I found this so interesting and amazing at the same time. Yet, something we all should heed when hiking in this area.
Stay on the paths. Why stay on the paths? The large, black patches of dark, knobby, brittle crust are actually a cryptobiotic crust. The crust is made of lichen, moss, cyanobacteria, liverwort, and fungi. The crust prevents erosion and retains water and minerals for plants. Without the cryptobiotic crust, the red rock landscape would become barren sand dunes. The crust is easily broken, especially when it is dry. A single footstep can easily erase decades of growth.
It was fun, exciting and educational during our Pink Jeep Tour because they were able to show us some spectacular views and formations. They also shared with us how the area was formed and why the rocks are red. Being a Californian, it was interesting to know that Arizona too has many faults that run thru through area. While on Submarine Rock, Mike our guide pointed out this line, whick is a fault and runs completely through the valley. Just something that was interesting to know.
Sedona Chamber of Commerce
Village of Oakcreek
Tequa Plaza, 7000 Hwy 179 Ste 101
P.O. Box 478
Sedona, Az 86336
There are dust storms in Sedona. When driving on the roads of Sedona and all of a sudden, you were hit by a dust storm, make sure to pull over on the side of the road. Continue driving only when you have the visibility back.
Dust storms hit the Arizona area without a warning. It can cause low visibility and therefore drivers cannot see the road ahead. It is better to stop on the side of the road. If you continue driving, make sure to turn on your lights.
The best time to see wildlife in Sedona is early morning and early evenings.
You might see scorpions and snakes at daytime.
Never feed wild animals. Wild animals who are fed will associate humans with food and may become agressive toward humans.
When camping, make sure to dispose them on marked trash cans. Do not leave scraps everywhere.
If you brought some food and had wrappers on them, make sure to carry a plastic bag and put them there and once you get back to your hotel or your campsite, throw them away in the trash can.
Do not throw your trash in the wilderness!!!
DID YOU KNOW?
Litter lasts this long in the desert:
Cigarette butts - 5 years
Aluminum cans- 100 years
Orange and banana peels - 2 years
Plastic bottles - indefinitely
Visitors are encouraged to stay on trails because there are micro-organisms like algae, lichens and mosses that live on crusts of soil.
It takes at least 5-7 years for these living organisms to rebuild themselves.
Please don't throw your coins on the rocks! Your wishes will not be granted!
It is so true that there are people throwing coins to the rocks at Holy Cross Chapel. Visitors just ignore the signs saying: Don't throw coins on the rocks!"
Wildlife sometimes comes and accidentally eat this especially the birds! No sure why but the coins are shiny and they get attracted to eat it!
The coins roll down and get settled between the rocks and on different places. My daughter Sierra saw them and even asked me to give her some coins. I told her that it was not a great idea!
Do not graffiti the rocks, because it is cruel and ugly. Do not take glass containers down to a river because it could leave behind dangerous shards of glass that someone could get seriously hurt from. Pets are not accepted down by the river because there are those who do not keep track of their pets very good. Let's face it, people are bad enough as it is. Carry out what you leave behind.
So when you see these signs, make sure you heed them. Rangers do not mess around anymore and if you do not obey them, you'll find yourself being fined and then possiblly being removed from the park!
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 protects cultural resources for the benefit of all. Please admire, but respect these sites, learn from them, but leave everything where it is. To move it or damage it is against the law.
Do Not Sit, Walk, Push, or climb on any ruins at all.
Collecting or relocating archeological artifacts is unlawful.
Defacing or destroying natural features or archeological sites is unlawful.
LET'S PROTECT OUR TREASURES FOR FURTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY!
Be careful if you park your car to hike or mountain bike in any of the hiking parking spots. Occassionally, thiefs choose these cars to try to rob because they know you are going to be gone for hours. It doesn't happen often, but recently there has been a rash of this unfortunate crime. It is best not to leave anything of value in your car, but if you do put it in the trunk. It can ruin an otherwise wonderful Red Rock hiking experience.
Check all shady places before putting your hand or body parts in jeapardy. Rattlesnakes rest in the shade on warm days. Never stick your hand in a place you can't see. If you sit down under a tree or bush thoroughly check the area. Rattlesnakes are colored to look like their habitat.
If you are bitten get help immediately. Do not try to cut the area and suck the poison out.
If you want to see desert animals in a safe environment visit the desert museum south of Tucson. It's terrific.
For most of the trails, the parking area requires a park pass to use. We did not know this and were lucky the first time we went on a hike. The next day we found a hiking newsletter. This described some local trails and mentioned that a RED ROCK PASS was required but did not mention where to buy them. We eventually found one at a gas station. I do not know what the fine would be but it is not worth it. The fee for the pass, I imagine does support the preservation of the trails so it is worth it just for that reason.
Happy Hiking :-)
Before going to hike in the Oak Creek Canyon, one has to get a 'pass' at Sedona visitorcentre, which is quiet a few miles from the entrance to the canyon. Take care of this while your driving North, so you do not need to return and drive the same way twice.