Travelers use to have a hard time with taking highways when traveling because it seemed to bypass all the scenery and quaint little towns and with Sedona it could not be truer. As the Interstate 17 is a busy highway connecting Phoenix to Flagstaff my friend and I could not see what all the fuss was about when passing through the Sedona area. The signs pointed to Sedona but the landscape looked nothing like the images we had seen, so we passed the town without going into it. As my friend and I are avid mountain bikers we decided that we were too close of proximity to pass up at least driving through the town and maybe running one trail, so we did and it was the best decision of the adventure.
Headed north you turn off the interstate onto a two lane road (Hwy 179) that heads into the southern edge of Village of Oak Creek. This is the “Mayberry of the desert” as it is a quaint village filled with small shops and surrounded by some of the most breathtaking red rock scenery. It is the largest transformation I have ever seen when it comes to landscapes as the rocks seem to constantly draw your attention to them at every moment. The people of the village are incredibly relaxed and friendly and are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to hiking and biking trails and other attractions around the area. If you plan to take a hike or bike then it is helpful to pick up one of the free maps at one of the bike shops but best to purchase a more detailed map as one would have saved our beacon in the predicament we were placed in. The trails are well marked on the popular routes but if you trek further in or further up the mountain sides you will soon realize that you need Indian tracking skills in order to find your way. The views are simply stunning and worth trying as many as possible in the time you have. For those on a budget you will find some incredible free camping areas on the west side of the village although it is best to have an AWD or 4×4 vehicle and to be cautious of low spots or possibly getting stranded during rainy season. For the town of Sedona which is just north of the village you have many more amenities, lodging, attractions and restaurants at your disposal. From some very impressive art galleries to salons and 5-star dining Sedona is packed with things to do. Those in search of vortexes will be able to pick up maps throughout the town where you can start your trek to the multiple locations. This is desert climate so remember to take lots of water and high-nutrient food or snacks with you. There is a good chance that you will be doing more walking than you expect because the scenery is simply that beautiful. If you traveled by vehicle then it is a must to drive through the canyon north (89A) to Flagstaff even if you don’t care to go, simply do it for the drive as it is an incredible drive that offers several waterfalls during winter months and some just incredible scenery. The area simply has something for everyone and is a must for American travel.