Surrounded by the peaceful beauty within this vast crimson landscape of Arizona.
Welcome to Red Rock Country…
I didn’t expect to be so floored by the grandeur of Sedona. Tucked away, it was truly a magical escape. Waking up everyday to such unreal scenery was a treat for the eyes. It is also home to many energy vortexes, giving the air an uplifting feeling. After my trip here, I felt so refreshed, both mind and body. We took the days slow, enjoying being in the moment — from homemade smoothie breakfasts, hiking journeys, filling dinners and relaxation at the spa.
On this retreat, I took on my challenging hike to date. I’m pretty sure I was powered by the energy from the vortexes here. We visited three of the four main electromagnetic “spiritual” sources. I personally didn’t feel any different except a general positive atmosphere everywhere I went. Locations below:
Cathedral Rock – The trail may only be approximately 1.5 miles roundtrip, but it is a very steep ascent. The view is totally worth getting on your hands and scrambling up for most of the way. It’s a strenuous rock climb up especially in the mid-section where you have to navigate up a small crevice. Once up there the trail ends, but you have the option to continue onto a ledge (use discretion). I’m not gong to lie, it was a sketchy ledge. The views are amazing along the way up, if you find that its too much to go upwards (see yoga shot).
Bell Rock – There are two trails you can take here with more branching out. We took the pathway around the base before starting the ascent up. There’s a few spots you will need to scramble up, but otherwise each mesa level is spacious with sweeping views. Because we already logged in 2-3 miles of trails, we stopped on the upper level of Bell Rock. I would say its easy to moderate at this point, before a strenuous ascent to the top.
Airport Overlook Point – This trail is the easiest of the three we took. I did it in a dress and boots! Its a popular location for sunset watching so go early to beat the crowds. The path has cable rope handrails and man-made steps making it quite accessible. Towards the top, it does get a little tougher, so caution is advised. I wouldn’t suggest dress boots with heels if you need better footing. Amazing view for a short endeavor (60 feet)!
In addition to our breathtaking hikes, we made time for massages and the spa. It’s just the best thing after working out your muscles. We found a lovely foot reflexology spot, Tao Foot Spa & Massage, driving for acai bowls. A quick search will populate a plethora of spas and healing centers with some great prices. We also spent half a day at the Hilton’s Eforea Spa. While my friend booked treatments, I purchased a day pass ($10) for the steam rooms, sauna, jacuzzi and classes. I took a Qi Gong class and it was like a standing meditation. There’s also yoga etc..
As for food, we had our first meal in Phoenix, Little Miss BBQ. It has a perfect 5-star rating and its topping my list of great bbq. For breakfast, we kept it clean with homemade smoothies from our kitchenette. It was nice to bring it to the pool and take in the morning sun. Post-hike we had organic Mediterranean late-lunch at A Taste of Marrakesh. If you love acai and pitaya bowls, definitely stop by Berry Divine, as well. I wish NYC would have one these places! Also, for Mexican, Elote comes highly recommended. If you like to dine with a view, try Juniper Bar & Grill at The Ridge, where I had a refreshing glass of rosé with my salad. Also, try the red velvet pancakes with blueberry compote and cream cheese frosting at The Grille at ShadowRock inside the Hilton. We found ourselves in Scottsdale for our last meal in Arizona – plenty of good eats.
Accommodations-wise, we rested our heads at The Ridge Sedona, a Diamond Resort. I did enjoy having our own kitchenette and the location is central to all things on our itinerary.
The weather was a little all over the place. Days would be cold, raining and cloudy then become intense heat with the beating sunshine. I ended up getting sunburned due to such high elevation. Yes, I did apply sunscreen! Because it was so chilly and cloudy, we didn’t get to properly stargaze at night.
Now I’m back home, feeling so refreshed and accomplished. I now know I’m stronger than I thought. Eating clean and prioritizing wellness on this trip made be feel brand new. I come back with renewed motivation and confidence in keeping a healthier lifestyle. This was my first trip out west on the continental USA, and I definitely want to come back to see more including Antelope and Grand Canyon. The landscape is just so surreal and I feel like this is a destination I’ve yet explored being an East Coast girl.