After deliberating over a number of other day-hikes in the Sedona area I decided finally to just try a day visit to the Red Rock State Park just west of downtown Sedona. The park listed 5 miles of trails, a vistor center, and picnic areas. I envisioned being able to park the truck close to a restroom and be able to touch base there in between some shorter hikes. We also decided to be morning people for a day in hopes of getting some quieter times on the trail.
Keep in mind that half of our family are teens. Teens that like to see the lee side of 8:00 show on the clock before rolling out of bed in the morning. Exactly the same time as the park opened and I wanted to be among the first in.
MsBoyink choose the attack vector for getting them out of bed.
She got up early and started grilling onions, green pepper, eggs and - the secret weapon almost as good as bacon - sausage. With bellies full of scrambled egg & sausage tortillas we made it to the park by 8:15 and headed straight onto the trails. Our first hour we saw no other people. Back at the visitor center we traded camp-hosting stories with the volunteers there, found additions to our growing fridge magnet collection, and signed up for the volunteer-led interpretive walk learning about flowers, bushes, fossils and petroglyphs (covered in greater detail here - same guy!). We followed that for an hour and then made a pit-stop, got snacks, and headed out to the Eagles Nest trail, named for the Disney film “The Legend of the Boy and the Eagle which was filmed in this area.
It was the perfect hike for us. A good length, a good workout, lots of flowering things, a payoff view for pictures, and not overly long back to the truck for lunch. We’d like to do longer hikes (well, 3 of us would), but we know we need to start with shorter ones.
The park was a good choice - although it got busier it seemed less busy than our time closer to town. We met other people on the trail but they actually interacted with us rather than hardly even acknowledging our presence. Even at the busy point of the day I counted fewer than 20 cars in the parking lot. We left mid-afternoon, stopped for ice cream on the way home, and had the classic “nap or shower first” dilemma when reaching base camp.
We’ll end our Sedona time with this visit as it’s been the best of all of our attempts.