Sedona AZ (January 17, 2013) – February at Red Rock State Park is the perfect place to experience the red rocks of Sedona, several hiking trails, bird-watching and daily special events that feature the opportunity to learn about local geology, archaeology, botany, history and wildlife. The diverse habitat, abundant with plants and wildlife, creates the perfect environment for the Park’s mission of providing environmental education programs.
On February 3 at 2 p.m. in the Park Theatre, the Sunday Lecture Series will feature a program about a local book, “Red Rock Country: Along the Loop Road,” written by Loop Road residents Sam Braun, Norm Hanson, BettyCook and Birgit Lowenstein. Seating is limited, so attendees should call (928) 282-6907 to make reservations for the program.
The program will be a journey into the past, including descriptions of interviews with local residents who are descended from many of the early settlers. It will also introduce the unique character of this Valley’s riparian and red rock landscape. Specific topics comprise information about the Schuerman Family Legacy, Crescent Moon Ranch, Spiritual Communications, Smoke Trail Ranch, Red Rock State Park, Cross Creek Ranch and the Elmersville Homestead. The primary goal of the authors was to preserve and understand the past as it connects with the vision and concerns about the future.
Join an experienced guide on a hike focusing on the geology of the area on Sunday, February 10 at 2 p.m. Learn why the rocks are red, where they came from, where they are going, and more. The hike includes the Eagle’s Nest Trail for great views while also learning about the geology. It’s more than a guided hike. It’s an interpretive experience for beginners as well as advanced geologists. The hike lasts 2 to 2½ hours and has a 250 feet elevation climb. A knowledgeable guide will explain the rock formations that create the scenic backdrop of Red Rock State Park. Bring water and wear suitable shoes.
Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. in February, visitors will find bird enthusiasts joining a naturalist for a “Guided Bird Walk” directed at beginning and advanced birders. Bring your own binoculars; only a limited number are available for loan from the park. Visitors will see the many birds that make the park their home.
Daily at 10 a.m., visitors can join a naturalist on a guided nature walk that lasts 1½ to 2 hours and will introduce them to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek and other aspects of the park. Plants, wildlife, geology, history and archaeology are some of the subjects that may be discussed.
Daily at 2 p.m., the park hosts either a guest speaker or a ranger/naturalist led activity of approximately 45-minutes. Programs may include a nature-hike, a special presentation or an educational/nature video. This program may be an indoor or outdoor activity.
Visitors are invited to also explore on their own. The family-oriented trail system is well marked for both safety and pleasure. Five miles of trails consist of interconnecting loops, leading to red rock vistas or along the lush greenery of Oak Creek. The three major loops are connected along the riparian corridor by the Kisva Trail, which also leads to the short loop of the Yavapai Ridge Trail. The Javelina Trail takes you into the pinon/juniper woodlands and back to the other loops. Detailed information is available at the Visitor Center. Bikes and horses are allowed on designated routes.
A Junior Ranger program is available for children between the ages of six and 12. Junior Rangers pledge their part in helping preserve the beauty of the park for everyone! Junior Ranger booklets, available at the Visitor Center, have activities to complete and, once approved by a Ranger, the newest Junior Ranger at Red Rock State Park is sworn in after taking the pledge and receiving a Junior Ranger button.
The Park Visitor Center features many displays about the area’s geology, archaeology, flora and fauna, including an interactive relief map of Sedona and computer programs about various park features. The popular video, “The Natural Wonders of Sedona,” is shown several times daily in the Park Theatre. Aerial explorations reveal ancient Indian ruins and dramatic landscapes, colorful desert wildflowers and local wildlife.
For more information about Red Rock State Park call (928) 282-6907. Red Rock State Park is located at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona, AZ. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, up to four adults. The Arizona State Park Annual Fee is available for $75 (some restrictions apply).
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.