Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Red Rock State Park's Activities

In Late Summer, Hike, Take Bird Walks, More

The summer season is winding down, but there are still many opportunities for hiking, walking and lectures in August and September at Red Rock State Park. The park offers guided hikes and bird walks as well as the opportunity to explore on your own.

Moonlight Hike: On Tuesday, Aug. 20 and Thursday, Sept. 19, 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 are also offered by a knowledgeable guide. The hike lasts 2 to 2.5 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.

Jack and Helen Frye Story/House of Apache Fires: On Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. Randall Reynolds will present "The Jack and Helen Frye Story & the House of Apache Fires." This program will feature information about Jack and Helen's history and their time as a couple.

This will include the development and building of the dream home that became known as the House of Apache Fires. In 1941, Jack flew his private plane over the property that is now Red Rock State Park. He and Helen were awed by the beauty and became determined to build in the area. Sedona had no airport and the area was so rugged that the ranch they developed could only be seen from the air.

The presentation will be followed with an opportunity to ask questions about Jack and Helen and the House of Apache Fires, which still sits on the property at Red Rock State Park. Reynolds has traveled the Western United States extensively researching the Jack and Helen Frye story.

Reservations are required because space is limited. Call the Park at (928) 282-6907 to ensure a seat at this educational and enjoyable program.

Geology Hike: On Sunday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m., the return of fall also means the opportunity to join a guided hike that focuses on the geology of the area. Hike leader Chris Weld will help you to learn why the rocks are red, where they come from, where they are going, and more.

This hike includes the Eagle's Nest Trail for a great view of the Park and surrounding area. More than a guided hike, it's an interpretive experience for beginners as well as advanced geologists. The hike lasts 2 to 2.5 hours and has a 250 feet elevation climb. Bring water and wear suitable shoes.

Bird Watching: On Wednesday and Saturday mornings (in August at 7 a.m. and in September at 8 a.m.), bird enthusiasts will join a naturalist for a guided 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 many birds that make the park their home. 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.

Nature Walk: Daily at 10 a.m., visitors can join a naturalist on a guided nature walk that lasts 1.5 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.

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

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 4:30 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).

 

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