frequently talk about the spiritual experience they had at the Grand Canyon.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park – for a walk on the wild side. The park is located off State Route 260.
Experience Sedona’s many cultural flavors at any of the many restaurants in town. There are many choices from raw foods, vegan, to really good hamburgers.
Go for a swim! Slide Rock State Park is located just seven miles north of Sedona on State Route 89A. The park is a favorite in the area, a popular swimming hole during the spring and summer months. Pets and glass are not permitted near the water. This is a pack-it-in and pack-it-out park.
Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, visible from State Route 179 between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. The structure is the realized dream of Marguerite Staude, an area rancher. Drop in between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily for a time of quiet and to take in one of the most magnificent views in the area. The spiritual energy of the Chapel makes it a wonderful place for quiet contemplation, meditation, or prayer.
Take memories with you through photographs and videotape. Make sure to capture a Sedona sunset.
There are many forms of Night life in the Sedona area, including the Cliff Castle Casino at the Middle Verde exit off I-17, south of Sedona. It has slots, special games, live gaming, and blackjack. There is also a bowling alley in the casino. The casino is owned and operated by the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
The Sedona Chamber Of Commerce website is a good place to find out more about Sedona and find coupons and discounts for various activities in the area.
For both residents and visitors alike, Sedona Monthly magazine is the indispensable guide to the area’s arts, restaurants, hiking and cultural events.
“Kudos“ a free local paper available almost everywhere in Sedona, has all the local entertainment and activity news.
Sedona Red Rock News is Sedona’s Newspaper.