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My trip (Long Post)

Washington, DC
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My trip (Long Post)

I'm writing this to let everyone know about my experience in Sedona and give some people a few ideas for their future trips as well.

First off...I'm 31 and my wife is 28. My wife had been to Sedona 11 years ago for a day or two and she loved it...which is why we planned the trip. I definitely agree with her and I am looking forward to going back.

Here's a detailed description of our trip...Sorry it's so long.

We stayed at the Los Abrigados Resort and Spa which was great. It's mainly a timeshare resort but you can stay there and reserve rooms just like any hotel. If you stay there you get 10% off attractions and 15% off the restaurants at the resort. The restaurants are Joey's(Italian - didn't eat here), Steaks and Sticks(Great food/Steaks and Seafood), and On the Rocks(Sports Bar - Ate Dinner and Breakfast twice there). They give you deals for free attractions (i.e. pink jeep) if you sign up for a presentation/sales pitch. We didn't sign up for this and they never bothered us about going. They have great concierges there and they helped plan all our excursions.

Day 1 - We got up early had breakfast and then went hiking. We drove over to the Crescent Moon Park on the Upper Red Rock Loop Road. This park takes you down to Oak Creek for the famous views of Cathedral Rock. The trail from Crescent Moon takes you from the park, over Oak Creek, around Cathedral Rock, and then up cathedral rock on the other side from where you first view it. The views are magnificent all the way up. Once you get to the other side of Cath. Rock the hike gets a bit strenuous for some people to the top...but its worth every minute. We spent a few minutes at the top taking pictures and enjoying the view. We also realized we didn't want to make the long hike back the way we came so we decided to hike back down the other side of cath rock. There wasn't a trail down that side but it wasn't too difficult to bushwhack our way down and hook up with the original trail we started on at the bottom.

After our hike we headed back to the resort to be picked up for our 4PM Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour. We had originally scheduled this for Tues 3/7 but the weather was calling for rain so we had our concierge re-sched for us. The pink jeep tour picked us up at our hotel and set off for the broken arrow trail. Every minute of this tour was worth it. The driver was great. He was very informative on the area, the plant and animal life, the geology of the area, and just about anything else we asked. They stopped twice for pictures and views and they even showed part of a 60 mile fault line from an earthquake many years back.

Day 2 - Grand Canyon

We traveled to the Grand Canyon by way of 89A through Oak creek Canyon through flagstaff and stayed on 89A to 64West and entered the Grand Canyon at Devils View. We were told this was a more scenic route. We stopped at the bridge that crosses Oak Creek canyon on 89A in Sedona for some pictures. Excellent views....Once we got to the Grand Canyon we got out for some pictures at Devil's View and then drove a couple miles towards the main entrance of the South Rim on 64, parked and then hiked the rest of the way to the entrance along the South Rim. The weather was cloudy and a bit chilly that day. Weather was looking bad at the Grand Canyon all week so we didn't plan any hikes down into the canyon or helicopter tours. We stopped quite a few times along the hike for pictures and to enjoy the view. We also saw some mule deer along the way. Once we reached the main entrance to the South Rim we explored the area and the lodge a bit and then took the shuttle back to our car. We were at the canyon for a full day but I was itching to get back to Sedona. This time we took 180 south back to Flagstaff and then joined 89A again. This route is much more scenic than the other way. Beautiful views of the Mountains and area. Again we stopped at the bridge over Oak Creek Canyon because the sun was setting and the red rocks looked amazing. They looked like they were on fire....recommend going here for a sunset(you don't actually see the sunset but it's worth it). Once we returned to the resort we rested a bit before heading to dinner. We had dinner at Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant. Very!! good food and service and large portions...we even tried some cactus..not very tasty but we tried anyway.

Day 3 - Boynton Canyon

Tues we had breakfast in our room, packed our lunch and headed to Boynton Canyon for a hike. This hike is 5 miles round trip(2.5 in and out) and well worth it. The hike is fairly easy with a bit of an uphill climb at the end of the hike in. The end of the trail is actually marked by a sign so you can't miss it. If you're facing the sign walk to the right of the sign back in the direction of the canyon. Here you'll have to climb some more rocks and then you'll be walking along a ridge towards the opening of the canyon. This is where the best views are. We had our lunch here, took pictures, and just took in the views for almost an hour. There was only one other couple here at the time so we had the place to ourselves. We hiked back and then went to Airport Road to watch the sunset before dinner. It’s very crowded here every night for the sunset. We had dinner that night at the Oak Creek Canyon Brewery. Excellent food and drinks

