The Red Rocks of Sedona

Through my windshield view a scene directly from an episode of Looney Tunes evolved. I slowed the motion of my speeding vehicle to attempt to drink in the vista as long as I could. In the moment, I couldn’t help but feel as though the roadrunner was about to race in front of the car, pause, deliver his signature “mee-meep” before dodging an incoming chunk of red rock. The landscape in Sendona, Arizona almost seems too much like the cartoons to be real. From a cacophony of gray and green foliage a bright red rock pushes itself from the floor offering a vast contrast to the scene.

Sedona, Arizona, Red Rock

Sedona, Arizona

For me, Sedona felt a little bit like someone took Whistler, British Colombia and dropped it down in the middle of Arizona. Unlike flat and dull Phoenix to the south, Sedona is young, vibrant, energetic and begs to be explored. Through the trees mountain bikers speed along the trails spitting out a trail of red earth behind them. In the many parks shutter happy tourists wander through the quiet trails hoping to catch a photo of a green-chested hummingbird as it drinks from a plant. And it seems like everyone stops where they are as the sun sets to enjoy the moment.

A man on a bench waiting for sunset at the cathedral

Sedona, was a breath of fresh air. It is a natural playground which drips with possibilities for anyone with even the slightest penchant for the outdoors.

I sat down on a riverside stone at a place known as Red Rock Crossing to enjoy the sunset and take a couple pictures. As I settled in I felt that buzz we so often require as long term travellers. As horrendous as it might sound, quite often we become desensitized to seeing beautiful and wondrous places. To maintain a level head we need these moments of clarity to ground us. These moments can come from seeing someone do something incredible, it can come from seeing something powerful and, quite often, it can come as simply as appreciating the fact that you can take the time out of every day to watch the sunset, no matter where you are in the world.

Red Rock Crossing, Sedona, Arizona


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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9 Comments

    • Thanks Scott… it’s a really cool place!

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  1. Love Sedona! The landscape there is just amazing, and it looks like you got to see the best of it!

    Did you make it out to Slide Rock State Park at all? That was my favorite part of Sedona.

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    • Yes Amanda, it was my first time there and I loved it too!

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  2. We visited Sedona last spring and weren’t nearly as enamored as we expected to be. I think part of the problem was that we had spent the previous two months visiting tons of national parks in the southwest that also have these huge red rocks — Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion. The town itself is really lovely, though – the people are friendly and I like the hippie vibe. 🙂

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    • @Aaron – I was only there for the day and didn’t see the Arches… I didn’t go looking for it either though.

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  3. Sedona is a seriously incredible place. I was there 8 or 9 years ago with my family and we had such a great time. Great photos, they really bring back the memories.

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    • Ryan – If I would have know what was there before going I would have definitely planned more than a day trip. Would have been great to go for a bike ride there.

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