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Oak Creek Canyon & Slide Rock State Park near Sedona, Az
Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon
Visits to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock
Three times in my life I have been fortunate enough to have visited the beautiful vistas that exist in the red rock area of Sedona and the natural playground nearby in Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock State Park located within that canyon. Each time I was with a different person and so got to see this resplendent setting through their eyes as well as mine.
One of those times I was with my husband and we had attended a manager's meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. We tacked on some vacation time after the meeting ended and rented a car.
On that portion of our trip we got to see the eye-catching sights associated with everything north of Scottsdale all the way up to the Grand Canyon. Driving through Oak Creek Canyon and enjoying the twelve mile long river gorge between the towns of Sedona to the south and Flagstaff to the north is an amazing journey.
The Land of Sedona
One follows State Route 89A and visions of the running water of Oak Creek which is a tributary of the Verde River can be viewed for much of the time.
Oak Creek helped carve this canyon to a depth of between 800 to 2,000 feet (240 to 600 meters.) At its widest point the canyon is 2.5 miles across and at its narrowest point, only 0.8 miles in width ( 1.3 to 4 km.)
Oak Creek also lies along a geologic fault line which caused some upheaval. The west rim of the canyon is 700 feet ( 210 meters ) higher than the east rim. All of this makes for a gorgeous backdrop of splendid sightseeing!
My mother was with me on another trip and she had always wanted to personally see Oak Creek Canyon mainly because of hearing about its spectacular beauty from her mother. From all of the many trips that her parents had taken in the United States, Oak Creek Canyon was one of my grandmother's favorite places. My mother was not disappointed when she first laid her eyes on it.
A girlfriend from Germany shared this jewel of a discovery with me when we were traveling across the nation on a 3 1/2 week trek primarily visiting national parks. She was equally impressed with Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock and Sedona.
Scenery in Sedona
Sedona is one of the prettiest of towns surrounded with so much natural beauty that it would be a wonderful destination in which to spend some time even if the glory of Oak Creek Canyon and the Grand Canyon did not exist nearby.
Those radiant red rocks which change hues depending upon the time of day form a stunning background to the delightful hotels, shops and restaurants in Sedona.
I suppose people who live there get used to the spectacular backdrop, but for tourists it is a minute by minute pleasure as the sun moves across the nooks and crannies of these natural creations.
Sometimes the rocks almost seem ablaze with red hot color!
Passing clouds offer a varying pattern of patchwork illumination that is never ending.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross sits high up on a rock perch overlooking part of Sedona.
It was designed by Architect Marguerite Braunswig Staude who happened to be a pupil of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1956 it is a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. No masses or weddings are held there but a brief 5 PM service is offered each Monday evening.
Open to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM on Mondays through Saturday and hours from 10 AM to 5 PM on Sundays, admission is free.
Definitely plan a visit to see the Chapel of the Holy Cross if one is ever in the Sedona area. Perched high atop two red rock formations, the view from the huge window in the front of the chapel is nothing short of spectacular.
The hike from the parking lot up to the chapel offers close up views of the rock formations and for people who are handicapped and cannot make the hike, there is parking at the top.
What can one plan if one is based in Sedona? Here are just some suggestions:
Hiking and River Tours
Grand Canyon Tours
Shopping...be sure and check out Tlaquepague when in Sedona!
Needless-to-say, one can be as active as one desires while enjoying a sublime sojourn into this splendid part of Arizona.
Red Rocks in and around Sedona, ArizonaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sedona Oak Creek Canyon
Hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon
Slide Rock in Oak Creek Canyon
Located about midway in Oak Creek Canyon is the Slide Rock State Park. This is an absolutely delightful area!
Upon entering the State Park and parking one's vehicle, it does not take much of a hike to get to Oak Creek and the great areas where one can walk along the side of the river on ledges of rock. Many trails lead into side canyons of the park and this is a hiker's dream come true.
Oak Creek Canyon is located within the Coconino National Forest. One is able to see abundant vegetation including trees, shrubs, and wildflowers combined with the rocks and water providing sublime shelter to animals and offering this wonderful playground for children and adults alike.
Slide Rock gets its name appropriately. The water flows over smoothed and shallow areas of rocks that are slippery providing a wet and wild ride for people who are inclined to do some swimming and playing. Depending upon the time of the year, Oak Creek water can be quite cold, but during the summer many people are found to be enjoying this aquatic wonderland.
No man made water park that I know can beat this splendid setting!
The photos below will show this Slide Rock area of Oak Creek Canyon.
Breathtaking scenery in Oak Creek CanyonClick thumbnail to view full-size
North part of Oak Creek Canyon
At the upper end of Oak Creek Canyon one drives along a series of hairpin curves as the elevation rises.
As a matter of fact it is quite an elevation change from Sedona up to Flagstaff.
On one of my trips as I was traveling from the north to the south, it was blustery and cold with snow on the ground up at Flagstaff and by the time we drove through Oak Creek Canyon descending to Sedona, we were able to shed our heavy coats and enjoy much warmer weather.
There are many Native Americans living in Arizona and we stopped near the top of Oak Creek Canyon more than once to see the display of handmade Indian jewelry.
I have several rings in my collection today that were sold at that location.
One can actually talk to the creators of the designs which is nice.
Absolutely beautiful photography of the Sedona area in this video!
Have you visited Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon?
If you have never been to this scenic portion of the United States, this will have introduced you to some of the wonderful things that you will find in and around this area.
A playground of extra-ordinary beauty awaits you in Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon and Slide Rock State Park located in northern Arizona.
Photos of my husband's and my visit to Oak Creek Canyon in February one year.Click thumbnail to view full-size
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© 2009 Peggy Woods