The desert town of Sedona is a small, secluded world unto itself. Framed by mighty rocky outcrops and canyons, exclusive Pueblo-style mansions, art galleries and New Age stores blend barely visibly into the dream setting.
It looks perfect and completely different from the usual collection of supermarkets, gas stations and motels often found in this area. Therefore, there are many reasons to come to Sedona.
You can relax and take in the scenery or use the time for an extended stroll through the elaborate Tlaquepaque shopping complex.
Or you can lace up your hiking boots and explore the countless trails and book one of the popular jeep safaris.
Sedona lives from its variety and the many possibilities, which is also reflected in the range of accommodations.
I opt for a location with a lot of charm and stay at the Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the popular Bell Rock Trail and offers the best view of the Wild West scenery.
So, what better way to start the day than with a hike that takes me around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Even though it’s hot and stuffy, the 7 kilometers fly by and I marvel at the lush vegetation that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected in high summer. But the monsoon season in August regularly brings short rain showers and thunderstorms, which provide for all the flower magic.
After a two hour hike I am back at the Canyon Villa Inn, where my host Celia is already waiting for me with coffee and homemade chocolate cookies.
The Bed & Breakfast captivates with a lot of charm and quality, it offers not only „Billion Dollar Views“, but also a breakfast, which is hardly to be weighed out in dollars. You must try the French toast and order the Denver omelet or the Avocado toast. There is no better way to start the day in all of Arizona.
But not only the „Breakfast“ is exceptional, also the „Bed“, impresses with attention to detail. The rooms are tastefully furnished, have a modern bathroom with shower and either a balcony or a private terrace, from which you can directly access the swimming pool. In addition, guests have access to a common living room with fireplace and a well-stocked library, where you can spend the evening in style.
Staying at Canyon Villa Inn feels like staying with friends, because Celia is always there to give advice or make a reservation at one of the top restaurants.
Day 2 dawns and I head to a hot spot that isn’t even marked on the maps. Subway Cave is something of an insider’s tip that you can easily miss if you haven’t done a little research beforehand. Start at the Boynton Canyon Trail parking lot, which you follow for 3 kilometers before reaching a tree whose overlong branches have grown from left to right. Here alone, 80% of hikers pass carelessly, only to despair at the end, because the narrow, unsigned path to the right is hard to make out in the brush.
Nevertheless, I dare to cross the dry creek, and head for another kilometer towards a red rock wall, until it apparently goes no further.
But that’s not quite right, because you can climb up to get into a narrow niche where you have an amazing view. The rule is to simply marvel and enjoy and hope that the next hikers will walk right past the junction.
No less spectacular, by the way, is the hike to Devils Bridge, which can be reached via a 6.3-kilometer trail nearby. Even if the path is not really nice to walk, the view of the impressive sandstone arch, which is well visited by tourists, compensates.
Two tips at the very end of the story: You should definitely pay a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is spectacularly carved into the red rock and offers the best view of the surrounding canyons and rock formations.
The view is no less spectacular from the Mariposa Steakhouse in West Sedona, where they serve grilled steaks & Latin style fish. What a setting, food, and unique atmosphere.
This article was written at the invitation of the Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast Inn. Many thanks to my host Celia for the warm welcome.