Magical Sights and Mystical Readings In Sedona, Arizona

After many hours of vacation research and looking at tons of pics taken from various

different trails, I was going into Sedona with some pretty high hopes and I have

to say this place delivered. I saw some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen

while I was there and have seriously contemplated moving out there on more than

one occasion. I definitely cannot wait to go back and I hope you enjoy reading

all about my adventures!

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My original plan when I arrived in Sedona was to make my first stop be the

Chapel of the Holy Cross. However, when I got there the gate to the parking

lot and church was closed (apparently it closes at 5pm). I was certainly upset and sad I

didn’t make it in time, but decided to not waste the evening and instead

made my way to Cathedral Rock. 

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Sunset Hike to Cathedral Rock

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I drove to the main parking lot for the Cathedral Rock trailhead, but found it to

be entirely full due to a wedding. Dang people wanting to spend the rest of their

lives together. SMH. You literally have your whole lives together while I only have

2 days in Sedona, but sure…take up the whole parking lot. lol jk jk But now I was

really in a pickle. I only had about 2 hours until sunset

and I needed to do this hike since I wasn’t going to have time the next day. I drove up

and down the street hoping, praying someone would leave the parking lot for the

trailhead, but unfortunately this car shark wasn’t getting fed that night. I grabbed

my phone and began to desperately search Google for other potential trailheads

and this is what eventually led me to the Baldwin Trailhead parking lot.

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Important to note that there is a $5 parking fee for this trail. If you have an America the Beautiful Pass however that works as a valid parking pass for all trails in Sedona.

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Trail NameRound Trip LengthEstimated Hike TimeElevation Gain
Cathedral Rock via Baldwin Trail3.7 miles1.5 hours744 feet

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I got to the trailhead a little after 6pm which meant I only had about an hour to hike

the 2 miles to Cathedral Rock before the sun went down. Impossible? Not when you are as determined

as I was. I jogged through a good bit of the first part of the trail.

(And I don’t mean that figuratively. Hiking backpack and all I was

jogging y’all. 0/10 recommend.) Eventually I

came up behind another person on the trail who I remembered

seeing at the trailhead. 

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He noticed he had gained a shadow and we actually ended up talking

and hiking the rest of the way together. He even held my hand

helping me up some of the really steep bits. Such a gentleman. (Guarantee that most

of the people at Cathedral Rock thought we were together as we

stood with one another, talking and taking in the views and taking

pics of each other, but oh well. lol)

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Photo courtesy of James (hiking buddy)

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Once it started to get dark James and I made our way back towards

our trailhead. We were talking about how amazing the views were and I made

the comment “Yeah hard to believe we started from the bottom and now we

here” and that caught the attention of another guy in this group

of people who were also heading back down the rock. He was

like “Yo is someone throwing out Drake lyrics?!” So enter into our group this

guy who’s name I don’t know, but I will call Newport since that is where he was

from, his Uncle Jeff, and his friend (sister? cousin?) I will call Lady St. Louis.

Lol All five of us hiked together for a little while making small talk until it was

time for us to go our separate ways as we were heading to different trailheads. 

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It was the first time on that trip I actually hiked in a group and it was

actually kind of nice. It even made me feel a little safer if I am being honest.

In fact, when I was hiking with our group of 5 there was a point where I almost

fell (I was going down a steep incline and my foot slipped right out

from underneath me) and both James and Newport heard me stumble and

immediately stopped and turned around to catch me. It was the cutest and

sweetest thing. Lol

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James and I made it back to our trailhead about 8pm without

him murdering me in the dark woods and said our goodbyes

never to see or talk to one another again. Lol (My dad, the ultimate talker

and guy who has friends everywhere couldn’t believe I didn’t ask for his

number or how to find him on Facebook. lol)

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From the trailhead I drove on to my motel for the night,

Fort Verde Suites, after grabbing some much needed Taco Bell

and then headed off to bed.

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Photo from Tripadvisor

If you are looking for a more inexpensive option near Sedona I highly

recommend this motel. It sits about 45 minutes outside the city, but

everything in town is pretty pricey so it was worth the drive for me.  

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Searching For Secret Caves on Soldiers Pass Trail

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The next morning I woke up before the sun and drove from

my motel to the Soldiers Pass Trailhead. I wanted to get there early because

I read that the parking lot for the trailhead has only 14 parking spots and

cars line up outside of the gated entrance (which doesn’t open until

8am and closes at 6pm locking any cars still there inside)

to get one of these cherished spots. I made it to the trailhead about 7:20am

and I was already the 6th car in line. I’m not sure how long the cars in front of

me had been there, but I did notice that the very first car in line had set up a

whole camp complete with chairs and a portable grill where they were cooking

their breakfast. By about 7:30 there were over 14 cars there and you could see

people getting out of their vehicles to count how many cars were in front of

them to make sure they were going to be one of the lucky ones to claim a spot. Craziness.

