Resolution to Reality: Travel to Sedona This Year

There are two types of New Year’s resolution makers—those who hope they’ll reach their goals and those who make their goals reality. This holds true for travelers with dreams of visiting Sedona. Whether you’ve resolved to take an adventure vacation or to take time to relax and heal in Sedona, these tips will help make those hopes your reality.

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Cast an Adventure Vacation Vision

Successful travel plans begin with a vision. Which of Sedona’s outdoor adventures call to you as the travel year begins? Whether your dream involves hiking, camping, fishing or blasting your way through the high desert in a Jeep, make it a reality by booking your tour, campsite or fishing expedition early.

Will you camp your way through Coconino National Forest? Or could this be the year that your kids learn to love the great outdoors along Bell Rock Pathway? Cast your vision for an over-the-top adventure vacation and plan ahead to experience the best tours, the most challenging trails and the most scenic campsites Sedona has to offer. Here’s a link to help launch Sedona vacation vision casting.

Take Time for a Healing Interlude

It’s no accident the beauty and mystery surrounding Sedona have birthed a town where healing and serenity are an expectation. Let this year’s travel resolution lead you to one of Sedona’s centers of healing and beauty.

The many spas that grace the streets of this high desert town offer visitors the chance to find their bliss. Resolve to take time for a healing interlude in Sedona, and give your budget a vacation, as well, by taking advantage of seasonal spa packages.

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Your dreams of visiting Sedona this year are within your grasp. Visualize what you want to happen in Sedona, plan ahead and set aside the time to make this resolution the one that becomes a reality.

Joe Laing is the Director of Marketing for El Monte RV and has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years.  He has been exploring the outdoors most of his life and enjoys spending time camping throughout the United States.  Joe has also been involved with the RVIA’s Go RV’ing committee, campground associations, and many travel industry associations. 

Reconnect in Sedona was originally published on The Official Website for the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

Guest blog submission by Roger Naylor


As we age we tend to misplace things. It seems like we always lose track of our glasses, our keys and even our summers.

By the time we’re adults, the carefree summers of childhood are gone. Those three long glorious months dwindle to a week here, a long weekend there. So it’s important to make the most out of the time you do have. That’s where Sedona comes in.

Sunset atop Antelop Hill

Maximize every moment of vacation in the red rock paradise of Sedona. Soaring stone monoliths so vivid they each have distinct personalities, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, clear running streams and hidden canyons are engulfed amid 1.8 million acres of national forest. Sedona is built for fun and adventure.

Page Springs

Seize the opportunity this summer to reconnect with the great outdoors. Take a hike or a swim. Catch a fish or a nap. Play some golf. Climb a boulder. Kayak a river. Bike down a mountain. You may get dirty and you may get wet. You’ll definitely create some warm delicious memories.

Oak Creek

Yet beneath Sedona’s rugged exterior lies a soft core of comfort and luxury. A bevy of elegant motels, hotels and resorts are waiting for you. Not to mention rejuvenating spas, excellent restaurants and boutique wineries. Play like a kid all day in Sedona. Then relax like an adult when the sun goes down.

Garland's Lodge

One advantage to being all grown up is that nobody will ask you to write an essay on how you spent your summer vacation. Although after some time in Sedona, you probably will want to do just that—a reminder to yourself of where to go next summer.


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,,


Spring is the time to get outside and explore Arizona and no one knows how to do that better than travel writer, Roger Naylor. On April 16, Naylor will be at Sound Bites Grill where he’ll talk about discovering the beauty of Arizona on foot and by car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANaylor will discuss his book, Arizona Kicks on Route 66. He’ll also be talking about his quest to hike 1,000 miles in 2013. This Grand Endeavor is the topic of a hiking series Naylor is writing for the Arizona Republic, covering some of his favorite trails around the state. Also on hand will be Greg Stevenson, owner of The Hike House in Sedona. No doubt, popular Sedona trails will garner plenty of attention.

Complimentary appetizers will be served and dinner is available. Copies of Arizona Kicks on Route 66 will be for sale and a raffle will be held featuring items from The Hike House and Sound Bites Grill. Raffle proceeds will benefit the Arts in Education Program of Celtic Harvest Festival Sedona.

headshotThe event will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. Come early or stay late to dine, drink and discuss. Members of Sedona Car Club will have a few of their classic rides on display in the parking lot.

Roger Naylor is a travel writer who hates to travel. At least anywhere beyond the Southwest. He specializes in lonely hiking trails, twisting back roads, diners with fresh burgers sizzling on the grill, small towns, ghost towns and homemade pie. His work appears weekly in the Arizona Republic. He has contributed to Arizona Highways, Western Art & Architecture, Go Escape, Route 66 Magazine, Sedona Magazine and dozens more. For more information, visit

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASound Bites Grill is located in The Shops at Hyatt Piñon Pointe, 101 N. Arizona 89A. The restaurant and bar is known for “World Comfort Food,” a wide–ranging menu of steaks, fresh fish, organic salads and stone-fired pizzas. Sound Bites Grill offers a $6 drink menu every day.

For more information, call 928-282-2713 or visit

On Wednesday, August 8 2012, we were elated when we opened the Arizona Republic to find that Sedona was voted by the readers as the Best Arizona Road Trip! Readers’ Choice awards are very valuable because they come from our valued visitors.



“There’s a reason so many go to Sedona: It brims with attractions. (At this point, we don’t have to belabor the red rocks, right?) You can stay at a secluded spa resort or an affordable motel right in the thick of things. You can eat at a hot-dog stand or on a soothing, creekside patio. Perambulations range from easy, flat strolls to ling-busing climbs. Shop for art, jewelry or scorpion encased in Lucite. Take a Pink Jeep tour or hot-air balloon ride. You can camp, swim, fish and mountain bike. The only thing you can’t do is cram it all in one weekend.”

-Jill Cassidy, writer for the Arizona Republic





Hello Sedona Fans,

As an avid hiker, biker, and swimmer, I know the importance of the emotional, physical and inner strength that comes with regular exercise. Exercise leads to flowing endorphins, soaring adrenaline, and a zest of energy and vitality.  Recently expanding my repertoire of difficult hikes to include Sedona’s Bear Mountain and Wilson Mountain, my joints are finally feeling of age as I creak, crack and spasm when I awake the next morning. It has recently become imperative that I begin to listen to my body and give it consistent rest and replenishment.

Luckily, Sedona in known for healing, relaxation and rejuvenation. The next two weekends are perfect ways to relax amongst phenomenal red rock formation and appreciative visitors and locals alike during the Zaki Gordon Institute Shorts Film Festival and the Sedona Bluegrass Festival.

May 25-27- ZGI Shorts Film Festival  

The Zaki Gordon Institute for Independent Filmmaking (ZGI) hosts a film festival every year on Memorial Day weekend. All graduates of ZGI screen their films at the annual ZGI Shorts Film Festival and the audience gets to vote! Enjoy two full days of independent short films, a special feature presentation and the Career and Gear Fair on Friday night. The Film School is designed with one goal in mind-taking your film from script to screen! Call Rue at (928) 649-4257 for passes. Schedule and synopses at

May 30- June 3– Sedona Bluegrass Festival

SBGF kicks off Wednesday, May 30 when the Burnett Family Bluegrass Band performs three concerts, followed by Run Boy Run’s FREE workshop and pickin party Saturday at Sedona Charter School. Purchase your Sunday Festival tickets and lunch package in advance and save! On Sunday, June 3 join friends at Los Abrigados when Tim O’Brien & Bryan Sutton, The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Run Boy Run and Muskellunge Bluegrass perform from 12:00 – 6:00 pm. Visit