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Different Faces of Cathedral Rock – A Sedona Icon

Sheri Sperry February 5, 2017

Cathedral Rock

Sedona AZ

Cathedral Reflections – A Special Vista Known To Locals

Cathedral Rock from Chapel Area homes for sale

View of Cathedral Rock from Meadow Lark and SR 179 in Chapel Area

The Majesty of this iconic red rock can be seen from many areas of Sedona.  Without a doubt, State Route 179 offers the best views in passing of Cathedral Rock. Thousands of residents and visitors pass by it daily on their way in and out of town. To get a closer look, there are many areas you can drive to for different vantage points. The picture above, requires some hiking through a residential area and is not easy to find unless you are very familiar with the area.  It is located very near Crescent Moon Ranch, which offers much easier access and wonderful opportunities for pictures.  Crescent Moon Ranch does have an entry fee and is located next to Red Rock Crossing.  See pictures below

Crescent Moon Ranch – Spring (Top)

Swimming Hole at Crescent Moon Ranch – Rocks in water act as barrier (Bottom)

Crescent Moon Park Ranch Cathedral Rock

Picture Opportunities

Other fabulous picture opportunities include Upper Red Rock Loop road.  There are many turnouts to see the vista and myriad of red rock formations can be seen from this location.  Upper Red Rock Loop road is adjacent to the Marriott Courtyard and Red Rock High School off the 89A as you travel to or from Cottonwood and Cornville. This road also leads to Chavez Ranch road. Crescent Moon Ranch is at the end of the road which is where Red Rock Crossing is located. Red Rock State Park is another location that may afford some wonderful shots.

Lovers Knoll - Upper Red Rock Loop road Cathedral Rock

Lovers Knoll – Upper Red Rock Loop Rd – Cathedral Rock Foreground – Courthouse Butte – Middle Background

Views From Village of Oak Creek

From the Village of Oak Creek, take Verde Valley School road which leads to Red Rock Crossing. Some of this road near the end is unpaved so take that into consideration.  There is a parking area and you can easily walk to Oak Creek (Red Rock Crossing). Stepping stones allow you to cross the entire creek but be cautious and make sure the flow of the creek is easily passible. Don’t take any chances. The creek widens out in this area which allows the flow of water to be spread out over a large area and is very shallow in certain spots.

All Images Below Are From the Verde Valley School Rd Side of Oak Creek

Cathedral Rock from Verde Valley School rd VOC

 Red Rock Crossing

Cathedral - from Highland Estates - homes for sale

The Saddle Sits In the Middle of the Spires –

A strenuous hike that is well worth the effort.

Many spires cannot be seen.

Highland Ranch View Off Verde School Road VOC

Aerial View of Cathedral At Highland Ranch

Hiking Around & Into Cathedral Rock

Another location for a great close up view is the trailhead off Back O’Beyond road.  This is a popular spot to hike Cathedral so get there early in the morning for a good parking spot. Lots of trails lead to Cathedral Rock, most notably, Templeton Trail, Baldwin Trail and Cathedral Rock Trail.  There are three trails you can take to get to the iconic Cathedral Rock. The most popular is the Cathedral Rock Trail. It is broken into 4 segments based on difficulty.  “A”, the easiest part of the hike, brings you to the base of Cathedral. I have done this part of the hike and it is elevated enough to enjoy the views. If you are an experienced hiker, you will find the trip to the “Saddle” amazing.  There is a spot that you can sit that reverberates through the rock and many hikers will break out in song. Some will pick a tune that harmonizes with nature and their own vibrations.  Select this for the link to visit a more detailed map and information. 

Map Location of Cathedral Rock Trail Head


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Sheri Sperry Coldwell Banker Sedona Realtor

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