Heart of a Gypsy Part 4 - Sedona Arizona
Eighteen years ago I lived in Flagstaff Arizona. Just south of Flagstaff is Sedona. I spent countless weekends in Sedona hiking Oak Creek Canyon. For this reason I consider myself a local. Over eighteen years a lot can change but, Sedona still manages to be a spiritually uplifting, communing with nature, enjoying the natural beauty type of experience every time. We usually hike for half the day and then spend the rest for the day in shops and exploring the restaurant options. No two trips are ever alike.
Camping in Sedona is tricky. Various seasons require extensive planning. Oak Creek Canyon is beautiful in the spring however, this is the flood season. I personally have been rained out of the canyon three times. If you insist on going in the spring then I suggest you bring back up money for a hotel. Hotels in the spring will run about a $100.00 a night (that is for the Days Inn or comparable hotels). Flash flooding comes on quickly in Oak Creek Canyon. Bring a radio; this can be important when you are camping along the creek. During the summer months reservations for camp sites may be necessary. There are a limited number of camp sites so you would want to call ahead and make sure they can fit you in. Parking anywhere in Oak Creek requires a pass. I would rather remote camp than feel like I am homeless next to other people. The campgrounds provide little in the way of privacy and depending on your neighbors; it can feel more like a bad refugee camp situation.
When I hike I like to be close to water. To me it’s just prettier to hike by the water. There are beautiful places to swim along the creek. Certain time of the year bacteria levels make swimming dangerous so consult the rangers about, swimming. Sedona offers some amazing water hiking. The trip in this Hub is Grasshopper point. Grasshopper point is less than a mile from the bridge at Oak Creek. The drive down to Grasshopper is a steep grade that has been paved. This is a fee area; I want to say it was $7.00 to park for the day.
The first picture is the trail map. The trails are very well worn so it is never difficult to figure out if you are on the path. The second picture is Jerryd (12 years old) sitting beside the water (this was near the end of the trip and he was hungry). I love that the red rock contrasts with the water and the sky, of all the places I have ever been the natural beauty of the red rock is my favorite. The third picture is the view looking the opposite direction, we had to cross a dried out section of the river bed to get to this spot. The fourth picture is a detail of the rocks. In the spring people jump from this point (that is when the water is deeper).
As we head into to town we stop at a tourist trap and Tristan (age 15) tries on a hat. I like it; he would make good ranch hand. The next picture is blown glass art that was hanging in Del Sol. Sedona is a massive art community drawing artists from all over the world. Blown glass art is such a difficult art to master. Just making a drinking glass takes 24 hours from start to cool. A chandelier like this one probably took a month or two to create. Then there is the obvious potential for breakage. Put that all together and you get a $3000.00 chandelier. I think I will just admire it in the shop.
Our last stop that day was the Red planet Diner. In case you didn’t notice the motif is Aliens. At one point this was a 50’s diner but, it has been converted to an area 51 favorite. If you can get past the Star Trek toys and funky aliens watching you, it isn’t too bad. The food was not the quality you would expect for the price. I would say if you insist on going here, get a drink sit at the bar and that should be enough of an experience to cross this place off your bucket list.
There are always great places to explore in Sedona. The greatest tip I can give you is not plan your days but, simply head in a direction and stop when you want. There is so much to see and do that you will not be able to take it all in with one trip. Destinations are great but, they afford a minimal experience. Have a great day in Sedona!