There is an interesting story about how Sedona, Arizona got its name. If you think about it, Sedona is a unique feminine name that evokes thoughts of tumbleweeds blowing in the desert wind through a red dirt, mountainous desert. Lying about an hour outside of the capital city, Phoenix; Sedona has become a hiking and adventure destination for many travelers. There is an old tale from the ‘Wild West’ about the naming of Sedona; the town’s first postmaster was named Theodore Carl Schnebly. Theodore married a local woman, named Sedona Arabella Miller- Schnebly.
When the town was deciding on names- the original choices of Creek Crossing and Schnebly’s Station were aptly declined. ‘Sedona’ was the next choice in line for consideration. The origin of the word is shrouded and not inherently clear- however, the general consensus is that Sedona’s mother created the name, or heard it from local natives during her childhood and thought it was beautiful. The wonderfully beautiful city was named after the wife of the town’s first postmaster, simply because the name sounded beautiful.
The native tribes that inhabited the area where Sedona is now located included the Apache, Navajo, Yavapai and the Sinagua. The Sinagua were likely the oldest tribe of inhabitants, dating back to around 650 AD.However, their simple lifestyle was disrupted after several hundred years of peace and they vacated the area. It is presumed that these peoples assimilated into other native tribes such as the Navajo and Apache tribes. In later years, while the native tribes were thriving, the area of Sedona became a peaceful meeting place for tribesmen of the Southwest.
The area and the rock formations; although most likely changed since then, were a sacred place of ceremonies and gatherings. Traces of cultures passed can be seen and felt throughout the region. Certain areas such as Montezuma’s well or Boynton Canyon depict the native peoples history in the greater Sedona Area. Honanki is also a popular place to visit as it consists of the cliff dwellings of native peoples from centuries ago, including Ancient Pueblo rock art.
Sedona is without a doubt a beautiful place; with breathtaking views and rock formations seemingly constructed by giants and carefully balanced as to not tip over and crumble onto the red earth beneath it. Some of the more popular attractions include Slide Rock State park, which allows for camping reservations and a maze of hiking trails through the Arizona wilderness. Tours of the area are also available in the park and enable guests to experience the wilderness of the landscape in a more controlled environment (for those who like adventure, but not too much adventure). Additionally, Red Rock State Park and Cathedral Rock are notable attractions in the area as well. Red Rock State park boasts almost 300 acres of desert bush landscape with red rock formations as far as the eye can see.
Sedona, a city named for the simple beauty of the word, lives up to its namesake in the rock formations and historical significance of the area. If you are seeking adventure and untapped wilderness, Sedona, and the surrounding areas are a fantastical place to visit. Walking through the red rock formations and climbing through canyons can truly transport you through time to a simpler era of native peoples and complete connection with the wild west.