Places to Visit - Sedona Camera Club

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Sedona Camera Club's Places to Visit in and around Sedona

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Sedona Arts Center


 

http://www.sedonaartscenter.com/


 

SCC suggested hikes/photo locations in and around Sedona

Easy - Moderate - Strenuous - AREA MAP

Note: Red Rock Pass or Golden Age National Park Pass or equivalent required
CautionTake water, cell phone (although may not work in canyons), recommended to wear hiking boots, sun screen and a hat.

 

Easy Hikes/Locations:

  1. Airport Overlook
  2. Bell Rock
  3. Coffee Pot Rock
  4. Cultural Park
  5. Sedona Heritage Museum/The Fin
  6. Seven Sacred Pools/Soldiers Pass
  7. Slide Rock State Park
  8. Snoopy Rock
  9. Upper Red Rock Loop Rd/Cathedral Rock
  10. V-Bar-V Ranch Petroglyphs

 

E-1. Photo Location: Airport Overlook/ Sunset shoot

Access:  All vehicles, paved road
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions:  From the Intersection of 89A & 179. Southwest on 89A for one mile to Airport Road. Turn left onto Airport Road and drive up to the top of the hill.  There is a parking lot on the left for numerous cars. 

Features:  This gives you nice views of Capital Butte and part of west Sedona.

 

E-2. Photo Location:  Bell Rock/Morning or Evening shoot

Access: All vehicles, paved roads.
How Strenuous:  Easy to moderate hike depending on distance hiked

Directions:  Two locations from which to photograph Bell Rock and the surrounding area. Drive south on State Road 179 from the roundabouts 5.2 miles to the sole left turn lane along this section of 179 at the designated scenic area. Turn left to the limited parking area along the northbound lane of 179.
                                   
The second location is located another mile south on 179 at the Bell Rock Pathway on the left. Making a U-turn at the roundabout at Bell Rock Blvd. may be necessary.

Features:  Bell Rock is a red sandstone feature in the shape of a bell, and is an easily recognized landmark in this area. The first location is the site of a series of trailheads leading up onto Bell Rock, and provides opportunities to photograph the formation itself, or to climb it and explore individual smaller features of the rock face as well as to photograph the surrounding landscape. There are defined trails but you can explore and climb Bell Rock, however use extreme caution climbing Bell Rock.

At the second location further south a different perspective of Bell Rock presents itself. Here, Bell Rock may be photographed alone or together with the adjacent massive Courthouse Butte The pair lend themselves to a panoramic image.

 

E-3. Photo Location: Coffee Pot Rock/Early morning and Late afternoon shoot

Access:  All vehicles, paved roads
How Strenuous: Easy
Directions:  There are a number of points from which this feature may be photographed. Listed here are two.

From the roundabouts travel 1.25 miles on 89A to Soldier Pass Road, the first traffic light. Turn right and travel about 1.5 – 1.75 miles, park along the side of the road.
Return to 89A, and turn right. Drive 0.5 miles (1.75 miles from roundabouts) to the traffic light at Mountain Shadows Drive and turn right. Drive on Mountain Shadows 0.5-.75 miles, park along the road. 

Features:  Coffee Pot Rock is a prominent feature and a popular photographic subject in Sedona. It is easily photographed from several locations, two of which are described above.

Another is from atop Airport Mesa which is described elsewhere. The best time to photograph is early morning when the early morning sun casts a yellow light on the feature, and similarly, later in the day when the setting sun repeats the show. Dramatic images can be had if there are billowing storm clouds behind it. Consider including Capitol Butte to the left (West) for added interest.

 

E-4. Photo Location: Sedona Cultural Park Girdner Trail/Early morning and Late afternoon

Access: All vehicles/paved roads short distance on dirt road
How Strenuous: Easy to Moderate depending on distance hiked

Directions:  From the roundabouts at the intersection of SR 179 and SR 89A travel 4.1 miles southwest on 89A to the traffic light at the junction of Cultural Park Place, on right, and Upper Red Rock Loop Road, on left. Turn right onto Cultural Park Place. Continue on this road 0.2 miles past the parking lots marked “B Lot” and turn right onto a short dirt side road leading to a large parking area.

