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Sedona, Arizona

Updated on August 20, 2014

Beautiful desert town and artist community

Most people have heard of Sedona, a town in northern Arizona. The area is full of world-famous red rock spires, cliffs, mesas, and other formations. Sedona lies at the lower end of Oak Creek Canyon, another beautiful spot full of trees. The town is about 30 miles SW of Flagstaff.

The community is characterized by its many artists and shops. Accommodations there are expensive, but in nearby Cottonwood, they are reasonable. There are also interesting restaurants in Sedona.

There are legends about energy vortexes (vortices) in the mountains and among the rocks, which are supposed to have spiritual power. I don't put much stock in those things, but they do draw tourists. Just a short word about these: this is a New Age belief, and may be based in Native legends, though I don't know for sure. However, as a Christian, I don't sense such things, and I don't mind. I'd rather be with God in heaven than experience a momentary pleasure. Your mileage may vary.

I had the opportunity to drive the entire length of Schnebly Road before the weather finally made it impassible for all but 4-wheel drives. I made numerous photographs there, as well as in many other locations. All photos are mine.

This is the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is a fullblown Catholic church, complete with rows of candles. There is a gift shop downstairs. You can see this building from quite a distance, if you know where to look and what to look for. I got some of my best scenic shots from the grounds.

Marguerite Brunswig Staude built the chapel to glorify God and thank Him for the many blessings in her life. She chose the location for its beauty, and had to get special permission to build there.

The Setting - Red Rocks

The spectacular red rocks of Sedona draw visitors from around the world. While red is a common color of rocks throughout much of the American southwest, these rocks are VERY red, and there are spires, and mesas, and many other lovely forms, many of which are unique.

There are tours that travel along Schnebly Hill Road. I drove it in my own car, because I didn't want to spend the money on a tour. I am glad I did. The road is probably impassible now, because the last time I went up there, I could only go so far. At one point, on the first trip, I was stopped looking at the scene, and one of the tour vehicles stopped next to me. These are open air vehicles with a cloth roof on top, to shield the passengers from the sun. There are also plane flights available, to see the scenery.

The Rocks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is before you get to the red rocks, on Hwy 179, from I-17.I don't remember where I saw this. Perhaps on Schnebly Hill Road.Courthouse Butte.Some people think this resembles Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts. From certain angles, it looks like he's asleep on the top of his doghouse.Courthouse Butte again.Another scene from Hwy 179. If you look closely, you can see a white dot toward the right and just above the trees against the red rock. That is Chapel of the Holy Cross.View from Schnebly Hill Road.Close to town.I don't remember where I took this picture.View from a side road south of Sedona.
This is before you get to the red rocks, on Hwy 179, from I-17.
This is before you get to the red rocks, on Hwy 179, from I-17.
I don't remember where I saw this. Perhaps on Schnebly Hill Road.
I don't remember where I saw this. Perhaps on Schnebly Hill Road.
Courthouse Butte.
Courthouse Butte.
Some people think this resembles Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts. From certain angles, it looks like he's asleep on the top of his doghouse.
Some people think this resembles Snoopy from the comic strip Peanuts. From certain angles, it looks like he's asleep on the top of his doghouse.
Courthouse Butte again.
Courthouse Butte again.
Another scene from Hwy 179. If you look closely, you can see a white dot toward the right and just above the trees against the red rock. That is Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Another scene from Hwy 179. If you look closely, you can see a white dot toward the right and just above the trees against the red rock. That is Chapel of the Holy Cross.
View from Schnebly Hill Road.
View from Schnebly Hill Road.
Close to town.
Close to town.
I don't remember where I took this picture.
I don't remember where I took this picture.
View from a side road south of Sedona.
View from a side road south of Sedona.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Scene from the grounds at Chapel of the Holy Cross. This is my favorite photo.I think I got this photo on Schnebly Hill Road. This road goes from Sedona, climbs in altitude a fair amount, ends up on a plateau where the rocks are NOT red, and meets up with I-17 north of the turnoff at HWY 179.Just a little nook of trees on Schnebly Hill Road close to Sedona.Not sure where I got this photo.At this time of day, with the mists, this scene on Schnebly Hill Road looks almost like an antique photo.Another little nook on Schnebly Hill Road.More magic atmosphere, like an antique photo.From Schnebly Hill Road.From a side road just south of Sedona.From Schnebly Hill Road.
Scene from the grounds at Chapel of the Holy Cross. This is my favorite photo.
Scene from the grounds at Chapel of the Holy Cross. This is my favorite photo.
I think I got this photo on Schnebly Hill Road. This road goes from Sedona, climbs in altitude a fair amount, ends up on a plateau where the rocks are NOT red, and meets up with I-17 north of the turnoff at HWY 179.
I think I got this photo on Schnebly Hill Road. This road goes from Sedona, climbs in altitude a fair amount, ends up on a plateau where the rocks are NOT red, and meets up with I-17 north of the turnoff at HWY 179.
Just a little nook of trees on Schnebly Hill Road close to Sedona.
Just a little nook of trees on Schnebly Hill Road close to Sedona.
Not sure where I got this photo.
Not sure where I got this photo.
At this time of day, with the mists, this scene on Schnebly Hill Road looks almost like an antique photo.
At this time of day, with the mists, this scene on Schnebly Hill Road looks almost like an antique photo.
Another little nook on Schnebly Hill Road.
Another little nook on Schnebly Hill Road.
More magic atmosphere, like an antique photo.
More magic atmosphere, like an antique photo.
From Schnebly Hill Road.
From Schnebly Hill Road.
From a side road just south of Sedona.
From a side road just south of Sedona.
From Schnebly Hill Road.
From Schnebly Hill Road.

