Friday, January 02, 2009

Red Rock State Park, Arizona

Today we headed to Red Rock State Park just outside Sedona, AZ, to hike the many trails there. Red Rock State Park has some beautiful scenery in addition the Oak Creek which crosses this scenic park, creating a diverse riparian habitat. Here plant communities thrive along the Oak Creek's edge.

Views from the Javelina Trail

Hiking Javelina Trail

Apache Fire House as seen from the visitor center

Previous owner's house - The House of Apache Fire from the Apache Fire Trail

The park has approximately 5 miles of interconnecting hiking trails which are all very well marked. The trails at the park are easy, the hardest and the most recommended trail is the Eagles Nest trail. This one is a loop of 1.7 miles and climbs 300 feet in elevation but I’d still consider it easy compared to some of the trails I hike in Colorado.

Ice hiding in the shadows on Javelina Trail

Neat looking ice

Zoomed in - ice with a rock sticking out of it surrounded by frozen air bubbles

Climbing Eagle's Nest Trail

High above in the park on Eagle's Nest Trail

Kisva Trail and Oak Creek

Hmmmmmm... some of the rocks in the park arn't real

The Red Rock State Park property was purchased by the Arizona State Parks Board in 1986 and the park was opened to the public in 1991. This 286 acre land used to be private property called the Smoke Trail Ranch. The former owner's house still sits in top of the hill abandoned and closed off by a gate.

Some of the trail signs in the park; we hiked about 4 miles or trails today including House of Apache loop trail, Javelina Trail, Eagle's Nest Trail, Bunkhouse Trail and Kisva Trail

Eagle's Nest Trail

Oak Creek

Views from the Eagle's Nest Trail

Crossing Oak Creek

Even though the trails in the park aren’t very challenging, the scenery is amazing. We arrived here in the late morning just as the temperature was warming up. By the time we left it was well in 70’s and many visitors were just arriving. We pretty much had the trails all to ourselves in the morning. I’d image in the winter months the majority of people arrive at this park to hike in the afternoon and leave at sunset.

Red Rock State Park - map of the trails

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We visited this park in June of 2009, and it was one of the most scenic, peaceful places we've ever been. It was a pleasure to look at the beautiful views and enjoy the cooling waters of Oak Creek.

It's a shame that the state of Arizona is closing this park on June 3rd 2010. Come on people of AZ . . . . . you have some wonderful, irreplaceable lands. Step up, and get the ball rolling. You can't lose a place like this. There's got to be funding somewhere.

Debby Rampolla, Pittsburgh, PA