4 Days Hiking and Meditating Sedona with Vegans (and everyone else too!)
A 4-day trip to Sedona requires vortexes, meditation, hikes and delicious vegan eats. On my 4-day trip, I found all four, all off the beaten path, and all freshly rewarding. I mixed my days up with morning meditation sessions, scrumptious vegan lunches or dinners, afternoon hikes, nightly sunsets, and joyful rests.
If you’re looking for moderate hikes off the beaten path, a few vortexes, some great mediation gurus and delicious vegan eats, this is the post you must read.
What to Pack for Hiking in Sedona
I arrived the last week of February to perfect temperatures between 40-65 degrees, requiring leggings, skorts (see my favorites as Skirt Sports), short and love sleeves, and one hoodie. On my feet were my favorite Hoka hiking books, and I tramped around town in my favorite Chacos.
Day One of the Sedona Experience with Angel Guides
After driving up from Phoenix the night before, I settled into my Airbnb (here is where I stayed), waking to meet my Angel Guide at Sedona Soul Adventures (Please tell them Chris Englert sent you!) for my overview session of the week. She advised me of my do’s and don’ts for the week;
- allow yourself time
- be on time to your sessions
- practice lots of self-care
- take baths
- don’t imbibe in alcohol or drugs
- listen intuitively to all messages coming your way.
Ready with my list of instructions and directions, I dropped into Local Juicery, a vegan smoothie house, and grabbed an “Oak Creek Greens” smoothie of coconut water, spinach, kale, banana, blueberries, spirulina, and goji berries. It sparked my digestion and set me on the right path for my first meditation session with Gaia.
Going In to Get Out, A Mind Body Soul Integration Session
At Gaia’s house, she calmed me down and got me focused on my inner journey. Her session, called “Mind Body Soul Integration” tuned me right up. She laid me on a massage table, did some arm resistance exercises and scalp massage to determine how to focus me. Soon, my inner 6-year old couldn’t wait to come out and play. Gaia and I repaired the damage that kept her from coming out. I cried. After 2 hours with Gaia, I left refreshed and enthusiastic. Now my six-year old self is vibrant and jumping for joy to be back in my life again.
Hiking Sedona’s Vortex
I met my stranger-turned-friend at Airport Loop Trail, parking for $3 at the top of the hill. We skipped along the Airport Loop, passing by the Airport Vortex, which crawled with tourists getting their vibe. Having learned from Gaia that you don’t have to be right on top of the vortex to experience the benefits of it, we continued around the loop.
Airport Loop is an easily accessible trail with simple parking that includes a vortex and views. Just a 1/4 mile past the vortex on the trail, we escaped the tourists swarming the vortex top and had the space to ourselves. Even though I was with a friend on this hike, I’d feel totally comfortable hiking this slightly undulating trail by myself.
Tuning into it and each other, our moderate hike of just about 3 miles quickly came to an end. With views of West Sedona, Capitol Butte and Wilson Mountain, the best part of the hike, though, is that you’ll be at the best place in Sedona to see the sunset. Even if you leave your parking spot to go elsewhere for the day, bring your $3 receipt back, and you can park for the sunset.
Feeling like I wanted a low-key evening back at my Airbnb, I stopped in Berry Divine and purchased an acai bowl called the Summit Bowl, which had acai, cashew milk, peanut butter, strawberry, cacao and protein powder and topped with strawberries, shaved chocolate, cashews, and granola.
Day Two of a Full Sedona Experience as a Hiking Vegan
A quick stop at the Safeway the night before produced my breakfast of a banana and a muffin, topped off with some walnuts, then I drove to my next spiritual appointment with Jenine.
Learning to Love My Body All Over Again
Jenine’s “Befriending Your Body” session had me sitting in a comfy chair. We took a few deep breaths together and began exploring my personal journey of weight, health and wellness. We tripped upon past obstacles and images that blocked my complete wellness, and we built safe places for those obstacles to find comfort. Two hours later when she advised me the session was over, I couldn’t believe more than 15 minutes had passed. I felt lighter, happier, and almost ecstatic that my weight and wellness blocks were removed. Together with my 6-year old self, we couldn’t wait to get out and play again.
A Scorpion of a Trail Hike
And so I decided to get out and play. I had two hours to enjoy on the land, so I found a trail near my next appointment in Oak Creek down Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Easy parking at the trail head put me at the Pyramid Mtn Trailhead where I hiked the Scorpion-Pyramid Trail Loop for about three miles. Totally comfortable on my own, I headed out on the slick rock and red-soiled trail past ocotillo and nopales cactus. Mostly flat with a steep, short climb at the apex, I viewed, privately, Cathedral Rock and Red Rocks Park on my own. Off the beaten path and safe as a solo hiker, I felt close enough to others in case I needed help, yet far enough way to feel the power of Sedona and the nearby Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock.
Learning to Breathe
Revigorated from the hike, I entered Christine’s sanctuary to enjoy “Inner Journey with Breath and Sound.” Honestly, my skepticism jumped up. Was I really paying for someone to teach me to breathe and listen to music? Deciding I was already there and thinking, “what did I have to lose?”, I put the skepticism aside and embraced what Christine wanted to help me with.
We spent a few minutes talking about breath and breathing. Learning to open my mouth with a relaxed jaw, I took deep in breaths and long out breaths in one continual movement. Once Christine knew I could breathe correctly, I laid down on a soft mattress, covered myself with a comfy blanket and settled in. She turned on a sound track of deep vibrations that crescendo’ed into light ethereal music.
