Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beat the Heat on Your Sedona Summer Vacation

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 where temps remain the same as the night 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 or Honanki ruins which offer shade and shallow caves with cultural history.

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 12, 13 the famous Perseid meteor shower makes it even more stellar for a starry, starry night. And it's only six bucks to get in. If you're watching from your vacation rental or the trails, go in the evening before the waning gibbous moon rises.

Not into biking? Try a short evening stroll to the lookout point in the Cultural Park for spectacular sunset views and reliable evening breezes. You'll also avoid the crowds at the popular sunset spots like Airport Mesa. And the views are just as good, maybe better.

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.

Take a Mythic Journey. Check out the modern Hopi mural at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

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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