In the third episode of The Travel Agents, Brian and Will discuss their time in Sedona, Arizona. Located within 2 hours of the Grand Canyon, Sedona is known for its incredible red rock formations and impeccable stargazing. With special guest and friend Mike Kurtz, the Agents detail why over 3 million people visit this Hiker's Paradise. Stay tuned for "Interview with a Local" where The Travel Agents interview a local hiking expert for tips and recommendations.
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The Travel Agents Guide to Sedona: A Hiker's Paradise
00:00:01 - 00:05:05
Where the travel legends coming to you with interviews and voyages by crew. The travel legends bringing you the latest travel news. Welcome to the travel agents show. My name's will, your co host, and I'm here with I'm Brian. Your other co host. And at the tail end of 2020, I went on a trip to Sedona in October. I went with my friend Mike, who was here today. Hi, Mike. Hey, hey. How's it going man? Thanks for coming. Thanks for having me on, man. Yeah, absolutely. And at the end of the year, Brian, what does Sedona himself and his southwest trip, which we're going to have an episode on independent, but he's going to be able to speak on his experience in Sedona while he was there in December. Right, yeah, so don't know was just one of my 6 stops on a southwest trip. So I really look into you two as a Sedona prose, but I'm eager to share about my experience as well. Yeah, and I think it'll be really interesting just to see where the lines cross and where the differences are. But to introduce the trip, Mike and I and our wives, we were in Sedona for three days in October for a weekend trip. We got to go to the Grand Canyon. We spent some time in Flagstaff, Arizona. We flew into Phoenix international airport, and then from there we drove two hours to the town of Flagstaff where we kind of set up base where we were able to be a little bit more central to the Grand Canyon and we found that that was kind of a sweet spot for us to be able to see so many different parts of Arizona and the Sedona area. What do you think Mike? Do you think Flagstaff was a pretty sweet idea to stay? I do, yeah, especially we were trying to do everything at a reasonable price and where we're at in our lives. I think it's kind of nice, you know, there's a real cool culture and Flagstaff too. So it's got a lot of young authentic creative vibe going on there. So it was fun to be able to visit Sedona but also get the Flagstaff experience too. Yeah, Flagstaff is really cool and then it seems like it might be a college town. It's got a university there and a lot of the culture of Flagstaff is coming from the university. Right. But we're here to talk about Sedona. And what's so great about Sedona is that it's centrally located and surrounded by these red rocks, and we're going to talk about those red rocks, and it's going to be in our next segment defining words where we like to give three words that define our trip. Here's three words to help you here's our defined words our first word Mike's going to talk about it. So I had to go with red rock views. I know that's three separate words. But it's one idea. And yeah, so I mean, no matter where you go in Sedona, I think the highlight is that you're going to get a view and whether you're at a coffee shop or whether you're doing some hiking or whatever, you're going to end up with just a beautiful backdrop, whether it's morning time, mid afternoon or of course, the sunset is probably the highlight. So yeah, absolutely. One of the most gorgeous backdrops I've ever seen in a trip that I've been a part of. And yeah, like you said, it's so cool. You can go to a cafe and get a cup of coffee and you're looking at this gorgeous view. It's beautiful there. It's the weather is really great. I think in October, it was around 60°. So it was still warm and completely fine with being outside and having a good meal or a cup of coffee and it was just wonderful. It's just one of those destinations where at least for when I was there in December. There's not a cloud in sight. Everywhere you look is gorgeous. You take your phone, your smartphone, your GoPro. I don't know. You just start recording, and you just happy, because everything's bright. You're coming from northeast Ohio like us. We're all sad. What's that seasonal? A seasonal depression disorder. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. We all have a case of that. We get to sit down. It's sunny, it's beautiful. It's warm. I want to go back. I do too, same. It was beautiful, amazing trip. And one of the great things about Sedona and its area is the hiking. There are a lot of opportunities for great hikes, beginner to experienced. And I think Brian, that's one of your defining words. Hiking. That was it's going to be your hikers Paradise. I'm excited to tell you that later in this podcast, we actually interviewed Brett from the hike house. Got to give a little plug for the hike house in Sedona right there, smack dab in the middle. It's kind of your center for all things hiking. So if you're not really satisfied or you're unsure with your research online of the trails and whatnot, go to the hike house, they know all things hiking in Sedona. Tell them how fit you are, don't be shy if you do no more than a couple miles back home.
