The day after Christmas, P and I flew bright and early down to Arizona to visit my in-laws for the new years. We planned a 5 day trip to Sedona with plenty of hiking, eating, and catching up. Despite having to work remotely, I really couldn’t complain when I was surrounded by gorgeous red rock views. My in-laws are avid hikers, so for most of the trip, we hiked the many diverse trails Sedona had to offer. But, we also made time to do the famous off roading jeep tours and made a stop in the ghost town of Jerome.
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona
We arrived in Sedona late afternoon and decided to check out the Chapel of the Holy Cross right before closing, hoping that there would be less people. There were definitely less people, but there was still a line of cars to get into the parking lot. It’s worth the wait once you see the amazing views from up here!
West Fork Trail, Sedona
This was one of my favorite hiking trails. Red rocks on one side, gray rock formations on the other, and lush green forestry on every turn. Since we went in the winter, snow covered part of the trail and the only way we could find our way were to follow other people’s foot prints.
What made this trail fun were the numerous river crossings. I can imagine that in the summer, a dip in the river would be refreshing during the hike. But, in the winter, the goal was to keep our feet dry. We hopped from rock to log to rock, and oftentimes, we would test the sheets of ice over the river, hoping that the ice would hold our weight. More times than not, the ice would crinkle beneath our feet, and we would have to decide on another route over the river. The trail, itself, is easy and flat, so it’s perfect for any hiker level.
Red Rock Jeep Tours, Sedona
When in Sedona, it is highly recommended that you rent an ATV/jeep or take a jeep tour and go off-roading on the red rocks. We tried the very popular Pink Jeep Tours a couple of years ago when we first visited Sedona, but decided to try a new company, Red Rock Jeep Tours, this time around. Our guide, Big John, was informative and hilarious. We climbed up steep red rocks, learned new tid bits about Sedona, and had a grand ol’ time just bouncing around and enjoying the views.
Bell Rock Trail, Sedona
This was another favorite hiking spot. With numerous trails to chose from, you can never really go wrong. This is where you’ll get your picturesque views of the Sedona you see in all of those travel magazines.
Devil’s Bridge, Sedona
This hike ends with the most amazing view of a large arch that forms a natural bride with a backdrop of colorful red rocks and canyons. This hike requires a bit more stamina and maybe some gloves for climbing up some of the steeper rocks. We visited during the late morning / early afternoon and the trail was packed. So, my recommendation is to get there early if you don’t like the crowds.
Sedona Sunset at Airport Mesa
Based on all recommendations from friends and travel blogs alike, the best sunset in Sedona is at the Airport Overlook on Airport Road. When the sun sets, it casts a glorious glow on the red rocks and creates a stunning landscape.
We came upon the town of Jerome when flipping through the Welcome Guide Book in our cozy townhouse rental. After reading a little about this old mining town, we decided to check it out. Jerome earned its name as a “ghost town” when at its peak was home to approximately 15,000 people and was then left abandoned for many years. It was fun to explore the downtown and see it as it was in the early 1900’s. It was also amazing to see how the town had revitalized itself after years of decay and abandonment.