Features: The Girdner Trail starts at the parking area and turns left though a gap in an old barbed wire fence. Although the Girdner Trail is 1.25 miles long, views of Capitol Butte, Coffee Pot Rock, and other mountains that form the backdrop of Sedona can be had without hiking the whole trail.       

 

E-5. Photo Location: Sedona Heritage Museum-The Fin / Morning shoot

Access:  All vehicles, paved road.
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions:  From the Intersection of 89A & 179. North on 89A 0.3 miles (towards Flagstaff) to Jordan Road.  Turn left  (north) on Jordan road travel to near end.  Turn left into the Museum parking lot just after the bridge and the end of the road.

Features:  From the parking lot at early morning light there are nice views of a rock formation called “The Fin.” The Museum highlights the history of Sedona, its pioneers and settlers. There are historic buildings, trails and views. (928) 282-7038.

 

E-6. Photo Location: Seven Sacred Pools/Morning and Late afternoon shoot

Access: All vehicles, paved roads
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions: From the roundabouts at the intersection of SR 179 and ASR 89A, travel southwest on 89A 1.25 miles to the first traffic light at Soldier Pass Road. Turn right onto Soldier Pass Road and follow it 2.75 miles to Rim Shadows Drive and turn right. Travel about 0.25 miles to the paved road on the left leading to the parking area.
Trailhead: Look for the sign to “Soldier Pass Trail #66. The trail is open from 8 am to 6pm.

Features: The first feature is “Devil’s Kitchen,” the largest sinkhole in the Sedona area. Follow the white diamond markers past the sinkhole to the Seven Sacred Pools, located in a small canyon on your left, about 0.6 miles. These are small depressions that usually contain water much of the time. They provide an opportunity for interesting reflection with             images of the surrounding red rock mountains. Also in this area are shots of Coffee Pot Rock in the distance.

 

E-7. Photo Location:  Slide Rock State Park/Afternoon shoot

Access: All vehicles, paved road.
Note: Very crowded on weekends.
$20 Entrance Fee/car.
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions: From the roundabouts at the intersection of SR 179 and SR 89A, travel north on 89A through Sedona up Oak Creek Canyon about 8 miles to the well marked entrance to the State Park on the left.

Features: Spectacular views of Oak Creek. Also in the State Park at the far end of the parking lot is a large, unnamed natural bridge jutting from the mountainside high above you. Depending on the lighting, however, it may be difficult to spot and photograph.

Additionally, there are 2 trails in the park.  One is on the cliffs above Oak Creek; the other is along the creek.  You may also want wear a bathing suit and slide down the rocks in the water.

 

E-8. Photo Location: Snoopy Rock/Late afternoon – Sunset shoot

Access: All vehicles, paved roads
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions: Three locations are described.
From the sidewalk along 89A between the traffic light at Forest Road and the roundabouts.
From the Pinon Point  complex. To reach Pinon Point exit 89A right from the first, westbound roundabout, and drive to the top.
Thirdly, from westbound 89A, exit left from the second roundabout to Brewer Road. Drive about 0.25 miles and turn right on Mormon Hill Road and follow to the church parking lot. From the back of the Mormon Church you will have excellent views of Snoopy Rock at sunset and Uptown Sedona.

Features: Snoopy Rock, as the name implies, is a rock formation in the shape of a reclining Peanuts character. Best time to photograph it is late afternoon till sunset.

