A good photo keeps a moment from running away. But what about when the photo can’t quite capture the moment? Jake and I are such (dare I say it?!) POOR gift givers that we decided long ago to use our birthdays, anniversary, holidays (anything, really!) as an excuse to travel – even if it’s just a short drive from home. Anxious to see what an Arizona road trip had in store for us, we rolled my birthday, Jake’s very belated one and the Fourth into one long weekend in the Land of the Red Rocks.
As usual we didn’t give the trip much thought other than to pay TripAdvisor a visit and book a highly rated B&B that we were sure would not disappoint. Here’s a little tip I’ve learned over the years: Don’t over-think, over-research, or over-plan. Whenever possible, go into a trip with little to no expectations… you’re guaranteed to leave happy.
The view from our B&B, which deserved every one of those five-circle reviews. You KNOW you’ve nailed it in terms of accommodation when you find yourself finagling ways to extend your stay within ten minutes of arriving.
I’ve always found that the best B&Bs are run by those who have a passion for what they do and go the extra mile for their guests. And in the case of Sedona Views – those who make INCREDIBLE breakfasts that have you up at 5 am in excited anticipation. We had no qualms about over-indulging in three, entirely made from scratch, gourmet courses. (And I’m not talking our usual coffee, hashbrown and Egg McMuffin meal here.) We’d need the energy for the treks ahead, including our first where we got our first 360 views of those majestic rocks…
For anyone that visits, the Airport Loop is an excellent, two hour-long walk that’s relatively flat AND leads you to a little outdoor bar afterwards! Do yourself a favor and pack a few water bottles to combat dehydration while on the trail and try NOT to veer off the path into the hotbed of prickly pear cacti and rattlesnakes. In the event you make the same mistakes as we did, well then, know that an oasis awaits in the form of cold white wine and draught beer!
To start the hike, take Route 89A to Airport Road, leading you up to the airport which is at the top of a hill. Here’s the trick: There’s a small parking section midway up the hill on your left – that’s the ideal place to park. If you can snag one of those spots, you’re right where you want to be to hit the trail. If you’re lucky (or diligent) enough to secure parking there, follow the signs up the small hill. On your left, there’s a short climb to reach a lookout spot called Overlook Point (that shot of Jake at the top was taken there). The Airport Loop trail begins on your right. I’d highly suggest doing both since it only takes about 5-10 minutes to reach the top of the lookout and it’s well worth it!
If you can’t park in the small lot, don’t stress. There’s a much larger lot at the top of the hill where Airport Road ends. From there you have two options. You can hightail it down Airport Road on foot to take you back to the first parking lot so you can experience Overlook Point and pick up the Loop trail there, or you can pick up the trail by the Airport Vista, which is another lookout spot at the top. We chose to do the first, but you REALLY have to watch for cars speeding down curvy Airport Road.
Tip: If you’re short on time and don’t have the two to three hours to do the full loop around the airport, I’d recommend starting at the Trailhead by Overlook Point and go as far as time allows before heading back the way you came; the best views are within the first 30 minutes on this route, in my opinion!
Tip 2: The bar I mentioned is located off at the Sky Ranch Lodge off the larger parking lot and Airport Vista lookout. It was the perfect reward at the end.