Sedona, Arizona is an iconic location in the southwest United States. The beautiful red rock formations in and around Sedona make it an incredible location for photographers. Red Rock State Park, located just outside of Sedona, is provides plenty of great views and opportunities to enjoy nature. You can reach Red Rock State Park by taking route 89A south from Sedona, and then turn left on Red Rock Loop Rd.
→ Learn more about Sedona in our Photographer’s Guide to Sedona
Amazing views are not hard to find when you are in the Sedona area, but if you enjoy hiking Red Rock State Park should be a priority when you are visiting Sedona. The park includes several miles of trails that provide stunning views and plenty of photographic opportunities. This is a day-use state park (8:00 am – 5:00 pm), and the facilities are somewhat limited, but the trails are worth your attention. Some places in Arizona will require a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to access, but at Red Rock State Park you can simply use your legs and the available hiking trails to get awesome views. You can even catch a view of Cathedral Rock, one of the most popular formations in the Sedona area.
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The park includes more than 1 mile of Oak Creek, and some of the trails even cross over the creek via bridge. The creek and wooded areas provide even more photographic opportunities aside from just the rock formations.
Red Rock is a relatively new state park, being officially opened in 1991. Prior to becoming a state park the land was privately owned and part of Smoke Trail Ranch. Fortunately, this beautiful area is now publicly-accessible as part of the state park system.
If you are heading to Red Rock State Park, be sure that you are ready to hike. Without hiking the trails your experience at the park will be limited.
There are several different loop trails that you can hike, and some of them connect to each other. Most of the hikes are easy to moderate in difficulty. The Eagle’s Nest Loop takes you to the highest point in the park and provides nice views of the surrounding area. It is only a 300-foot elevation gain, so it is not a grueling hike. Other popular trails include the Apache Fire Loop Trail, Coyoter Ridge Trail, and the Javelina Trail. You can see a map of all the trails here.