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Here is a picture of the automated gate outside the trailhead courtesy of Recreation.gov

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Now, a fun fact about this trailhead. It sits right in the middle of a very nice neighborhood

and because of this it is illegal for you to park along the street. (So if you aren’t one

of the lucky few to make it into the parking lot do NOT park your car along

the street as you will get tickets or be towed. Instead try the

Jordan Trailhead parking lot or come back to this one around

noon when the morning people are leaving.) I actually parked my truck right

in front of a sign that said “No Parking” on it while I was waiting for the

gate to open. (Really wish I would have

taken a picture! lol) However, I wasn’t going to move my truck unless the cops

came and made me (which actually does happen sometimes) or I was towed. I

was going to hike that trail! Luckily though I didn’t have to worry about that and

once the gate opened I made my way into the tiny parking lot. I grabbed

my hiking gear and I set out on the trail in search of the secret cave everyone knows about. lol 

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Trail NameRound Trip LengthEstimated Hike TimeElevation Gain
Soldiers Pass Trail4.8 miles2.5 hours450 feet

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Before I reached the cave I made a quick stop at the 7 Sacred Pools which

are natural potholes that have been carved into the sandstone. Depending

on what time of year you visit you can see these either filled with water or dry.

.

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The trail was nice and easy to follow, however, while I was looking for

the path to the cave I took a wrong turn (go figure) and found myself

out exploring the red rocks alone.

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Eventually I made it back to the main trail and down the actual path to the cave. 

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When you come to this fork in the trail go right!
Do not take this path (the left fork) if you want to go to the cave. This way allows you to continue on Soldiers Pass Trail.

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The cave was totally worth the hike and early morning in my opinion. It was

so neat to see and explore and just hang out in even though there were

quite a few people there. One thing to note is that getting up into the cave

where I took the pictures below (and coming back down) is not the easiest

task, but I made it and so did a lot of older people

so it is doable just be careful!

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The view from below the cave and where you will climb up inside.

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Once my time in the cave was over I continued on the Soldiers Pass

Trail a little ways more taking in all the views and then turned around and

headed back to the truck. 

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Remember how I said earlier the trailhead parking lot was tiny? Yeah well that

was one thing my 2500 Ford was not and trying to get out of that parking lot

was absolutely terrible even with my backup camera. I think I made a 1000

point turn and had 3 guys trying to help direct me out. It was not

fun and also slightly embarrassing, but eventually I did make it out and made my way

to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. 

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I made it to the Chapel of the Holy Cross and was met with another insane

parking situation (this time because of the large amount of people), but managed

to find a spot near the top of the spiral driveway.

  I walked through the crowds and up into the absolutely gorgeous church

built into the side of the rock. 

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There is no entrance fee into the church, but there is a donation box

and gift shop in the basement if you want to contribute. Also they do

have church services here. How crazy would it be to go to church here?! I think

I would be too distracted by the decor to pay attention to what the

preacher is saying. Lol 

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After spending some time sitting in the chapel I walked back out to the

truck, ate my last Lunchable, and then made my way over to Mystical Bazaar

for my first ever tarot reading. (I had called them the day before after

leaving Winslow to schedule my appointment.)

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Image from Facebook

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Now, as a Catholic, I have been told that tarot cards and things like

that are not to be messed with. However, Sedona is all about energies and

crystals and all that spiritual jazz so I figured if I wanted to have a real Sedona

experience this needed to be included on the trip.

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I walked into the crystal shop and told the ladies I was there for my tarot reading.

Not long after that my reader, Yerevan, came into the shop area and led me

back into this little low lit room that looked exactly how you would expect

a reading room to look like. In her soft, calm voice she asked me how long

of a reading I was wanting and I decided to go with a 20 minute one.

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She looked at me and asked what I was wanting to learn today and I honestly

had no idea what to say. I had never done one of these before. I didn’t know

I was supposed to come with questions and things prepared! Oh man was

the prepper in me was freaking out! But Yerevan was very understanding when

I told her this was my first time and she began my reading allowing the

cards to speak on various different topics from relationships, to career, and

just life in general. I’m not going to go into everything that she told me, but

we continually returned to how the rest of the year was going to be

all about self-empowerment, improving my entrepreneurial ventures, and

transforming myself into an overall stronger, better woman. 

(Did this all really happen in 2021? Wellll….to some extent, but

all of them still have a long ways to go.)

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Overall, I’m still not entirely sold on believing in tarot, but it was a pretty amazing

experience and I would definitely do it again, but with my own questions to

ask about specifically.

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After my reading I experienced another first and got my aura photographed! 

