Sedona from a local

Occasionally we like to share suggestions from locals about what to enjoy while you are staying with us at The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa. Here is a contribution from a local: Haley Davis, and she provides some good tips for families and parents to consider when bringing teenagers to Sedona.

“As a kid born and raised in Sedona, it is hard to imagine what life would be like coming into this town for the first time. I wake up every morning to the bright, magnificent face of the red rocks and continue with my routine without a second glance. It isn’t that I take it for granted, the incredible scenery has just become part of my life. But if I were visiting Sedona for the first time with the knowledge I have as a local, my experience in this town would be a step above the rest.

The first thing I would do before the exciting day began would be to zip over to Java Love Cafe, just across the street from Sedona Rouge. Though some of their usual patrons are a little quirky, that coffee shop gives off the appropriate Sedona vibe. It’s small, unique and warm. After enjoying my breakfast sandwich and coffee, I would head toward Oak Creek Canyon. The Uptown shopping scene can wait; more adventurous opportunities lie ahead in the depths of the lush green trails.

Ever since I was little, my mom always took my sister and me to hike at West Fork. Rather than hitting up the swamped Slide Rock park, we would hike a mile or so up the trail, past the steep cliffs, through the towering pine forest and stop at a swimming hole. Now that I am older, we spend more time hiking the easy-to-walk trail. No matter how many people are visiting West Fork (the trail isn’t really a hidden gem), you still have an intimate experience with the wilderness surrounding you. Tiger swallowtail butterflies are abundant, small native fish swim in the brisk water, even the occasional tarantula and nonpoisonous snake make an appearance. If you sit on the edge of the rock with your feet in the water, sometimes the little minnows will nibble at your feet. Just as the park rangers and hikers take care of the trail, the West Fork inhabitants take care of us, making sure we are dirt free.

The West Fork trail is beautiful no matter what time of year you are visiting. In the winter, the water is icy, creating a frosted wonderland. In the spring, everything is coming back to life. Flowers bloom and trees awake from their season-long sleep. In the summer, the creek provides a sanctuary for hot hikers, whether they just want to dip their feet in or plunge their whole body in. Of the whole year, West Fork is perhaps the most beautiful in the fall, specifically early to mid October. The leaves on the trees change dramatically. From bright pink to deep red to golden orange and light yellow, the trail quite literally looks like a kaleidoscope. Though it is difficult to capture perfectly, be sure to bring a camera. The intense pairing of brilliant leaves and the distinct Sedona rocks is incomparable. You won’t ever want to forget how incredible it was.”

Book your stay at The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa and discover your adventure!

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