Active Travels: Hiking Sedona, Arizona
By Steve Jermanok
Exchange the red leaves of fall foliage with red rocks and you arrive at Sedona, which cools down just enough in the autumn months to offer a handful of hikes with jaw-dropping views. The landscape is a blend of twisted rock formations where monoliths, mesas, some as high as 5,000 feet, hoodoos, hanging cliffs, and spires join serrated red mountain walls. The 3-mile path that weaves through Boynton Canyon is arguably Sedona’s most popular trail, and rightly so. Jagged sandstone walls line both sides of the narrow pass. Prehistoric Native American dwellings can be seen under cliff overhangs that jut out of the mountains to greet you. If you can somehow manage to turn away from the towering scenery, you might be able to spot several alligator bark juniper trees close to 2,000 years old. The tree gets its name from the thick scaly bark that resembles an alligator’s hide. On your return trip, stop for lunch or a drink at the first-rate Enchantment Resort, located at the entrance to Boynton Canyon. The glass encased dining room and lounge offer more exquisite views of the surroundings.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life.His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World, due out late 2010.He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.