Scenes in Sedona

A colorful place

Just driving around the streets of Sedona is a lot of fun. There are so many unique sights. The town is full of neat sculptures, and the houses are beautiful.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This building is located toward the end of Schnebly Hill Road, just as it enters Sedona. I think it is some kind of new age religious centerA sculptural mobile, which moves in the wind.Someone who obviously lives in Sedona has placed many sculptures of children in various locations. These are very realistic (except they're made of metal, probably bronze).Here's another view of the same children.Another sculptor, evidently also a local resident, does eagles. There are a few of these scattered around, too.What would Sedona be without modern abstract sculpture?A soft and intimate statue.The Roadrunner of cartoon fame, inside a shop. I think he looks silly!Outside a dance studio, if I recall correctly.An eagle in a very different style.
This building is located toward the end of Schnebly Hill Road, just as it enters Sedona. I think it is some kind of new age religious center
This building is located toward the end of Schnebly Hill Road, just as it enters Sedona. I think it is some kind of new age religious center
A sculptural mobile, which moves in the wind.
A sculptural mobile, which moves in the wind.
Someone who obviously lives in Sedona has placed many sculptures of children in various locations. These are very realistic (except they're made of metal, probably bronze).
Someone who obviously lives in Sedona has placed many sculptures of children in various locations. These are very realistic (except they're made of metal, probably bronze).
Here's another view of the same children.
Here's another view of the same children.
Another sculptor, evidently also a local resident, does eagles. There are a few of these scattered around, too.
Another sculptor, evidently also a local resident, does eagles. There are a few of these scattered around, too.
What would Sedona be without modern abstract sculpture?
What would Sedona be without modern abstract sculpture?
A soft and intimate statue.
A soft and intimate statue.
The Roadrunner of cartoon fame, inside a shop. I think he looks silly!
The Roadrunner of cartoon fame, inside a shop. I think he looks silly!
Outside a dance studio, if I recall correctly.
Outside a dance studio, if I recall correctly.
An eagle in a very different style.
An eagle in a very different style.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A shopping center, if I recall correctly. This style of architecture is prevalent in many places in the southwest.Beautiful evening primroses in bloom.Someone's home, tucked away by itself in a beautiful and secluded spot.Trolley on the main road.A housing development just outside of Sedona. This is the entrance.Someone found an old water pump, and is apparently using it for decoration.Metal spires outside a building.These little colorful plastic whirling chickens caught my eye.A private residence now made available for retreats.Another view of the same home.
A shopping center, if I recall correctly. This style of architecture is prevalent in many places in the southwest.
A shopping center, if I recall correctly. This style of architecture is prevalent in many places in the southwest.
Beautiful evening primroses in bloom.
Beautiful evening primroses in bloom.
Someone's home, tucked away by itself in a beautiful and secluded spot.
Someone's home, tucked away by itself in a beautiful and secluded spot.
Trolley on the main road.
Trolley on the main road.
A housing development just outside of Sedona. This is the entrance.
A housing development just outside of Sedona. This is the entrance.
Someone found an old water pump, and is apparently using it for decoration.
Someone found an old water pump, and is apparently using it for decoration.
Metal spires outside a building.
Metal spires outside a building.
These little colorful plastic whirling chickens caught my eye.
These little colorful plastic whirling chickens caught my eye.
A private residence now made available for retreats.
A private residence now made available for retreats.
Another view of the same home.
Another view of the same home.

