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Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

CT
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Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Hi Forum friends!

Just returned from Sedona and adjusting to "real life" this week...brrr, it is cold in CT after 67 degrees in Sedona!!!

This was my 3rd trip to Sedona. My first was a family vacation to Sedona and the GC where I first fell in love with Sedona. My second trip was a Phoenix conference with extended time in Sedona and this trip was a chance to further explore Sedona and stay with my folks in their timeshare at Sedona Pines.

I arrived in Phoenix just as the sun set on November 27 and the two hour drive to Sedona was an easy one...even found a good country music radio station. As the hours passed I found myself becoming sleepy so I was anxious to find Sedona Pines. Well...let me just say that it was pitch black and I passed it several times, realizing it was about 6 miles outside of Sedona. Just when I was about ready to scream in frustration as my gps lost signal...I saw the large lit sign of RELICS. Just seeing that sign made me laugh (inside joke here) and I finally found Sedona Pines.

The resort was much nicer than the reviews on TA and it was an enjoyable stay. It would not be my first choice of lodging based on location but since my folks had a timeshare there, it worked for me and I especially liked having my own private space seperate from their condo. The staff at Sedona Pines was very customer oriented and friendly and the hotel's bistro was a very good place to eat.

On our first day my mom, who enjoys shopping, wanted to peruse several of the shops in the area. I am not a fan of shopping although I did enjoy the art galleries and glass shops but I was much more interested in outdoor pursuits. We finally visited Red Rock State Park and walked some of the paved trails and saw the Sedona movie. It was nice. Saw a few hummingbirds too.

The next day we visited Montezuma's Castle, Well and then the Tuzigoot Nat'l Monument. These were all interesting and I would recommend visiting them in that order. I really liked the well and enjoyed hiking down to the bottom to see the indian dwellings. There were a lot of ducks in the well which surprised me. The Well and the Castle are nice places to sit and contemplate nature not just walk through and leave.

My favorite days were the ones that I hiked solo. I had packed the Sedona Hikes book and selected a wide range of hikes for my "to do" list and every evening I would contemplate which ones I really wanted to do with the goal of seeing different areas of Sedona than what I had seen in the past two trips. I also really love heights and panoramic vistas so that helped me narrow down the choices because I wanted to do so many of the hikes but had limited time.

So I finally chose the Bell Rock Pathway followed by the Bell Rock Trail (thanks to RedRox's advice). The pathway was a great way to start my day but I much preferred the upward trail and enjoyed finding a secluded place to have my lunch and contemplate life on top of Bell Rock. I took a ton of photos and really enjoyed my solitude although there were some people that joined me in the pursuit of scrambling higher than the official trail. It was interesting trying to find toe footholds in smooth rounded rock.

The next day I decided that Doe MT was on the top of my list (thanks to another recommendation on TA) plus West Fork and Slide Rock Park. I started my day at the Coffee Pot and then headed out.

See next forum post...

CT
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1. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

I simply LOVED Doe Mountain and highly recommend it. It was easy to find, and for 2 hours I did not see another soul. I started my hike around 9am and finished around 11am but wish I had spent more time exploring the top. I did have to laugh at myself as I descended because there were a few times that I tripped and I thought if I sprained my ankle or something...it would be a long time until someone found me. I successfully finished the descent and still never saw a single person, only a few cars in the parking lot. The views as you ascend and descend are just spectacular!!!! On the top I found an outcropping, close to the edge, and sat down for a snack. You truly can not beat the views here, it is by far my favorite hike so far....

I then drove on to West Fork. The description of this hike intrigued me and the drive there was so beautiful. I passed Slide Rock State Park which was next on my list to visit. When I got to West Fork there was a $10 admission charge and for some reason I decided to turn around and spend the rest of my day at Slide Rock State Park. That is one of the challenges of hiking in Sedona. It is hard to determine WHICH hikes to do and HOW LONG each one will take. Even though the Sedona Hikes is a great book and gives a lot of detail, I tend to take a lot of time taking photos and stopping to enjoy all of the special moments along the trail as well as the vistas. So I didn't want to run out of time and miss Slide Rock Park so I turned around without doing West Fork and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at Slide Rock.

Slide Rock is an easy hike and the stream is very scenic. I also did the cliff trail but was a bit disappointed as I thought I could climb up higher but the trail seemed to end. I did scramble up off the offical trail but an inner voice reminded me that this was not a really smart thing to do so I went back to the marked trail. I must admit I really contemplated scrambling up the cliffs and finding my own way...seemed like a personal challenge just beckoning me but then my practical side reminded me that I am a mom and would advise my own son not to do what I was contemplating so that won out. (but I must admit, I contemplated it for far too long...Sedona seems to bring out the rebel in me but as always I curb that bit of natural desire...)

