When it gets too hot to ride, Slide Rock, a veritable natural water park along Oak Creek, is the perfect reprieve. Homesteaded as an apple orchard in the early 1900s, the site today attracts visitors for its sandstone flume, where you can leap off rock ledges into deep pools, soak in the crystalline waters, and laze in the sun on benches of stone. There’s even an 80-foot-long natural rock slide that propels you down the canyon. It’s Sedona’s see-and-be-seen answer to the beach.
They might seem a little infuriating when you encounter them while pedaling, but the iconic Pink Jeeps are an excellent way to experience some of Sedona’s red rock backcountry with family and friends who don’t mountain bike—or even for cyclists on a rest day from riding. With the company’s tricked-out Jeep Wranglers, tour guides can take on rock crawling excursions, such as the trip to Broken Arrow, or visit archeological sites like Honanki for an explanation of the pictographs and petroglyphs. Or take a trip all the way to the top of the Mogollon Rim on the east of town, with thousand-foot views that transform the landscape below into a city of sandcastles.
Arizona may not be as renowned as California or the West Coast for its wines, but the state has a handful of up-and-coming vintners situated in and around the Verde Valley. In addition to custom tours, Sedona Wine Adventures offers two full-day set itineraries that take in three to four area wineries each, complete with door-to-door transfers, lunch, and as many flights of wine as you can taste. The tour to the historic mining enclave of Jerome, 45 minutes west of Sedona on the flanks of Mingus Mountain, is especially interesting for the opportunity to poke around the quirky arts town in addition to swilling local viogniers and syrahs.
Most people don’t realize it, but Oak Creek is brimming with trout. Arizona Game and Fish stocks rainbows, but anglers know there are also some cunning, wild browns in the deep clefts and pools. Sedona Fly Fishing Adventures crafts half- and full-day private tours and their local guides know exactly where to put you onto fish. If you have only one day, the cool, viridescent bottoms and soaring canyon walls of Oak Creek can’t be beat. But there’s also plenty of fishing in nearby waterways, as well.