Beautiful Scenery, Books

Available on Amazon:

Sedona: Treasure of the Southwest

by Kathleen Bryant

Said to be a good coffee table book, I ordered one.

Sedona: More Than Meets the Eye

by Diane Moody, Mike Moody

Only available for Kindle, but if you have one, you might like this.

A Window on Sedona, Living in the Land of the Red Rocks

by Dottie Webster, Pamela Morris, Carol Haralson

I ordered this one, too. It sounds intriguing, and like it captured the flavor of the place (in part, literally)

Tlaquepaque

The best of everything

The name of this little shopping complex is derived from the Aztec language. It means "the best of everything". The architecture is patterned after a small town in Mexico.

This is one of my favorite places to go. It has everything I could want for an enjoyable afternoon, just wandering around. There are several restaurants, art galleries, sculptures everywhere, beautiful rose bushes, and a quiet patio where I can just sit and relax out of the heat.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Entrance to Tlaquepaque.A flight of birdsI think it's an elk.Jars with water flowing out of them are a favorite theme.Spanish style decoration of a sign.Stained glass window in one of the restaurants.Another eagle, probably by the same artist.Aztec god sculpture.Ganesha, Indian elephant god sculpture.Seahorse. The style looks similar to the style of the eagles.
Entrance to Tlaquepaque.
Entrance to Tlaquepaque.
A flight of birds
A flight of birds
I think it's an elk.
I think it's an elk.
Jars with water flowing out of them are a favorite theme.
Jars with water flowing out of them are a favorite theme.
Spanish style decoration of a sign.
Spanish style decoration of a sign.
Stained glass window in one of the restaurants.
Stained glass window in one of the restaurants.
Another eagle, probably by the same artist.
Another eagle, probably by the same artist.
Aztec god sculpture.
Aztec god sculpture.
Ganesha, Indian elephant god sculpture.
Ganesha, Indian elephant god sculpture.
Seahorse. The style looks similar to the style of the eagles.
Seahorse. The style looks similar to the style of the eagles.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mother and infant, possibly a madonna figureWolf sculpture.Two bears, sculpture. Probably both are by the same artist as the eagle, and particularly the wolf and seahorse show a similar style.One of the buildings.Covered walkway with arched entrances.Arches are a common feature of this architecture.Lion sculpture, made of stone.Tile painting. I see these in Mexican restaurants and similar places.Mexican tile decorating the stairs. A person can go into Nogales and buy these from vendors who lay their wares out on the sidewalk.Yet another eagle.
Mother and infant, possibly a madonna figure
Mother and infant, possibly a madonna figure
Wolf sculpture.
Wolf sculpture.
Two bears, sculpture. Probably both are by the same artist as the eagle, and particularly the wolf and seahorse show a similar style.
Two bears, sculpture. Probably both are by the same artist as the eagle, and particularly the wolf and seahorse show a similar style.
One of the buildings.
One of the buildings.
Covered walkway with arched entrances.
Covered walkway with arched entrances.
Arches are a common feature of this architecture.
Arches are a common feature of this architecture.
Lion sculpture, made of stone.
Lion sculpture, made of stone.
Tile painting. I see these in Mexican restaurants and similar places.
Tile painting. I see these in Mexican restaurants and similar places.
Mexican tile decorating the stairs. A person can go into Nogales and buy these from vendors who lay their wares out on the sidewalk.
Mexican tile decorating the stairs. A person can go into Nogales and buy these from vendors who lay their wares out on the sidewalk.
Yet another eagle.
