Sedona, Arizona may not be one of the conventional National Parks in America, but if you have the time, can squeeze an extra stop into your route, or if you have a weekend with no plans and no ideas, I can highly recommend Sedona. I mean seriously! Now, here are a few things about the camping setup.

WE GOT SO LUCKY! On all of the websites it was listed that the campsites were not yet open for the summer season and there were no reservations available. So we intended to drive into Sedona and see what all was there before we made the decision where we would stay. If you’ve been then you know that the road into Sedona is narrow and winding, and is only a two-lane, which definitely adds time onto the trip.

As we driving on this road, we started to see signs for all of the different campsites, some of the most sought after camp sites are actually 30-40 minutes driving from the center of Sedona. We realized that a couple said they were open so we continued down the road until we got to the biggest campsite with the prime locations, Cave Springs Campground, which had opened for the season the day before. WHAT LUCK!! We immediately pulled in and got ourselves a spot and since there were over 100 camp lots and only about 3 cars spending the night we chose a lot that is normally a reserve in advance right next to the river. Never believe the internet, it’s not always right.

After setting up camp we headed into Sedona to hike to Devil’s Bridge, check out the town and see how beautiful this Red Rock looks in person. It is a truly amazing place!

Here’s a pic of Laura standing on Devil’s bridge. When we had parked the van and were hiking down to this spot, I couldn’t help but notice all of the mountain biking trails criss crossing the hiking trails, and I saw a couple people on their bikes coming up out of the area. If I ever get a chance to live on the road with a big wheeled mountain bike, I am definitely going to come back here and hit up some of these trails!

In the picture above, it looks like there is plenty of room for Laura to stand, but when you are out on this ledge you will see how narrow it is at the smallest part. Nature is amazing!

Here’s a pic of me with an attempt to capture just how magnificent the natural arch is underneath.

After our hike to Devil’s Bridge, we headed back into town to hang out, we had Thai food for lunch and it was good, although not as good as that AMAZING RESTAURANT IN Las Vegas!

We knew we had to drive back out to our campsite, so after we strolled around town, glanced in all of the souvenir shops, enjoyed a drink out on the terrace, we left the hustle and bustle of this tiny town and headed back to our campsite where we missed shower hours (oops and o-well) so we made dinner and played some cards before heading to bed.

The next day we drove around to see the sites of Sedona, like the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was over run with tourists even in early March and because we couldn’t find a parking spot for over 20 minutes we decided not to go tour. We went shopping and I looked for some art to take home with me in this quaint outdoor shopping area that had a restaurant with the best beer pretzels I had eaten in some time.

It was Laura’s idea to do a spa day here and get red rock massages where they give you a massage and then put red rock paste all over your body, and wrap you in hot towels to smooth out your skin. The best part of her idea is that we had access to all of the other amnesties at the fancy hotel so while one of us was getting the massage the other one could enjoy the steam room, or go out by the pool, or sit in the quiet room and have a snack. I loved this because we felt pampered and wonderful even while living in a van!

We drove around all after noon and then actually opted to stay in a shopping store parking lot where we would be meeting Red Rock Balloons tour the following morning at 4:30 for a sunrise hot air balloon flight!

Huge plug for them here, but it was a really early and fun morning floating above the red rocks of Sedona Arizona in the early morning.

Laura and I about to take off!

There was more than one balloon taking off in the early morning light so we got to get a shot of two of them still on the ground while we floated up into the sky.

Within minutes they were just behind us.

Good morning Sedona, Arizona!


Balloon shadows on the ground below.

Definitely representing with a happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln shirt and some ‘MERICA undertones.

The landscape here is really amazing, with the red rocks, and the flat land with the big mountains and rocks that rise out of it. I was able to capture this photo of another balloon just cresting that rock over there, do you see it?!

One of my favorite photos of the landscape from the morning.

This was my favorite photo of the day taken on my iPhone. Just a lone balloon, accented by a magnificent red rock formation, nuff said.

At one point we were just above another one of the balloons and I was able to capture this shot, which I also love! Hot air balloons make everything look marvelous!

Another shot of us in the same frame. Don’t worry it is not as close as it looks.

Hi guys! From Laura and I in the red rocks of Sedona. I want to go back as soon as I get a chance, I love this place!

A few shots with balloons and scenery in the background.

Hiyah rabbit. Run Run RUUUNN!

WOW! Other ballooners also out and about on this wonderful day.

This is truly an amazing place.

Laura is just looking out over the land and contemplating life out here. Aside from the loud roar as gas enters the balloon, in the moments where we are just floating, it is pretty quiet.

When we finished up the hot air balloon tour it was straight back to pick up the van and head to towards Joshua Tree, which was quite the drive.

This was a photo I captured at sunset the night before we left Sedona. Look at that mood. Like a storm is coming but not right this second. I really really love this place.

This article appeared first on the Cassey Excursion.