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The town of Sedona, Arizona lies at the mouth of Oak Tree Canyon, a 16-mile gorge that’s a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon. Small wonder then that Sedona has become a magnet for artists and New Age mystics, drawn here by its dramatic red sandstone formations, its scenic vistas and the almost supernatural quality of its pure desert light. Adventurous travelers soon followed in their wake. Renting a condo for your Sedona vacation allows you savor the beauty of your surroundings in relative privacy. There are numerous condos available near golf complexes and close to other recreational sites that will give you quicker access to your favorite activities.
Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest, Sedona is a paradise for hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The Brins Mesa Trail is a three-mile roundtrip of moderate difficulty that will take you up to a mesa from which you can peer down at Mormon Canyon and Soldiers Pass. If you’re looking for a longer but easier hike, take the Little Horse Trail to the top of Chicken Point; during the course of your 3.4-mile roundtrip, you’ll catch stunning vistas of Cathedral Rock, Courthouse / Bell Rock, Gibraltar Rock, and Munds Wilderness. Fishing is also a popular pastime in Sedona. The Oak Creek River is stocked with rainbow trout, while the nearby Verde River, the only Arizona waterway that’s part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, is a great place to catch largemouth bass and brown trout during your Arizona vacation.
Golfing on a green alongside of a red butte formation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and there are more than 15 golf resorts, country clubs, and courses in the Sedona area to prove it. The best may be Oakcreek Country Club whose 18-hole course was designed by the father-and-son team of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. Visitors to the Sedona Golf Resort report that playing this course must be what it feels like to play golf in the Grand Canyon. This resort’s Par 3 is the most photographed tee in the entire Southwest.
Sedona’s on the northwest edge of the Verde Valley, which in recent years has seen the development of a number of vineyards and wineries. The rocky soils lend a unique terroir to the grapes grown here, and Rhone varietals are particular favorites. Echo Canyon Winery, just outside the Sedona city limits, was one of the first wineries in this area; it began as a truck farm producing fruits and vegetables for the mining camps in nearby Jerome. Page Springs Cellars along the banks of Oak Creek, produces a variety of reds and whites.
At an elevation of 4,500 feet, Sedona is considerably cooler than other parts of Arizona, though average temperatures are still well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. In the winter months, it’s not uncommon for the thermometer to dip below freezing. The best time to visit Sedona is in the spring and autumn months when the air is balmy and the days are still long enough to appreciate the play of the changing light on the rock formations.
The closest airports to Sedona are Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG). Although the Phoenix airport is farther, it offers a convenient shuttle service into Sedona. Other than that, the best way to get to Sedona is by traveling Interstate 17 and turning off at Exit #298 for the Red Rock Scenic Byway Road.