Bell Rock and Other Formations in Sedona
After admiring the 360 degree views from the Chapel of the Holy Cross, we continued moving south along State Route 179 towards one of the most famous spots in the Sedona area: Bell Rock.
Sedona is notorious (mainly) by two things: the red rocks (of course) and the vortexes. According to some New Age practitioners and metaphysics students, vortexes are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth. The vortex energy is not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest.
It is believed that the energy that exists at these locations interacts with who a person is inside and strengthens the interior.
Turns out believers of this phenomenon place one of the Sedona vortexes (there are four or five depending on what source you consult) at (or around) Bell Rock. Because of its accessibility, the spot is flooded by visitors to the area.
Some visitors (like me), are just interested in getting in contact with the burnt orange / terracotta soil, the buttes / spires rising towards the skies and the scruffy vegetation which gives green tones to the entire panorama.
We started by walking a short section of the Little Horse Trail. The trail affords views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, Castle Rock and Submarine Rock.
The day of my visit, the visibility was perfect. The beautiful weather conditions allowed for miles and miles of views. The plethora of clouds accentuated the rocks colors.
Note: The Little Horse Trail connects with the Bell Rock Pathway and the Courthouse Butte Loop (i.e. you can hike from here to the base of the rock).
We also stopped at the Yavapai Point (or vista). From this point, we had great views of Castle Rock and Courthouse Butte.
Our last look at the famous rock was taken from the Bell Rock Vista Trailhead. From the parking lot in here, the walk to the base of Bell Rock is short. You can even get to the top and get another view of the rock formations.
I loved this particular trail because it affords incredible vistas of Thunder Mountain (or Capitol Butte) and other notable rocks. It is a view of red rocks till the curvature of Earth permits.
I got a little confused identifying Bell Rock since various pictures I saw on the Internet does not coincide (or look similar) to what I saw. I can only conclude that several pictures floating around the Web have been taken several years ago. The rock I saw is an eroded version of what it used to be in the past.
This fact tells me a lot about the fragility of the area and the ever changing landscapes. In addition, it got me thinking on how the Sedona rocks will look in the upcoming years. Will I be able to recognize the place I have visited once?
In summary, Bell Rock is an ideal spot to stop by during a visit to Sedona. It will certainly delight everybody (I hope) in your group.
- The Bell Rock Pathway is a 3.6 mile trail. Most of the pathway has a wide, hard surface, but there are some steep hills too. Some places around Bell Rock are rocky and rough.
- From the junction of Routes 89A and 179 in Sedona, take 179 south 3.6 miles to a paved turnout and trailhead parking on the left (east) at milepost 309.8, .2 miles south of the entrance to the United Methodist Church for the northern trailhead.
- For the southern trailhead, from the South Gateway Visitor Center, go 1 mile north to Bell Rock parking area on your right.
- Stay on the designated trails to protect the environment.
- Make sure you understand the need of buying a red rock pass (parking permit) to stop in certain areas.
Have you been to Sedona?
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