August 17, 2016
By Roger Naylor
Now. Right now!
It’s the perfect time to visit Sedona. This is the summer sweet spot. Temperatures are just right and days are still long and languid. Kids have gone back to school. Now the grownups get a chance to play.
Especially now, during the summer of the 2016 National Park Centennial, Sedona should be high on everyone’s travel plans. With a nationwide focus on getting outdoors and exploring parks, Sedona is the perfect hub for adventure.
Step outside and you’ll find no end to possibilities. The red rock landscape sprawls across nearly two million acres of national forest and four wilderness areas. Within a 45-minute drive of Sedona, you’ll discover five national monuments and six state parks. And the Big Kahuna of all national parks, the Grand Canyon, is not much farther.
Make your plans to visit and don’t be shy about booking an extra day or two. You’ll need plenty of time to reach only a fraction of Sedona’s points of pride. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails will entice you for up close looks at iconic rock formations like Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Thunder Mountain, Snoopy Rock and dozens more. Rugged jeep roads can be attempted on your own, or sign up for a tour and let someone else do the driving. Take a horseback ride or kayak a river. Lift off in a hot air balloon or zoom overhead in a helicopter.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you want. But you also don’t have to stop when you run out of day. The beautiful blue sky that kept you company for all those hours turns into a glittering blanket of heavenly bodies at night.
Lack of light pollution combined with haze-free, low-humidity desert skies makes Sedona a paradise for stargazers. In 2014, Sedona was designated as the world’s eighth International Dark Sky Community. Several resorts offer stargazing activities as well as tours conducted by professional astronomers. A little time spent on state-of-the-art telescopes gives you a personal peek at the cosmos.
So the only hard part is figuring out exactly when you’ll sleep during your Sedona visit. Hey, who wants to sleep on vacation anyway?