Red Rock Crossing

Red Rock Crossing is an idyllic oasis that embodies the very essence of Sedona. If you’ve seen a photo of Sedona, you’ve probably seen the poster child of formations, Cathedral Rock. And chances are that shot was taken from Red Rock Crossing.

red rock crossing

Fun for all ages

So the family comes to Sedona seeking a stress-free vacation but family dynamics being what they are, that gets tricky. The younger kids want to go swimming, Mom wants to have an old-fashioned picnic, Dad wants to try out his new camera with the mega-zoom lens and Grandma and the teen want to visit a vortex. (Sedona seems to bring out a side of Grandma nobody’s seen for awhile).

No need to bicker or go all Rock, Paper, Scissors on each other. Just make a beeline for Crescent Moon Picnic Area, more commonly known as Red Rock Crossing, where everyone can find exactly what they want.

Red Rock Crossing is an idyllic oasis that embodies the very essence of Sedona. It exists at the intersection of unimaginable beauty and restorative spirituality and is easily accessible. What more can a vacation destination offer?

Even if you’ve never before been to Red Rock Crossing, you’ll likely experience a sense of déjà vu. If you’ve seen a photo of Sedona, you’ve probably seen the poster child of formations, Cathedral Rock. And chances are that shot was taken from Red Rock Crossing. That iconic vision of Oak Creek flowing in front of Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed images in the whole Southwest. So, while this spot draws crowds, they are spread over a wide area.

Crescent Moon Picnic Area is a day use facility that offers plenty of shady tables, cooking grills and a network of trails that meander down to Oak Creek. Don’t be surprised to find artists with their easels set up, and shutterbugs with their tripods. Radiant brides and glowing grooms posing for their wedding portrait on the rocky banks are another common sight.

The shallow stream meanders past the base of Cathedral Rock and through forested groves. The bottom drops in a few places, forming nice pools. There’s a rope swing upstream from Cathedral. While doing your best Tarzan impression from the swing you might notice the opposite bank covered with dozens of stacked rock totems, looking like a miniature Stonehenge. This is Buddha Beach, considered to be the site of a powerful vortex. Believers come to meditate, chant and create whimsical rock cairns. The vortex energy here is said to be feminine, a very nurturing experience. Even if you’re not one of the faithful, it’s hard to ignore your own private little beach at the base of Cathedral Rock.

Where to stay

For those who feel like a day just won’t be enough, who want to witness this magical place at sunset, by moonlight, and in the heart-squeezing glow of dawn, there is an option to spend the night. You can rent the Crescent Moon Ranch Cabin as part of the “Rooms with a View” cabin rental program.

Several years ago the forest service began sprucing up historic cabins and renting them to the public. They’re available through a fee demo program reinvesting the revenue on site. So you’re enjoying an ultra-private getaway and helping preserve the historic structure.

The cabin at Crescent Moon Ranch is a rustic three bedroom ranch house with two kitchens and an enclosed sun porch. It can sleep up to 10 people. The cabin is available year round and can also be rented for day use with a capacity of 50, perfect for weddings or other gatherings.

For more information about Crescent Moon Picnic Area or Crescent Moon Ranch Cabin contact the Red Rock Ranger District, 928-282-4119.

By Roger Naylor