A’a Trail- Easy, 0.2 miles
Lenox Canyon Trail- Moderate, 1.5 miles
After spending the 4th of July in the small town of Kaibab, Arizona, we made our way toward Flagstaff. After setting up the RV, we decided it was time for a hike.
After surveying the nearby area, we went to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. We decided to start by “hiking” the A’a Trail. It’s really more of a casual stroll than a hike. You will wind your way through the lava field and take in the black formations along the path. Stop and press your foot on some of the small groups of rock. It has some give and feels like rubber.
After wandering through the lava trail, we crossed the street to hike the Lenox Crater Trail. The path itself is ashy, and it can be hard to get a good grip on the uphill trek. Walking sticks can be helpful for this portion.
When you wind your way up toward the top, you will find yourself peering at an all black ash field on the other side. The black soil makes perfect circles around the trees in the field almost as if it were purposely landscaped that way. It is certainly a unique view to behold.
That night we drove to the town of Williams on Route 66 for dinner. The town itself is exactly what I imagined, mimicking the small town in the movie Cars. It has lots of cute shops and really leans into the Route 66 theme. You can find lots of unique souvenirs. As the sun started to set and our stomachs grumbled, we ventured off in search of dinner. We settled on Station 66 Italian Bistro. I had been craving a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs, so I was more than satisfied with my meal.
The end of our dinner was interrupted by two cowboys telling us about a show starting in just a few minutes. From the upstairs patio of the restaurant, we peered down as 4 cowboys closed down the main street for a good ole western showdown. The show is alright; it certainly gave me a few chuckles.
After the show, the sun was falling, and we walked around the town that was now brightened by old neon lights. There was live music, a caricaturist who was falling asleep, and lots of other people strolling the streets on the beautiful summer night.
The next day, we set off to explore Sedona. Getting to Sedona was another enjoyable drive with many fantastic views. We stopped at one of the overhangs on the road to get a better view. We were in search of hiking trails and drove through the town to get there. We knew immediately that we would be headed back in that direction later.
Fay Canyon Trail
Easy to Moderate, 2.2 miles
After a bit of confusion, we parked and pondered a map before choosing Fay Canyon Trail. The maintained trail was lackluster compared to the stunning national parks and easy, but we still enjoyed the views. I would recommend looking up as we found a few rock formations that were displaying daring balancing acts. Eventually, you will reach the end of the maintained trail and see rocks to climb. This trail is not worth doing if you aren’t willing to climb this part. This part still isn’t hard, but it gives another enjoyable dynamic beyond just walking. As you climb you will get some nice views of the area as well as stumble upon some cool rock formations. We didn’t go much farther than the 2 rock alcoves as the trails gets increasingly narrow. Once branches started to continually scratch at my ankles, I was happy to turn back.
Our next adventure was meant to be Slide Rock on the other side of town. We had driven past it on our way into town and saw swarms of people there on the hot July day. With our stomachs grumbling and threatening clouds looming overhead, we opted to head into town instead. If we had another day in Sedona, I would have liked to go there.
Sedona was my favorite town that we visited in Arizona and Utah. (Granted we spent most of our time on the trails and not in towns.) Sedona is an adorable haven for shoppers and foodies against another stunning landscape backdrop. The town is lined with cute shops that you could spend hours jumping in and out of.
In particular the Sedona Candle Gallery and Sedona Candle Magic stood out. These two companies create incredibly unique glowing candles. It seems that almost every store we went into at first had these enticing candles. We spent way too much time inspecting every new design. My advice to you would be to not get caught up in the first candle store you see. If you don’t see the candle you want, just move on to the next one.
We also grabbed lunch in Sedona. We opted for the best view over the best food and settled with the Canyon Breeze food court area. There are sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and kids’ menu items. The food was mediocre, but the towering red giants in front of us on the outdoor deck made the meal much more enjoyable. There are plenty of other food options, but at this point in the day, it seemed easier to choose the food court than trying to agree on a restaurant. Along with my meal, I enjoyed one of their specialty drinks, something with prickly pear in the name. It was delicious and refreshing.
After lunch, we wandered around the town shops a bit more and each chose a chocolate treat from one of the chocolate stores. It was a sweet way to end the day.