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Top Sedona Attractions

The first time you visit Sedona, or any new destination, the question asked isn’t usually what attractions should be scene but what attraction to see first, what to expect, how to get there, and how much time is needed. We’ve provided tips, advice, and other information about the top tourist attractions in Sedona to help with your itinerary planning.

Slide Rock State Park Slide Rock State Park
Montezuma Castle Montezuma Castle
Vortexes and Red Rocks Vortexes and Red Rocks

Slide Rock State Park

 Address 7 miles north of Sedona via Route 89A
 Phone 520-282-3034

This is certainly one of the most memorable places in Arizona – an all-natural water park. The name refers to the lengthy grooved chutes in the sandstone, worn smooth through millennia of erosion, that can be ridden exactly like a water slide. In addition, there are natural wading pools, waterfalls, bathing streams, and wonderful jutting rock formations around the coursing water. In warm months the park in sure to be crowded and reminiscent of a summer beach day, an impression bolstered by the snack bars and other various vendors. The cider that’s sold is made from the nearby apple orchard, which you may also visit (though you can’t pick the apples).

To get to Slide Rock, you will drive on Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic road lined with picturesque views and appealing picnic spots. Canyon creeks are remarkably lush oases in deserts, and Oak Creek, despite the traffic, is well worth a stopover.

 

Montezuma Castle National Monument

 Address 2800 Montezuma Castle Hwy, Camp Verde
 Phone 520-567-3322
 Website www.nps.gov/moca

Ancient Cliff dwellings ought to be points of pilgrimage for any visitor to the southwest, and those within this National Monument are no exception. Forget the misnomer of the title – the 800 year old dwellings were influenced by Toltec traders rather than Aztecs, and they were built by the Sinagua Indians, ancestors of the Hopi.

The structure, fitting snugly in an elevated cliff, is astonishingly large – five stories with twenty rooms – and though you won’t be allowed to climb up to it, its size and grace will significantly inform your understanding of Native American history. The displays in the visitor center will only enlarge this education.

Montezuma Castle National Monument is about half an hour by car south of Sedona, via Routes 179 and 17, but the drive is as always very scenic. You’ll be well rewarded by this excursion outside of town.

 

Vortexes and Red Rocks

 Address Sedona Oak Creek Chamber of Commerc
 Phone 520-282-7722
 Website www.sedonachamber.com

While in Sedona, it’s best to put aside your skepticism and visit a few of the fabled vortexes to find out for yourself what, if anything, all the fuss is about them. If nothing more, such ventures are a great way to explore the equally famous red rocks of the city – the vortexes are all, not surprisingly, situated in beautiful places.

The Bell Rock Vortex is off of Route 179, south of town. This fine overlook was the spot when New Agers came to experience the Harmonic Convergence of 1987.

The Boyton Canyon Vortex is a few miles north of West Sedona off of Boynton Pass Road. It is reached by a two mile trail that rises through a canyon, forest, and interesting rock formations.

The Cathedral Rock Vortex is, naturally, at Cathedral Rock, off of Route 89A by Oak Creek. The rock is one of the most photographed places in Sedona.

But even if you don’t care to hunt for vortexes, dozens upon dozens of trails sprout from the city into the hills, accessible by roadside trailheads. Parking passes are needed before you can hike them and can be purchased at the visitor center as well as local shops and markets. Then it’s merely a matter of choosing a trail that looks promising and manageable – there are few is any that won’t wow you.

 


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