On a recent trip to Phoenix for a conference, we decided to take a tour to Sedona with Detours American West. While I’ve been to Sedona many times over the years, I always enjoy returning to feel the pulse of the desert, the vortexes, the red rock and the mountainous terrain.
The Sedona Red Rocks tour allows you to see ancient Native American ruins and explore the local artisans of Sedona. For those new to Sedona, there’s plenty of art galleries, gemstone and crystal shops, jewelry shops and boutiques up and down the main drag.
Detours American West tours also offer a tour to a Native American dwelling from the Sinagua Tribe that existed along this busy trade route between 1250 AD and 1425 AD. Circuits they cover includeBell Rock, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Airport Mesa and if you wish add on an optional 4×4 jeep tour, you can opt to include it as a side-trip while in Sedona. You also stop at the ruins at Montezuma Castle National Monument, which has one of the best-preserved Sinagua cliff dwellings in North America dating back 1,000 years.
Montezuma Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved dwellings which were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam and other indigenous peoples.
There’s fascinating vegetation and bird life in the area as well as cactus and other trees of interest.
If you’re lucky, you can see Sonoran mud turtles (currently under threat from an invasion of non-native red eared turtles). You’ll also witness a number of limestone cliff dwellings built by the Sinagua Indians around the 14th century.
Following Montezuma Castle, we then explored the mystique surrounding Sedona, including famous red rock features of Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, and Chapel of the Holy Cross. Along the way, we took in views of Cathedral Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Submarine Rock, to name a few.
Sacred Circle in the middle of the Desert
Not on the tour was this sacred circle that we randomly discovered in the middle of the Sedona desert. Our guide stopped along the side of the road for us to shoot a little video and take photos, and within the trees, back off in the distance, fairly close to a well known vortex, we found this circle, created in the red earth.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic chapel built into the buttes of Sedona and is run by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, as a part of St. John Vianney Parish in Sedona.
Inside the chapel, it is very peaceful and outside, there are views of the surrounding mountains and desert. Saint John Vianney Parish is a Christ-centered community, centered on the “grace of the Holy Eucharist and guidance of the Holy Spirit.” (their words, not mine). It is the parish church where all liturgies are held except a Taize Prayer service which is held at the Chapel every Monday evening.
The road that leads up to the chapel boasts breathtaking views of Sedona and beyond.
Sedona is most known for its vortexes. It is said to be (and have) “a cathedral without walls. It is Stonehenge not yet assembled.” Many people come to experience Sedona’s vortexes.
Think of vortexes as swirling centers of energy. Some people, particularly those who are sensitive or empaths, feel the energy from the vortexes — some feel connected, others inspired, and others energized. It all depends on the person. Each person will experience the Sedona vortex energy differently.
The four best known Sedona vortexes are found at Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock and Boynton Canyon—each radiating its own particular energy. It is said that some of these vortexes are thought to “produce energy flowing upward while at others the energy spirals downward, entering the earth.”
Other options include the Tlaquepaque, an outdoor arts & crafts village full of art galleries, craft shops, cobblestone paths & decorative arches and having a leisurely lunch in downtown Sedona. Shopping is great here too, especially if interested in art, furniture, gemstones, crystals, turquoise, leather, dream catchers, and other artisan handicraft. The restaurants and cafes as fabulous too. And, of course, it is home to the infamous Pink Jeep Tours, which we did last time we were in Sedona a few years back.
Detours American West picks you up from your hotel in the Phoenix area and drops you off at the end of the day if you opt for a day tour. Detours custom touring vehicles are specifically designed for small groups with individual leather captain’s chairs that recline for each person. For more details on Detours American West tours, visit their website.
Note: we were hosted by Detours American West for our Sedona tour but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.