I have been living in Long Beach, CA the past 3 years however a new career path as landed me in between jobs and currently unemployed. So time to move back to the 100+ degree heat, Arizona. As I begin packing up all my things here in Long Beach I think back to this past summer when I introduced my friend to the beauties of Arizona: Sedona & the Grand Canyon.
Sedona is about a 7 hour drive from Long Beach, however since my family still lives in Phoenix we drove 5 1/2 hours to my parent’s place to spend the night before making our way to Sedona. Sedona is a beautiful little hippie town full of art galleries, hiking, and spas. Make sure you stop by the Fudge Factory. It’s a must! I dare you to walk by as the door opens and resist the amazing smell of fudge filling your nostrils. While you are passing through town, make sure you take an hour to look through the art galleries as they have some great local artists in town.
Now to the outdoors! I’ve been coming to Sedona for over 10 years now, and every time I always hike the Broken Arrow Trail. It’s a beautiful hike with incredible views of the entire valley; with deep colors of red, orange, and white. Another great hike, especially during the hot season, is the West Fork Oak Creek Canyon Trail where you cross the creek snaking back and forth through a beautiful canyon. Make sure you have water resistant shoes! As for camping, we stayed at the Pine Flat Campground which was a beautiful location and easy access to I-40 which leads to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon– one of the 7 wonders of the world! The Grand Canyon is truly incredible and is a must for everyone. The best time to see the Grand Canyon is at sunrise or sunset when the sun hits the red rocks and shadows others. It’s at these times you can see the incredible colors: blue, purple, orange, red, and yellow. At high noon since the sun is directly above, the direct light doesn’t have the same effect. All the view points are incredible, with different views. Be careful driving through the park as there are elk and deer roaming freely. DO NOT FEED THEM as tempting as it will be since they are not afraid of humans.
My friend and I left Pine Flat Campground in Sedona around 3pm, arriving after 4pm to watch the sunset and have a picnic on the edge of the Grand Canyon. It was a beautiful sight, as a thunderstorm rolled in and we were able to see it raining on the North Rim. The lightening show was spectacular! A truly once in a lifetime show!
There is plenty of hiking to do along the rim and into the canyon. A few years ago I took a backcountry camping trip with a friend of mine via the Hermit’s Trail. You can read more about that adventure in my Backpacking through the Grand Canyon post. There aren’t any day hikes other than the paved walkways along the south rim, however many people will hike trails that lead into the canyon for a couple miles and turn around before dusk. Some of those trails are: Hermits Trail, Bright Angel Trail, South Kaibab Trail, or the Grand View Trail. As for backcountry hiking check out the National Park website for more information.
I also hiked down into the Grand Canyon (outside the National Park) and visited Havasu Falls. This also should be added to one’s bucket list! The emerald waterfalls look as if they are from a fairy tale, but I can assure you they are real. Check out my Havasu Falls post to read more about it and see the beautiful waterfall pictures.
I hope you get a chance to see beautiful Sedona and the Grand Canyon. My friend had never been to Arizona and her perspective of Arizona was a desert wasteland! hahaha I’m so glad I got a chance to open her mind and show her the beauties that lie with in Arizona. Between the red rock formations, the desert hiking, cacti, and warm weather, Arizona has so much to offer. Hopefully I have triggered something inside you that makes you want to check out my beautiful home. There is nothing else like it!