Sedona’s landscape is captivating, and no pictures on Instagram have prepared me for the awe of seeing it in person. Tall hills the color of red clay rise towards a bright blue sky and dip into lush green valleys below.


The trail we hike is called Bell Rock, named for the bell-shaped formation that’s visible from the trailhead. We stroll along the flat sandy path, stopping for photos and chatting with passers-by. A family of 3 asks if I can take their photo–posing for a shot with the expanse of Bell Rock looming behind them. My cousins and I do the same, taking turns capturing memories for each other on our phones—permanent reminders of a fleeting moment.

As we walk past rocks of varied shapes and sizes, I think of how they got there, how earth’s elements shift and move, destroying one thing and creating another. These thoughts leave me unsettled, so I shake them away, uninterested in picturing anything outside of the present moment.

Standing at the base of Bell Rock, we forego the strenuous climb up to its peak. Instead, we walk back towards the trailhead, watching in relative silence as sunset alters the red of Sedona’s rocks—coloring their textured surface a bright orange.


Good to Know

  • We flew from Oakland to Phoenix on Southwest: Google flights does not index flight prices from Southwest, so keep this in mind when searching for flights within the US. You will have to go to the Southwest website.
  • We rented a car to drive from Phoenix to the Bell Rock trail in Sedona. The entire trip took about 4hrs roundtrip.
  • You’ll need a pass to get into the park, which you can get here.
  • All photos shot on iPhone 12Pro

As always, thank you for reading!

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Same footprints, Different sands

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