Few views are as glorious as Sedona’s famous red rock covered in white. It is already a beautiful place in its own right, but red rock country rockets up the stunning scale during winter. Even in the cold, there are plenty of things to do in Sedona in winter.
This was my first time getting the chance to experience a white winter in Sedona, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. My brother and I woke up around 4 am, cruising through the chilly morning air towards the sunrise in Sedona.
Things to do in Sedona in Winter
We began the day at Secret Slickrock, witnessing a stunning morning sky light up in front of us. With Cathedral Rock as our backdrop, the near-freezing temperatures meant we had to keep moving, even while photographing, to stay warm. Even with the chilly temperatures, the company kept spirits high.
Once the sun began to rise, it quickly warmed up enough that our limbs weren’t icicles. After retreating to the parking lot, we hung around for another 45 minutes or so, drinking coffee and being chatterboxes. After leaving Secret Slickrock, Austin, John, Kellie, Harriet, and I began our next adventure at the Hangover Trailhead.
Shouts to Kellie’s 4Runner for shortening our walk by being able to navigate the pretty treacherous Schnebly Hill road. Once on the trail, it was a pretty easy walk up – even in the snow. I stopped at random points, per usual, to take photos and stare at the beauty surrounding us.
Once we reached the saddle, we headed towards “ClubDub” which isn’t a thing to anyone but about six people. Sorry for the inside reference. We couldn’t reach it due to some icy terrain, so we made “camp” and hung around. These views don’t get any better when it comes to Sedona in winter.
Up here, you have a striking view of the city as well as Oak Creek Canyon in the other direction. Seeing it glisten under the morning sun was superb.
With the morning behind us, the gang continued on our epic adventure day by making our way toward Keyhole Cave. This cave has blown up lately, and for good reason. It’s a unique formation and a pretty easy hike with a doable scramble at the end. I’d estimate it’s about a 1.5 – 2-mile walk to the cave with all the elevation change in the last quarter-mile. Once there, we lounged, did the photographer thing, and enjoyed the views and company.
Sedona in winter – Seven Sacred Pools
Our final adventure for the day was Seven Sacred Pools at the Soldiers Pass Trailhead. It had been a whirlwind of a day but wrapping up here was a perfect way to end the Sedona trip. The parking lot, as always, was full, so we had to park on the street, adding another half-mile to the walk. Not bad at all.
While the sunset was less than subpar, the group still had fun messing around with reflections and jumping around – quite literally. It was a stunning Sedona in winter evening for all of us.
In all, our trip to Sedona lasted about 21 hours – 4:30 am to 1:30 am the next morning – and it was worth every minute. It’s always a blast getting to spend time with photographers and outdoors enthusiasts who love to keep pushing boundaries and finding awesome new spots. As always, the things to do in Sedona are endless and exceptional.
(If you’re curious about other Sedona caves, check it out here.)
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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