And in entered angels who wanted to deliver messages to family members of peace and love. Gratitude floated all around me, gracing me with love and joy.
Vegan Chocolate and a Vortex Tamale
After my two sessions and a hike, my belly rumbled for a good, cooked meal. Sedona’s own ChocolaTree beckoned me. All organic and mostly vegan, I couldn’t resist a stop for a warm, cooked meal and to taste some curated, vegan chocolate. It’d be a win-win.
It was. The day’s special, Vortex Tamale, filled my stomach with blue corn, roasted red peppers, white rice, black beans and avocado. A chipotle salsa dotted the top and flavored the entire dish. Then, I couldn’t resist a piece of chocolate which they called Buddha Almond. (Order your chocolate when you order your food so you don’t forget to get it!) By the way, the secret garden in the back where I ate was filled with all the characters of Sedona. Lots of people named Eden, Crystal, and Spirit hang out there!
A Weight-Shifting Massage
With my Buddha Almond deep within my belly, I headed to my 90-minute massage with Elizabeth. She greeted me, and we had a typical massage conversation where I asked her to work my lower back and some other spots my body. She then declared that she believes that when we get rid of baggage, we physically lose weight. Her treatments are designed to not only massage but to rid baggage. In order to prove it, she asked me to step on the scale and denote my weight.
90 minutes later, after an invigorating yet soothing massage where she did magic on my lower back, Elizabeth asked me to step on the scale again. I redressed to the exact clothing I had on before and did not use the restroom. True to her beliefs, I weighed an entire half pound less. And *then* I went to pee. I’ll take a half-pound weight loss after a massage! That’s a win-win, too!
Day Three of Sedona Experience with Vision Questing
By the time the third day rolled around, my soul felt a bit tired from all the spiritual adventures. Despite my fatigue, I couldn’t wait for my last session with Jim for a Vision Quest.
Vision Quests and Chants
Jim and I drove to Doe Mountain We climbed a 1-mile trail to the ridge overlooking the Yavapai valley where we could see Bear, Maroon, and Wilson mountains, Loy, Boynton, and Secret Canyons, Chimney Rock, and the Cockscomb. Jim shared the history of Vision Quests and encouraged me to think of my ancestors as I meditated.
We sat on the edge of the mountain, overlooking the sacred valley of the Yavapai. I meditated and he played his drum and flute and chanted. My visions from the day focused on the future of this blog, my upcoming nomad life, and the transitions that are coming my way. Clear paths appeared, and Jim’s own vision of my life clearly showed my path and what to do next (stay tuned!)
Please note that I am not suggesting Doe Mountain as a moderate hike off the beaten path. It’s neither. Rather strenuous, especially for folks who might not be acclimated to Sedona’s altitude, you also need a parking pass to park at the trailhead. Your America the Beautiful pass is valid, although you can buy the local Red Rocks pass for less money.
A Bowl of a Hike on Mescal Trail
Before saying goodbye to Jim, he mentioned a trail in Boynton Pass and the importance of this valley. The Yavapai consider this area the birth of their people, and he shared some of the indigenous stories and how their native son dripped sand to make images of his mother and sister. He sent me to Mescal Trail to hike between the two sand sculptures of his family members on the way to Devil’s Bridge, which the locals call Rainbow Bridge. This 8-mile, moderate hike combines several trails (Boynton Canyon to Mescal to Chuck Wagon to Long Canyon to Deadman’s Pass), and a mile spur takes you to Devil’s Bridge.
On this hike, you can do the entire loop for 8 miles, cut it in half and come back on the road for a shorter piece, or do an out-n-back to Devil’s Bridge of about six miles. I avoided Devil’s Bridge, staying on the loop, and missing lots of people and mountain bike riders. There were just enough people to feel comfortable as a solo hiker, but not enough to feel crowded. You’ll cross several arroyos, climb along slick rock, find shade under junipers, avoid the pricks of ocotillo and nopales, and enjoy the Yavapai spirit of beginnings, a perfect hike to complement a Vision Quest.
Vegan Jackfruit Nachos Make a Perfect Grab n Go
Hungry from a wild morning talking to ancestors, getting a bit lost on the trail, and envisioning the birthplace of the Yavapai people, I swung through a great grab n go place called Conscious Meals. Their jackfruit nachos was the perfect nibble to nosh on in the car before my last spiritual advisor walloped me.
A Wild Crystal Tells a Story
I barely made it back to the trailhead in time to make my last appointment with Barbara Joy. At this appointment, Barbara Joy’s goal was to bring together all of my messages I had received from the week. From the 6-year old girl to the future of my writing, this appointment was the most woo-woo of them all. She pulled out her crystal, and it bounced and glided over pages of directions and instructions. In a trance-like way, she messaged that Spirit had a few more blocks to remove and messages to clarify.
We did a bit of work together, and surprisingly, I could feel lightness arrive to my body. The last remaining skepticism I held released. And boom, the entire week crystalized into a path forward. It really was shocking and clarifying all at once.
Four Days in Sedona Come to An End
Grabbing my carryon, I scooted down to Phoenix the next day for a hike with my friends at 42bluedoors.com and then hopped a plane to Denver. With clarity, vision, and energy. Was it the healers or the hikes? The crystals or the vegan food? Who knows? Does it matter?
Sedona, I’ll be back.
Where to Do It All in Sedona
Who to Mediate With in Sedona:
Book your sessions through Sedona Soul Adventures (including Gaia, Jenine, Christine, Elizabeth, Jim, and Barbara Joy.) Please tell them I sent you.
Where to Stay in Sedona: