Sedona Arizona Travel Guide – Reviews and Recommendations

Sedona, Arizona attracts nature lovers, geology enthusiasts, adventure seekers, foodies, art lovers, mystics, and curious travelers from around the world.  Located in the center of Arizona, Sedona is 100 miles North of Phoenix and a popular road trip for Valley residents. Usually a 2 hour drive between Phoenix and Sedona, allow extra time for holidays and weekend travel.

The iconic mountains of Sedona are formed from layers of sandstone in various shades of bright, bold red.  Many people believe that the red rocks of Sedona are an Energy Vortex of healing properties.  These power centers are a huge draw for New Age Enthusiasts.  There is much debate and discussion around the magical properties of the area, but most visitors will agree that the red rocks are stunning!

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South Mountain Park

Hiking is one of my favorite free activities in Phoenix.  Our desert valley is surrounded by mountains providing stunning views and wildlife.  South Mountain Park/Preserve in the heart of Phoenix is over 16,000 acres, approximately 20 times the size of New York’s Central Park, it is the largest municipal park in the country!  Now is the perfect time to Go Take a Hike!

South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is easy access from anywhere in metro-Phoenix and offers trails for every level of athletic ability.  Horses, dogs, and mountain bikes are all welcome on the trails.

Desert Classic Trail
Desert Classic Trail

With nearly 60 miles of trails, I like to map out the hike before heading to a trail head.  Most trails are easily followed with metal signposts along the trail as a guide, and many of these were recently updated with trail name, QR code, elevation, and specific trail post information.  I always bring a hard copy trail map of the area I plan to be in.  A recent hike with friends was so beautiful we decided to add another couple miles to our hike, which was easily accomplished with a brief look at our trail map.south-mountain-park-map

 

 

There are at least 4 main parking lots, and many more parking areas near perimeter trail heads.2015_SM1There are excellent maps and detailed descriptions of trails provided by National Geographic at All Trails website.  Here is more information about the beautiful desert trails including petroglyphs and ruins.

Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe
Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe

Pima Canyon entrance is accessed from I-10 and Baseline road, just off of 48th street and Guadalupe.  This popular parking lot is usually packed with cars, and offers restrooms, water fountains, shaded benches, and areas for cooking/grilling.

Pima Canyon Gazebo
Pima Canyon Gazebo

 

Desert Foothills Parkway is a smaller parking lot located at the Southern tip of the park and offers shaded area, water fountains, and portable toilets.

Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo
Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo

 

 

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Chichen Itza Travel Guide | Explore the Mayan History in Mexico

Explore the incredible ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza! Travel Guide with transit time, tours, the pyramid, beyond the pyramid, Mayan History in Mexico, and more!

Art, Museums, History, Science, Natural Wonders, and Archaeology are a few of my favorite things!  So what could be better than an archaeological site full of art, culture, science, an ancient pyramid, an astronomical observatory, and more located in a jungle? That was my motivation to spend the day at Chichen Itza Mayan archaeological site.

The Chichen Itza site is located in the Yucatan state of Mexico, the nearest village is Piste (pronounced pis-tay).  Our adventure started in Cancun, Mexico on the far East coast.  The cheapest way from Cancun to Chichen Itza is by tour bus, it is also the slowest and most restrictive.  We skipped that and arranged for a private car through our resort, paying $250 USD for private driver all day including fuel.  Slightly more expensive, but we set the schedule and our little car passed all the buses so we arrived before the crowds.  By car, it is a 2 hour drive using toll roads, or an extra hour to avoid the tolls.  Tolls are charged by type of vehicle, meaning that our private car paid approx $500 pesos for both tolls (approx. $42 USD) but van or bus is more expensive.

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White Tanks Mountain Hiking Destination in Arizona

The White Tank Mountain range is located on the far West side of metro Phoenix, within the edge of Maricopa County. Not as popular with hikers in the summer due to the brutal heat, this becomes a popular mountain trail in the cooler months.

The views are spectacular with a variety of hiking trails of several levels of difficulty to accommodate everyone.  The Waterfall trail is even wheelchair & stroller friendly. Best of all, the park is dog friendly, so bring your pup along for a great day outside enjoying the spectacular desert beauty.

Don’t let the name fool you, the waterfall trail is often a small trickle in dry season. After a big rain storm, like the summer monsoon season, the waterfall is flowing and cool. A few special days, the waterfall is big enough to form a small pool for a quick, refreshing dip.

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L’Auberge de Sedona

L’Auberge resort is the premier luxury resort in Sedona, Arizona, providing a relaxing, dog-friendly vacation.

Sedona, Arizona is a little town that has made a big splash.  The unique red rocks and perfect weather ensure that Sedona would not be a secret for very long, and sure enough by the 1980’s Sedona hit the big time for tourist destinations.

Oak Creek
Oak Creek
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