00:05:05 - 00:10:00
They can find a trail for you. You can even rent a guide. Someone who ever Sherpa. Is that the way? Yeah, I think Sherpa. He will carry your equipment. Feed you, they'll prepare a meal for you. Probably all of them. Probably carry you and you eventually pass up. I'm sure if you ask nicely. You might be able to do that. Yeah, yeah. Or if you're just looking for a map in some suggestions. I actually ended up going in there and getting a whole bunch of Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews. They had great little ranger books, which were educational. I'm Destin to get my nieces and nephews educated on travel. So if you're a big hiker and you're looking for the place to go, so don't it might be one of the locations to put on top of your list. Later on in the episode, we'll talk about some of our favorite trails and some trails that we recommend that you check out. But for me, personally, for one of my defining words, it comes down to stargazing. Here in Ohio, our stargazing is basically nonexistent. There's so much light pollution here on the east coast that you don't get a great opportunity to see some of the stars that are out there. But when you go out west, as soon as you land, if it's nighttime, you're going to be blown away by the different stars that you see. It's crazy. It's something I've never seen before. And I've been to places that I thought were pretty dark and kind of desolate and no, this is a lively place, and it's got such a little light pollution that there's just great opportunities for stargazing. And I thought that was a really cool just totally new experience for me. Coming from Ohio. And just to touch on that, I feel like there's this misconception that wherever there's good stars, it's because there's not a lot not a lot of light pollution. Therefore, maybe there's not a lot to do in that town. I think that's really something we're going to stress this episode. How much there is to do in Sedona. And I'm eager to get to that, but don't be fooled. It is a gem in between your Flagstaff and Phoenix and it is so worthy of your time. Yeah. All right, so one of the next segments that we're going to do is our highs and lows of the trip. Sometimes things are good, sometimes they're bad to its size lows highs lows coming to you. So with this segment, what we like to do is we like to talk about individually. Our highs of the trip. And then, of course, we'll top it off with a low, something that wasn't necessarily exciting. But something we hope to educate our audience with. And without further ado, we'll talk about our first high. What's to go for is Brian? Mike? I'll go. All right, Mike. All right. Well, I would say that my high for the trip was absolutely hiking, cathedral, cathedral rock. And so that is kind of in the hardest Sedona and it is a red rock formation that you can climb, even just looking at it. It looks like it had to be created. I mean, it's got these kind of roaming at the top. Yeah, I mean, it's unbelievable. And so the climb up there, it was cool because I would say it was kind of a difficult hike. It was. But it's cool because there were kids doing it. There was young people, older people. If you take your time and you just watch your step, you know, you can get up there. I would say that the average person could probably make it up there. You might be sweating by the time you get to the top. You can make it up there in the views are absolutely spectacular. They were incredible. And I thought it was cool when we got to the top. There was definitely a couple other people there. And it feels like you're at the very top. But then a couple other people pointed out to us to keep going. So we kind of took the trail, you know, when you're looking out, you know, for us, basically, it was on the left hand side of the main view that you get to the top. You kind of keep going up and you get a little secret private view, which is cool. You kind of go up maybe another couple hundred yards and you get to a really cool spot where you're tucked between two rocks and it's almost kind of like a canyon. It's like a canyon. Yeah. And so you're kind of tucked between these two towers. And it was just absolutely stunning. It was a little more private and so yeah, yeah, I'm almost if you got a date, that's the spot you want to bring your girl or boy or whatever. Yeah. You know, it was a really cool experience. So Mike for cathedral rock, are we talking like, is that going to be a half day? Now half day, touring is really going to be in your three to four hour realm where you don't have to pack a meal in your backpack or is it really that full 6 to 8 hour day where you want to be conscientious of things like bringing food and things like that? Oh, that's a great point. Well, for us, we made it probably like a 5. I would say like a 5 out of 5, four or 5 hour trip, took our time. We did the views. We did, and we also went at a busy time. It was memorial weekend. Is that right? Labor Day, maybe.
00:10:03 - 00:15:00
It was some kind of holiday. I can't remember. I can't remember. But it was, I would say it was probably a little more packed than usual. It was a bang holiday. It was Martin Luther King, so naturally, you know. No, I mean, it went a little bit slower, I think just because there were a decent amount of people climbing along with us. So it ended up being, you know, maybe an hour and a half climb to the top, and then we probably spend an hour up there and an hour and yeah. The thing about it is that it's a short trip in terms of length. It's a mile long. Don't be fooled because it's all elevation climb. And it's a steep elevation climb. I mean at one point we were on all fours in order to get to the next segment of the trail and that was an interesting experience to say the least. I wouldn't say it's quite bouldering, but it has elements of bouldering. It was definitely some hand over hand. I mean, you know, it's not just a easy marked out trail. Be prepared to have your butt covered in red rock dust from the way down. And of course, your hands getting dirty going up because you're doing some spots. You know, I can visually see that crux where you're climbing in between this crack or whatever. Sort of the choke point for so many people. It was the bottleneck. It was where all the traffic was held up and it was probably about 20 to 30 feet of just a very careful hand overhand. Not incredibly dangerous, but just sure. Definitely being mindful of where you're going. But like I said, man, I mean, even if it is especially difficult for you, I think it's really worth taking the time taking the trip to go out there and just get up as high as you can go up there. I agree. And one thing I recommend with this trail in particular is if you're going to go to be mindful that parking is pretty scarce. It's a very popular trail. So if you want to go, I recommend doing it pretty early or later in the day outside of peak hours, but it's a pretty busy trail, and you're going to be hard pressed to find a parking spot, let alone a good parking spot. To pay for parking, is it free? No, it was free, thankfully. Yeah, that's I think all of the parking spots are all the trails that we did the parking was free. If I'm wrong, but nothing in Sedona was a national park. So you don't have that national park fee. So Sedona is kind of like between several national parks. Sedona itself is not located in a national park. But the trails. Yeah, the trails are. So cathedral rock national park. And yeah, the whole area is just kind of scattered with national parks. So get that annual pass when you go to the Grand Canyon Bryce and all those parks and so that's perfect. Yeah. Yeah, you bring up a good point, though, because we didn't have to pay for parking and cathedral rock. Right. Nice. But how about your high, Brian? So when I went to Sedona, I did the very touristy but extremely fun pink Jeep tour. So pink Jeep tours is located right in the heart of Sedona on that main road, whatever it was called, but it is the road and their market street. I want to say it was a two hour tour of their tour's seem to be two hours, though they actually do towards all the way out to the Grand Canyon. I think even some like out to Vegas too. There's definitely very prices. Absolutely. I want to say ours is right in that. It was in that prime area for the majority of their tours, which like a 125 to a 150 bucks a piece. So it's going to be it's where you splurge in Sedona. But it's truly it's unlike anything I've experienced. I did the broken arrow tour on the pink cheap tour. I'll just try to quickly describe it. You happen to a Jeep with your trained Jeep driver. There were four of us total in the back of this Jeep. It was oh gosh, what kind of Jeep was not a gladiator, because we talked about that. It was the kind that were in World War II and stuff, the Jeep. Like a willys? The Wrangler was there. It was a Wrangler, but I know what type of Wrangler it was. Rubicon. Rubicon. I'm almost sure that's what's in my pictures. My guide was a ray ray. She was a blast. We basically just took off into the broken arrow trail head, which is accessible for the public. But from that trail, imagine just like you're climbing up rocks and you're going over boulders and whatnot and then you can never imagine that like a four wheel vehicle could somehow make it through this insane, crazy terrain. And it just did. You kind of have to experience it. I'm so excited for you to see some of my videos later.