Yet another eagle.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Architectural detail, arches.One of the buildings. Balconies are also a favorite architectural feature.Beautiful set of stairs to shops on the second story.One of the Mexican restaurants there. This one was separated from the other buildings. The food is very good.First view of the patio areaA cool and inviting place, with a fountain.Another view of the patio fountain.Looking into the patio area.Flower gardens with convenient stone benches all around. They graciously provide plenty of places to sit.My favorite area. It is shady and cool there.
Architectural detail, arches.
Architectural detail, arches.
One of the buildings. Balconies are also a favorite architectural feature.
One of the buildings. Balconies are also a favorite architectural feature.
Beautiful set of stairs to shops on the second story.
Beautiful set of stairs to shops on the second story.
One of the Mexican restaurants there. This one was separated from the other buildings. The food is very good.
One of the Mexican restaurants there. This one was separated from the other buildings. The food is very good.
First view of the patio area
First view of the patio area
A cool and inviting place, with a fountain.
A cool and inviting place, with a fountain.
Another view of the patio fountain.
Another view of the patio fountain.
Looking into the patio area.
Looking into the patio area.
Flower gardens with convenient stone benches all around. They graciously provide plenty of places to sit.
Flower gardens with convenient stone benches all around. They graciously provide plenty of places to sit.
My favorite area. It is shady and cool there.
My favorite area. It is shady and cool there.

My vertical photos aren't showing properly, unfortunately

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stone sculpture of a woman with a water pot on her head. Several sculptures like this all seemed to be the same style, very different from the bronze animals.Another child sculpture. These all seem to have similar features, as if the artist uses his own children as models.Woman pouring water - fountain.Another child.A happy child.This was the sign for the women's restroom. The men's had a similar image.Frozen rainbows. That's what they remind me of. This was a display in one of the shops.This was the last thing I saw before I left for the day. LOL
Stone sculpture of a woman with a water pot on her head. Several sculptures like this all seemed to be the same style, very different from the bronze animals.
Stone sculpture of a woman with a water pot on her head. Several sculptures like this all seemed to be the same style, very different from the bronze animals.
Another child sculpture. These all seem to have similar features, as if the artist uses his own children as models.
Another child sculpture. These all seem to have similar features, as if the artist uses his own children as models.
Woman pouring water - fountain.
Woman pouring water - fountain.
Another child.
Another child.
A happy child.
A happy child.
This was the sign for the women's restroom. The men's had a similar image.
This was the sign for the women's restroom. The men's had a similar image.
Frozen rainbows. That's what they remind me of. This was a display in one of the shops.
Frozen rainbows. That's what they remind me of. This was a display in one of the shops.
This was the last thing I saw before I left for the day. LOL
This was the last thing I saw before I left for the day. LOL

A Special Place

Sedona is indeed an unusual and special place. I hope to visit again soon.

Have you been to Sedona? - Your thoughts are welcome

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    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @aesta1: Thank you! I am sure you will enjoy it a lot. It would be wonderful to be able to travel as you do. :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a beautiful place. I have to include this in our itinerary when our time for long drives in the States comes.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
      Author

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      beautiful photo collection. very much enjoyed my visit.