Red Rock State Park

entrance sign4050 Red Rock Loop Road
Sedona, AZ  86336

Website

Park Map & Brochure

928-282-6907
(Park Office)

My visit: Sept., 2016

I had passed by the entrance to this park several times during my drives down Red Rock Loop Road, a loop I often took on the way from Cottonwood to Sedona because just the scenery along that road is incredible.

Their website describes it as “a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery.” I had no doubt about the stunning scenery since I’d seen pictures from there and the red rock formations I’d seen around Sedona were endlessly fascinating to me.

Eagle’s Nest Vista Trail

I stopped at the visitor’s center and heard that the hike to Eagle’s Nest Vista was the most popular, so that was an easy decision.

Red Rock State Park Eagles Nest Vista Hike - climb

It had been a while since I had done much hiking with an incline, but I wasn’t about to miss the panoramic view I was promised at the top.  It’s only about 3/4 mile, but gains 300′ in elevation, so there was some huffing and puffing, but I took many opportunities to stop and take pictures and catch my breath.  At a comfortable pace, it took me about an hour to get up there.

You go up via a series of switchback trails similar to this:

Switchback trail

Some parts are smoother like this and others more rocky stair-like.  I definitely recommend taking along a hiking stick, wearing good hiking shoes and bring lots of water.

bridge-collage-2

There are a couple of bridges like this to cross.  This one was my favorite with yummy creek views from both sides.

parking-lot-view

It was fun (and a bit daunting) as the climb got higher, looking down at my car in the parking lot and seeing how far I’d come (and how far I had to go back)!  But the views of Cathedral Rock were enticing enough and ever changing, so I had plenty of incentive to continue.

switchback-trail-view

Another part of the switchback trail with equally enticing view of the Seven Warriors formation.

Seven Warriors formation

View from the top of Eagles Nest Vista and a better view of Seven Warriors. The light was shining perfectly on it and it was breathtaking in more ways than one since I was still huffing and puffing from the climb.

Eagles Nest Vista bench

But there are benches at the top to rest and gawk at the truly panoramic vista.  Here’s where I sat for about a half hour watching the shadows from the clouds changing the look of the landscape.  As I was contemplating this wondrous land, I wondered how I’d ever want to leave it. Something about these red rocks just stir my soul! Oh, also contemplating the desire for an escalator to take down. winking-smiley-png

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Entry and Fees:  (as of Sept. 2016): $7 per person adult; $4 per youth (7-14); younger no charge.  The park is open 7 days a week from 8 am – 5 pm, but last entrance is at 4:30 pm.  The parking lot at the visitor center is as far as you can get by car.

Camping:  None – day use only.  I would have loved to camp here for a while, but when I asked Park Manager Heidi Erickson about it, she said they had looked into the subject, but it was ultimately determined that was at odds with their core mission statement:

“The mission of the park is to preserve the riparian habitat associated with Oak Creek; to serve as an environmental education facility; and to provide limited passive recreational opportunities.”

They do have a couple of full hookup sites available for volunteers to work at the entrance or visitor center.  See On-Site Volunteer Openings for more info and to apply.  Other volunteer opportunities.

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Facilities (short list:)

  • Visitor center with gifts and souvenirs.
  • Theater with films “The Natural Wonders of Sedona” featuring aerial shots of ancient Indian ruins with shots of Sedona’s dramatic landscapes and local wildlife.  “Loved to Death” talks about the environmental importance of Oak Creek.
  • Butterfly garden and hummingbird patio.
  • Picnic tables, both open and covered Ramadas for rent.
  • Restrooms and Ramadas are handicapped accessible.

Activities:

Their Facebook page is a good resource to keep updated on what’s going on at the park.

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History:  It was concern by the governor in 1980 (Bruce Babitt) while he was hiking the area that caused concern about Oak Creek and other areas along waterways being closed to public access.  After researching ownership of the property and working with their support and the state and years of negotiation and study, the dedication and opening of Red Rock State Park took place on October 19, 1991.