00:15:01 - 00:20:01
I'm really excited. Yeah, because it was like it gave me a whole new appreciation for jeeps. I will say that. So I'll leave it at that. It was well worth it because of all the like imagine a Jeep going over gigantic rocks. You get an ab a workout like you've never had before. Don't skip ab day that morning because you will get your workout. How many people did the Jeep hold? Yeah, I want to say they were between four and 6 depending on the cheap. During COVID they did a great job. They had the little the barriers between my party and the other parties. How these tour companies are trying to overcome this COVID thing is absolutely well. I feel so bad for them, but they're all trying and they really deserve your business for making going to these great efforts to keep safe. Well, that's awesome. I'm glad you were able to do it because I was really curious about it. We didn't get a chance to do what we were pretty tight on time. But for me, one of my highs, I have to admit though with Mike, my pie one of my favorite moments, my absolute favorite moment was cathedral rock trail, but that would be redundant if I said that too. So I'm going to pick another thing. I'm going to say that for me, one of the highs was a chapel of the holy cross. Now you hear that and you're probably thinking a church? Well, this church is pretty interesting in that it's built in into the red rocks in Sedona. And it's really close to the cathedral rock. I think it's about a mile away from the trailhead of cathedral rock. And it's just this beautiful architecture. You really can't miss it when you drive by it. It has this huge cross and it has a really interesting architecture to it. And so you can park your car and you can climb up. I wouldn't say a trail that's basically follow the road up to the church. And you can go inside and there's a statue of Jesus inside, but what's really cool about it is that you just get this gorgeous view of Sedona and the red rocks. So I have to say the chapel, the holy cross, I really recommend it to really cool. And it's pretty completely free. It doesn't cost you anything. You can go and it's a nice relaxing hike. I say you probably could do an hour, spend an hour there, soak up some views, get some photos if you want. And it's a good hour well spent. Yeah, I think it is a very serendipitous type of place. It's very quiet. Even with people in there, I think there's just kind of like this level of, I don't know, kind of respect that everybody's keeping it inexperienced for other people. You can go there. There were some people praying when we went in there. And I think they actually hold church services. Is that right? On Sunday. I want to say the denomination is a Catholic Church. And you could actually attend services there. But it just feels like kind of a cool experience to go in there and just be able to look out over the red rocks. It's pretty cool. I enjoyed it a lot too. So if you're interested in some unique architecture or some really cool views, I highly recommend it and it's free. So one of the other parts of this segment is talking about our low point of the trip. And we don't like to talk about too many lows. And thankfully for this trip, Mike and I share the same low, but the only way to let Mike tell the story. Oh, wow. All right. I'll take the rains on it. So we were on our way to the Grand Canyon, and it's about two hour drive from Sedona. But on the way to the Grand Canyon, you build up an appetite or at least on the way back and there's not a lot of food options. What you do is you basically pass through this little podunk town and I'm going to interject real quick. Yeah, because we went to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. To get to the south rim, you have to go through this town. And this town is called tusayan, correct. Yeah, Tucson, as in the major city in Arizona to seon. Yeah. And you have to go through here if you're going to the south southern rim of the Grand Canyon. Right. Right. And you know, at the point where we were finished at the Grand Canyon. We were on our way back. And you know, we had a two hour drive ahead of us to get back to Flagstaff. So we were like, well, let's look at our options and one of them was just called restaurant. And so we didn't want to roll the dice on that. So we tried Wendy's and Wendy's had just randomly been closed. There was a sign tape to the speaker that said, we're closed. No outside it said we're open. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So that was a little bit of a let down. And then we finally found ourselves going to McDonald's, which was definitely not on any of our top of our list. But we were very hungry. So we go in there. We order some food, a little bit of a language barrier, even I would say people that speak Spanish predominantly are working there at the time.
00:20:02 - 00:25:07
And so there are some communication problems going on, but by the time we ordered and went to pay, they rung this up for $30. And all four of you? No, no, no. Just me and my wife. I got a mcchicken fry and a drink. Okay. And she got nuggets in a drink. Okay. We're talking like dollar menu items. We're talking in Ohio, it would have been about 5 or $6. And we check out and it was like $28 and 65 cents. And I'm like, what? The crap is happening. What are you doing? What is going on back? Yeah, so you're probably wondering two things. Why would you eat at a McDonald's when you're at the Grand Canyon and two why did you spend so much money on a McDonald's near the Grand Canyon? Well, one, you can eat at the Grand Canyon when we were there we were there during COVID. There was a cafe that was open that served just some sandwiches and stuff. We are kind of hoping for something a little bit more. We want a hot meal basically. So that's kind of why we opted to go back to Tucson. And the reason why we picked McDonald's is because it really wasn't that many other locations to choose from. So moral of the story, if you're thinking about going to the Grand Canyon, which we highly recommend, it is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. I highly recommend either packing a meal. Or eating before you go to the Grand Canyon or maybe if you can't do your best to wait until you get back to wherever you came from, whether it be flagged staff or Sedona and have a nice meal at a really good restaurant. Or you go to the restaurant called restaurant and put in our comments below and wink to us and let us know how it was. Yeah, please do. I'm actually really curious. I am too. I am too. Please, if you're out there and you are a brave soul, please go to restaurant and let us know. Brian, did you have a look on your trip with a low experience with Sedona? Sedona my Lois was that I was there too little too short. It is so worthy of longer time. But I'm going to say that in my next segment. So one low, I'm going to point out is it's a distance from major airports. So it is. It is close to the Flagstaff airport. I will give you that. It's only about 40 minutes. Flagstaff flying into Flagstaff is going to be a little more pricey. I want to say American and united are really the only airlines with scheduled flights in there. American through Dallas, united through Denver. You're just going to pay a premium to go into a smaller airport and you're flying into Arizona. You want to just want to fly into Phoenix. It's a hub for American and Southwest. I know frontier, particularly from the east coast, has a lot of new flights added into Phoenix. It's just that darn two hour drive once you finally land in Phoenix to get there. So I do wish it had a more central airport with a lot more flights, but all things considered it is such. It is so worthy of the drive from Phoenix. There is an airport in Sedona, and we're going to talk about that area because there's actually a really interesting trail there. But none of the major airlines fly into this airport. Right, there's no scheduled flight scheduler flights. I think if you can get a flight into the Sedona airport, it's gonna cost you a pretty penny. So get on that will your private jet right, Mike? Yeah. Yeah, working on it, yeah. It was out of gas for the stroke. Right. So that kind of wraps up our highs and lows, but one of the main things that we wanted to talk about with this episode are our tips. So one of the first things that I wanted to talk about with our tips, or some of the food recommendations. Some of the places that we got an opportunity to eat in Sedona. And I wanted to kick it off. We went to this tamale restaurant in Sedona, and it's a locally owned cafe that's been around for about 35 years, family owned. You're going to interact with the family that owns the cafe. It's called tomasa, cafe in Sedona. And what's so great about it is that it's known for tamales, which is something that we don't get an opportunity to eat in Ohio. I don't know of any place in Akron that offers tamales. So it was a really cool unique local experience. So if you're looking for something a little bit different, I highly recommend that tamales in Tom Melissa cafe. And there's also a few other places that I recommend in Sedona, one of them is the hideaway house. If you're looking for pizza and a good view of the red rocks, I recommend that. If you're looking for a pretty well known and well established restaurant, in Sedona, the place to go to is the elote cafe. Now, if you do want to go there, you're going to need to book well into a month before you actually go.