 

E-9. Photo Location:  Upper Red Rock Loop/Chavez Ranch Road/Cathedral Rock / Evening shoot

Access:  All vehicles, paved road, well maintained dirt road turnoffs.
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions:  From the roundabouts at the intersection of SR 179 and SR 89A travel 4.1 miles to the traffic light at Upper Red Rock Loop Road and turn left. Drive 1.8 miles to the junction with Chavez Ranch Road and turn left. Drive on Chavez Ranch Road. Follow the signs to Red Rock Crossing where you will turn left into Crescent Moon Ranch State Park. You must pay an entry fee, but the park offers great views of Cathedral Rock. 

Features: Upper Red Rock Loop Road offers numerous viewpoints of the mountains to the east and north as well as Cathedral Rock. The best time to photograph these features is late afternoon till sundown.

From the parking area walk south towards Oak Creek and find a place to cross the creek to the opposite side.  There are usually stepping stones to help you cross the creek at a narrow spot by the home at the end of the road.  Once on the other side of the creek follow the obvious path and look for a spot for reflections of Cathedral Rock in the still water pools of Oak Creek.

 

E-10. Photo Location: V-Bar-V Ranch / Morning or Afternoon shoot

Location: South of  the Village of Oak Creek
Access: all vehicles
How Strenuous: Easy

Directions: From the roundabout at the intersection of 89A and 179, drive south on 179 to the interchange of I-17.  Continue south underneath the interchange and proceed on to country road 618 for 2.7 miles.  You will pass the Beaver Creek Ranger Station and the bridge over Beaver Creek.  The paved road will end.  Just after the paving ends, you will reach a three way fork at the 17.4 mile point.  There is a sign for the V-Bar-V Ranch to the right.  Proceed to the parking area.  Follow the trail to a house, go inside to receive a brochure on the ranch.
As of this writing, Red Rock Passes were honored.  If not, a small fee is charged.

Features:  This is an 1.1 mile easy loop along an old ranch road to a protected rock wall of two large panels covered with wonderful petroglyphs where a docent will explain the two major panels. This is one of the best major rock art sites in the Sedona area with figures, depictions of herons, animal figures and abstract designs. Open 9:30 am-3 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday only. (928) 282-3854.

 

Moderate Hikes/Locations:

  1. Cibola Pass
  2. Devils Bridge
  3. Honanki Ruins
  4. Palatki Ruins
  5. Schnebly Road

 

M-1. Photo Location: Cibola Pass / Sunset shoot

Access:  All vehicles, the last 1.5 miles dirt road
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179. North on 89A 0.3 miles (towards Flagstaff) to Jordan Road.  Turn left  (north) on Jordan road to the end.  Turn left at the stop sign, onto West Park Ridge and follow this paved road until it ends.  Proceed an additional 1.5-2 miles on the dirt road until you reach a large parking area at the end of the road.

Features:  Back track on the dirt road from the parking area (0.5miles) until you see the trail sign for Cibola trail.  At the Cibola saddle you will have excellent views of Mormon Canyon, bounded by Brins Mesa and to the east Wilson Mountain.  You will also have nice views of uptown Sedona and the Soldiers Pass area.

 

M-2. Devils Bridge / Mid-afternoon shoot

Access: 4 wheel drive high clearance/rough dirt road
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the roundabout at the intersection of SR 89A & SR 179 go southwest on Highway 89A for 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road and follow it to the 5.2 mile point, make a right on the dirt road, #152 (Vultee Arch Road). The dirt road requires a high clearance vehicle, go to the 6.5 mile point and turn right on the signed dirt road to the parking lot.

Features: The hiking path forks off to your right. It leads up toward a red ledge on the east face of Capitol Butte. The trail is steep but short. You will see the arch off to the left. Shooting the arch from varying viewpoints can be achieved by walking around the trail.

