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Winter can be incredibly breathtaking in Sedona's Red Rock Country. When the storm clears out, and the fog lifts with sunshine, the oohs and ahas come more frequently. I have lived throughout the West for the past 40 years, but nothing tops winter hiking, sightseeing, and photography in Sedona. Lucky for us, we have several great outdoor shops in the area, Canyon Outfitters, Hike House, and Sedona Outdoors and one wonderful camera store, Rollies Camera to cover all the bases. You can travel to West Sedona and visit, Sugarloaf, or out Dry Creek Road to numerous canyons, or go east to Bell Rock. Winter in Sedona can be a breathtaking drive in Red Rock Country. Oak Creek Canyon, located just north of Sedona in Arizona, is about 12 miles of beauty. The drive in winter has streams, and sometimes waterfalls between beautiful red rock walls full of spectacular switchbacks, and scenery that is tough to top. The depth of the Oak Creek Canyon ranges between 800 to 2000 feet. Sedona is the second most popular destination in Arizona with visitors. One look and you will understand why. The Red Rocks are serene, calling, and calming. Oak Creek, a tributary of the Verde River, flows along the bottom of the canyon, and is always flowing here in the high desert of Northern Arizona. The creek is primarily responsible for carving this majestic masterpiece of nature, although movement along the Oak Creek Fault is believed to have had a role as well. Geologic evidence suggests the formation of Oak Creek Canyon along the fault about 8 to 10 million years ago. The walls of Oak Creek Canyon, which have been eroded by wind, water, and time, are Enchanting. They are composed of Paleozoic Sedimentary rocks. After the canyon was formed, it was filled in by gravel, dirt and a series of Lava flows. Sometime between 6 and 8 million years ago, the fault became active again and the canyon started to change along the fault zone. The motion resulted in the west rim being about 700 feet higher than the east rim.
At the northern end of the canyon, you can find exposures of Kaibab Limestone. The most prominent rocks at the southern end near Sedona are reddish orange to white colored. They are primarily Permian Coconino Sandstone, as well as the red sandstones of the Permian Schnebly Hill Formation. The youngest rocks are basalt lava flows which are about 6 million years old. A part of the canyon has been designated Federal wilderness area as part of the Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness area. There are also several campgrounds, some picnic spots, and numerous hiking and photographic opportunities.
A Natural water slide, Slide Rock state Park lies in the canyon, as well as my fave photo area” West Fork” which is also called “ Call of the Canyon.” This trail is a must see , with beautiful Fall colors and dynamic winter photo scenes. . It is 14 miles long, a fantastic box canyon, with very narrow sheer walls in an incredible canyon filled with water of the West Fork of Oak Creek. No matter what time of the year you visit Oak Creek Canyon, and Sedona, you will be mesmerized!
January 6th, 2013
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