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6/11/2013 1:58:00 PM
Red Rock State Park highlights June hikes

With the advent of warmer weather, Red Rock State Park, located at 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, prepares for lots of visitors who are ready to take advantage of the five miles of hiking trails. In addition to the opportunity for self-guided hiking, there are also daily activities available. Warmer weather also means that the Wednesday and Saturday Bird Walks begin at 7 a.m. to take advantage of the early mornings and cooler temperatures.

The family-oriented trail system is well marked for safety and enjoyment when exploring on your own.

If you prefer to take advantage of guided hikes, there are several available. The month of June is especially popular for the Moonlight Hikes and Bird Walks.

Wednesday and Saturday Bird Walks, 7 a.m.: Bird walks begin at 7 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Bird enthusiasts join a naturalist for a guided walk directed at beginning and advanced birders. Bring your own binoculars, if possible, because only a limited number are available for loan from the park.

Moonlight Hike, Saturday, June 22: The Moonlight Hike is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas.

Rangers ask hikers to arrive approximately 30 minutes before starting time to insure participation. No late arrivals can be allowed and reservations are required! When you call (928) 282-6907, the arrival time will be given because they are adjusted monthly according to the time of the moonrise.

Wear suitable clothing and shoes (prepare for cool nights) and bring water, a flashlight and insect spray. A $5 per person program fee is charged at the time of the reservation. There is also a $10 entrance fee to the park for a car of four adults. Program fees are non-refundable unless the park must cancel the hike after your arrival.

Daily Guided Nature Walks, 10 a.m., and Activities, 2 p.m.: At 10 a.m. daily, a naturalist leads a guided nature walk of one and a half to two hours to introduce visitors to the riparian ecosystem of Oak Creek. Subjects discussed along the way may include plants, wildlife, geology, history, and archaeology. Guided hikes are a learning experience allowing participants to take part in question and answer sessions. The Park also hosts a 45-minute guest speaker or ranger / naturalist-led activity at 2 p.m. Programs may include a nature hike, a special presentation, or an educational / nature video.

Junior Rangers: A Junior Ranger program is available for children between the ages of six and 12. Junior Rangers pledge their part in helping preserve the beauty of the park for everyone! Junior Ranger booklets, available at the Visitor Center, have activities to complete and, once approved by a Ranger, the newest Junior Ranger at Red Rock State Park is sworn in after taking the pledge and receiving a Junior Ranger button.

Red Rock State Park, 4050 Lower Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Visitor Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fee is $10 per vehicle, up to four adults.

Taylor Waste

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