 

M-3. Honanki Ruins/morning and Late afternoon shoot

Access: High clearance vehicle preferred/dirt road
How Strenuous: Easy to moderate

Directions:  From the roundabout at the intersection of SR 89A & SR 179 go southwest on Highway 89A for 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right on Dry Creek Road and drive to the stop sign at 6.1 miles. Turn left on the paved road and drive to the 7.7 mile point, where the road to Enchantment Resort forks to the right. Go left here, on Forest Road 152C to Boynton Pass. You will come to a road junction at 11.7 miles where you turn right on FR 525. Near the end of this road you will come to the Hancock Ranch. Continue past the Loy Butte trailhead and pass over a cattle guard at the 16.2 mile point you come to a parking area.  An admission fee is charged to visit this site.

Features: The ruins are located in a large cave in the cliff face. Some of the names carved and painted on the walls are very old. Explore the ruins and walk along the cliff face on both sides of the ruins. There is a small streambed running along the cliff bottom, but seldom carries water.

 

M-4. Palatki Ruins/morning and Late afternoon shoot

Access: High clearance vehicle preferred/dirt road
How Strenuous: Easy to moderate

Directions:   From the roundabout intersection of 89A & 179 go southwest on Highway 89A for 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right on the Dry Creek Road and drive to the stop sign at 6.1 miles. Turn left on the paved road and drive to the 7.7 mile point where the road to Enchantment Resort goes to the right. Go left here, on the paved, then unpaved road FR 152C to Boynton Pass. You will come to a road junction at 11.7 miles and turn right on FR 525. About 0.1 mile turn right on FR 795 and travel to the parking lot at 13.5 miles.

Features: This site is only open from 9:30 am to 3 pm and a fee is charged. Reservations are required – call  (928) 282-3854. There are two trails the Palatki Ruins Trail and the Rock Art Trail. The former is the harder trail, requiring a small climb. The ruins are in two shallow caves.

 

M-5. Photo Location: Schnebly Hill Road / Morning shoot

Access:  4 wheel drive high clearance /rough dirt road
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179. Proceed south on SR 179 towards Phoenix for a distance of 0.3 miles crossing over the bridge at Oak Creek.  Just past the bridge turn left onto Schnebly Hill road. Proceed 6 miles until you reach a gate near the top of the road.  At this point you will see a red rock butte on your left with a parking area for about 4 vehicles park there. 

Features:  Walk down the path on the left side of the road and you will come to a high point overlooking Sedona and the Bear Wallow-Mitten Ridge.  There are many superb views of the natural corridor into the Verde Valley.

 

Strenuous Hikes/Locations:

  1. Doe Mountain
  2. Huckaby Trail
  3. Scheurman Mountain
  4. Secret Canyon
  5. Sugarloaf Mountain
  6. West Fork – mid section

 

S-1. Photo Location: Doe Mountain / Evening shoot

Access:  All cars, paved road.
How Strenuous: Moderate to Strenuous

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179.  Proceed southwest on SR 89A (toward Cottonwood) a distance of 3 miles, to Dry Creek Road.  Turn right onto Dry Creek Road and go a total distance of 6 miles, where Dry Creek road runs into Long Canyon road.  Turn left on the Long Canyon road (FR 152C) and go to the  7 mile point where it will intersect Boynton Canyon road.  Turn left here on Boynton Pass road (FR 152C).  At the 9 mile mark you will see a large parking area on the left.  This is also the parking area for Bear Mountain.

Features:  Doe Mountain is a small mesa standing by itself.  From the top of the mesa you will have excellent views of the Red Rock Secret Mountain wilderness area.  

 

S-2.  Photo Location: Huckaby Trail / Evening shoot

Access:  All cars, paved road.
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179, proceed south on SR179 (toward Phoenix) for a distance of 0.3 miles, to Schnebly Hill Road roundabout.  It is just across the bridge past Tlaquepaque.  Turn left onto Schnebly Hill Road.  Continue on Schnebly Hill Road for a distance of 0.6 miles you will see a large parking area on the left.  This is also the parking area for Munds Wagon Trail hike.

Features:  The Huckaby trail starts at the south end of the parking area with views of uptown Sedona and the cowpies.  If you follow the trail to completion you will end up at Oak Creek. 

