Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beat the Heat in Sedona: What to do in August

It's not too hot in northern Arizona for outdoor lovers, not if you know where to go and what to do to beat the heat.

Cool Off Like a Cave Man. Arizona has many caves like the one above where temps often stay the same as the previous night's cool air. Thunder Mountain and Sycamore Canyon boast a few places to cool it. Cave men and femmes alike can also groove on the petroglyphs and pictographs of Platki and other ruins.

Get Celestial.
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, where once upon a planet Pluto was discovered is one of the best places to observe the night sky. On August 11 the famous Perseid meteor shower makes it even more stellar for a starry, starry night. And it's only six bucks to get in.

Monsoon and Moonlight Mountain Biking.
The weather has changed in recent years, so the summer thunderstorms can no longer truly be classified as monsoons. But biking in front of a thunderstorm at sunset is still a blast and temps drop on the trails after 4 PM. Try the trail at the Cultural Park, with views of nearly 70 miles, you can race ahead of the front and enjoy the accompanying breeze, rainbows and splashy sunsets. Full moon on around August 17 will light these trails up for rockin' red rock ride.

Not into biking? Than take an evening stroll to the lookout point in the Cultural Park for a spectacular sunset. You'll also avoid the crowds at typical sunset spots like Airport Mesa.

Soul Search. Sand Play for the Soul is a fun way to spend the afternoon indoors and a meaningful way to have a spiritual experience. Facilitated by an experienced counselor, you can delve into your creativity and have a soul adventure. All without getting sweaty.

Cool Getaways.
Hiking doesn't have to be hot, even in August. Towering pines keep trails into canyons like Boynton, Sycamore, and Secret Canyons cool enough for a solid hike. Really want something Alpine? Kachina Trail hovers at 9,500 feet for most of its 5 miles. Picnic with the largest organisms on the planet, aspen groves.

Get in Touch with the Earth.
Native American art inspired by the natural world is exhibited in "From the Earth" at the Smoki Museum, Prescott.

Celebrate the Dineh.
The 59th annual Navajo arts and cultural festival brings together weavers, potters, jewelers, filmmakers, musicians, and dancers. Details on the Museum of Northern Arizona website.

Dunk in one of the "10 Best Swimming Holes."
Rated by Outside Magazine as one of the best places to swim in a natural pool, Wet Beaver Creek is at the end of 179, about two miles past I 17.

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