You know those movies where the characters happen upon a Christmas town they didn’t expect and have a magical time. Maybe I’ve been watching too many Hallmark movies, but that’s a little like our recent trip back from Moab. We ditched our plans to stop in Zion because it was snowing and decided to go to sunny Sedona instead. Arriving in Sedona at night, we were dazzled by the Christmas lights filling this beautiful red rock town. In fact, we got a burst of Christmas in Sedona excitement, that is until we found out we may be under the influence of the Sedona Vortex.
What’s So Special About Christmas in Sedona?
To answer that question, we need to talk about the Sedona Vortex. Sedona is known for having something called an energy vortex, which is a swirling center of energy. There are multiple places around Sedona that are supposed to have vortexes and Sedona itself is one big center of energy and healing. If that sounds kind of woo woo to you, it does to me too. BUT, there is something about Sedona that just feels good. You can’t help but feel happy there.
So, when we initially drove into town past all the beautiful lights, I don’t know if it was the lights or the vortex but we just felt this elated Christmas spirit. Not like weirdos, but we wanted to go out immediately and explore. Our first stop was a place called Tlaquepaque that’s filled with art galleries and restaurants. The whole place was adorned with festive lights and Christmas trimmings. We had the best time checking out all the pretty decor around every corner.
What is the Sedona Vortex?
At this point, you’re probably thinking enough about Christmas in Sedona – what about the Vortex?! Apparently we’re the last people on the planet to know about the Sedona Vortex which is funny since we were there 20 years ago. It was discovered in the 1950s by a new age guy named Page Bryant. We’re the opposite of new age but we like to think of ourselves as open-minded and we enjoy new experiences. The concept of an energy vortex is kind of cool but you’ll have to read on to find out if we felt it in Sedona. In the meantime, if you’re ready to start googling Sedona Vortex, here are some FAQs.
Swirling centers of energy emanating from the earth.
Some people have a tingling sensation or can feel vibrations. Others feel an energy ranging from psychic to excitement.
Near an energy vortex, healing is supposed to be at an all time high. It is supposed to be a place where you connect with the earth’s energy. I kept envisioning Disney’s Pocahontas talking to the Grandmother Willow tree.
Yes. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Mount Shasta California, Machu Picchu, Mount Fuji Japan and a handful of others.
Hiking in Sedona to Find the Vortex
Four spots in Sedona have the strongest vortex energy, They all happen to be hiking trails – Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon. If you love getting out in nature, it’s a fun assignment to hike a bunch of trails looking for the vortex. If you are not a hiker, some of these are easily accessed with a short walk from the road.
The number one hike in Sedona, Devil’s Bridge, is not a vortex site but it does have a really cool rock bridge. The vortex hunting was on hold until we could experience Devil’s Bridge. It’s such a fun hike with the best payoff ever. But don’t worry, we got to the vortex hikes later in the day.
Devil’s Bridge Hike
Devil’s Bridge Trail is a 4.2 mile out and back hike. The beginning of the hike starts along a red dirt road. The cool, crisp air and beautiful vistas just made us feel great. From the base of the trail you head up a moderate incline up with a few spots of rock climbing. Overall, it’s pretty easy unless you have a problem with stairs or balance issues. Even if you don’t go all the way up, look back across the incredible valley and take tons of photos. A couple of tips about the Devil’s Bridge hike:
- It’s very popular. Go as early as you can. We went at sunrise around 7am and it was perfect. As we were headed back down there were more people but it still was decent.
- Getting there early will also help with the parking. There are approximately 50 spots in the lot that fill up quickly. If you have a high clearance 4×4, you can park in the small lot by the trail that get’s you 0.75 mile closer. We took our small SUV and ended up leaving it at the side of the road because the road was very rough. The 1 mile closer is all flat road and honestly really easy to walk.
- If you have an America the Beautiful National Park Pass, you can use it for free parking.
Airport Mesa Hike – Vortex Stop #1
There are a few different trails at Airport Mesa. This is the easiest vortex site to reach because you park your car and walk 500 feet. We went around a small portion of the 3.2 mile Airport Loop Trail. It has panoramic views around the relatively flat trail but it is rocky and uneven in spots. Be careful with kids.
I don’t want to burst your bubble but we didn’t feel anything there. We did, however, meet quite a few happy Sedona visitors and all had a fun chat about the vortex. We stayed for a bit to admire the incredible views.
Bell Rock Vortex Site
On our way out of town, we gave the Sedona Vortex one more chance and did a short sunset hike at Bell Rock. The Bell Rock Trail is a 1.1 mile out and back hike. It’s a quick hike up with 318 foot elevation gain that is generally easy because it’s short and so worth it. The Bell Rock Pathway Loop Trail is a 4 mile busy trail that gives you panoramic views.
Although we didn’t feel the vortex, the Bell Rock hike was terrific. We saw quite a few people mountain bike riding. Sedona is a nature and adventure lover’s paradise. The America the Beautiful National Park Pass gives you free parking here too.
Cathedral Rock & Boynton Canyon
Since our trip was a stop on the way back home from Utah, we didn’t get a chance to do these hikes but this trip definitely got us excited about Sedona so you can expect a return trip soon.
Boynton Canyon Trail is a 6.1 mile out and back hike that has nice views and wildlife. It’s a popular spot so expect it to be somewhat busy. Cathedral Rock Trail is a 1.2 mile out and back hike with a steep climb at the end that has spectacular views.
Our Final Thoughts About the Sedona Vortex
We both felt terrific in Sedona. My energy level was significantly elevated, I felt really happy and I had an overall sense of well being. Guy just said he felt good. That’s men for you. I want to write a blog post about how I felt and he has one word for you – good!
Here’s the kicker, I don’t think it was the Sedona Vortex. One of the big things people talk about are the twisted trees. They had twisted trees in Arches National Park and no energy vortex. We went to multiple sites where you were supposed to feel the vortex and we felt nothing other than feeling great like we explained. Lastly, we asked A LOT of people and no one else felt it but everyone said they felt great.
My hypothesis is that we felt great from the negative ions. Negative ions are negatively charged molecules that are known to make us feel good. The air is filled with them right after a rain storm and near the base of a waterfall. You know that good feeling in the air after it rains – I had that feeling the whole time in Sedona. There is a high level of negatively charged ions in Sedona. Perhaps the negative ions are coming from the vortex.
Sedona is a Great Year Round Destination That’s Even Better at Christmas
Whether you go to Sedona for the exuberant Christmas spirit or any time of year, Sedona is a great place to go and feel good. You’ll get lots of fun outdoor time in the most beautiful red rock setting. You can partake in a Vortex tour, do some energy healing, eat delicious food and just relax. It’s a perfect healthy vacation, romantic weekend getaway, adventurous family trip or a stop on a Southwest road trip.
Other Posts You Might Like:
- TRAVEL: The Best Places to Travel in December
- CALIFORNIA: Glamping in Big Sur
- CALIFORNIA: Joshua Tree Weekend Getaway Guide
- ALASKA: Alaska Summer Road Trip Itinerary
- CANADA: Why You Need to Visit Banff in Winter