 

S-3. Photo LocationScheurman Mountain / Evening shoot

Access:  All cars, paved road.
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179, proceed southwest on SR89A (toward Cottonwood) for a distance of 4.2 miles, to Upper Red Rock Loop Road.  Turn left onto to Upper Red Rock Loop road and follow it to 4.4 miles, where you will turn right on Scorpion Way.  The parking area is just across the street from the high school’s administration building.

Features: The trail proceeds uphill and climbs gradually until you reach the top.  At the top the trail branches to the left and right.  The trail to the left goes out to an overlook with good views of Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek.

 

S-4. Photo Location/whenSecret Canyon / Morning or Evening

Access: 4 wheel drive high clearance / rough dirt road
How Strenuous: Difficult

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179, proceed southwest on SR89A (toward Cottonwood) for a distance of 3.2 miles, to Dry Creek road. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road and go a distance of 5.2 mile point. Turn right onto to FR 152, Vultee Arch road, and follow it to 8.6 mile point. You will see a sign marking the trail head turn left into the parking area. 

Features: The trailhead is across the wash called Dry Creek.  This is a long hike and you should take plenty of water (minimum 3 liters).  The trail goes through beautiful backcountry, passing through impressive red rocks.  However, you don’t actually enter Secret Canyon until you have gone three miles one way.  At the entrance to Secret Canyon you will enter a pine forest and has plenty of shaded areas.  The lush forest has plenty of opportunities for shooting along the Secret Canyon wash, which is normally dry in the summer months.

 

S-5. Photo Location/whenSugarloaf / Morning shoot

Access:  All cars, paved road.
How Strenuous: Moderate

Directions:  From the Intersection of SR 89A & SR 179, proceed southwest on SR89A (toward Cottonwood) for a distance of 2.4 miles, to Rodeo road. Turn right onto to Rodeo road.  Follow it to 2.9 mile point, where you will turn right at the Stop sign onto Sanborn Lane.  Proceed to 3.6 mile mark and turn left onto Little Elf Drive.  The parking area is on the left side of the road just past the right turn onto Buena Vista Drive.

Features: Take the left fork, which goes uphill.  The trail circles the base of Sugarloaf and it takes you around to the north side, where you will find a ramp going up hill taking you to the top.  Once you reach the top you will have unobstructed views of Airport Mesa and uptown Sedona.

 

S-6. Photo Location: West Fork Trail – to mid section/Early morning and Late afternoon shoot.

Access: All vehicles, paved road, parking lot, entrance fee of $8/day
How Strenuous: Easy to difficult, depending how far you hike, water crossings

Directions: Head north 9.5 miles along SR 89A from the Sedona Arts Center through Oak Creek Canyon. Watch for a sign for the West Fork Trail on right, followed immediately by a left turn into the National Forest Service parking lot for the trailhead. Lot opens around 7 am.

Features: West Fork Trail meanders along high benches and down over stone-stepped creek crossings. The trail is full of character, switchbacks, twists & turns, goosenecks, and vibrant color. 3.5 miles long, the West Fork Trail provides photo opportunities the entire way.  The trail can be as long or short as desired.  With river shoes, an additional five miles can be hiked into some of the most picturesque backcountry.

 

Recommended Books:

1.  Dykinga, Jack & Charles Bowden. Jack Dykinga’s Arizona, 2004.
2.  Dykinga, Jack. Large Format Nature Photography. 2001.
3.  Lindahl, Larry. Secret Sedona: Sacred Moments in the Landscape.  2005.
4.  Martres, Laurent, Photographing the Southwest, Vol 2 – A guide to the natural landmarks of Arizona, 2006.
5.  Magnum, Richard & Sherry. Sedona Hikes, 130 Day Hikes & 5 Vortex Sites around Sedona, Arizona, Revised 9th Edition, 2006.
6.  Till, Tom. Success with Landscape Photography. 2009.

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