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Sedona's Breathtaking Red Sandstone Formations


To say Sedona is beautiful or gorgeous is a huge understatement. It has to be one of the most exquisite places in the southwest. It’s something you have to see for yourself. The locals say there is magic in the handsome red rocks, and I believe them. I was definitely smitten from the first time I saw them in October of 2003.

We got there at night, so we didn’t get to see them until we woke up. What a sight to wake up to. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I opened the room blinds.  We had been to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, but it was different. Maybe because there were more of them or they were bigger. Not sure, but they were magnificent.  We stayed at the Sedona Summit, which was part of the timeshare we had at the time. It is a quiet resort and everyone was very friendly. Sadly, we only had two days there.


While we were there we learned a little bit about the beautiful city of Sedona and how it got its name. The city of Sedona was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877–1950), the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city's first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness. Her mother, Amanda Miller, claimed to have made the name up because "it sounded pretty."


Sedona's main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. They are so beautiful and I was mesmerized the whole time I was there.


We spent most of our time driving around the city and doing a little souvenir shopping. One of the highlights was visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The chapel was built in 1956 and stands on a small mountain between two large red sandstone peaks. A 90-foot cross dominates the structure. There are no services in the chapel, but visitors can go in and pray if they like. There is also a guest book you can sign. It is a simple, but quaint little chapel. Here is some information about the chapel in case you want to visit while in the area:

The chapel is at 780 Chapel Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, about 4 miles from downtown Sedona; take Hwy 179 south to Chapel Road. It's open daily from 9 to 5. Parking is limited.


After we left the chapel we went on a drive on what they call Red Rock Loop, which is part of Red Rock State Park. It was an extremely beautiful drive. Throughout most of the drive, beautiful Red Rocks surround you. It was absolutely amazing. I took pictures, but they don’t do justice to the beauty. The next time I will definitely take a video camera to record that drive. Warning; you will get red rock all over your car, but it is well worth it.


Later that evening we went and saw an Omni-max movie regarding the history of Sedona and some of its highlights. It was a good movie, but it should have been longer for the price we paid.   Other than the price, it was very good. Unfortunately, it was our last evening there and we had to leave early the next morning. I can’t wait to go back again. This time I want to stay at least a week and really see the city.


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