Step out of Sedona, and into one of the most breathtaking landscapes imaginable. Amidst the vivid red rock formations of Oak Creek Canyon, far removed from the hustle and bustle, there is magic in the air and an overwhelming sense of peace that can captivate even the most hardened soul. While Sedona provides rejuvenation for the body the wilderness that frames it, Oak Creek Canyon, provides inspiration for the mind.
Born from millions of years of laborious effort by Mother Earth, the sheer beauty and splendor of the canyon is truly a gift from the heavens. The twice-formed Oak Creek Canyon, in its ancestral form, first developed some eight to ten million years ago along the Oak Creek Fault before it went dormant. A few million years passed, the canyon filled up with gravel deposits and lava flows, and the Fault became active once again, sparking the second coming of the canyon. Most of the exquisite carving is attributed to Oak Creek, a tributary of the Verde River, eroding and shaping this twelve mile river gorge into an eternal masterpiece of celestial art.
Oak Creek Canyon, akin to an art gallery for the gods, proudly displays enormous sculptures looming at all angles. At the edge of Sedona, deja vu may overwhelm your senses, since many of these formations are often featured on postcards, and in travel magazines such as Arizona Highways. As you venture into the canyon, looking out from Oak Creek Vista affords a panoramic view of the entire canyon. Moving throughout the lush, vibrant landscape, surreal color and texture will bombard your senses. Cameras cannot capture the full essence of the surrounding scenery, but once imprinted on your mind, the images will stay with you forever!
For those who seek a road less traveled, and refuge from the storms of everyday life, the canyon offers several retreats. Take Forest Houses Resort, for instance. Situated on twenty acres near the upper canyon, this peaceful property offers a selection of houses, all designed and built by its founder. Privacy and relaxation are top priority here, and a good behavior policy is enforced, with parties and noise being unacceptable. You can easily commune with nature and have the entire canyon’s gorgeous terrain at your disposal, all while truly escaping stress, even if only for a day or two.
If adventure and activity call, spend some time at Slide Rock State Park, where nature provides built-in water slides along Oak Creek. If you prefer drier entertainment, tackle some of the canyon’s best trout with miles of fish-able creek to enjoy. Hiking and climbing along one of Oak Creek Canyon’s many trails will elevate the heart rate, and take your breath away, if the view hasn’t done so already! The West Fork of Oak Creek reigns as one of the best hiking sites in the United States. Providing a scale of difficulty from relaxing to rough as the climb progresses, visitors of all ages can find true enjoyment here.
The West Fork, located in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness area, entices not only athletic types, but also those with a higher calling. No trip to the Sedona area would be complete without visiting the Energy Vortexes, some of which are located within this wilderness, at the Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock formations. It doesn’t take a believer, however, to understand the inspiration and awe that comes from being in the presence of these giant wonders of nature. It is said that the branches of the native Juniper trees will twist and bend in response to the profuse level of energy that springs forth from the vortex sites. For those who are simply curious, several guided tours are available, with knowledgeable local experts to heighten the experience, and explain in great detail how this mystical energy source works. However, if you truly seek spiritual awakening and solitude in order to connect with higher forces, or just with yourself, these locations are easily accessible by automobile and short hikes.
Oak Creek Canyon is a source of inspiration for all who enter. Whether you come to learn and explore, play and relax, or get in touch with what is truly important, Oak Creek Canyon can be either the beginning or the end of your journey!
Silver Spur includes a drive through Oak Creek Canyon in the comfort of a Mercedes built Sprinter Van on the all day Magical Day in Sedona tours. Each trip includes both the “ascending” and “descending” views of the Canyon for you to enjoy.