Sedona AZ (May 12, 2013) – With the advent of warmer weather, Red Rock State Park, located at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, prepares for lots of visitors who are ready to take advantage of the five miles of hiking trails. In addition to the opportunity for self-guided hiking, there are also daily activities available. Warmer weather also means that the Wednesday and Saturday Bird Walks begin at 7:00 AM to take advantage of the early mornings and cooler temperatures.
The family-oriented trail system is well marked for safety and enjoyment when exploring on your own. Several trails have 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.
If you prefer to take advantage of guided hikes, there are several available. The month of June is especially popular for the Moonlight Hikes and Bird Walks.
Wednesday and Saturday Bird Walks, 7:00 AM: Bird walks begin at 7:00 AM every Wednesday and Saturday morning. The early time is perfect to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, for both the birds and their admirers. Bird enthusiasts join a naturalist for a guided walk directed at beginning and advanced birders. Bring your own binoculars, if possible, because only a limited number are available for loan from the park. Visitors will see many varieties of birds who make the park their home.
The Hummingbird Patio is the perfect 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.
Moonlight Hike, Saturday, June 22, 2013: The Moonlight Hike 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 archeology, geology, botany, and riparian wildlife information, is also offered by a knowledgeable guide. The hike lasts two to 2 1/2 hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles.
Rangers ask hikers to arrive approximately 30 minutes before starting time to insure participation. No late arrivals can be allowed and reservations are required! When you call 928-282-6907, the arrival time will be given because they are adjusted monthly according to the time of the moonrise.
Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight and insect spray. A $5.00 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation. There is also a $10.00 entrance fee to the park for a car of four adults. Program fees are non-refundable unless the park must cancel the hike after your arrival.
Daily Guided Nature Walks, 10:00 AM, and Activities, 2:00 PM: At 10:00 AM daily, a naturalist leads a guided nature walk of one and a half to two hours to introduce visitors to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek. Subjects discussed along the way may include plants, wildlife, geology, history, and archaeology. Guided hikes are a learning experience allowing participants to take part in question and answer sessions. The Park also hosts a 45-minute guest speaker or ranger / naturalist-led activity at 2:00 PM. Programs may include a nature hike, a special presentation, or an educational / nature video.
Junior Rangers: A Junior Ranger program is available for children between the ages of six and twelve. 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.
Visitor Center and Theatre: 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.
Join us at the park at any time of year! Whether you choose to take part in a planned activity, or hike and explore on your own, it will be a memorable day. See you at Red Rock State Park!
Red Rock State Park, 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona. Park hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Visitor Center, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Entrance fee is $10.00 per vehicle, up to four adults. The Arizona State Park Annual Fee is available for $75.00 (some restrictions apply). www.azstateparks.com, www.benefactorsrrsp.org, www.azstateparks.com/parks/RERO