Headed South on the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada, we blast Joe Rogan’s interview with Area 51 whistleblower, Bob Lazar, contemplating the existence of aliens as our mountain bikes sway on the car rack. We stop for BBQ and a hazy IPA at Tonopah Brewing and are fueled for the road trip ahead. We’re en route to Sedona to chase turquoise swimming holes, rowdy mountain bike trails, breweries, and the good vibes we have heard exist when you’re in the Vortex.
The drive into Oak Creek Canyon is jaw dropping as you wind your way into the Arizona desert town of Sedona. Lush trees frame Oak Creek as the steep canyon walls and red rocks provide the ultimate backdrop. We waste no time when we pull into town - kicking things off with a Pink Jeep Tour to Broken Arrow. Buckle up because it is incredibly rowdy with views for days. If you want to go full tourist in Sedona, the Jeep tour is totally worth the spend. Our next stop is Picazzos for fig and gorgonzola pizza as we take in sunset on the West side of downtown.
We wake up at the crack of dawn to make sure we beat the heat and the crowds to ride the infamous Hiline loop around Cathedral Rock. It is full of punchy, steep climbs and rocky descents. We scream with joy the entire time and even get admonished by a hiker for having so much fun that we’re disturbing the peace. We are absolutely not sorry for our stoke, and take a break to dunk our heads into the ice cold Oak Creek. Our bike ride leads us to Oak Creek Brewery where we cool off with beers and prickly pear margaritas. Hello, perfect day.
Late afternoon, we make our way to a few of the craft markets that you will find sprinkled throughout downtown Sedona on the weekends. Local artists procure tables and tables full of turquoise jewelry, crystals, wind chimes, CBD lotions, art, and so much more. You won’t leave without a splash of Sedona in your bag.
Wet Beaver Creek is our destination for cooling off the following day. As Sedona heats up, you will surely find yourself at one of the many swimming holes outside of town. A few of the bucket list spots are Slide Rock, Fossil Creek Waterfall, Grasshopper Point, and Ellison Creek. For most of these destinations, you’ll warm up with a scorching hike before you get to the sweet, sweet relief of said swimming hole.
Our afternoon spot to recharge is ChocolaTree, where you’ll find the most intentional space ever created with a shady, cobblestone zen garden in the backyard. It has a hostel vibe and you’ll know what I mean when you get there. The menu includes pressed juices, spring rolls, coconut creme, and all of the cold, fresh items you will crave after being in the strong desert sun all day.
Our last activity of the weekend revolves around another mountain bike ride through Thunder Mountain, Coffeepot Rock, and Chimney Rock. There is nothing like the sun setting on the towering red-rock buttes above. The desert bursts with color as the cacti bloom and the sun sets the rock ablaze. We all simply “can’t even” with Sedona. It is paradise and we are already planning our next trip to the Vortex.