Red Rock Crossing trail is one of my favorite hiking places in Sedona, Arizona. It’s also the location where photographers go to get the iconic photos of the Cathedral Rock with the stream in front of it.
The beautiful 1.8 mile trail is located in the Red Rock State Park, just outside the town of Sedona, Arizona. The Park is a beautiful combination of high-country scenery and rugged charm, with lots of hiking trails for every skill level and the best place to visit in autumn, if you want to enjoy fall in Sedona.
Finding the Red Rock Crossing trail is a little tricky. You actually have to pass the State Park’s entrance and visitor center and continue on the highway.
We visited this place some years ago, but couldn’t remember its exact name or location, so the next time we went we decided to print out the exact location: Red Rock Crossing Rd, Sedona, AZ 86017.
Red Rock Crossing trail is located 7 mile southwest of Sedona and about 37 miles south of Flagstaff. The park sits at an elevation of 4,000 feet.
If you are coming from Sedona on US 89A, turn south on FR 216, just outside town (Upper Red Rock Loop Road). Drive about 1.5 miles and follow the signs to Red Rock Crossing. The roads are all paved, so you won’t have any problems driving here.
What to Expect at the Red Rock Crossing
Red Rock Crossing trail is set alongside the waters of Oak Creek, in a very picturesque area. After parking your car, you can wander across the grassy lawn and down to the creek. Here you’ll find huge wide open flat red rock areas where you can swim, sunbathe, or just relax.
After you cross the creek, you can make your way upstream on the Red Rock Crossing trail. The path which is fairly flat, twists in and out of the forest, passing by beautiful scenery and swimming holes. During the hot summer months, the holes make perfect places to stop to cool off in the water.
Another option is to walk along the sidewalk that leads you to the lovely, tree-lined trail bordering the creek. You’ll pass an old water wheel, and enjoy beautiful views of Cathedral Rock.
This is a very easy trail that meander along the creek enjoying the shade of the trees around. It’s a pleasant alternative to hiking the Red Rock Crossing train in late summer, when it’s very hot.
The Vortex at the Red Rock Crossing
The place where Oak Creek runs next to Cathedral Rock is home to a strong Vortex and therefore is considered a sacred area. The Cathedral Rock itself is revered by Native Americans as a home of gods and birthplace of the first man and woman.
Regardless of how one feels about vortexes, there are many beautiful spots in this area where you can enjoy the scenery and perhaps even take in the so called vortex energy.
How to Photograph the Cathedral Rock from the Red Rock Crossing
If you are trying to get the best photographs of the Cathedral Rock, you should walk this trail. The shallow stream turns past the base of this iconic rock formation, reflecting it like a mirror.
To get the best reflection of the Rock you have to cross the stream. In some places, the bottom drops 25-30 inches, forming nice pools.
Red Rock Crossing is one of the most pristine areas in the Park and a very popular spot for both visitors and locals. Besides being a great picnicking, fishing and water-play area, it is also an iconic location for wedding or landscape photography.
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