May 1, 2013, Sedona, AZ…

El Portal Sedona Hotel is pleased to welcome Stephen Ritson as their new hiking guide. Steve Segner, owner of El Portal says “We wanted to offer our guests a ‘complete’ Sedona experience at El Portal; to hike Sedona and give them an opportunity to see places that the regular visitor doesn’t get to see, that’s why we teamed up with Stephen Ritson.”

Ritson joins the El Portal team with over 25 years of guiding experience, 12 years in the Sedona area. He has spent 30 years doing extensive outdoor exploration in the Mountain West, as well as North Carolina, New York, Maine, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest.

He also does Grand Canyon tours and uses a jeep to access back country trail heads. He has a gift of determining people’s wants and desires and developing an experience they feel is unique and special to them.  He recalls, “Last week I had a couple who a wanted cool, shady, not to strenuous hike. I took them to a little known canyon which we accessed by four wheel drive, explored a side slot canyon, had lunch and a great time together.  We were in an old growth ponderosa pine forest. We were lucky enough to see a spotted owl, a rare bird, my first, and saw no other people.  My favorite hike is the one that my client wishes they could do but don’t know where or how to do it.”

Ritson joined the El Portal Sedona team to guide in an environment that has integrity. Segner and Ritson both have a love of people and their stories. Ritson has a broad knowledge of arts, literature, world events, technology, so he is able to translate the whole experience based on peoples’ world view and experience. It is really important to him to develop a rapport – it’s about the personal connection, not just a hike in the woods. He is a birdwatcher, and naturalist, and will bring this into the picture. He will do photo essays of peoples’ day in the outdoors using and provide them a photo file via a file sharing program as part of the experience (at no additional charge).

Most of this country (Sedona) is rarely visited, is vast, and Ritson has found many incredible places where it is unlikely to see anyone else. To experience the Sedona hiking trails with someone who knows Arizona is big bold and sometimes unforgiving is an adventure. Ritson is above all focused on safety.

He quotes John Muir, ““When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…”

About El Portal Sedona Hotel:

El Portal Sedona Hotels is a boutique hotel that has been cited for excellence and guest satisfaction by numerous prestigious publications including Frommers, Wine Spectator, National Geographic, the New York Times, and has received both Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Best in the World 2011, and AAA’s Four Diamond Hotel Rating.

The pet friendly Sedona hotel is located in the heart of the Arts and Crafts District. Each suite has a private entrance, balcony or patio, whirlpool bath, fireplace, free wireless, luxurious linens and more.

With the beauty of the red rocks of Sedona and the surrounding countryside, El Portal is just steps from hiking trails, biking paths, cultural events, shopping and dining. Guests have access to unique personalized concierge services from planning Grand Canyon adventures to jeep tours to hot air balloon rides making El Portal your hotel of choice.

El Portal Sedona Hotel is located at 95 Portal Lane, Sedona, Arizona 86336; 800.313.0017,,