UPDATED OCTOBER 3, 2013: Many updates are available in the comments. Please read the comments to stay abreast of the latest news.
We published this post on our website Sedona.net today.
It’s a good thing you can’t shut out the 360° views of the red rocks in Sedona. Visitors from all over the world alight in Arizona every day, but the government shutdown that began on Tuesday, October 1 is causing many to scramble to change their Arizona travel plans. It may be hard to know what businesses and services are still available during this unfortunate stall in federal government services, but one thing is fairly clear: Sedona is definitely open for business, so it is the PERFECT alternative to Grand Canyon National Park and the other national monuments and forests in the area. True, Sedona is located in the heart of Red Rock Country, a district of the Coconino National Forest, who’s offices are closed thanks to the nationwide shutdown. The closure has affected the National Forest’s developed campgrounds and picnic areas, several of which are located in Oak Creek Canyon, one of Sedona’s premier natural attractions. However, Sedona is graced with several state parks and native American heritage sites that remain open, and there are dozens of other commercial tours, indoor attractions and outdoor adventures to be had, making Sedona seem almost immune to the shutdown. Here is a list of alternative things to do, places to see, and accommodations likely to be available in Sedona without any effect from the federal standstill:
Things to Do in Sedona and the Verde Valley
- Red Rock State Park
- Slide Rock State Park
- Jeep tours with Pink Jeep or A Day in the West
- Hot air balloon tours with Red Rock Balloons
- Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale)
- Honanki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site
- Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
- Hiking and mountain biking trails
- Horseback riding with A Day in the West
- Wine tours with Sedona Wine Adventures
- Out of Africa Wildlife Park (they have a new white rhino you must see!)
- Sedona Art Center
- Hozho and Sedona Hillside galleries and shopping
- Uptown Sedona shops, restaurants and activities
- Photography workshops with Brent Jones
- ATV tours with Sedona ATV Adventures
- Kayaking down the Verde River with Sedona Adventure Tours
- Fly fishing on Oak Creek with Sedona Flyfishing Adventures
- Vortex hikes or a psychic experience with Greg Drambour, Kavitaa, Nirup, or Eos Yolanda
- Relaxing, restorative massage and therapy treatments with Uptown Massage, A Spa for You, or Authentic Ayurveda
Places to Stay
Under normal circumstances, it doesn’t make much sense to book your accommodations in Sedona based solely on the view from your guestroom; the red rock views are EVERYWHERE and you won’t want to stay on your suite’s balcony anyway. However, with the shutdown affecting many of the places Arizona visitors want to go to see great views, (such as the Grand Canyon, or Walnut Canyon National Monument) visitors will want to get as much out of their stay as possible. Here are a number of accommodations in Sedona that can get you close to the red rocks, and allow you to commune with nature in a way that no silly lawmaking stalemate can deny.
- Boutique hotels like Sedona Reãl Inn, Las Posadas, El Portal, Sedona Rouge, Amara Resort, or Arroyo Pinion Hotel
- Brand-name hotels and resorts like Best Western Inn of Sedona, Best Western Arroyo Roble, Hilton Sedona Resort or L’Auberge de Sedona
- Bed & breakfasts like Moestly Wood, Creekside Inn, A Sunset Chateau, Canyon Villa, Adobe Village Graham, Adobe Grand Villas, Casa Sedona, Cozy Cactus, Sedona Views, Boots & Saddles, Sedona Dream Maker, Desert Rose, or The Lodge at Sedona
- Cabins along Oak Creek like Briar Patch Inn, Junipine Resort, Butterfly Garden Inn, and Canyon Wren
- Dispersed camping is allowed in Coconino National Forest, while the developed campgrounds are closed. Be sure to follow the National Forest Service’s posted guidelines for dispersed camping, outside of developed campgrounds. The guidelines are posted here.
UPDATED OCTOBER 3: What’s Open?
Several campgrounds and fee sites, managed by Recreation Resource Management, the private company that contracts with the Forest Service, remain open:
- Crescent Moon/Red Rock Crossing
- Grasshopper Point
- West Fork/Call of the Canyon
- Cave Springs
- Chavez Crossing
- Pine Flats, east and west
- Oak Creek Visitor Center
- Clear Creek
- Beaver Creek
- Honanki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site
There are a few Sedona area places you won’t be able to go in Sedona during the government shutdown.
- Palatki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site
- Banjo Bill Picnic Site
- Bootlegger Picnic Area
- Call Of The Canyon Picnic Site
- Encinoso Picnic Site
- Halfway Picnic Site
- Midgley Bridge Observation Site
- Stoneman Lake
- White Bridge Picnic Site
Are you curious about your particular travel itinerary? Got questions about where you can go or where to find accommodations? Did we miss one of your favorite Sedona activities or places? Leave your comments below.