Bell Rock is also one of the most prominent Sedona vortex sites. A vortex, if you’re given to this sort of perspective, is a swirling concentration of energy emanating from the earth that can have any number of attributes, depending on what kind of vortex it is and who you talk to. Some categorize vortexes (or vortices, whatever floats your boat) as male, female or balanced, and claim that their energy can affect the human consciousness and even one’s physical body.
Bell Rock’s vortex and it’s movie-star good looks made it a prime gathering spot during 1987’s Harmonic Convergence, when Sedona experienced a convergence of about 5,000 visitors at once (the town itself is home to only about 10,000), a good portion of whom gathered on and around Bell Rock one night in the hopes of some kind of extraterrestrial event. While the top failed to flip open and produce a UFO that particular evening, it was still a turning point for the culture and economy of Sedona, putting the community on the map for a host of New Age enthusiasts and a broader market of tourists.
Like most of the bright red and orange formations in Sedona, Bell Rock is part of the Schnebly Hill formation of sandstone and limestone, deposited at the bottom of an inland sea hundreds of millions of years ago. The “youngest” rock you’ll find on Bell Rock is the Fort Apache limestone at the top, a mere 272 million years old, give or take a few million. The shape of the rock is the work of wind and water over the course of several millions of years after the sea receded.
Hiking and Biking
Bell Rock Pathway is part of a larger system called Courthouse Loop, a flat (only 200 feet elevation change) five-mile trail that gives you excellent views of several interesting formations. If you do the whole loop you'll see nifty smaller formations like the tall, slender "Rabbit Ears" and the squat, oddly uniform "Spaceship Rock." Bell Rock Pathway itself is more or less flat, traveling along the base of Bell Rock on the South Side. Off the pathway is Bell Rock Trail, which allows you to climb up part of Bell Rock itself. Mountain bikers find the path good for a beginner or as a warm up for more experienced riders, as it connects with other more demanding trails at several points.
Article by Sarah Horton.