The big draw in Sedona—a laid-back, bohemian desert town two hours from Phoenix—are the “vortexes.” Vortexes are strong energy points around the world, and many exist here (at least according to the people who track these sorts of things). Whether you’re a believer or not, the hiking is as real as it gets: More than 150 hiking trails snake through the canyons, and many among them—like Cathedral Rock, a famous hike with rising spires and towering monoliths—are a challenge even for fitness warriors. The ascent forces hikers to “scramble” on all fours to steep climbs among trailheads and saddles to a mind-blowing, panoramic view of the enormous landscape. Popular West Fork Trail is a combination of land and water where visitors cross Oak Creek up to 12 times, zigzagging the trail from bank to bank. Spring is the best time to visit when the weather is comfortable before summer heat oppresses. Stay at Mii Amo, a luxury destination and wellness spa resort with commanding views of the golden valley.
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