So then I found a nice bench above the creek to eat lunch. The colors of the stream bed are just wonderful...I could imagine decorating my home in those soothing tones of reds, rose, coral, beiges, faint blues and violets. This is a wonderful place to just take it all in too. The water level was quite low and some of my favorite photography was taken here. There were very few people here either so I have decided that visiting Sedona in Nov/Dec is a great time of year because the temps were great (67 degrees) and not as many people on the trails...just the way I like it. My past trips were in April and October and I really like it cooler to hike so this was great hiking weather.

After I left Slide Rock I still had some time left before I needed to meet my folks for dinner so I stopped and hiked around the Grasshopper Point area and then drove to the airport overlook area. The airport area had the most people so it was the least enjoyable to me but we returned there Friday night for the sunset and it was beautiful. We also visited the RedRock Fantasy (Christmas lights display) which my mom really loved.

I loved that Sedona merchants didn't start putting Christmas decorations up until 12/1. In CT, decorations go up sometimes before Halloween, which I dislike.

Our last night, my mom chose The Orchards for dinner. Our meals there were good but the atmosphere was too much like a sports bar for me. My parents aren't "foodies" so I don't have much to report on restaurants as I would have preferred to try a new place every day.

So my 3rd trip to Sedona was WONDERFUL and I totally recommend Doe Mt & Bell Rock Trail. I will have to come back and do West Fork and all of the other hikes that still call my name...

Cape Girardeau, Mo
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2. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Thanks for the TR P,--You knew I would be one of if not the first to comment on it, now didn't you. Sounds like you had a wonderful time communing with nature. I found that we did more of that our second trip and if another is in the making, I am sure we will do even more. It is good to get those "touristy" things out of the way. I know you said your parents are not much by way of foodies, but was there any place, maybe even breakfast that stood out to you? (snicker)

Good thing you decided not to blaze your own trail, as that is a major no-no because of snakes etc. Who knows what could have occurred. Glad you had fun and had a safe trip. Hope you got to spend some good quality time with your parents too. I assume hubby and son didn't burn down the house or anything major while you were gone, and RRx and I are happy that seeing Relics from the outside was as close as you got!!

CT
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3. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Didn't recognize your post initially amigo with that new avatar photo. Is that your dog? I really missed my dog on the trip, he would have enjoyed hiking with me.

They did have a free margarita night at Sedona Pines so that was another aspect that kept me from RELICs.

Luckily there was no house fire, homework crisis or any other major events while I was gone, but thanks for your concern. Besides my neighbors all knew I was leaving so they had their eye out for any wild parties, lol.

But the time just went toooooo quickly but I vow I will go back in less than 3 years so before you know it, I'll be writing another trip report of my adventures...

Sedona
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4. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Hi, Silver Starfish,

Thanks for the great trip report. It does seem that you managed to squeeze an amazing amount of hiking while keeping your parents company part of the time. Hope your fans weren't too disappointed that you didn't make it to Relics...

Glad you had a good time and plan to return before too long. It's always good to come to Sedona when the weather is freezing at home.

Cottonwood, Arizona
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5. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Glad to hear you had a great time, thanks for sharing your experience. Come back soon!

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Sorry we missed each other P. MrsRedPony left last Thursday to join me in NH. She said it was the one day she really wanted to play golf as the forecast called for sunny and 68 degrees.

Now she's up here where it is 19 outside as I write these notes.

You chose good hikes and obviously found the height and the solitude you were seeking. Those of you who do the research and have a plan for the day hike, almost always find what they seek in Sedona. It's just that sometimes they don't realize what they were looking for, until they find it....

CT
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7. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

That is so true RR!!!! Hope your ankle gets better soon!

Bay City, Michigan
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8. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Sounds like you had a lovely time and did everything you set out to do. That is always the goal in the long run. Glad you had a nice time.

Harleysville...
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9. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Thanks for your report. Sounds like you had a good time with your parents as well as doing your own hiking. I know what you mean by just being alone with your thoughts and nature.

A lot of people think of Slide Rock only for having fun in the water. I think it's a pretty neat place and we sometimes just go sit and enjoy people watching and the view. Hopefully you will be able to return again some day.

CT
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10. Re: Trip Report 3rd time to Sedona...bbbrrrr...it is cold in CT

Slide Rock has some incredible colors in the rocks of the stream bed. I actually took some close ups because I think it would be incredible to reproduce those colors for tile or granite kitchen surface or a color scheme for when I someday redecorate. It was great that there were only a handfull of people there because I could take some great nature shots.

I will be back to Sedona...i.e. the Sedona Hikes book alone is calling my name saying that I didn't even scratch the surface of potential hikes...plus I love photography and Sedona is simply a treasure of potential shots just waiting to happen. I took a few bird shots, now that is a test in patience but my results were spectacular as I captured a small wren with a grub and every little feather and the bird's delighted expression was just so breathtaking. Of course I was hoping for a snake or tarantula...he,he...so there's another reason to come back.

I did have to laugh at Montezuma's Well...there was a sign that said tarantula crossing. But for those of you with phobias...don't worry, they are rarely seen.