Day 4 - Jerome & Out of Africa

Wed. we decided to do some driving tours since the weather was supposed to be cloudy and they were calling for a chance of some showers. We headed out of Sedona and drove to Jerome. Now we had heard many great things about Jerome. I didn't see it but I won't tell you not to go there....just not my cup of tea. So we just drove through the town for a while and then headed to Camp Verde for the Out of Africa Park. This park is worth the 28$ per person. They have 2 tours at the park. One takes you on a tour of the animals they have within the park(i.e. white tiger, black panther, javelina's, artic wolf, tigers, bears, lion, jaguars, hyenas, and leopards). The other ride takes you on a safari type ride to feed the giraffes(they take the treats out of your mouth), zebras, and ostrich. They also take you around to see the wildebeests and oryx. Great park and very informative. Next we drove back to sedona and visited all the shops in the main part of town, scheduled our horseback riding for the next day, and then went to the Tlaquepaque shopping village connected to our resort.

Day 5 - Schnebly Hill and Horseback Riding

We decided to try and hike the Scnedbly Hill trail before our horseback ride at 330. Little did we know that there's a long gravel and too rocky for a non-suv road that leads to this trail. We drove halfway up the road to a major look out point and did some sight seeing from there as well as take some pictures. There are some great views from here and worth the trip. After that we came back down the rocky road and headed over to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and then headed out for some more shopping and sights before our tour. We booked our horseback riding through "A Day in the West" which is actually "Trail Horse Adventures." We heard mixed reviews about Trail Horse Adventures but they were the most popular so we gave them a shot. This was an excellent choice. We were lucky enough to be the only 2 people that went out with the guides at 330. The trail was great(rocky at times, up some steep hills and down, and you cross a creek for a free picture taken by the company) the guides were great and of course the horses and views were great. Highly recommend them!!!

Day 6 - Phoenix

We checked out and drove down to Phoenix to check into our hotel....the Phoenix Airport Marriott. I recommend this hotel as well. Good location to everything and the beds and rooms were great. We spent the day in Tempe(mill ave) and Old Town Scottsdale at night. Great city.

Sorry for the long post...Everyone always asks if 2,3, or 4 days is enough in Sedona. I don't think 1 week is enough. Definitely going back.

Watford
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1. Re: My trip (Long Post)

Thanks for the report - I was walking with you at times.

It's our Silver wedding anniversary next March and if we did manage to go somewhere abroad to celebrate, it would be to Sedona to watch the sun set (and rise) over the rocks.

Mesa, Arizona
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2. Re: My trip (Long Post)

Awesome report enjoyed reading it, and glad you liked most of it. Could have warned about Schibley Hill rd but it has some awsome views if you have the right vehicle. One year I took my 88 chevy chevett and actually made it but I wouldn't recommend it. Thanks for the report on Out of Africa been wanting to do that but even being from around here I thought it was pricy.

Cape Cod, MA
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3. Re: My trip (Long Post)

Thanks for the great report and info. We'll be there Monday and looking forward to it!

Minnesota
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4. Re: My trip (Long Post)

No need to apologize for the long report, I really enjoyed reading it. I haven't been to Sedona since New Year's 2000 and I really want to go back. There is something magical about the Red Rocks.

I laughed when you wrote about Schnebly Hill, my husband calls it Oil Pan Alley. We chickened out after drving it quite aways, in a rental car.

My husband wasn't too thrilled with Jerome, either, but my kids who were pre-teen & teenagers really liked it.

This forum really makes me want to go back and explore Sedona some more. What a beautiful, tranquil place! Thanks for posting your trip review.

Chandler, Arizona
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5. Re: My trip (Long Post)

Thanks for posting the report as well, glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Arizona.

I was actually at the Grand Canyon the same day as you I think...on Monday 3/6. I had some out of town visitors, and we drove up from Phoenix for the day. It is an EXTREMELY long day... We even drove in the same way, up 89 from Flag to Cameron, then over AZ-64, entering at Desert View. It was cool and cloudy there, even a few stray snow flurries. We ended up near the El Tovar at the end, then left via 180 back to Flag (same as you), where we had dinner, before the trek back to Phoenix.

You left just in time, on Sat 3/11 the sky opened up and it rained like crazy in the Phoenix area, with snow at 2,500 feet on up. There was snow in the northern parts of the area (Carefree, N Scottsdale), and all of the mountains around the area were draped in snow. The Phoenix airport got 1.44" of rain--quite a bit for an area that only receives about 8" annually.

Thanks.

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