Sedona Red Rocks are both beautiful and a fascinating. According to scientists, over 300 million years ago, the treasure trove that we now know as Sedona (as well as much of northern Arizona) was hidden from the human eye. The town and the area around it were all buried under water, and served not as a vacation destination, but as a home to millions of shelled sea creatures.
Indeed, over time, various layers of sediment built up on the bottom of this mass of water, and eventually, a layer of iron oxide (or ferrous oxide) was deposited to create the reddish hue—the one thats makes Sedona red rocks so appealing Finally, less than 100 million years ago, a period called the Laramide orogeny kicked off. Not only did this create the Rocky Mountains, but it also lifted the Sedona area while creating natural cracks and valleys where all the water ran off. The end result is what we see today. That which was once hidden—the red sandstone buttes and spires of Sedona—emerged for all to see!
2 Hour Sedona Sightseeing Tour
Starting At: $46/Person
Get your camera ready and head out on this scenic tour of Sedona. From Thunder Mountain to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and everything in between!
Sedona Red Rocks – Bell Rock
And if you come out to northern Arizona, boy, is there a lot on the menu. Perhaps the most famous Sedona red rocks is Bell Rock, a 550-ft.-tall butte that resembles a bell. Located just off of Highway 179, it can be accessed easily by foot, and there are a variety of easy-to-moderate sections of trail that hikers and photographers will appreciate. The entire loop around Bell Rock is approximately five miles, making for a short and enjoyable—not to mention, scenic—jaunt. In addition, if you’re a bit of a mystic, then you’re in luck here, too. Bell Rock is considered to be a vortex of spiritual energy, and potentially even a portal into other dimensions!
Sedona Helicopter Flight Over Bell Rock
Starting At: $103/Person
On the ground, it would take weeks to see all the red rocks in Sedona. But on a helicopter flight, you can do it in just minutes! Take this short aerial jaunt out to some of Sedona’s famous scenery.
Sedona Red Rocks – Cathedral Rock
Another awesome sight is Cathedral Rock, which resembles the gothic houses of worship you might see during a tour of Europe. The big difference, however, is that this Sedona red rocks cathedral is made by the hand of nature, and is much, much grander in scale than the man-made variety! One of the most photographed locations of its kind, Cathedral Rock stretches to a summit elevation just under 5,000 ft. above sea level, and thus, dominates the skies. It’s also a convenient destination, since it’s just a mile west of Highway 179. The most iconic place from which to photograph Cathedral Rock is Red Rock Crossing, which may be accessed via Back O’Beyond Road or the Templeton Trail.
Furthermore, fans of the comic strip “Peanuts” will appreciate the two characters whose silhouettes they’ll be able to spot among the towers of red. Look out from Uptown Sedona, or take the short jaunt up Schnebly Hill Road, and what you’ll behold will astound you—the profile of a famous white dog lying on his back with his feet up. That’s right, this is Snoopy Rock! And if you adjust your gaze to the top of the butte, you just might be able to notice the lesser-known Lucy Rock, named after Lucy van Pelt, Charlie Brown’s famous tormentor.If that’s not enough, then make your way to Coffee Pot Rock, Courthouse Butte, the Three Golden Chiefs, or Capitol Butte. The first is on the western end of Sedona, and resembles a percolator-style pot with a spout and a lid. Be sure to bring a cup of joe with you, lest the sight of this massive, 1,800-ft.-tall coffee pot leave you with an insatiable caffeine lust. Meanwhile, located near Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte offers a phenomenal view as well as an inviting destination for inexperienced hikers, since the terrain is generally flat. Finally, the Three Golden Chiefs are a triumvirate of pinnacles honored by the Yavapai Indians, while nearby Capitol Butte bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
For more information about Sedona sightseeing tips, tours and activities:
As should be abundantly clear, seeing Sedona red rocks make the town worthy of a trip. Not unlike the skyscrapers of New York or Chicago, these sandstone towers will have you craning your neck all morning and afternoon, even as they defy your imagination. So if you’re hoping to dazzle your senses, look no further than Sedona’s legendary red rocks!