00:25:07 - 00:30:02
It's very popular. And the prices aren't too bad you're looking at about $16 a dish. So it's pretty nice. And in terms of Flagstaff and some other places that we got an opportunity to go to. I recommend getting a cup of coffee at Mary Macy's Macy's European coffeehouse and bakery. That's in Flagstaff. It's kind of a locally owned coffeehouse. We've got some really good coffees and baked goods. You can also check out pizza creator in Flagstaff. It's a local pizza shop kind of in the college area. We got to sit down outside and have a nice slice of pizza for dinner and I was really nice. So I recommend those places. They're really great. But I really wanted to touch up on this one place called the mind cafe in Jerome. And I wanted to talk about this because Jerome is an old mining town near the city of Sedona. It's about 45 minutes from Sedona in about probably 45 as well from Flagstaff. And what's so cool about this is that it was once a mining town, and it has a lot of history and a lot of culture going on. And when you go there, it's really tiny because it was built in the 1850s. So you have to pay a $4 parking fee, but it's a really interesting opportunity to walk around because it's situated kind of on top of a mountain. You go up some elevation. So there's, again, shocker here, a really great view, but you also just get this really cool experience of being in this old abandoned mining town. Yeah. It was really cool to just walk around. And what's so great about the mein cafe in particular is they have some really great breakfast. So if you want to start your day off if you are in Flagstaff like we were and you want to make your way over to Sedona, I recommend just going to the mine cafe, check out Jerome, walk around for an hour or two and check it out. It's a really unique experience, highly recommend it. I mean, did you guys have any other places that you wanted to talk about in particular? Well, I was going to interject interject with the first restaurant you said, can you say the name of it again? Tom aliza, Tom Elise. So Tom aliza is a Mexican style restaurant. And if you don't know what a tamale is, it's a Mexican dish that's like a corn based dough and they fill it with meats, beans and cheeses. So it's kind of a unique thing. If you've never had one, I don't think it's too risky of a category to try. I think it's like pretty general, but it's kinda nice, 'cause it's dense, it's a little different. And I think they don't have a whole lot to compare it to, but I can say I was very impressed with it. So I agree with you. I think that was probably one of my favorite restaurants. And I think my personal favorite probably was the mind cafe mostly because I'm a sucker for breakfast food. I mean, they really, they did a phenomenal job. You know, to the cup of coffee to the eggs, to everything that you get there, man, they just did a really good job and the vibe is awesome because it's like an underground restaurant. You literally walk down, it feels like you're in kind of like they roll with it. It's like a dungeon eBay kind of thing. But it's cool because I think the vibe of the town from what I understand is that supposedly I'm doing air quotes, but it's kind of like supposedly haunted. And so it's got this kind of abandoned mine town feel, but it's also got this really cool artist in kind of feel. And so I think if I were if I go back when I go back, I'm probably going to try to spend a little more time in Jerome because I think it was just something cool that something different and for being only like 45 minutes away from these other two really cool places. I think it's a great place to spend the day maybe if you have that kind of time. I agree. Right. As opposed to the natural beauty of Sedona. It's just this nice, very dungeon Y town. It is. Did I sell it on that? Did I sell it? I didn't get to go to drums, so really I'm speaking at a jealousy, but I will echo you both said on the tamales the cafe, my buddy Steve and I went there based off your recommendation well. I texted you. Hey, where should we go for lunch? Where did you go? Two months prior you said it. Go to Tom elisa. And it was funny because my buddy Steve was covering so he was against him. But he's like, what is this? Tamales? We just really say we don't know. We're ignorant. That's all. And I had to take a business call with our food came out as the worst timing. And when I hung up the phone, I turned around he had finished his first tamale. He went back into order four more. Because he wanted us to try. He wanted us to try all the different varieties. Oh, that's so we ended up just chowing down on 6 total tamales between the two of us. It was. Man, that's awesome. I'm really glad you liked it that much. That's awesome. Yeah, I recommend it. So that kind of leads us into activity recommendation.
