Our trip begins today in Scottsdale, Arizona. Meet your guides and fellow travelers this morning for a brief orientation to ensure we're all prepared before loading into our private van and setting out to the high desert surrounding Sedona. This morning our skilled female guide team take us to some of the most recognizable and photographed formations in Sedona, Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. We take time to circumnavigate both formations and become immersed in the diverse flora and fauna of Sedona, a perfect introduction to the local ecosystem. After a day warming up on our legs on the trail, we head to our comfortable Sedona hotel to get checked in and cleaned up before dinner. Overnight in Sedona for the next three nights. Box lunch and dinner included.
Transfer time: 2.5 hours; Hiking 4 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 458'/456'
This morning, we get our first real taste of Sedona’s colorful, captivating geology on a classic hike. Following our experienced female guides, we climb through the red rock to a vantage point offering magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. Later this morning, we drive to Tuzigoot National Monument. This large excavated pueblo features prime examples of pottery, baskets, tools, weavings and demonstrations of how these ancient farmers and craftsmen lived a thousand years ago. The charming 19th-century mining town of Jerome is today’s final destination. Built on a 30-degree slope, many of Jerome’s buildings were ravaged by fires or slipped downhill over time. A revised building code finally required structures to be made only of masonry and the town now hosts art galleries and tasting rooms featuring local wines. We will also enjoy a fabulous dinner at a local Jerome restaurant before returning to Sedona for the evening. All meals included.
Hiking: 4.7 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 349'/681'; Walking: up to 1 miles; Driving: 1.5 hours
After breakfast, we head to a trailhead just above town and hike the historic Munds Wagon Trail, once a popular route for moving cattle out of Sedona. Around each bend, an enchanting moment awaits—a fantastic vista, hummingbirds feeding at a blooming Ocotillo, or polished red, white and pink sandstone blended together to create a beautiful geological formation. Our guides help us find a spot for lunch with a view under the shade of pinyon pines. This afternoon, we have the flexibility to choose our own adventure (while the activities are on your own, our guides provide transportation to various drop-off locations). Take a self-guided hike, shop for local artwork or relax and catch up on some vacation reading. Regardless of your choice, the spectacular red-rock landscape is never far from view. All meals included.
Transfer time: 1 hour, Hiking: 6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1000' (not including any optional hikes this afternoon)
We start our morning with a relaxing yoga session where all are welcome. After yoga and breakfast we head to Red Rock State Park, a 286-acre nature preserve filled with stunning scenery. Trails in the park wind through manzanita and juniper, and green meadows are framed by hills of striated red and gold sandstone. Oak Creek flows through the park, creating a riparian habitat brimming with plants and wildlife. Following a series of interconnecting trails, we learn about the geology of the Colorado Plateau and some of the fascinating adaptations that plants and animals have made to survive in this environment. En route back to Phoenix this afternoon, we stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument, a cliff dwelling located in a high alcove above Beaver Creek. Its purpose is still debated by archaeologists—was it a fortress, a religious center? After our visit to Montezuma's Castle we head back to Phoenix and plan to arrive in the late afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 3–5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 300'; Transfer time: 3 hours