I've just returned from a week in Sedona, visiting a friend. For those who have been lucky enough to visit this area, you know all about the famous red rock formations and the high desert beauty. We did three distinctive day trips that I will share here over three weeks' posts. I start today with our walk in Oak Creek Canyon, a National Parks area just north of Sedona. Here steep canyons have been carved out by Oak creek and where the creek hosts a great variety of riparian trees and other plants. This creek and the nearby Verde river are the only year round water sources in this area and because of the desert-like conditions elsewhere, they are particularly refreshing habitats to visit. So, here are a few photos of that walk. Please excuse the quality of the photos. My point and shoot camera has trouble focusing when viewing a visually complex scene.
Our particular hiking path takes one first through an open meadow, filled with abandoned apple trees. The photos above and below give two views of this area, the second showing the ever present cliffs.
As mentioned above, the source of water encourages the growth of a variety of colorful deciduous trees. The day of this walk, October 24th, we encountered quite a bit of fall color. They covered the complete spectrum - golds, oranges and reds. Conifers still covered areas further away from the water, especially pine trees.
The canyon cliffs are never far away. This photo gives you an idea of how steep they can be. It's a testament to the tenacious nature of conifers that they can gain a foothold in such craggy conditions.
If one goes deep enough into the canyon the trail eventually skirts these over-arching red rock walls. Very striking and geologically curious. The next five photos show different locations along this one stretch. I was able to gain a foothold on the rock, in order to get these closeups, and still stay dry!
Finally, I used the full extent of my zoom to catch a closeup of a far off rock formation, perched on a nearby hilltop. It almost looks like a human structure, a cairn of sorts, but in fact it's a natural formation.