00:30:02 - 00:35:01
Some of the things that we didn't talk about, but we still want to recommend. One of the first things that I want to talk about is the Arizona snowball. It's an area that used to be next to well, it's still next to a volcano. It's a dormant volcano, and it's a used to be a lava field. And all of this wonderful growth is there. And situated in this area is a ski resort. And you can take this ski lift to the top of the mountain and you get this wonderful view. It's about $20 a person, and it lasts about 30 minutes or an hour and we got mixed responses. We didn't get a chance to actually do the ski lift part, and we really wish we did when we got there. Because it looked incredible. But what makes it worth it even if you can't do the ski lift is the area itself. All of this rich flora, I guess. So to speak, they have these golden Aspen trees that are gorgeous. They're really, really cool. There was a really great place to set up a picnic and just have a picnic lunch. We saw so many people doing that. So I really recommend checking out the Arizona snowball. It's really cool. Yeah. And to add to that, we went what was actually the last day of the season and so if you are looking to do that, I think, you know, it's a great time to go in October because the golden aspens are just they're absolutely stunning. But make sure you can get in there because because it was the last day there was a line just going down the mountain that was just like, okay. We're not getting our chance here today. But we didn't know it was kind of a last minute thing that we were trying to do. So make sure you plan ahead a little bit on that one, because it's a seasonal thing. Yeah, that's true. That's a good point. Thanks, Mike. Yeah. And that was for the ski lift. You can still go to the snowball. Even when the ski lift is not in operation. So we still recommend it. And then in Sedona, one of the places that go check out is a shopping center called to lock a poke. And funny enough, that's actually where the hike houses. The hike house. Yeah, that's kind of the area. Oh, it's right there. Right. Okay, so what is a pocket? It's a Lockheed pocket is a shopping center that has a lot of local arts and crafts, local food, stuffs, so you can get a pretty good chai at a local chai place. That's pretty interesting. Never been to a local chai placed before, but it's a nice Indian lady who's owned this little place for decades. And you can get some chai from her childhood, so that's pretty cool. And what's cool about to walk a pocket is there's a lot of different local crafts. I pass by it multiple times, didn't actually go. Is it outdoor or is it indoor? So it's an outdoor shopping mall. It really see a trend here with Sedona and is has to do with the weather I know, but everything just outdoor in a works. And it's almost shocking for us coming from Ohio. You can't have an outdoor place three months a year and it will be okay. Then the rest, you're out of business. It just seems like I've heard from friends. Oh, did you go to Sedona? You got to do outdoor yoga, you gotta spend all day outside and do the trails and everything. So I really sense that Sedona is gonna be great for those who are health conscious and really want to get some fresh air. Yeah, absolutely. But so lucky pocket is a good place to pick up a souvenir or two. Yeah, oh yeah, I think it's cool because you say outdoor shopping mall, but in my brain, I want to describe it with the stucco buildings that are attached to a tree. I mean, the chai place literally feels like a treehouse. You know, you're outside your inside. You got these big palette port benches, and the chai was awesome, man. It was, you know, it was just a unique experience. You definitely got to give it a try. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. No, we can be punny. All right, okay. Phones are accepted here. So you didn't see your Macy's in your Dillard's. Right. Yeah, I just wanted to distinguish kind of add some clarity to term outdoor shopping mall. The structures in the trees itself. It could just be something cool to go visit. Everything's got a cool feel and I have to give the plug for the green arched McDonald's. There it is. The only McDonald's in the world that doesn't have golden arches. Right? And the center of town you're going to see a McDonald's and you're going to notice right away, oh, that's golden arches, they're green. I read up on it, and it turns out they didn't want the gold to clash with the red rock. So they got to approval from mister McDonald. We're not on a first name. This is quite yet, but yeah, they got permission to do it. So I actually pulled it and got my picture. Didn't buy anything, but I had to get myself with the green card.
00:35:02 - 00:40:00
No, I'm not judging. I'm judging a little bit, but not too much. I welcome you to spent $30 at the McDonald's. Yeah, right. Honestly, I don't think I have any room to talk. I wish I would have just gotten a selfie and left. You're negative McDonald's story is equivalent to the positivity of mine. They balance out a little bit. They balance out. There are a few locations that I want to talk about that I still recommend that you check out or read upon and see if it's for you. Mike actually went to one of these locations on a previous trip, and that slide rock part. So basically what slide rock park is, it's a location where there's this 80 foot natural water slide, and you can go and basically just slide down this rock slide as a natural rock slide. So it's a pretty cool little park that you can check out one of the longest in the United States, one of the longest natural water slides in the United States, I recommend it. It seems like it would be a thing to check out. And similarly, there are a few other trails. One of which is the devil's bridge trail, where you might have seen a picture of this. You basically walk out onto this bridge and it's kind of out in the middle of nowhere it seems. You walk up to the end of this bridge and there's nothing there. It's a dead end, so you gotta go back. But you're sort of being pulled out into this beautiful scenic view. And it looks really cool. I really want to go back into this trail. It was between this trail and cathedral rock trail and we opted for cathedral rock, but I do recommend checking out devil's bridge. And the last thing I want to recommend to our listeners is an area called locket meadow or the inner basin trail and the coconut national forest. That's near Flagstaff. And what's so cool about this is that it's a great place to find these golden aspens, but you're also going to see some of the San Francisco mountain peaks, which are in the coconut national forest and they're the highest peaks in Arizona. So you're going to get this really interesting foresty trail along with some really cool mountain views and I really wish we could have done it. But it was out of season for us. The trails were shut down because of the weather in the mountains. But I recommend checking it out. Did anyone else have any recommendations that they kind of wished they would have done? Yeah, well, I will say, you know, because it was my second time going. I think the first time that I went there, we stayed at a place called sky ranch. It's a motel hotel, whatever you want to call it. But it's up by the Sedona airport, which is also where we went for stargazing. We actually parked in the sky ranch parking lot to do our sky our stargazing. And if you're looking for a Marriott with four stories, this is not it. But if you're okay, it's still a nice, safe area, but it's at the top of a mountain and it's just like a ranch style hotel, motel place to stay. I would say fairly affordable. I can't remember the exact price, maybe close in that one 50 to 200 a night. Right. Okay. But you're in the heart of it all. I mean, it's a great place to be in Sedona a little bit outside of town and you get some great views. You wake up in the morning, you got a crazy cool sunrise and you also got a really great stars at night. Yeah, that's true. That was a really cool place. It's on top of the airport mesa, where location of the Sedona airport is. And what's cool about it is there are some really great trails in that area too. So even if you are looking for a trail, but you don't want to drive, you're right there and you've got to really great fail to go see. So yeah, that's a good recommendation. Yeah, I remember when I started first selling Sedona or I should say clients came up to me and said, hey, we want to go to Sedona. This is really before I knew anything about it except that it was a city that wasn't Phoenix and it wasn't the Grand Canyon or Flagstaff. And I remember it was a family who said we want to go to sit down because of the vortexes. I'm thinking, I just kind of smiled and nodded because, you know, I was behind a desk. I should look like I know what I'm talking about. But I really had no idea what it was. It turns out this is really a draw for tourism. These are four Texas they have. I'm not shrinking quite explain it other than that like it's a source of energy. Yeah, you got it. Yeah. Do you have any extra add to that? Did you do anything like that? I mean, we went to some of the places that are designated as energy vortexes. Yeah, but did you feel it? I think cathedral rock is one of them and all I felt was tired. Okay. So it sucked the energy. It sucked the edge. Had the inverse vortex. Yeah. I mean, I could see though, you know, I had a nickel. Right. Last time I was there, I saw people meditating up on the roads and you know I can't speak for my self personally.
