Sedona author Jim Bishop writes about people who have left Sedona, and how they long for Sedona Red Rock country looking back.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned backcountry adventurer, or if you get most of your knowledge of the Great Outdoors from books and online sites. Once you arrive in Sedona, your feet start itching to get out of the car and explore this fantastic landscape. There are trails for every level of fitness and commitment, from a flat paved stroll at the foot of Cathedral Rock to a scramble up an old wagon trail that was once the way to Flagstaff.
While names of the red rocks are descriptive to varying degrees, there’s no doubt in your mind when you see Bell Rock which one you’re looking at. It sits just to the North of Hwy 179, between the Village of Oak Creek and Sedona, a giant Hershey’s Kiss plopped down right next to the highway. It’s often the first formation that visitors can actually get out and touch, since Hwy 179 is a major access route from I-17 to Sedona, and the crowds that pull over in the busy seasons to stroll along its base or take photos can get quite thick.
West Fork Trail in scenic Oak Creek Canyon is possibly the number one Sedona hiking trail in popularity, and certainly her most famous. During most days out of the year, the only fork flowing into Oak Creek is a gentle stream meandering beneath towering ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, and steep red rock and cream colored sandstone canyon walls. The forest is a cooling respite during the heat of summer, a calming wonderland of wildflowers, birds, and butterflies during the spring, and of course, a spectacular pageant of autumnal colors in the fall.