What To Do
Life spills outdoors in Sedona, among the most heavenly real estate of the Southwest. Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land and buttressed by four wilderness areas and two state parks, this is a landscape built for adventure. Angular formations, high mesas and rocky cliffs define the multi-terraced skyline. Forests are carved by a network of trails and ringed by feisty streams, all beneath a clear azure sky. So whatever thrill you seek—by water, land or air—you’ll find it in Sedona.
Hikers amble over wild country trails that loop through a labyrinth of stone towers. Mountain bikers zoom along the sinuous curves of singletrack. Jeeps rumble into the outback and perform acrobatics across sandstone outcroppings. Kayakers paddle through fast moving currents while anglers work the pools for elusive trout. Hot air balloons lift off early each morning to greet the rising dawn. Helicopters swoop in and out of high-walled canyons. The biggest dilemma that visitors face each morning is choosing their adventure du jour.
Yet not every outdoor option needs to be an adrenaline-fueled activity. No matter what else you do, squeeze in room for a picnic while you’re here—an old-fashioned sit-outside-and-eat picnic. Spread your blanket among the historic orchards of Slide Rock State Park. Or at Red Rock Crossing along the banks of Oak Creek as majestic Cathedral Rock rises overhead. Or sit atop Airport Mesa while waiting for the bruised-peach sunset to settle on the horizon.
And for those who enjoy a leisurely but challenging game of golf, you’ll be awestruck with what Sedona has to offer. Stroll verdant fairways and lush greens framed by crimson-hued monoliths. Naturally, the best thing about golfing in Sedona is that players have an irrefutable excuse for a lousy round. They couldn’t concentrate because of the breath-snatching scenery, simple as that.
If you want to extend your stay outdoors, you can sleep under a dazzling canopy of stars. The U.S. Forest Service operates several campgrounds spread through the narrow confines of Oak Creek Canyon. Pitch your tent in a grove of sycamore trees at the edge of the clear running stream. Awaken to a chorus of morning birdsong and the splash of leaping trout. Start planning your day in the flush of soft morning sun.