Sedona is a truly magical place. Blessed with a rugged, red-hued landscape of mountains, rock formations and canyons, the awe-inspiring beauty of Sedona is best seen on foot. A morning hike in Sedona is a spectacular way to start off the day as you can watch the sun slowly light up the brilliant red mountains and the shadows dance away. Furthermore, it may be one of the few times that you are hiking alone meaning you will receive the benefit and joy of finding peace and solitude while enjoying an incredible view.

One of the best sunrise hikes in all of Sedona is the Airport Mesa Trail Loop that literally circles around Sedona’s small mountaintop airport affording dramatic 360-degree views of the city and her magnificent, unusually shaped rock formations.

The hike starts off of Airport Road and meanders a gentle 3.5 miles from start to finish. Depending upon how fit you are and how many stops you make to take photos of the breathtaking views, the hike takes a little over an hour to an hour and a half.

Arrive about a half hour after sunrise to be rewarded with the best views of the sun bouncing off the red-hued mountains. It is the golden hour and the light is magical. It is not the best time for photos as the mountains are covered in shadows however watching the sun rise as the shadows disappear is fantastic.

I was lucky that although the parking lot was full, I only saw two people during the entire hike. It was so insanely serene and peaceful that I was overcome with emotion. If only I could start every day as beautifully as this!

Here are some photos of the glorious sunrise over Sedona that I took during the hike.

7As I set off on my hike, the light was brilliant, bouncing and reflecting off the red-hued rocks. It was felt surreal. Such a calm, peaceful beauty.

5As I continued, the views of Sedona changed in landscape, topography, vegetation and of course light. The hike continued to be just as stunning as it was when I began an hour before. It was pure eye candy!

6If you go:

The trail head is located about halfway to the top of Airport Road. Note that the parking lot is very small and fits only a handful of cars. The lot is usually full from sunrise to sunset however I waited only a few minutes and a spot opened up.

3

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Content is provided by Minneapolis-based travel and social good blogger, Nicole Melancon, who shares her journey at Thirdeyemom


Guest blog submission from Roger Naylor

Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock grip.ke trail run

The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.

UH003-Uptown SedonaA fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.

ACH016-Uptown ArtworkIt’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases, events and festivals. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.

Del.norte.summerOn the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery Row and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.

ACH011-Honanki Ruins


El Portal Guest Blog Submission

The summer season is winding down across the state, but Sedona is not going to let it go without a final month of events for visitors to enjoy. Headlining this month is the Sedona Wine Fest: a two day festival that showcases the many local wineries and their great wines from the Verde Valley, Prescott and the Southern Arizona regions. This year the Wine Fest will take place on September 27th and 28th, so come over the weekend and enjoy the delicious wine as well as the food, music, and vendors!

The soil in the Arizona hills is so rich that it has even been compared to Burgundy, France, and the wine festival is the perfect opportunity to learn about this region and the world-class grapes it grows. If you’re interested in sampling these premium Arizona wines, then Sedona Wine Festival is the perfect way for you to spend the weekend – learning about all things wine, trying premium local reds and whites, and enjoying the food, music, and vendors that come with it.   If you find yourself wanting to learn more than the two day festival can hope to teach you, then consider going on a tour of the local vineyards – many of which have tastings and even jeep tours for interested parties. Arizona is growing in reputation, so wrap up the summer and kick off the fall with this annual event that draws people from near and far!winetasting1

While you’re enjoying the festival, you will need a place to call your home. Let that place be El Portal Sedona Hotel – a local, pet-friendly artisan hotel. The boutique hotel is centrally located and with knowledgeable staff who offer personalized concierge services for the Sedona area, El Portal Sedona is the perfect place to rest and relax between these events!

El Portal Sedona Hotel  Courtesy Sunflower Studios


Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

Like all great works of art, Sedona takes your spirit hostage. It captures you softly and holds you in its red rock grip.

The visual drama of the landscape stirs something deep within everyone who visits or resides here. Sedona inspires and challenges, it thrills and mystifies, it haunts and energizes. It moves us in ways that we struggle to understand. Great art doesn’t provide answers. But it does show us which questions are the right ones to ask.

Gallery_Sculptures

A fortunate few drawn to this place manage to capture the magic, carving art from the larger masterpiece of Sedona. Surrealist Max Ernst arrived in 1946 and created his most famous work here. In 1958, Egyptian sculptor Nassan Gobran and others established Sedona’s first art center. Joe Beeler and pards formed Cowboy Artists of America over cold beers in a local saloon in 1965. That kind of diversity continues to fuel Sedona’s vibrant art scene that ranges from traditional to contemporary, from Native American to cutting edge.

