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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : people, places & past April 29, 2016

6/25/2013 3:00:00 PM
What a Sight! Is Cathedral Rock an 8th Wonder?
The hues of the red rocks change throughout the day just as the shadows change, and angles on Cathedral Rock can be surprising.
The hues of the red rocks change throughout the day just as the shadows change, and angles on Cathedral Rock can be surprising.

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce is promoting Cathedral Rock as the eighth wonder of the world, and the big tourist draw is now officially in the running.

Virtual Tourist, one of the largest online travel communities in the world, created the "8th Wonder of the World" contest to allow tourists to have their say in the list of favorite places to visit. There are 324 nominees sent in by chambers of commerce, visitor centers and tourism bureaus from all over.

Travel fans can vote online at through Sept. 30.

What's at stake?

The winning wonder will be featured in a national broadcast TV segment and receive a media relations campaign push from Virtual Tourist. Voters themselves can win prizes, too.

With all its wonders, Cathedral Rock was chosen as the top wonder of Sedona by the Sedona Chamber's 30,000 Facebook "friends."

In what turned into a list of Sedona's Seven Wonders, based on popularity, the other choices in order were Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock, Slide Rock State Park, Devil's Bridge, Palatki Heritage Site and West Fork Trail.

Rising 4,900 feet on the red rock horizon, Cathedral Rock is part of the Permian Schnebly Hill formation in the Coconino National Forest. Author Wayne Ranney has called it one of the most photographed locations in Arizona.

New age adherents maintain that it has vortex powers, one of four such locations in the Sedona area. For others, it is an unmatched location for photography and plein air painting. It is easily the most recognizable geological symbol of the area.

For hikers, the Cathedral Rock Trail (#170 from the Back O' Beyond trailhead) is a relatively short and steep but spectacular ramble into the red rocks.

But Cathedral Rock does have stiff competition from more than 300 sites vying for the title of "8th Wonder."

"Ideal for a romantic hike, a family adventure, a photographer's greatest ally or thrill seeking adrenaline junkies; Cathedral Rock has something to offer all ages and interests," the Chamber states.

Voting at the Virtual Tourist website started on June 3. Travel fans are allowed to vote once every day.

For more information visit the Chamber website at

Taylor Waste

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