The entrance fee for Red Rock State park is about 10$.
There are many walking trails throughout the park, but as websites warned us that the biggest attraction, Red Rock Crossing, draws a crowd, we immediately went that way.
In one word: WOW! What a beautiful scenery!
We were lucky, the place was not crowded, and probably for a reason, while it seems that, because of the incidence of light, it's better to shoot pictures around closing time.
Our foto was taken around noon. Bad idea!
My husband and I primarily visit the Red Rock Park as it is so much more peaceful than most of the other tourist inhabited parks. Hiking is easy enough - we get winded playing Wii sometimes and are able to handle these trails.
This is real nature with the special Sedona vibe that you came to feel. It is so quiet that you can actually sense what that "something" is that draws people to Sedona. Since the trails do climb upward somewhat there are wide vistas for great overviews of surrounding land and the rocks with names.
Take some time just to sit and breath in the pine, watch a lizard, see how many cactus flowers you can photograph. Check their website before going, as Arizona is unfortunately considering closing the park due attempts at budget cuts. Don't miss the chance to experience one of the most special places in America.
This park is operated by the State-as noted. That means there is another special charge; as in $8 to take the Red Rock loop road to the park. Besides that, the Forest Service does charge $5 to enter the overall region of Red Rock. See the map below for the area covered. You have to present a pass in order to avoid not getting a ticket at most places to park and see the mountains.
I went the 5-6 miles down Hwy 89A onto Red Rock loop road, then after 2 miles decided it was not worth it, especially for the time I had (only 1-2 hours). They do have trails in the park, as noted below. There also is access to the Oak Creek. The park is 286 acres and open generally from 8-6 with lesser hours in winter and more in summer months.
Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center. The park is well known for its beautiful scenery, and derived its name from the red rocks forming the surrounding mountains. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. Park facilities include a visitors center, classroom, theater, gift shop, picnic tables, 10 developed trails, restrooms, and group area with Ramada and facilities. The restrooms are handicapped accessible. Camping facilities are not available at this park.
The variety of vegetation in the park comes from Oak Creek which meanders through the area. There are hiking trails along the creek that offer shade from the hot Arizona sun.
Your first stop at the park should be the Visitor's Center where you will pay the entrance fee, and can learn about what to do to most enjoy the park. The Visitor's Center has a small museum, and can also supply gifts and souvenirs.
For more information and photos see my Red Rock Page (It's on the third Red Rock listed for Arizona)
"Weddings in Sedona" planned an amazing wedding for my husband and I by Cathedral Rock. We had a Native American Shaman marry us with a flutist playing and a great photographer. It was picture perfect and hikers from all around gathered (and even cried) at the beautiful ceremony. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for a different way to get married.
Located 5 miles south of Sedona, The red Rock State Park has only been open since 1991, as it used to be part of the privately owned Smoke Trail Ranch. Thank goodness, the State Park system purchased it! The lovely Oak Creek meanders through the park and has created a habitat for much wildlife.
The park is well marked and consists of a five-mile network of interconnecting loops. Even though the trails are well marked, it is good advice to stop by the visitor center for detailed information.
If you wish to bike, you need to find the designated bike trails.
There is a picnic Ramada with water, electricity, tables, and grills.
The park is open year round, always open at eight in the morning with varying closings, depending on the month. It cost between $4.00-$11.00
There is to be No rock climbing, swimming, or wading (no matter how hot it is!)
There is a "Pack in, Pack out trash" policy so come prepared.
There are guided nature walks daily at ten in the morning. For all other special programs, you have to call for the times.
Sedona is surrounded by geological formations called Red Rocks, and are basically named after what they look like. All the names can get confusing, as sometimes they just look like big red rocks to me.
You can do a tour of all the named rocks, just get a handy dandy map, after you buy your Red Rock Pass. Yes, you have to pay to park at any of the sites. Ah, the price of beauty, if things aren't expensive enough in Sedona.
Generally, you need a Red Rock pass to park at any of the parking areas in the Sedona vicinity to view the rocks or ruins such as Palatki, and it can get confusing about what to pay for what, as there are State Parks in the vicinity and National Monuments as well.
We seemed to do okay with a Red Rock pass, and we found that if there are park workers around, they will just tell you what pass you need. The pass fees go to maintenance, and I agree that some kind of fee must be charged to keep these areas beautiful with such high tourist traffic. But I found that the Park Service wasn't too keen on checking your pass, and only asked if you had one, so you could conceivably lie if you wanted to ( you didn't hear that from me)
The easiest place to get a Red Rock pass is at Safeway, in West Sedona. Then, you can pick up sandwiches, snacks and drinks for the day as well. Their sandwiches are quite decent.
Located on the Upper Red Rock Loop Road, is Crescent Moon Recreational Area.
There is a fairly big parking lot, picnic areas, and well-manicured lawns on the banks of Oak Creek. To my surpise, I noticed a large stand of bamboo near the parking lot, perhaps planted by the State, or someone, anyway. Cathedral Rock will be visible in it's glory. Don't start snapping yet! Get closer, along the creek, and you will get your money shot. There's many shallow spots on Oak Creek and you can hop on some rocks to set up a brilliant picture.
The best time to go is late afternoon to early evening. Get there about 5:00, as this is a popular spot and the lot starts filling up rapidly. When we arrived, there were quite a few people there, along with some die-hard or maybe professional photographers. They were all running to their special spot, lugging their paraphenalia: tripods, huge lenses, big camera bags bulging with equipment, then waiting for the setting sun to cast the right light and shadow for their picture.
For us, it was fun just to wander around, especially on the exposed smooth, undulating sandstone rocks, worn away by water and time. And, of course, I had to get my postcard perfect shot!
This road is a must at about 5:30 pm. Part of the loop is a dirt road, so take care if it is raining. Narrow, winding Lower Red Rock Loop Road turns into narrow winding Upper Red Rock Loop Road, and as you drive along, there will be several chances to stop and admire the rocks at different viewpoints, which will be dirt turn-outs.
We happened along this viewpoint at about 6:30 pm. Ahhhh, fabulous!!
Red Rock State Park near Sedona gives you the opportunity to walk/hike amidst very nice scenery. However, if you want to see the most "important" rock formations like Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Courthouse Rock, it should be nice to know that these can be seen or easily reached from the main road through Sedona.
ust driving around Sedona affords many breathtaking views and perfect photograph opportunities. However, for those who want to get out of their car, Red Rock State Park is a nice area to go for hiking trails that take you from lush creek-lined fields to almost aerial heights with dynamic and panoramic views abounding.
If you enlarge the picture to the left, you will see the moon in the background.
Just driving around Sedona affords many breathtaking views and perfect photograph opportunities. However, for those who want to get out of their car, Red Rock State Park is a nice area to go for hiking trails that take you from lush creek-lined fields to almost aerial heights with dynamic and panoramic views abounding.
If you enlarge the picture to the left, you will see the moon in the background.
Located just outside Sedona, this beautiful park features 5 miles of interconnected hiking trails/ For a list of hiking trails, see http://www.hikinglasvegas.com/hikes4.html