Arizona cypress, sycamore, ponderosa pines and cottonwood are the most prevalent trees in the area. Outside canyons and away from rivers and creeks, most of the area is covered in various types of shrubs, like pointleaf manzarita, agave and cactus species. They offer home and food for several types of insects, lizards, which are usually very shy and hard to see and birds like quail and raven. Red tail hawk is also present in the area and in the summer Red Rock Country is a home to turkey vultures.
Coyotes are regularly seen and heard, as well as their main prey, rabbits. At night, several nocturnal species make appearances, like Townsend big ear bat and raccoons, looking for any food you may have left unsecured or unattended. Hearing something ruffling around your tent in the dead of the night in wilderness can be very unsettling, even for experienced campers, so make sure that you do not leave food out in the open, even during the day.
If you venture high enough, you may encounter some of more dangerous predators, like a mountain lion or bobcat, although it is very unlikely that you’ll see them. Unfortunately, the opposite isn’t true, as they will see you, so if you are moving into an area known to inhabit these animals, extra caution is required. Animals will usually try to avoid humans, but if you manage to startle them, they can be extremely dangerous.
One of the most popular trails that allow for nature viewing is Parkinson Trail, along Sycamore Canyon. This beautiful hike along desert stream provides ample opportunity for observing scenery, plants and wildlife. Most of the picnic sites also provide opportunities for nature viewing, especially those in Oak Creek Canyon, but you may have to walk a bit further from crowded sites to observe wildlife. Most of the animals will try to avoid human gathering places.
Before stepping into Red Rock Country, be sure that you are aware of all the risks. There are several snake species that are dangerous to humans, as well as scorpions and tarantulas. Always check your shoes before putting them back on. Keep your hands where you can see them and avoid dark, shady cracks. Make sure that your tent is tightly zipped to avoid unwanted night visitors.
A small overview of the most popular hiking and mountain biking trails, leading through amazing landscape and landmarks of Sedona’s red rock region.
A guide on where to find trout, catfish, carp and bass in streams and rivers of Red Rock Country. Start your fly fishing adventure here.
An overview of nature viewing opportunities, including plants, wildlife and bird watching, where to see them and what to expect.