Saturday, March 7, 2009

Touring Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and more…, Arizona

Today we set out to explore the sights in Oak Creek Canyon and Chapel Hill in Sedona. To begin our day of adventures we drove from Sedona north on Hwy 89A straight through until we reached the vista area at the vary top of the canyon. Here you can get some great photos looking down into this canyon from various viewpoints on the rim. It was quite interesting to see the terrain change so quickly from the bare red rocks and desert Cyprus trees around Sedona to ponderosa pine forest covered mountains and patches of snow at the top. At this vista is a small gift shop and many Native American’s selling their jewelry, pottery and more. From here we started back down (south) the Oak Creek Canyon towards Sedona with the goal of stopping at the many sights along the way. The highway at the bottom of the canyon follows along the creek. Here the forest changes again to groves of Arizona Sycamores and black oaks that line the valley floor. There are some wonderful views of the creek tumbling through large rocks and of bare rock formations that are starting to appear.

Moving further south we stopped at Slide Rock State Park. This is a popular park for swimming in the summer time that is right off the highway. Originally, this site was an apple orchard homestead but because the creek here forms slow moving pools with wide level rocks shores, it’s become a popular place to escape from Arizona’s hot summer temperatures. Being off-season, we were able to get great photos of the beautifully colored rocks that line the creek here. High above this state park, you begin to see more of the bare red rock formations that are like what you see throughout the Sedona area. It was interesting to note the landscape changes as you progress through the canyon.

As you know sightseeing makes us hungry (probably from lifting the camera so often), so per a recommendation we tried the Wildflower Bread Company that’s located in the The Shops at Pinon Point Shopping Center which is part of the Hyatt Hotel. Here we found large wonderful sandwiches made with homemade breads, terrific soups and yummy desserts. Brad couldn’t resist the light and flaky cinnamon roll smothered with white frosting. This is a moderately priced restaurant, with high quality food, wonderful service and amazing views off their back patio.

Stomachs full, our adventure continued…………..

Chapel of the Holy Cross
This is a small catholic chapel built in 1957 to the design of Marguerite Brunswig Staude who was a student of the world-renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The unique but simple concrete structure built between two large rocks rises 200 feet above the ground and supports a large 90 foot wide cross. This location offers not only up close views of the red rocks to the back of the chapel, but also incredible panoramic views of many surrounding formations. The Chapel is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In the basement of the chapel is a small gift shop that offers a variety of religious items.
Parking is along the spiraling road that leads to the chapel with handicap parking at the top. There is then a spiraling path which is wheel chair accessible that takes you the remaining 100 feet to the chapel. This Sedona landmark is a must see and free, so….enjoy the views!

Conchos Mexican Restaurant
Later in the day we found ourselves back in the town of Cottonwood. Per another recommendation we went to Concho’s Mexican Restaurant in Old Town Cottonwood for dinner. This is a family owned and operated restaurant that offers a large variety of high quality Mexican food. Our waitress was a lot of fun, provided great service and was very helpful in recommending food and drinks on the menu. As a bonus we saw the local peacock flying from the roof tops of the nearby buildings. This restaurant is located as you are leaving the old town area towards Jerome. If you are in the area and have a hankering for Mexican food in a welcoming atmosphere, then this is the place for you.

1 comment:

Jerry and Suzy said...

Years ago my parents visited Sedona and saw the chapel up on a hill. My mother, a life-long Catholic, commented that "This can't be a Catholic church; there's no cross." (In those days, a cross was a reliable sign of a Catholic church.)

It was only after they got home and viewed their slides that she saw the built in cross! We all laughed about that for years afterward.

Follow us by Email

Blog Archive