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dog-leash

Pet Friendly? No pets of any kind are allowed in the park or on the trails.  They are very serious about this in order to protect the delicate ecosystem here.  From their FAQ & Rules page:  Red Rock State Park is a Center for Environmental Education and as a nature preserve it is our mission to protect the environment and the wildlife that live here. Pets may leave droppings or intrude on others’ enjoyment of the park.

cellphone

Internet/Wi-Fi/Cell Phone: Verizon works best and there are spots within the park and on the trails with access.  I could get one on the Eagle’s Nest Vista Trail, but I could not get a signal from the visitor center.  I also heard that the volunteer host sites cannot get cell phone signal or internet access via an aircard, either.

two-centsMalia’s 2 Cents:  If you’re as in love with the red rock formations around Sedona as I am, this is a great place to indulge that fascination. The two hikes I did were fantastic – I think it’s impossible to get enough of the panoramic views of Cathedral Rock!

Your Two Cents? The only way I know if the reviews and research I present are helpful to you is if I hear from you. I sure would appreciate your feedback in Comments below.

But there are benches at the top to rest and gawk at the truly panoramic vista.  Here’s where I sat for about a half hour watching the shadows from the clouds changing the look of the landscape.  As I was contemplating this wondrous land, I wondered how I’d ever want to leave it. Something about these red rocks just stir my soul! Oh, also contemplating the desire for an escalator to take down. winking-smiley-png

House of Apache Fire

Next:  House of Apache Fire hike and Full Moon guided hike

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  • Janice Williford Evans

    thinking we may return to Sedona this next year. . .but unless Dave has his knee surgery done, doubtful we will be able to do this fabulous hike. . .loved seeing it through your eyes!

    • Hey Janice, since I haven’t nearly gotten my fill of Sedona, I may very well be back here then, too. Would love to see y’all again! I’m glad you enjoyed this hike with me from my pictures – that’s the easy way for sure. 🙂

      • Janice Williford Evans

        we’ve got a grand graduating in June in Houston, which is throwing a bit of a kink in our summer travel. . .I’ll keep you posted on FB as to whether we will make it that far west or not. . .sure would like to. . .

        • I’ll be in Austin area through the winter, but won’t be there in June, so I’m glad we can keep track of each other on FB. 🙂

          • Janice Williford Evans

            I’ll send you a PM on FB at a more decent hour. . .I think it’s 4:15A where you are. . .LOL! We are getting into travel mode this morning. . .heading to Tom Sawyers in West Memphis. . .after a quick stopover to have lunch with friends. . .

  • Rochelle

    I’ve done this hike and it is truly amazing. Your photos are fabulous! How has it been camping in Cottonwood? I will be in Sedona sometime this winter and may choose Cottonwood to “park it”. I communicated last year with you about going solo and now my time has come. I took my first solo trip (i.e. no man!) to Yosemite last week to meet up with my nephew and family from Yuma. I was pretty anxious the week before I left, however, once behind the wheel and on my way all the anxiety melted away. I was able to handle all the “chores” myself. It was a pull thru site and I didn’t take the car, so it was pretty darn easy. Taking the car and backing into a site are my next challenges. You have proven to me that a 65 year old woman can do the solo thing. My rig is 33 ft so I think it will be very comfortable for just one. I did take a 6.5 month trip this past year with my boyfriend and even the two of us did just fine in the space. Thank you for your efforts in posting and for providing a very clear vision for me of what is possible for act three!
    Rochelle

    • Hi Rochelle! I’m so glad to hear your time did come and you were able to take off. Anxiety at first is perfectly normal and it’s good you’re taking things one step at a time as far as towing a car, etc. That’s how it happened for me, too.

      I like where I’ve been staying at Rio Verde in Cottonwood, but since they’re taking out the RV sites on the river (where I’ve been) and replacing with park models, I don’t know if I’d like the other sites as well. But nothing else around here is great, either. I really loved Dead Horse Ranch State Park, but that’s only do-able for 2 weeks (and no full hookups, either).

      This area sure needs some more RV parks! I’m going to try to get a page done on Rio Verde and the other parks I’ve checked out, but it may take me a while since I’ve got a lot of other stuff on my plate to finish first. 😉

  • Hi Sandy – glad you found the info helpful! My best recommendation would be Dead Horse Ranch State Park. You can see my full review at http://maliasmiles.com/arizona/dead-horse-ranch-state-park/. I tried to give a good overview of the different loops and features. Water and electric at each site, but no full hookups. Dump station is very accessible, though. However, it’s not easy to get in here since it’s very popular, so I definitely recommend making reservations as soon as possible.

    • Sandy Wetzel

      Thank you!

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