Sedona’s ‘Secret 7’ Unlocks New Destinations, Angles

It’s easy to feel like you know everything there is to know about Sedona, especially after you’ve been there and realized all those resorts and shops and vortexes are set among the red rocks in a relatively small town.

But this burg of 10,000 residents has many less-explored sites and experiences, and its Chamber of Commerce wants everyone to know about them. The “Sedona Secret 7” isn’t a list of seven locations, its seven categories, each containing several “secret spots.”

The next time you visit this astonishingly beautiful area, do yourself a favor and use the guide and map available at www.visitsedona.com/sedona-secret-7 to help you find these places. Each page will give you directions starting from the Sedona Visitors Information Center, 331 Forest Road. Below is just a sampling of what you’ve probably been missing.


ARTS AND CULTURE

  • Sedona Arts Center — A nonprofit organization housed in the Uptown District’s Art Barn, this houses a fine art gallery with the largest collection of works by local artists. Founded in 1958, the center also offers classes, festivals, and exhibitions.

BIKING

  • Aerie Trail — Intermediate 2.9-mile (one way) singletrack trail between the Aerie and Boynton Canyon trailheads with views of Boynton Canyon, Fay Canyon, and Bear Mountain. For a 4.4-mile loop around Doe Mountain and back to the Aerie trailhead, turn left at the Cockscomb Trail.

HIKING

  • Schuerman Mountain Trail — A short out-and-back hike to the basaltic lava left behind by an ancient, now-extinct volcano. You can travel a 2-mile loop by taking the Vista Trail and then hiking to the top of Schuerman Mountain. This unshaded area is best visited between November and April.

PICNICS

  • Posse Grounds Park — The City of Sedona’s first park has 10 ramadas, several short, easy walking trails, a playground, bike skills and skate parks, and impressive views of the surrounding red rocks. Once a staging ground for the sheriff’s posse, this 78-acre property is accessed from 89A by Posse Ground Road.

SPIRITUAL

  • Thunder Mountain Trailhead — Take a short walk from the parking lot to the trailhead and you’ll find a secluded plateau that’s ideal for a moment of meditation or unrolling your yoga mat for some poses. The steep trail itself scales one of the highest peaks in Sedona (aka Capitol Butte) for those in search of physical as well as spiritual experiences.

STARGAZING

  • Brins Mesa Trailhead — Just north of Uptown Sedona, this trailhead’s parking lot requires a Red Rock Pass and is far enough from ambient light to provide stunning, starry views often bright enough to illuminate red rock outlines.

VISTAS

  • Beaverhead Flat Scenic Trailhead — A few miles south of the Village of Oak Creek, this quieter site promises a different view of the Verde Valley, including a series of green mesas out to the east that are especially pretty under a light dusting of snow. Its remoteness makes it another great place for stargazing, too!