Ahhh…sweet, sweet Sedona. Such good memories we have of this beautiful place! If we had to sum up Sedona we’d use these 2 words: touristy and stunning. The crazy tourist aspect of Sedona was slightly off-putting to these 2 nature lovers, but I can also understand why people flock there. Thankfully we were able to boondock in Sedona, which provided us all of the nature-loving experience that an RV park usually doesn’t.
For those who don’t know, Sedona is called “Red Rock Country”. It’s where the beautiful red layered sandstone begins in Arizona. We have since seen a lot more red rock in Southern Utah, but Sedona was our first taste of this beautiful landscape. Contrasted with all of the green trees in Sedona, the topography is truly otherworldly. I’m ready to go back right now!
Touristy, Touristy – Downtown Sedona
I’ll try my best to give you an idea of how touristy Sedona is. The tourism spilled over into our boondocking area. Have you ever heard of the Pink Jeep Tours? I hate to even give them any lip service (it seems like they already have enough!) but these pink Jeeps full of tourists were CONSTANTLY going by our boondocking spot! Like every few minutes. Every day.
The problem with this is that Sedona is so dusty, and these Jeeps kick up a ton of dust. So if you’re going for a walk on the road when a Jeep goes by, get out your dust mask. Seriously, I wish I would have had one at times. I think the red dust of Sedona will be deep in my lungs for a longggg time! The other problem is that the people in the Jeeps (they are outfitted to seat about 10-12 people) stare at you as they go by. So often I felt like a rat in a cage when chillin’ by the RV. The Pink Jeep company has quite a presence in downtown Sedona. They have a storefront every couple of blocks, to sell their tours. Whoever owns that company must have taken a gamble on Sedona before it got popular, and now they have a monopoly on the place!
Sedona is expensive. Everything costs money. To do hikes, you need to purchase a “Red Rock Pass”, which you print out from a kiosk near the trailheads and put on your dashboard. And the Red Rock Pass does not cover some of the more popular hikes. For those, you have to pay a day-use fee. One hike we did was $10. For a hike? This is the first time we’ve been charged for hiking. If you want to park downtown, expect to pay for a meter.
Downtown Sedona is really cute, but it is packed full of shops all selling the same trinkets/jeep tours/spiritual experiences (what? yes…I link below to more info on Sedona as a spiritual hotbed). We did enjoy our time walking around, and we ate at a Chipotle with the most beautiful view. I even bought a Sedona shirt. That’s saying a lot – I try not to buy souvenirs from a place unless I really like it, mainly because we just don’t have room for them in the RV. So me buying a shirt in Sedona should tell you something!
Our Boondocking Spot
We really enjoyed our boondocking spot in Sedona. We ended up boondocking on Loy Butte Road. Due to the popularity of Sedona, there were other people in and out of the area in their RVs (and lots of tenters!) during the time we were there. Although others were around, it never felt crowded. We ended up meeting some cool neighbors, including fellow full time RVers Art and Ashley. Such a small world, they are from the exact same area of Pittsburgh that we are!
RV life is never dull. Sedona is touted as a spiritual place (read here about the vortexes in Sedona) and it attracts a hippie crowd. A guy was parked right across from us in a small bus. Every day when I’d step outside, he’d drop one of the windows of his bus, stick his head out, and talk to me! It took me by surprise every time, because you expect someone to come out of a door, not pop their head through a window. I was kind of happy when he left because I enjoy slightly more solitude when boondocking 😉
Loy Butte road is Forest Service road, and it’s in rough shape. To get to Sedona, we had to drive for about 15 minutes on this dirt road before we got to anything paved. I thought my head was going to rattle off of my neck – that’s partly because our new truck has such a rigid suspension, but also the road really is rough.
We loved boondocking in Sedona so much that we did our longest stretch so far – 10 days. We were lucky to find a water source so it was easy to keep our tanks topped off. There are so many hikes in Sedona, it was kind of like a paradise for us! Because of all the tourism money, the trails are all really well marked and well maintained. I’m going to do a post specifically about hiking in Sedona because I have so much to say and so many pictures to share. Sedona is where I got chased down by a javelina on the trail, but I’ll save that for my next post.
Okay – I have so much more to say about Sedona. I want to show you pictures from all the hikes we did, but I start to get blog fatigue when it comes to long posts and uploading a million pictures. So I’m going to save that for another day. Sedona, we love you!
Date Visited: Mid-April 2018