RED ROCK CROSSING

RED ROCK CROSSING
HIKES
SUNSETS
SWIMMING
ATTRACTIONS
DRIVES
MORE…

Red Rock Crossing

Sedona, AZ

Red Rock Crossing State Park is iconic Sedona. Flat stretches of inviting red rock, grasses, and shade trees line idyllic sections of the creek. Ancient trees offer abundant shade for picnics and a string of inviting swimming holes offer relief from the hot summer sun.  Striking views of nearby Cathedral Rock are a photographer’s dream, especially in late afternoon when the sunset lights up the rock. The park is crowded in the summer. Come early or near sunset to enjoy a quiet walk or a meditative sojourn in a little piece of heaven.

Red Rock Crossing Rock - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)
Red Rock Crossing Rock - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

After you park, you have a few options. You can wander across from the first parking area, where you’ll see several sidewalks leading across a grassy lawn and down to the creek. Here you’ll find huge wide open flat red rock areas where you can swim, sunbathe, or just relax.

After you cross the creek, you can make your way upstream on a red rock trail that is fairly flat, meanders in and out of the forest, andwithin fifteen minutes, takes you to some of the best swimming holes in Sedona.

Red Rock Crossing Rock - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)
Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

Your second option is to park in the last parking area. Take a rest stop, spend some time under the massive tree, then walk along the sidewalk that leads you to the lovely, tree-lined trail bordering the creek.  The clover in the grassy area feels wonderful on bare feet but watch out for gopher holes!

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

You’ll pass an old water wheel, and enjoy beautiful views of Cathedral Rock.  Once on the easy trail you’ll meander along the creek enjoying the canopy of towering trees, iconic photo spots, and even blackberry patches that offer their bounty in late summer.

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

The trail meanders in and out of the the forest bordering the creek, offering both shade and sun, as well as several red-rock lined pools. Stop for a picnic, explore the diversity of plant life along the creek, or continue onward for a beautiful emerald pool just past trail’s end.  There are a myriad of incredible photo spots along this path, especially at sunset.

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

You’ll stop at a spot that locals call “Buddha Beach.” Each year people pile rocks in delicately balanced sculptural towers. Late winter floods sometimes make the trail impassable and wash away all the towers.  No matter… Someone always builds new ones. Buddha Beach is a brilliant reminder to experience life’s joy in the present.  Maybe you’ll leave your mark here too.

SWIMMING

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

Red Rock Crossing is one of the best areas to swim in Sedona. You can wade, sit in the stream on flat red rocks, put your feet in areas where the water pours more swiftly, or find deep, peaceful pools. Wander along the creek to find your special spot, and enjoy a dip in emerald pools!

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

One of the most popular (also busy) swimming holes is located at the end of the trail that originates at the last parking area. Deep, wide,and with plenty of areas to sun, you are not likely to find privacy here… but you can float, swim, or enjoy a good splash! The water is chilly unless it is over a hundred!

SUNSETS

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

Sunset at Red Rock Crossing is peaceful. Birds twitter happily, the creek murmurs, and on most days a crowd of photographers set up their tripods getting ready for that perfect shot of Cathedral Rock glowing crimson and reflecting in a peaceful stream.  Wander along any of the trails and you’ll see them.

Red Rock Crossing - Sedona, Arizona (AZ)

The park closes and gates shut at sunset, but sometimes before the sun goes down, you can see the moon rise.  At the very least you can sit along the creek in near solitude, interrupted only perhaps by a blue heron flying overhead or an otter returning home for the night.  Mm. Peace.

Details…

Directions:
From Phoenix, take I-17 north to Hwy 179 (exit 298). Turn left onto 179 and follow it past the Village of Oak Creek to the Sedona (Burger King) “Y”. Turn left at the “Y” onto West 89A. Take this past most of the town until you are heading towards Cottonwood. When you see Lower Red Rock Loop Road, turn left onto it and follow it for 8.5 miles until you see the entrance to Red Rock State Park. Pay the tolls, get a map, and enjoy!

Difficulty:
Easy.

Things to bring:
I usually wear hiking boots with my “creek shorts” with a swimsuit underneath. I bring my backpack loaded with a towel, sunscreen, water shoes, a picnic lunch, snacks, bottled water, a camera, books, etc. Bring anything you think you’ll need to enjoy a wonderful day by the creek.

Fees:
Check with the US Forest Service for pass and fee information before your trip. A Red Rock Pass is required for parking in most locations.

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Please note: The material on these pages is for information and entertainment purposes only. You are solely responsible for how you interpret and use it. Although we strive to keep it up to date, we make no guarantees. Please read our legal disclaimer.

SEDONA QUICK LINKS:

Please note: The material on these pages is for information and entertainment purposes only. You are solely responsible for how you interpret and use it. Although we strive to keep it up to date, we make no guarantees. Please read our legal disclaimer.

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