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  • Writer's pictureMona Shah

Exploring the Mystical Energy of Sedona's Red Rocks

Our unforgettable girls trip to this magical place

As you drive into Sedona, the towering red rocks make a clear statement: this is somewhere special. Somewhere you can get in touch with nature, the earth, and perhaps even some greater powers. In addition to stunning natural scenery, Sedona has gained a reputation as a small, mystical enclave.

Pack for hot days and cool nights. Sedona is a certified dark sky city, so the stars are particularly fantastic here. 

Day 1: Friday

ARRIVE pick up rental car and drive to the Airbnb 

LUNCH enroute at: Rock Springs Cafe

You can pick up basic groceries: Safeway (2300 W Hwy 89A) or local markets 

SUNSET HIKE/DRIVE: Airport Mesa: When it comes to vantage points, Airport Mesa has the best seats in the house. It is an excellent location to soak in views of Sedona and Red Rock formations. 

DINNER: At the Airbnb to just chill and catch up.

DAY 2: Saturday

  • HIKE: Cathedral Rock or pick one from below

  • Stop at Chapel of the Holy Cross on the way back. Walk up to the chapel, peek inside, and enjoyed the stunning views.

  • Stop at Son Silver West for fun souvenirs: This quirky place is like an art gallery and gift shop in one.

  • Shop for crystals sometime today.

  • LUNCH: Pump House Station. Great salads on the screened-in front porch.

  • Walk over to Cream & Cake Couture for treats. 

  • Return to the house to soak in the hot tub, hang.

  • DINNER: Take out to eat at Airbnb

DAY 3: Sunday

  • HIKE: Sunrise hike to Doe Mountain (far enough from the beaten trail for a peaceful time and large enough to provide everyone a private viewing area)

  • LUNCH: Patio at 89Agave Cantina (they’ve got heaters).

  • For those who don’t want to do vortex hike--Shop Downtown Or Pink Jeep Tour (info below, advance booking required)

  • HIKE: Vortexes

Sedona is the epicenter for several vortexes – high-energy spots – where you can go spend time, meditate, and re-align your whatever-needs-realigning to help you get better energy in your life. Crystals can be used to help that, and there are a handful of crystal shops along the main shopping street in Sedona with any kind of stone you might want.

The four Sedona vortexes are found at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon. Each vortex radiates its own particular energy and people pick one according to the type of “alignment” they need. 

Blue goldstone, a synthetic crystal: helps with wisdom and scientific wonder

Selenite/Desert Rose: helps with life transitions and creatively breaking outside the bounds. 

Take them to one of the vortexes to charge them up and bring that energy home.

  • Return to the house and soak in the hot tub and gaze at the amazing, star-filled sky.

DAY 4: Monday

  • Clean up as instructed by Airbnb.

  • Breakfast in Airbnb, using whatever groceries are left.

  • Say goodbye to Sedona and leave for the Phoenix airport!

Pre-flight things to do in Phoenix:

Since our flight was not till 5 p.m.,we explored Old Town Scottsdale, a quaint neighborhood in greater Phoenix with a charming Old West feel. Lots of great shopping, cute little tourist and boutique shops. Great western stores too, if you are looking for a hat or boots!

Old Town also has some fantastic restaurant's, we lunched at Olive & Ivy.

Some other places I would highly recommend in Old Town: Merkin Vineyards, The Montauk, Cartel Roasting Co. (this coffee shop is a hangout locals.) Positino Highlands is rally good for bruschetta boards, salads, sandwiches.

If you are short of time as want to stay near the airport then do this short hike to Hole in Rock for some sweeping views of the city and eat at The Farm at South Mountain or this cute French place Sottise.


  • Pisa Lisa – featuring the same chef from Mariposa, this restaurant serves authentic, wood-fire pizzas in a relaxing environment. (Pisa Lisa is not far from Devil’s Bridge). They have a great outdoor patio and FYI you do NOT want to skip dessert here)

  • Creekside Cafe – great for a grab something before the morning hike. A cute little shop with red rock views in all directions and both indoor and outdoor seating. 

  • Mariposa –Latin-inspired grill voted one of the best restaurants in Sedona. Think floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the red rocks, large wine vaults, dark lighting, modern interior, and the perfect ambiance. And they have tapas from an award-winning chef to round out the experience. 

  • Hideaway House: Kat’s Way pizza and Fall Harvest Salads recommended. Outside deck feels like you’re having dinner in a treehouse.

  • 89 Agave Cantina. Mexican

  • Pump House Station. Great salads on the screened-in front porch.


Cathedral Rock

One of the most-photographed sights in Arizona, Cathedral Rock is a natural butte jutting 4,967 feet off the ground. The hike is not the hardest but can be a bit tricky and you will need shoes with traction. The breathtaking views at the top are absolutely worth the climb.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock is a slightly smaller version of Cathedral Rock. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still enormous with its peak at about 4,919 feet in elevation. You can see it from Highway 179, but, if you have the time and energy, do the hike to the top.

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is another natural wonder. Many describe it as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon because it’s so strikingly beautiful. Any season will yield eye-popping splendor, but autumn takes the big prize, especially if you’re into landscape photography.

Devil’s Bridge

Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural arch in Sedona. This natural arch is one of Sedona’s superstars, so don’t expect much solitude on this site. The only way to access Devil’s Bridge is by hiking. While it is fairly short (1.8 miles roundtrip), expect to walk a longer distance due to the rough terrain and parking options.

Airport Mesa

When it comes to vantage points, Airport Mesa has the best seats in the house. It is an excellent location to soak in views of Sedona and Red Rock formations. Time your visit to coincide with the sunset.

Boynton Canyon

Boynton Canyon is one of Sedona’s top hikes. It offers numerous advantages for less experienced hikers. The trail is mostly flat and is sheltered from the sun – not a minor detail considering Arizona’s merciless heat. You can also spot a few ancient Sinagua Indian ruins along the way.

Chapel of the Holy Cross 

Built in 1956, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic chapel sitting atop the red rock buttes of Sedona. The chapel is small in size but visually stunning. It is wonderful to see how the architect embraced the landscapes and adapted the chapel’s design to fit the Sedona context and Rock Formations.

  • West Fork Trail – Towering rock formations, water crossings, and transitions in and out of shade and trees… this easy hike is like the Greatest Hits album for Sedona hiking.

  • Cathedral/Templeton Trail – This is a popular moderate hike for families who want to enjoy the views but stay cool in the shade near Oak Creek.

  • Boynton Canyon Trail – This canyon hiking trail is nice, but the final third is where the real money views are.


Wandering around Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Designed after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970s. The quaint venue houses a collection of over 50 boutique arts and crafts shops, plus several excellent restaurants.

While it’s a popular place to shop for authentic handcrafted goods, I find the village’s atmosphere and architecture to be good enough reasons for visiting. The plaza has been built around the Arizona sycamores so that some trees grow through doorways. There are fountains scattered around and a lovely chapel completes the village’s charm.

Visiting the Sedona Heritage Museum

Sedona may be a popular place to live and visit in current times, but it wasn’t always like this. 

You can discover how this desert town in Arizona became the thriving city it is today at the Sedona Heritage Museum. Housed in a former apple farmer’s home (Jordan Family), this small museum features detailed exhibits offering a great insight into Sedona’s origins, the early settlers, and the challenges they faced. 

The Broken Arrow tour is their most popular (and bumpiest) excursion. It crawls over red rock formations, travels through Coconino National Forest, and passes “Sedona White Line”. 

Airbnb that we stayed at:


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