After many years dreaming to embark on a trip to Arizona, it had finally happened!! Matt and I planned the perfect spring getaway to one of our top bucket list destinations. Not only that, we stayed at one of the best AirBnb’s we had ever been to. Secluded and full of all the perfect desert views.
OUR FIRST HIKE – Sugarloaf Trail
Our first day, we spent half the morning trying to find a Red Rock pass…after three stores, we finally snagged one and headed to our first hike. It wasn’t on our list, but it turned out to be super underrated and one of our favorites. I was also so happy to finally see a cactus in ‘real life’ and couldn’t stop geeking over the prickly pears. When we reached the top of the gorgeous red rock, we soaked in the peacefulness, warm sun, and the surroundings.
ADVENTURE IN PAGE – Antelope Canyon + Horseshoe Bend
Long story short, we almost missed out on this opportunity that had been on my list for YEARS! We snagged one of the last passes for the entire MONTH of March just a week beforehand. I am so happy we explored the Antelope Canyon, it was full of beautiful waves of orange rock. Our guide had told us multiple stories about the spot (some being a little spooky.)
After our tour, we headed to the famous Horseshoe Bend. The walk was a bit lengthy (if your not prepared for it) and crowded but it was still so worth it. I remember looking over the cliffs and seeing itty bitty canoes and couldn’t believe how big this place was.
Side note: driving through Page to Sedona at dusk was a little unnerving…I’m not sure if it was the complete emptiness surrounding us or what but I felt spooked the whole ride home.
We crawled out of this when exiting the antelope canyon….heh
Fun fact, this exact spot was featured on the national geographic cover! Do you see a seahorse?!
A SLOW DAY IN SEDONA
We had originally planned to hike Cathedral Rock but we quickly discovered that the most amazing part of that hike was closed off…so we had to make a different plan and that ended up being the birthing cave. I must say however, this one was overrated and not our favorite. It was crowded and difficult to take in since it was such a small alcove.
Besides the short hike, we had also adventured on a long dirt road to a heritage site full of ruins and indigenous artifacts! And then of course, we had a spontaneous pull off to enjoy the vastness of Arizona. We had also started this tradition of racing to the closest starbucks before closing (5:00pm what the heck) after each hike and then catching the amazing sedona views while sipping on an iced coffee, pure bliss.
PETRIFIED FOREST + PAINTED DESERT
It was a rainy day in Sedona so we ventured out east to visit some historic grounds. The colorful rock was by far my favorite part of this day! But Matt geeked over the petrified logs and pieces of wood littering every which way you’d look. Massive trees from a time long before us, now turned to stone was truly awe inspiring! Even saw some more indigenous ruins and pictographs carved into rocks. Even though it was a bit cloudy and windy, we enjoyed the day nonetheless!
A slightly chilly day that was quite ideal in sedona was beautiful just a few hours south in Pheonix! We took another easy day and enjoyed the massive zoo. High 60’s and a weekday meant so many of the critters were out and about making for so much fun to sit and watch. Such a big beautiful well kept zoo with so many different animals!
A DESTINATION ENGAGEMENT IN PHOENIX
I am forever grateful that Katie + Jerremy were down for an engagement session in ARIZONA when we all are from the midwest! Just a few behind the scenes of this dream worthy session!!!
Another very popular trail which had quite the adventure. There are two ways to begin this hike…taking a jeep to the beginning of the trail / hiking the jeep path and get dusty, or take a scenic path that is more secluded and a tad bit longer. The scenic path was so worth it! Once we reached the trailhead for Devil’s Bridge, we knew it was going to be busy…
Not long after climbing up the trail, we hit the actual climbing part which was a little slippery. After 15 or so minutes, we finally hit a line…waiting to take a photo at the bridge…what! We had done this hike so we HAD to get our photo so we could remember this beautiful spot of Arizona….took us about 45 minutes to get the photo but thats fine, we weren’t in a rush lol
A TRAIN RIDE THROUGH VERDE VALLEY
It was a rest day when we had tickets to ride on a train around verde canyon. Before our adventure, we decided to grab breakfast at Crema Craft Kitchen. You guys, I cannot tell you how dreamy their breakfast tacos were…literally dream about them because they are that good. A MUST try if you visit Cottonwood, the atmosphere, staff, and food – perfection.
It was gorgeous taking in all of the views on the cart…we had been outside 90% of the time because it was so gorgeous all around. The train wound through the verde canyon. One of the few riverbeds with water we saw followed the train for most of the ride. Surrounded by the chugging of the old engine with sight’s galore, it was easily an enjoyable rest day well spent.
After our ride, we weren’t done exploring yet so we decided to stop at the cutest shopping center in downtown Sedona! It was full of so much beauty and architecture…found out its also a wedding venue so if you’re getting married at the Tlaquepaque, I am 100% down to photograph your wedding!! 😉
THE GRAND CANYON
It’s absolutely insane how big this canyon is…you just can’t comprehend it when you see it. They mean it when they say capturing it’s vastness in a single photo is nearly impossible (doesn’t mean i didn’t try!) One of our first walks to an overlook, which wasn’t too busy, we stumbled right by an Elk…like 15 feet close. Scared the crap outta us but it was so beautiful to see that close.
A DAY IN PHOENIX
We had planned to do a mini session while we were out in Arizona because why not?! So we spent a beautiful day in Phoenix…only one problem, there was a fire on the main highway we take from Cottonwood to Phoenix so we had a detour…which added an extra hour onto our route. Despite the detour, we made the most outta it! We went back to one of my favorite spots in Phoenix for our own couples session (more photos coming soon!)
OUR LAST DAY IN SEDONA
We wanted to go big on our last day with a hike, so we hiked around Bell Rock + The Courthouse (the first image below is what we hiked AROUND), it was a hot one but it was a great way to finish our adventure!
Hope to see you again soon Arizona!