Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Scenic Sedona



We left Prescott on Sunday, our first stop being Affinity RV in Prescott Valley to dump tanks and get water and propane. The dump and fresh water are free, but we were glad we didn’t hook up the car because Jim had to back up to get out of the dump. From there it was about another 50 miles in a strong wind to our dispersed site 10 miles from Sedona. No red rock views from our site but it’s quiet and close to town.


We were last here in April 2010, and I’m not sure why we waited so long to come back. We forgot how stunning the scenery is in this area. Yesterday we did a 5.5 mile hike through the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, starting on the Soldier’s Pass Trail to Brin’s Mesa Trail, and back along the Cibolla Pass and Jordan trails. What a beautiful hike! It was another very windy day, but until we got up on the mesa we were protected.

First stop, Devil’s Kitchen, a giant sinkhole.


Guessing the big slab is the Devil’s kitchen table.








We saw a number of blooming agave or century plants.


Sedona 2017

And many flowering cacti.

Sedona 20171

It’s a good climb on the way up to Soldier’s Pass.


But we stopped so much for photos it wasn’t too bad.




Up on Brin’s Mesa we went off trail to a big rock outcropping and planned to get up on it to see over the other side but the wind nearly blew us down so we changed our minds.







We came across a couple on the trail who told us there was a lizard on a rock up ahead that sat and posed for them. We found it, a very colorful male common or eastern collared lizard, and it was seemingly unafraid of people.



 Isn’t he just the cutest thing?




Jim took a bunch of photos and then sat down on a rock next to it. The lizard became curious and hopped off his rock to go and check out Jim’s shoe. I was waiting with my camera for Jim’s reaction if it crawled up his pant leg, but it finally just jumped off the shoe and onto another rock. Although we really loved the scenery on this hike, I think Jim had the most fun playing lizard whisperer.


Last night we had an issue with our inverter, so Jim has unplugged it to keep from tripping the breaker again if we turn on the generator. He’s been researching a fix, but I think we’re just going to have to get a new one since we’ve had intermittent problems for awhile and it’s 10 years old. Of course as always seems to be the case, Xantrex doesn’t make the same model anymore so the search is on for one that will fit in the limited space the old one is in. Nothing is ever simple.


  1. Awesome hike and campsite away from the hectic pace and the tourist traffic in Sedona. Cute lizard, I know they are not uncommon but have never seen one in the local deserts.

    1. I forgot to mention that we went into town after the hike and could not believe how much development is now along 89A compared to what it was like when we were here 7 years ago. Such a shame...

  2. Thank you for the pictures and narrative. I appreciate it.

    1. You're welcome! We took so many pictures on just this one hike I figured I would have to do a post for every hike while we're here.

  3. Love Sedona and your photos are awesome. We are in our RV in central Oregon and it cold and Rainey today. That lizard is beautiful. I can see by the number of photos that you had a good time getting aquainted.

    1. It's early to be in central Oregon. We've had some cold rainy weather there in mid June.

    2. It's early to be in central Oregon. We've had some cold rainy weather there in mid June.

  4. Thanks for showing us what Devil’s kitchen looks like. When we were there in February, there were so many people we couldn't find a place to park. It was waaaaaayyyyy too crowded for us.
    Beautiful country for sure. Yes, that little one is a cutie.

    1. We had to wait for a parking spot in that small lot but we didn't see too many people out on the trails. The wind may have kept people in.

    2. We had to wait for a parking spot in that small lot but we didn't see too many people out on the trails. The wind may have kept people in.

  5. Yes, one of my favorite places, for sure. And your pictures are wonderful. That is definitely the most gorgeous lizard I've ever seen.

  6. Amazing and beautiful photos - looks like you missed the crowds. That lizard is a most handsome fellow, and friendly as well :-)

  7. Sedona is still a favorite. Too bad so many people feel the same way:) John's favorite Starbucks is in Sedona with the red rock view. Mine is in Estes Park with the outside patio right on the Big Thompson River. Looks like a windy day was the perfect day to do a more popular hike. That collard lizard is really beautiful. We've only seen one in all our hiking. Love the bright colors!

  8. That is a lovely loop, it's too bad you couldn't get up on those rocks...one of our favorite places to hang out! We've seen javelina up on Brins Mesa twice! I can't believe the lizard got on Jim's shoe!!!!!

  9. Would like to recommend 3 hikes... 1. Hangover, 2. Hog Trails, 3. Hi-Line They should be on our blog. When you hike them you will be glad you are not mtn biking them. Have fun. Hope you meet more friendly lizards!

    1. Thanks for the hike recommendations. We are looking forward to seeing where the crazy mountain bikers ride!

  10. I can't believe how long that lizard's tail is!!!

  11. We've seen a few collard lizards in our travels, but that's the most colorful (and friendly!!) one I've ever seen! It's time for us to get back to Sedona -- we haven't been in many years because we always assume it's going to be too crowded. Doesn't look that way from your photos, though.

    1. We saw about 20 people in the entire time we hiked that loop. Did a hike yesterday where we were by ourselves the entire way. If you avoid the most popular trails it's possible to find solitude even in popular tourist areas like Sedona. Just don't go downtown, though, the traffic is horrible!

  12. That is one of our favorite hikes in Sedona. I have never seen a collared lizard while living there...how very cool! Your photos are wonderful!