Yearn to climb atop some huge red rocks? Need a bit of psychic guidance or attunement of your aura? Looking to spark your creative instincts? Artists, nature lovers and those with a metaphysical bent flock to Sedona, Arizona, for inspiration and a recharge of the spirit.
This modest community in northern Arizona is dwarfed by magnificent red rock formations that surround the town with names like Cathedral, Bell, Coffeepot and Thunder Mountain. One is even renowned for its resemblance to Snoopy.
Take a red rock jeep tour where you‘re escorted in 4-wheel drive vehicles that literally drive onto the huge rocks for an up-close view of buttes and monoliths. I was astounded when my driver urged us to “Hang on!” as he maneuvered our vehicle onto a boulder. It was a tad hair-raising, but the payoff was well worth it – some of the finest natural scenery in the western United States.
Locals claim that various points around Sedona are vortexes that attract psychic energy or power from the earth. I can't verify this, but judging by the number of psychics and aura readers that populate Sedona, there seem to be many believers.
The surrealist painter Max Ernst came to Sedona in 1950, and the beauty of the rocks has attracted artists and those seeking creative inspiration ever since. A local artist community thrives and there are many art galleries and shops. The Chapel of the Holy Cross to the south of town seemingly rises out of the red rocks. It was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright student in collaboration with Wright’s son, Lloyd.
Sedona is a mecca for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, as the forests surrounding town provide a multitude of trails. At an elevation of 4,326 ft, Sedona enjoys a more moderate climate than the southern part of the state, so one does not have to be quite as wary about heat waves.
The Oak Creek Canyon area to the north of Sedona is particularly spectacular. You can also take a day trip, as I did, to the Grand Canyon. A week or weekend spent in Sedona is one that you will treasure.