Roads Less Traveled - Visit Sedona Blog

Roads Less Traveled

Adventurers in Sedona often seek roads less traveled, and we help you find the perfect off-the-beaten path retreats known mostly to locals with Sedona’s Secret 7. These are more-secluded spots where you can savor a Red Rock Country experience that feels tailor made just for you.

Sedona’s Secret 7 is a compilation of seven categories: Hiking, Biking, Vistas, Stargazing, Picnics, Arts and Culture, and Spiritual. Each category highlights seven lesser-known locations.

The program also helps environmental impact as Sedona’s visitation tops 3 million annually.  The carefully constructed trails help manage the load and shelter our sensitive semi-arid landscape, but spreading visitation to lesser-known and equally-memorable experiences is another way we keep Sedona sustainable.

Before you explore these uniquely beautiful places, get in tune with Sedona’s environmental ethic by taking the Sedona Cares Pledge and please follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.

Biking: 

From the “easy” 2.6 mile Dead Man’s Pass to the “hard” 9 mile Girdner Trail, Sedona has some of the most exhilarating singletrack rides in the US, placing us among the top ten mountain bike destinations in the world, according to singletracks.com. Our Mountain Bike Festival attracts thousands of sustainability-conscious riders, well-known for respecting the resource and leaving Sedona a little better than they found it.  We encourage you to adopt the same attitude while you’re out there!

Hiking:

Sedona’s go-to outdoor activity features endless options, and our Secret 7 hiking section introduces you to behind-the-scenes local favorites we’ve discovered over the years.  You will pass by ancient volcanic mounds, spot rare black-tailed jackrabbits, enjoy fragrant Juniper and piñon pines as you enjoy staggeringly beautiful scenery. From brief easy-going jaunts to all-day 20-mile ventures, our recommendations will intrigue and thrill you. Be mindful of people who will follow your footsteps in the days and years ahead: pack out all trash, do not approach or feed wildlife, and please don’t venture off the trails. We’ve designed them for maximum enjoyment and minimal impact.

Picnic:  

Tree-lined passages, grassy fields, historic sites and wide-open parks offer the perfect venue for an al fresco lunch with amazing red rock views in all directions.  Jordan Historical Park features a large apple orchard and the Sedona Heritage Museum; Red Rock State Park offers spots along the cool waters of Oak Creek. Crescent Moon Ranch is a serene spot adjacent to a historic Arizona ranch house at the base of Cathedral Rock, offering a unique “secret” view of one of the most photographed sites in the Southwest.  

Star Gazing: 

Because Sedona is a Dark Sky Community designated by the International Dark Sky Association, you don’t have to venture far into the night to find the canopy of the universe spread brilliantly overhead. Thunder Mountain Trailhead provides a 360-degree view that will take your breath away.  You will find a unique opening  just past the tree-lined opening of Fay Canyon Trail that is perfect for spotting shooting stars. No matter which venue you choose, you will savor the deep natural quiet that settles on the land as darkness falls. Please be sure to keep voices to a whisper – and do your part to blend into this amazing experience.

Arts and Culture:

From heritage sites that respectfully preserve traces of Native American culture dating back thousands of years, to the most contemporary art produced by our thriving arts community – you have lots of options for deepening your appreciation of humankind’s history and contributions to Red Rock Country.  Stop in at Hoel’s, a unique store tucked away in spectacular Oak Creek Canyon, and stroll the boutiques and galleries in Uptown, West Sedona or the Village Of Oak Creek. You are bound to  find something that speaks just to you.

Vistas:  

While it is practically impossible NOT to be amazed gazing in any direction from anywhere in Sedona, there are a few extra-special places we recommend that give you a chance to take in soul-stirring views most people never see.  Our Secret 7 Vista sites are all rated as easy to moderate hikes and most are  just two miles or less in length. 

Spiritual: 

Sedona is a well-known spiritual center attracting people of all traditions to its uniquely powerful ability to move the soul. We suggest the Madonna and Nuns spire along Little Horse Trail as  a peaceful meditation site. Our list also includes the unique Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a beautiful outdoor setting for spiritual renewal, and the must-see Chapel of the Holy Cross, one of Sedona’s most well-known and inspiring spiritual sites.

We know you will love the Sedona experience. The beautiful, tranquil settings we recommend Sedona’s Secret 7 will add to your pleasure . We hope they inspire you to join us in carefully and respectfully sustaining Sedona as one of Earth’s most special places.