Are you tired of being stuck indoors yet? During one sunny spring quarantine weekend, I decided to play tourist in my home town. Red Rock State Park slaked my thirst for a new adventure like a desert oasis.
If you want a breathtaking hike you can take #OnlyinSedona, clip your mask and sanitizer onto your key chain and hit the road. From somewhat ancient ruins to instruction on native wildlife, Red Rock State Park offers something for everyone.
Red Rock State Park — Entrance View
At the park entrance, you’ll find several lookouts, one equipped with a telescope pointed toward the House of Apache Fire. Enjoy a jaw-dropping view of Cathedral Rock dead ahead from this sign, one of many educational readings dotting the region. To the right, you’ll see the Seven Apache Warriors.
The visitor’s center remained closed when I made my trek. However, don’t think that Red Rock State Park doesn’t offer the ideal field trip for your homeschool young ‘uns. Near the entrance, you’ll find ample signs telling you about the local flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to encounter some of them on your hike.
Red Rock State Park also makes an ideal outing for people with disabilities. If you need a wheelchair, they have a paved pathway at the main entrance.
Alternatively, you can take the Smoke Trail from the lower parking area to the Kingfisher Bridge. I highly recommend stopping to listen to the babbling water. It’s the ultimate in soul-soothing.
The House of Apache Fire remains safely tucked away behind a fence to prevent further damage. It’s incredible to reflect that Helen and Jack Frye lived here around the time my grandparents served in WWII. It’s kinda like thinking about Elon Musk shooting cars into space as if the current pandemic meant nothing. Maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald was right — the very rich are different from you and me.
That said, it sure is nice to daydream about having five acres of land with creek running through it topped off with an architectural masterpiece to call home. However, the property now stands in semi-ruin, reminding us that we all are mortal — do we want to spend our lives pursuing money when all it buys crumbles to dust?
That’s as philosophical as I get on this blog. However, all things considered, if I have to choose between trail dust and riches, give me that sweet soil anyway.
Red Rock State Park — House of Apache Fire
I looped around the park at breakneck speed as I had to meet my partner. He was busy shooting an introduction for our yoga videos at another site. I suggest taking your time to mosey through this 5-acre masterpiece.
Climb one of the many willow trees. Sit on one of the ample benches throughout the well-marked trail and have a meaningful conversation. Heck, maybe throw down a yoga mat and strike a pose. I skipped the mat on this particular excursion, but I might do some videos here in the future.
I strongly suggest you plan your visit and bring the family. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. You do need to pay an entrance fee unless you purchase an annual state park pass. The entry fee for is $7 per adult with discounts for children and seniors. You can purchase an annual park pass for $75 and up by clicking here.
If you go: Access Red Rock State Park by taking Highway 89A north from Cottonwood and turning right/east on Lower Red Rock Loop Road.