Moonlight Hike in the Red Rocks of Sedona

Moonlight Hike

       A “Moonlight Hike” is held in Sedona at Reed Rock State Park on the night of the full moon and the night before or after from April through October. Seventy of us showed up at six p.m. for the April hike and we were split into three groups.

My group leader was a weathered woman of at least seventy. She told us first about the park. It had originally been bought by Helen and Jack Frye as a retreat from the New York scene. Jack Frye was Howard Hughes’ right hand man. The Fryes started a huge home on the property, but never finished it. It can still be seen but not entered as it needs major repairs .After Jack died Helen sold the property to a developer. When that company ran low on funds, the acreage went to a religious group, of which Helen Frye was a member, for retreats.

In 1980 Governor Bruce Babbitt was hiking along Oak Creek and was not allowed on the property. This started a chain of events. Anamax Mining Company wanted to own the Twin Buttes Mine in Pima County that they had been leasing from the state. There was a complicated and years-long three way swap. The mining company bought the red rock property and then exchanged it with the state for the mine it wanted. The state park opened in 1991. It is now run by a few rangers and many volunteers due to the lack of funding. Not only does the state of Arizona provide no funds to run the park, but the state takes half of the park’s revenues for the general fund!

Mule deer

We saw two mule deer as we walked across a meadow and over a bridge. We hiked a slow incline just in time to see the sun set over the red rocks.

Sunset in the red rock country of Sedona

We paused to snap photos, ooh and aah, and take time to serenely appreciate the wonder. We continued a little steeper climb. As it got darker, we put on our flashlights to guide us along the trail.

We came to the perfect place to see the moon rise. It came up in a “V” where two red rock formations met. It completely awed us. None of my photos of the moon rise came out, but I have the picture etched in my mind. We stayed there for about twenty minutes, soaking up the spiritual vibes.

The hike back was downhill and uneventful. I highly recommend this hike to anyone. It costs $5.00 each and reservations are imperative. There is also a ten dollar fee per car to enter the park. You can go solo or with a friend. It was peaceful and reinvigorating for the


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