08 NDC  Rope Tricks (2)

It’s no wonder the town bristles with artistic showcases. Numerous sculptures and murals are part of the public space. Dozens of galleries, studios and shops populate every corner of the community. Take some time to prowl as many as you can. Explore the different mediums and styles. See how their interpretation of the spectacular scenery aligns with yours.

Del.norte.summer

On the first Friday of every month, many of Sedona’s prominent art galleries from Uptown to Gallery Row and beyond host an evening of openings, demonstrations and receptions. The Sedona Trolley offers free transportation during First Friday Art Walk, circulating from gallery to gallery where everything from fine art to funkier creations can be found. What a wonderful way to kick off your weekend in Sedona.


REGISTER NOW for the 10th Annual Sedona Marathon Event taking place on January 31, 2015. Sign-up with your family and friends before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing! The boutique destination race event is expected to host more than 2,600 runners/walkers who will participate in one of these breathtaking panoramic races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon race.

Beauty shot 3

The course will take registrants through the scenic Coconino National Forest District, known for its magical iron-clad formations, and onto the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the Country – a town which was recently placed on the “Top 10 Best Small Towns in America” list!

....

Spectators, supporters and participants will be treated to an Awards Party, a Pasta Dinner, and an Event Expo at the world renowned Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. The Expo will feature vendors, artists, and live performers that will inspire and entertain both locals and visitors alike. All registrants will also have access to a fully loaded Virtual Goodie bag, a gender specific tech running t-shirt, and all finishers will be given a Finishers Medal.

....Sign up before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing!

Come to the Sedona Marathon Event and be part of a rich tradition of healthy, sustainable living that has most recently been named by Good Morning America as one of the “Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America.”

For details and to register, visit SedonaMarathon.com.


Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

Vacations are meant to be stress-free events. But family dynamics being what they are, that gets tricky. The younger kids want to go swimming, Mom wants to have an old-fashioned picnic, Dad wants to try out his new camera with the mega-zoom lens on the golf course and Grandma and the teens want to visit a vortex. (Sedona seems to bring out a side of Grandma nobody’s seen for awhile.

Family-hiking2

No need to bicker. The diversity of Sedona is a gift to families both near and far. Natural water slides, endless miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing holes, swimming holes and pristine forests means there’s plenty of room to let everyone pursue their passion. That includes indoors as well as outside. Because offsetting the rugged beauty is the unparalleled luxury found at elegant accommodations, pampering spas and delicious restaurants. Kids play their way, parents play theirs.

Girls_Walking_tocreek

Yet best of all, Sedona features so many opportunities to reconnect, to do things together as a family. Pile everybody into a jeep to explore the back-country and experience the kind of thrill-ride acrobatics that puts a smile on the face of even the surliest teen. Hop aboard a hot air balloon. Go kayaking. Take a group hike. Or gather to watch the sunset. Just be sure to make time for that picnic Mom wanted in the first place. When Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.

Horse_and_riders

The family that plays together, stays together. The family that plays together in Sedona, starts planning their next visit before they ever leave.

www.VisitSedona.com

Grab the Kiddos and Giddy-Up to Sedona, Arizona was originally published on The Official Website for the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau


Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor

Vacations are meant to be stress-free events. But family dynamics being what they are, that gets tricky. The younger kids want to go swimming, Mom wants to have an old-fashioned picnic, Dad wants to try out his new camera with the mega-zoom lens on the golf course and Grandma and the teens want to visit a vortex. (Sedona seems to bring out a side of Grandma nobody’s seen for awhile.

Family-hiking2

No need to bicker. The diversity of Sedona is a gift to families both near and far. Natural water slides, endless miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing holes, swimming holes and pristine forests means there’s plenty of room to let everyone pursue their passion. That includes indoors as well as outside. Because offsetting the rugged beauty is the unparalleled luxury found at elegant accommodations, pampering spas and delicious restaurants. Kids play their way, parents play theirs.

Girls_Walking_tocreek

Yet best of all, Sedona features so many opportunities to reconnect, to do things together as a family. Pile everybody into a jeep to explore the back-country and experience the kind of thrill-ride acrobatics that puts a smile on the face of even the surliest teen. Hop aboard a hot air balloon. Go kayaking. Take a group hike. Or gather to watch the sunset. Just be sure to make time for that picnic Mom wanted in the first place. When Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.

Horse_and_riders

The family that plays together, stays together. The family that plays together in Sedona, starts planning their next visit before they ever leave.

www.VisitSedona.com

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