Sedona AZ (June 20, 2013) – Summer brings warmer temperatures but there are still many opportunities for hiking and walking in the early morning or evening when the weather is cooler. In July at Red Rock State Park, there are guided hikes and bird walks as well as self-guided hiking and daily activities available.
On Monday, July 22, 2013 join us for a Moonlight Hike. This is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas. Verde Valley and park history, as well as archaeology, geology, botany and riparian wildlife information is also offered by a knowledgeable guide. The hike lasts 2 to 2½ hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles. Rangers ask hikers to arrive approximately 30 minutes before starting time to ensure participation. No late arrivals are allowed and reservations are required by calling (928) 282-6907. At that time, the arrival time will be given. Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight and insect spray. A $5 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation in addition to the Park Entrance Fee.
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 7 a.m., bird enthusiasts will join a naturalist for a guided walk intended for both beginning and advanced birders. The early time takes advantage of the cooler temperatures for birds and their admirers. Bring your own binoculars; only a limited number are available for loan from the park. The Hummingbird Patio is an excellent spot to start your tour. Another good viewing point is the visitor center roof. Most year-round birds are found in the riparian area next to Oak Creek or along the field behind the visitor center. The Audubon Society has designated Red Rock State Park as an Important Birding Area because of the many species who live or visit here.
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. Guided hikes are a learning experience allowing participants to take part in question and answer sessions.
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.
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, including the House of Apache Fires. The popular video, “The Natural Wonders of Sedona” narrated by local voice-over artist John Conway, is shown several times daily in the Park Theatre. Aerial explorations reveal ancient Indian ruins and dramatic landscapes, colorful desert wildflowers and local wildlife. There is also a Gift Shop with a wide selection of books, mementos, t-shirts and snacks, adjacent to the displays.
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. The Park Entrance Fee is $10 per vehicle for 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.