FIVE THINGS: SEDONA, ARIZ.
Where the landscape is surreal and the vibes are mystically good.
As a traveller, I’m prone to cramming in overnight flights and back-to-back activities in the interest of squeezing as much out of a destination as I possibly can. But after being inspired by a friend’s very Zen photos of hiking in Sedona, Ariz., I knew I was ready to try something different.
L’Auberge de Sedona resort sits on the banks of Oak Creek in the centre of town. Picture towering sycamore trees, luxurious creekside cottages with open-air showers and a salt- and mineral-based pool. Activities include sound healing at L’Apothecary Sedona Spa and stargazing.
There are four major vortexes in Sedona: Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock and Boynton Canyon. These vortexes, where the earth’s energy is particularly strong, are said to offer healing and spiritual benefits. Whether you’re a believer or not, they’re worth a visit, especially at sunset, when the red rock hills practically glow.
Even if you’re not a yogi—I’ve only done yoga twice—the outdoor classes offered by Aumbase Sedona offer an original, relaxing way to experience the city’s trails and vortex sites. A yoga nidra, or guided sleep-based meditation session, on the rocks is a dreamy, centring start to any morning.
Reach Sedona, two hours north of Phoenix, by taking the Red Rock Scenic Byway, which is lined with New Age-inspired businesses that advertise aura readings, crystal magic and psychic connections. It’s a fun drive, especially if you take a detour to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Cathedral Rock.
Sedona is dubbed the “Day Hike Capital of America” and offers over 100 different trails, for various levels of expertise, close to Main Street. Hiking up Soldier Pass Trail at sunrise means you’ll get to experience the Seven Sacred Pools and giant sinkhole before the crowds descend.