Discover the incredible highlights, history, geology & nature of Sedona Arizona with this entertaining, educational, point-by-point Waypoint Tour - your personal tour guide for Sedona travel adventure.
Sedona Red Rock Country Tour
Sedona Red Rock Country
Welcome to Sedona Red Rock Country! Whether you have come to Sedona to golf, shop, hike, bike, rock climb or just plain relax and enjoy the scenery, we hope this entertaining, educational, entertaining Waypoint Tourâ¢ will enrich your Sedona experience, and we look forward to your feedback and ideas at wWaypointtToursrs.com. We'll introduce you to the story behind the magnificent scenery. You'll hear about early settlers, Native Americans, plants, rocks and animals of the region, and the forces of nature that created this unique place.
If you could look at the state of Arizona from above, you would see the red, salmon, and cream-colored rocks of Sedona lace the edges of the 3000 foot high Mogollon rim. A serendipitous set of natural phenomena has created a striking landscape of spires, buttes and canyons. Here, at the edge of the Mogollon Rim, the wide expanses of the Colorado Plateau in Northeastern Arizona tumble down through a jumble of mountains and canyons, and smooth out into broad basins and northwest trending mountain chains in Southern and Western Arizona. "Red Rock Country" may look familiar to you, even if you've never been here before. It is one of the most photographed spots in Arizona, and these formations were featured in classic western movies like "Angel and the Badman" with John Wayne, "Broken Arrow" with Jimmy Stewart and "Call of the Canyon," adapted from the novel written by Zane Grey.
Sedona is an unusual name for a town, but then, it was an unusual name for a baby. It's not Spanish, or Native American, but simply, American. Amanda Miller, a woman of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage living in Missouri, made up the name for her daughter because she thought it sounded pretty. On Sedona's 20th birthday in 1901, she married Theodore Carlton (Carl) Schnebly, who promptly took her to Arizona, where his brother Ellsworth was living.
Only five families lived in the area, and the new two-story Schnebly home was the one place large enough to accommodate guests, so it became the town's first hotel and general store. Carl Schnebly organized a post office, and submitted the names "Oak Creek Crossing" and "Schnebly Station" to the Postmaster General. Upon being told that they were too long for a postmark, Carl's brother suggested he name it after Sedona, and so the pretty place acquired a pretty name.
Oak Creek Vista
This lovely spot among the pines has wonderful views of Oak Creek Canyon. Native Americans from Northern Arizona often have jewelry and other Indian crafts for sale – true southwest souvenirs.
At the overlook, you can see some of the switchbacks of the road as it plunges down into Oak Creek Canyon. The 15 mile journey through the canyon is what some might call an “Oh, My!” road, both for the spectacular views, and for the sheer descents. Flagstaff is at 7200 feet; Sedona is at 4400 feet.
As the elevation changes, so do the temperature, plants and animals. Flagstaff is about 10 degrees cooler than Sedona, and gets 10-15” more precipitation. On top of the Mogollon Rim, you’ll find ponderosa, white fir and Douglas fir; as you drop in elevation into Oak Creek Canyon, you will find chaparral shrublands consisting of scrub oak, manzanita and juniper. Scrub oak is more formally known as Turbinella Oak, after the acorns which resemble little toy tops. Other species of Oak which grow here, and help give the canyon its name, include Emory Oak with shiny yellowish-green leaves that resemble holly, Gambel Oak which has lobed leaves and a proliferous root system, and Arizona White oak, which hybridizes easily. Manzanita means little apples, and is named for the small yellowish-white/reddish-brown berries that are found among the twisted, mahogany-hued branches and small waxy leaves. Many animals, including skunks, coyotes, foxes, grouse, quail, bears and deer, enjoy these berries.
At the lowest elevations, you’ll find prickly pear cactus, yucca, and desert dwellers such as coyotes, jackrabbits and lizards. Along the stream you’ll find water-loving willows, sycamores and cottonwoods. Over 150 species and subspecies of birds have been recorded here due to the diverse habitat. For example, the pygmy nuthatch prefers the pine forests, whereas the red-breasted nuthatch prefers conifers and the white-breasted nuthatch prefers deciduous trees such as the cottonwoods and sycamores. A curious fact about nuthatches is they forage by traveling down tree trunks. That way they find bugs that other birds, such as woodpeckers, traveling up might have missed.
Not everything that flies is a bird, however. Bats are known to nest near the overlook; their favorite perches are old bridges and buildings, trees, and abandoned mines. When you consider that, in one night, a large colony of bats can eat up to 500,000 pounds of insects, you might want to keep them around. They hibernate in the winter and that seems essential for their survival. Please respect their privacy. Young, inexperienced bats may lose their grip and fall if startled, so let sleeping bats hang.
From this high vantage point, you may feel as if you are flying too. Oak Creek Canyon and beautiful Sedona are a land of contrasts; from scenic mountainous vistas to deep, cool canyons; from cozy bed and breakfast inns to spacious resorts with all the amenities; from Cowboy art to surrealism; from soothing to energizing vortexes; from desert dwellers to riparian habitat; and from ancient seas to modern day rocks, which provide the most striking contrast of all; the vibrant red buttes and spires silhouetted against rich green vegetation and verdant blue skies.