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  • The Sedona Vortex - Real or Imagined?

The Sedona Vortex - Real or Imagined?

Cathedral Rock at sundown in Sedona, Arizona.Cathedral Rock at sundown in Sedona, Arizona. The saddle of Cathedral Rock is thought to be the site of a Sedona vortex.

Sedona has long been considered a special and sacred place. It is believed to possess several unusual energy fields collectively known as Sedona vortex sites.

According to its scientific description, a vortex is a region (usually within a fluid or gas) that spins around an imaginary axis, either straight or curved. Some examples of a vortex include the whirlpool you see when water goes down the drain, smoke rings, and wind spiraling around tornadoes or dust devils. On a massive scale, black holes at the centers of spiral galaxies form a possibly limitless vortex. Multiple vortices (the term for more than one vortex) can move, stretch, twist, and interact in complex ways, as when multiple tornadoes form and cross paths with each other. In a moving or evolving vortex the streamlines and path lines usually form spirals. A vortex can also be invisible when it is electrical or magnetic in nature, although it has been said that the Sedona vortex, as it rises from the earth's surface, is neither electrical nor magnetic. If not physical, electrical, or magnetic, then what is it, or does it really exist at all? Proponents of the Sedona vortex phenomenon and certain individuals who claim to be sensitive to the energy of the vortex say it's very real. They believe that the vortexes (or vortices) in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy emanating from the surface of the earth. They go on to say that even though it's not exactly electrical or magnetic, it does leave a slight, measurable residual magnetism in the places where it's the strongest. How do they prove this? For one thing, they point to the spiraling trunks of juniper trees in Sedona's various vortex hotspots.

It has been suggested that the Sedona vortex causes the twisting of juniper trees in their immediate vicinity.It has been suggested that the Sedona vortex causes the twisting of juniper trees in their immediate vicinity.

Sedona for Inspiration, Creativity, and Spiritual Awakening

Native Americans have always considered Sedona a sacred place. Sedona figures prominently in the Yavapai Indians' creation story, and the birthplace of their mother, the First Lady. Besides the dizzying effects of sweeping views and red rock monuments drenched in spectacular sunsets, Sedona was also a source of precious water in the desert, supporting life of all kinds. In this sense, Sedona, beautiful in her appearance and abundant with life-giving water and food, was obviously a very special place. Even if you don't feel a physical sensation when you visit a Sedona vortex, you won't be able to deny the uplifting, awe-inspiring vistas everywhere before you. You may have come to Sedona on a spiritual quest, or with a specific goal, but what you come away may be quite different and possibly life changing. Artists, musicians, and other creative people frequent Sedona because it's always unfolding, always revealing something new and unexpected. Our own experience, living in Sedona, was the inspiration to create this visitor guide website, GatewayToSedona.com. As artists who moved to Sedona, we were so taken with our own impressions that we wanted to share it with the world.

Maps to Famous Sedona Vortex Spots

Sedona Airport Vortex

From the intersection of State Route 179 and 89A (also known as the "Y" in Sedona), go 1.1 miles west on SR 89A. Turn left on Airport Road and travel 1/2 mile to the parking area on the left. Walk up the trail between the hills. You'll see some twisted Juniper trees along the way. The view of Sedona is spectacular here.

Sedona Airport Vortex

Red Rock Crossing - Cathedral Rock Vortex

Go 4.3 miles west on SR 89A from the intersection of SR 89A and SR 179. Turn left on Upper Red Rock Loop Rd and go 1.8 miles to Chavez Ranch Rd. Turn left and follow the pavement .8 mile. Turn left into Red Rock Crossing State Park (fee to enter). Drive as far into the park as possible, then walk to the creek. Find the place where the creek is closest to Cathedral Rock.

There is also a trailhead that leads to the saddle of Cathedral Rock where some say the vortex is actually strongest, but it is not recommended for beginning hikers.  There are many steep and treacherous places to navigate along the way.

Cathedral Rock Vortex

Bell Rock Vortex

Bell Rock is the easiest of all the Sedona vortex spots to find, as it towers with its characteristic bell shape over the Sedona Red Rock Scenic Byway, SR 179, just north of the Village of Oak Creek (5 miles south of the intersection of State Routes 89A and 179). You can't miss it with its distinct contour. Parking and trails are clearly visible and well marked. Twisted Juniper trees abound around Bell Rock.

Bell Rock Vortex

Boynton Canyon Vortex (also known as Boynton Pass Vortex)

From the intersection of SR 179 and 89A, drive 3.2 miles west on SR 89A and turn right on Dry Creek Rd. Follow the signs for Boynton Canyon. Go 2.9 miles to a "T" intersection and turn left. Then go another 1.7 miles to another "T" and turn right. Travel 0.1 mile to a parking area on the right. (If you find yourself at the entrance to Enchantment Resort, reverse your course and go back 0.3 miles to the parking area. From the parking area, you can enter Boynton Canyon Trail. Go 250 yards, then take the left fork to stay on Boynton Canyon Trail. Hike 400 yards to the Vista Trail sign, take the right fork, and continue on the Vista Trail up the hill. Follow the cairns (red rock trail markers in wire barrels) and you'll come to a 30 foot high knoll. Twisted Juniper trees occur here and all along this trail.

Boynton Pass Vortex

Other Sedona Vortex Locations:

  • Munds Trail (Schnebly Hill Road), on the concentric "cow pies" rock formation
  • Spaceship Rock facing Courthouse Butte