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With this I was also given a 23 page report detailing my aura (energy that surrounds

me) and my seven chakras (these are kind of like different layers of your aura and

are the different colored areas on my picture) explaining what everything in the

photo means. According to the report I have a red-orange

aura which means I am competitive (yes), energetic (in the right setting), excited

(depends on the context lol), passionate (definitely), and strong willed (oh for sure.)

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That night before I went to bed I sat and read through the entire report

and I just found it so insanely interesting to read and was surprised that

from just that one picture they were able to create a report with such

accurate information. I was impressed.

Here are a few pictures of different parts of my report:

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Not everything in the report I agree with including having a loud voice, being the center of attention, and needing change, but overall it was pretty close.

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Since this trip was also about focusing on self love I decided to

complete one of the activities in my Scorpio Self-Care book

before leaving Mystical Bazaar and bought a piece of tiger eye jewelry.

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Heavenly Sights At Devil’s Bridge

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After Mystical Bazaar I was off on another hiking adventure to the popular Devil’s Bridge.

I pulled up to the Dry Creek Trailhead in the late afternoon and y’all it was jam packed.

I ended up having to park back along Long Canyon Road and hike in from there which

added at least a half mile or so. ( Definitely a spot you want to get to

earlier in the day rather than later.)

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Trail NameRound Trip LengthEstimated Hike TimeElevation Change
Devil’s Bridge1.8 miles (5.8 miles via the way I went)1.5-3 hours400ft

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Aside from the last little bit (there is a very steep rock “staircase” section to climb

to reach the top of the bridge) the trail was pretty mild with lots of flat land and

the worst obstacle being an unpaved road filled with bright reddish orange sand

covered in dimples and tire tracks caused by other explorers. (Do watch out for 4x4s as

this is the same route they use to get to the main Devil’s Bridge trailhead parking lot.) 

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Once I reached the bridge it was time to do some waiting which was actually

totally okay with me because like I said that final little bit of the hike was a booty burner

with its steep climb. The one thing I found to be really unique about Devil’s Bridge

that I haven’t seen at most of the other popular destinations was the presence

of an orderly line of people waiting to take their picture out on the bridge. Oh it was magical

for a little introvert like me who would have been stuck standing there

all day long being nice and letting other people go first. Lol 

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While I was waiting my turn staring at the bridge and watching other people

walk out there to take their photos I could hear some of the people around me

start freaking out about going onto the bridge. From where we all were standing

the bridge looked suuuuper narrow and the more you stared at it the less it seemed

like a great idea to walk out onto it. 

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Looks totally safe right?! lol

However, I am going to tell you right now that that is nothing more

than an optical illusion and the bridge is much wider than it appears. Trust me. 

Unless you are afraid of heights there is no reason to freak out. Just watch

where you are walking and you will be a-okay.

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When I was on deck for my moment in the spotlight I handed my phone

to the people standing in line behind me and walked to the edge of the

bridge waiting for the people currently out there to finish with their pictures.

(This was another thing I loved about Devil’s Bridge, everyone was so efficient!)

Then, finally, it was my turn. I was so scared I was going to trip and embarrass

myself in front of all the people (not trip and fall to my death. No, who cares about that

when humiliation is on the line? lol). 

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My one and only regret is not walking out just a liiiiiittle bit further on the bridge to the actual center. It was hard for me to gauge exactly where I was when I was out there and like I said I was nervous with everyone watching me, but oh well. Still got some great pics. lol

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After I threw out a few different poses I walked off the bridge and then

hiked my way back to the truck. (I am planning on writing a article specifically

on hiking Devil’s Bridge so if you want more information on the trail be on

the lookout for that to arrive here soon!)

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I had to take a picture of all these cairns people had built! So cool!

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Hiked Out and Hotel Bound

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This day was jam packed with hiking out in the sun so by the time I reached

the truck I was just absolutely exhausted. I drove back to my motel, cleaned

up a little bit, and listening to my growling tummy drove down the street to La Casita for dinner. I ordered the El Macho Burrito and y’all it was HUGE.

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Seriously this picture doesn’t do it justice on just how big it really was. lol

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I finished the whole burrito plus my chips and salsa

(hiking really makes you work up an appetite! lol) and

it was absolutely delicious. Highly recommend you stop here if you find

yourself in Camp Verde. I drove back to the hotel and fell asleep the minute my

head hit the pillow. 

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Goodbye For Now Sedona

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The next morning I was on the road by 6:30am and on my way to Joshua

Tree National Park so that is all for my recap of Sedona! I loved it in

Sedona (aside from all the traffic and non ideal parking situations) and

I am so excited to return one day because there are still soooo many hikes

I have on my to-hike list. Shoot, maybe I just need to move to Sedona! Lol 

Thanks for reading! Have you ever been to Sedona? If so what hikes/things

to do do you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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