00:40:01 - 00:45:00
Experiencing that. But I think I have seen some people that were, you know, enjoying that part of the Sedona experience. They say that at certain times of the day you'll hear people drumming, like banging on drums. Interesting. Yeah, maybe even some dancing. I'm not quite sure. But it's definitely a thing. So if you're into that, if you're into that, go. If you're into that, I'm pretty sure I marked a few of them in our area and our travel guide. Sure. So if you're interested, you can check that out. My last tip will is just that Sedona is worthy of a full. I would say four or 5 days. You're really going to see me particularly in my European itineraries harp on my three night stay routine where there's the arrival day. There's the historical day than the fun day and slash departure. But for Sedona, I really want to push that just a couple days. It's not enough. There's enough to do to go for that 5 6 or even full week trip. And you're not going to hear me say that about a ton of destinations. Wow, there you go. That's quite the statement. I like it. Yeah. Yeah, I agree. There's a lot of stuff to do in the surrounding areas. You won't get bored in the air. Yeah, that's for sure. You definitely need a car. It's true. Yeah, you need to maybe run it or driving is easy. Yeah, just wasn't bad. A lot of roundabouts no big deal. Yeah, it's pretty quiet on the roads. There's really not a lot of traffic. There's traffic inside some donut, but nothing that nothing more or less. There's also two routes. If you do stay in Flagstaff to get to Sedona and they're very different, one route is more of the highway and I think it's about I want to say an hour and 5 minutes on average. The other route I want to say is like 45 minutes, but if you got a sensitive stomach, you're gonna wanna stay off it because really sick that night. I'm so glad you bring that up. The driving's easy. Except for that drive from Sedona to Flagstaff or Flagstaff to Sedona. I can't remember the exact route off the top of my head. I want to say it was 90 or something. Whatever the route is, it's the mountain route and you just, it's got a lot of bends around there. And if you just eaten or you have any kind of sensitive stomach or whatever, I mean, it'll throw your stomach for a loop. So you gotta be ready for it. I'm so glad you said that. Did you do it in the daytime or night? Yeah, the nighttime. Within the night, too. Yeah, it was pitch dark. I got to drive. Which is great because the buddy who I went with is a crazy driver. And he drives way too fast and I always get sick when he drives. I was so thankful that somehow it worked out that I was behind the wheel because we were doing what's it called when you do like a 180° turn. One 81 80, you can call it a one 80. Sure, we were doing what we were doing 5 40 at that time. And Steve gets sick. No, he doesn't get sick. Okay, well, good for Steve. There is one last thing that I wanted to touch on with our tips. And I went in to talk about the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon from Sedona is two hours north of Sedona. If you're staying in Flagstaff, it's only about an hour hour and a half. But the thing about the Grand Canyon is, you might be wondering, where do I park? It's so popular. How do I get around and how can I hike in the Grand Canyon? If you don't want to drive to one of the parking lots in the Grand Canyon, you can take a shuttle in the town of tusayan where we got this expensive McDonald's. You can take a shuttle and it's free. So I believe to get into the Grand Canyon. And if you don't want to, if you want to see the rim, but you don't want to walk the entire rim. You can take shuttles too to see different points outside the outer rim of the Grand Canyon. So that's pretty cool. During COVID, the shuttle from tucci on to the Grand Canyon was closed. We had to drive in park and the shuttles, we didn't see any shuttles working inside the park either. I'm taking anyone from any ports of the outside of ram or anything like that. And another thing is that I think the entrance fee to get into the Grand Canyon is $30, 30 per private vehicle, yes. The 30 private vehicle. And then the last thing I want to talk about is basically if you're going to hike in the Grand Canyon, you need to be prepared. It's cold up top, but the further you go down the canyon itself, it gets hotter. So you need to prepare yourself for that in general. And a lot of people that go down and they because you're going a dissent, they think that, oh, I can go down to the Colorado River, which is a really far hike and then come back. But I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. They say it's they say it's a 24 hour hike. But some people are able to do it faster than that. And yeah, I just recommend if you're doing a half day or a full day and you only have a day there, I recommend checking out the sites of the outer rim. It's incredible. We had a lot of fun.
00:45:01 - 00:50:00
Yeah. I think that wraps up for the tips. Does anyone else have any wanted to talk about? I guess we'll go into standby items. Please. Here we go. So with our standby items segment, we like to talk about miscellaneous things that we didn't have time to talk about. And in this segment, we kind of wanted to talk about traffic, what they expect with Sedona in terms of traffic or maybe some safety or how to dress for the weather in the area. And for me, I think with the weather was interesting about Arizona is the weather changes really quickly. You might land in Phoenix and it's really, really warm. And you drive 30 minutes and it's snowing and it's really cold and you need a winter jacket. And it's like that if you're going to go to Flagstaff if you're going to go to Grand Canyon, if you're going to go to Sedona, the weather is going to be different. It might be 30° in Flagstaff. It'll be 60 in Sedona. It might be 70 in Sedona. It might be 30 at the Grand Canyon. And then if you go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, it might be a 100°. So the weather just fluctuates like crazy. So you need to understand that if you're going to go to these different locations, you might need to dress entirely different than if you're just going to do time in Sedona. Yeah, but it's a dry heat. Sorry, we had gone too long without anyone saying that. Someone talked about Aries. Yeah. Which I guess is true. But if it's 95 in July, it's still not yet. Ready to try it. But it is. Yeah. Exactly. You can do anything. Others stand by items. I mean, it's great. Bring money. There's great stuff to buy. Great souvenirs there. Think about friends and family for their birthdays or holidays. Go to the how do you say the outdoor shopping area and will? To lock a pocket. Yeah, go there, bring money buy some cool art, some cool souvenirs. That's great. How is the traffic when you guys were there? In so don't know, when we were there, the traffic was pretty crazy. It took like an hour to get into the city something like that. When we first got into Sedona, it was a little pack, yeah. Yeah. It also was, I think it was that it was memorial Memorial Day weekend. It was. We went on holiday, okay? And it was busy. Well, let's say you were there in October, right? Yeah. And I was there in December. So technically, you were a shoulder season I was off season. Okay. Yeah, that makes sense. But for me, it was fine. There was okay. Very, very few people. Okay. Yeah, it did. It got chilly in the evenings. I want to say a drop down to 55 or so, so if that's an issue, but even in December in the daytime, it was a high 60 70. So I really recommend it. It's interesting. I do remember talking to a local in Sedona, and I believe they said something along the lines of the population of Sedona is something like 12,000 people. But they get an annual visitor count in the millions. I think it's a million or 2 million. There's a lot of people going into this little town and you might get stuck in traffic. So that's something to be mindful of if you're looking into it. You had it right, well, so it's 10,000 people that live there and then 3 million visitors per year. Something really crazy. I could not even basically like Ohio. Just a little different. Just a little different. Just a little different. I think that's all I wanted to talk about standby items. I love you guys. Something I think is kind of cool. This isn't for everybody, but I can remember by slide rock and on our way to the Grand Canyon, we pass these little, I'm going to call them Native American style shops. Oh yeah, yeah. You know, I don't know. I have a background in that, so I really appreciate it. I think it's kind of cool to see arrowheads and bearskin rugs and all that kind of stuff. So if you're into that, there's definitely kind of a plethora of those cool little shops and there are some Navajo tribes that are close by. So if you want like an authentic Navajo rug, I know when to lock a pocket they sell them, bring your wallet, take out your second mortgage on your home. They're really nice and really expensive. They're beautiful, but for a small, the size of a welcome mat is probably about $300, $400. Just for a little guy, but yeah, yeah, so there's some cool Native American culture around there as well. And it's basically it. That's great. Hotel wise, you're going to have, I would say the 5 star resort I would point out is called let alberge Sedona. That's going to be your super classy, beautiful 5 star hotel.
00:50:01 - 00:55:12
You also have the Hilton and then quite a few of you just local hotels that are in the off season. It's going to be that one 50 to 200 bucks a night. I want to say in the peak season, probably that April May June, you're going to pay, you're going to pay quite a bit more. And then the last thing I want to say was standby items is just two things. One, a lot of old western movies were filmed here, and it does have that look. So if you are a classic western film fan or movie buff, you are going to really fall in love with this. Including the movie, Billy the Kid and broken arrow. And lastly, I would just say like epic adventure sports and adventure activities. I say that because there was this mountain and there were people who had dirt bikes going around it up top. It looked unplayable, but it draws a lot of mountain bikers. Yeah. Oh wow. Also climbers. So if you're into climbing, red rock, it's just calls your name, right? Yeah. Absolutely. You know, another thing to keep in mind too if you're into spas and stuff, Sedona has a really great spa culture. A lot of great places to get a massage or do any other type of spa activities. Yeah, but I think that wraps up the show. I think the last thing is just going to be chatting with Brett. Yeah, about all the great hiking in Sedona. Yeah, that's a good point. Yeah, we do have that coming up. We have our interview with Brett from the high house. Absolutely. Super happy to have Brent Ulrich with us. He is from Sedona, Arizona, Brent, thank you so much for joining us. My pleasure, Brian. I'm happy to be on. Oh, that's great. Thank you. Can you start off by just telling us what is your background in Sedona? How long have you been there? Where exactly do you live? Yeah. So I've been in Sedona for actually a very short period of time. I've been here for four months, but don't let that fool you. I am a hiking guide here in Sedona. The first month I was here, I was not employed, so I was hiking every single day, and this is just a magical place. I live right in Sedona. This is a place that has everything you could possibly need and more. So great to hear. And I'm so glad you mentioned hiking in that you have done a lot of hikes because everybody wants to know or at least should know when going to Sedona about the hiking. So can you just give us your overall thoughts and knowledge, what would you tell someone who's who likes hiking, who's interested in hiking and wants to come to Sedona for that? Well, Sedona caters to everyone when it comes to hiking from beginner to expert from the Hype House, you can access over a hundred trails within 15 minutes of driving. Sedona is the day height capital of America. We have over a 150 trails here in Sedona. Really, the best trails are the ones that are within your ability. They also deliver the things that you want to see, whether it be red rock views, natural arches or stunning greenery. There's so, so, so much to see. And one thing we really pride ourselves on here at the hike house is being able to help you narrow those trails down. And give you the best experience. Brett, I'm so glad you mentioned the hike house and I definitely want to make sure the hike house gets a proper shout out and plug here. Can you tell us about the hike house? Yeah. So the hike house is the donor's premiere. Outdoor retailer. We sell apparel, hiking gear, footwear. We also have a ton of great information on the trails in the area, maps, most of us here at the high house are also hiking guides, such as myself, and most of us spend many hours outside every single week hiking the trails in the area. It's your one stop shop for everything hiking in Sedona. So Brett, if I came to you and I wanted a hiking guide, how would that work? Would I just walk into the hike house and ask for help? Yeah, we don't usually do date of. I highly recommend that if someone is planning to take a trip to Sedona, they call the hike house ahead of time. That way we have time to reach out to our guides and see who's available. I would say minimum three days prior would would be best. And then if I did book a hiking guide, how would that work in terms of would I meet you there or would we meet at the high house and then there would be transportation provided? I asked because going to something like cathedral rock trail and it's so popular, it's so busy.
00:55:12 - 01:00:04
It was really difficult to find a parking spot. So we have 40 trails that were permitted to hike on. Some of the popular trails like devil's bridge and cathedral rock, nobody in Sedona has permits for those just because of the volume. But what I would have you guys do is meet me here at the high house. I would provide you with a backpack food water. If you wanted me to carry your food or water for you and you didn't want to have a backpack, I could do that as well. Most of our other guys would be very comfortable doing that. And then we talked about some of the options. Some of the trail options I'd have planned out for you. And then, as of right now, we are taking separate cars to the trail head, just kind of following COVID policies and things of that nature. All right, that's perfect. Thanks for sharing that. One more hiking question for you. What are some of your favorite hiking spots that you recommend for new arrivals to Sedona? They canyon and Doe mountain are two hikes that I love starting people on. 8 canyons is 2.4 miles, round trip with a 192 feet of elevation gain. So when you're first arriving, this is an awesome trail to just get the legs moving and have some really, really stellar views. There's a lot of greenery, tall red rock cliffs on either side of you. And then dome out in is just next door to Faye. And this is one of my favorite sons that hikes in the area. If you're looking to catch a sunset, this is the spot reason being it's 1.8 miles round trip, so that's less than a mile back to your car after the sunset. If you plenty of time, no need for headlamp or flashlight, the trail times 524 feet and it puts you on top of a flat Table Mountain that you can hike all around, but this is such a cool sunset spot. A little bit longer hikes. I mean, I have so many Super Bowl of past Jordan, soldiers have and brin's mesa, those four trails make it awesome 5.2 mile loop. If that's something you'd be interested in, this is something I really like to go into detail in on in store, but it's an awesome trail, 800 feet of game. There's this massive natural sinkhole on that trail that is really, really cool to see. Wow. And then the last trail I want to touch on is the hangover trail. So I'm kind of giving you a short three mile 6 miles a 109 miles. So hang over trail is 8.4 miles round trip with 820 feet of elevation gain. This drill has spectacular views in my favorite thing about the trail is how green is the vegetation on the trail so diverse perfect elevation here in Sedona that we have, you know, high elevation plants and low elevation plants kind of in this beautiful mix. So those are my 4 trillion. Great. Do us one quick favor and just give us those four trail names again in their mileage. Okay, they canyon. 2.4 miles, round trip, a 192 feet of elevation gain. Dome mountain, 1.8 miles round trip, 524 feet of elevation gains. This next one is four trails combined to make a loop, sybil of half, Jordan, soldiers passed and grinned mesa. It's 5.2 miles with around 800 feet of game. And then the last one is the hangover trail. It's 8.4 miles round trip with around 820 feet of validation. That's good you give us elevation gain. It's something I don't think of here in northeast Ohio. But it's so important because we just look at like mileage 'cause all of our trails are pretty flat here with sub hills. But you need to know that, because actually out in out west, it really doesn't matter how long a trail is. Yeah, yeah. Case in point the Grand Canyon. Brett, do us a favor as when you're, I don't know friends and family start coming out to visit you there. Hopefully here in 2021. As a local where are you going to take them? Honestly, I'm going to hike most of those trails. I just named off. It gives you great short trails that you can hit early in the morning, longer ones, and then there's a couple secret spots if you stop by the hike house, I can tell you about. As far as other things to do in Sedona, we have so many awesome restaurants here. A couple of my favorite are Delpiani burger, the little burger joint located in the hillside shopping center.
01:00:04 - 01:02:51
It's just a couple of minutes away from The Hike House. So they're all the time. All their ingredients are super high quality and the beef patties are just incredibly delicious. The vault uptown Sedona is also a favorite of mine. They have awesome appetizers, salad sandwiches, they have an incredible drink menu. And one of my favorite things about the ball is it's a great place to bring people to sit outside and enjoy awesome views. They have an awesome outdoor patio that overlooks the month's mountain wilderness. And that's probably got to be one of my favorite restaurants for this view. Brett, any words of cautionary advice to travelers wanting to check out Sedona. Yeah. When hiking it's best to get to the trailhead early, I will say that before 9 a.m. is best after 9 most trailheads are either full or they're filling up very fast if you're hiking or most popular trails such as bell rock, devil's bridge, cathedral rock or Westport, the earlier, the better. I would suggest getting there around 7 a.m. if possible that way you can secure a spot in the parking lot. Also, traffic during the weekends can get a little crazy. I always tell people to be a very defensive driver when in the roundabouts, use a lot of caution, a lot of confusion can happen there. Other than that, not a whole lot. You know, if you're here in the summertime, I get a lot of questions about wildlife, you know, should I be worried about rattlesnakes bears, mountain lions, for the most part, not really rattlesnakes, usually stay off the side of the trail. I do suggest, you know, washing where you're placing your feet. But for the most part, snakes and other animals don't like humans. And the trails here, the most part, pretty highly traffic, so they're going to kind of stray away. Now, if you're off trail, that might be something you run into more often, but that's about it, or words caution. Brad, thank you so much. How can our listeners find the hike house online? Type in the hike house Sedona in it will be the first thing to pop up. Fantastic. On Instagram or anything like that? We are. We are on Instagram. It's the hike house. Perfect. All right. The high cost. Brett Ulrich from the hike house and Sedona Arizona Brett, thank you so much for your advice and thank you for your time. My pleasure, will Brian, often talking you guys. Make sure to comment and subscribe before you go where the travel agents thanks for listening to book your trip and pack your bag into some travel baking