Being one of the most photographed features in all of Arizona may sound like an awful burden, but it is one that Cathedral Rock carries with the utmost gravity.
Protruding a neck-aching 5,000 feet from the rusty rich, red Arizona earth, it is no wonder that this impressive pillar draws crowds; but it is not just the archetypal photo opportunists (and the odd wedding party) that come to admire this site. In recent years, the rock has earned itself a bit of a reputation among spiritual circles, becoming somewhat of a totem for New Age aficionados keen on drawing positive energies from the purportedly magnetic vortex that eddies deep within the stone. Whatever your feelings about the metaphysical, it’s a plain fact that the view from the saddle — best attempted outside of peak temperature times to avoid coming away the same color as the sun-baked ground — is likely to be an eye-opening experience.
Given its leaning toward the dramatic, it's not surprising that the Sedona region is a haven for hikers and bikers. Trails toward a variety of other impressive natural wonders also are abundant within a relatively small area. From the Devil’s Bridge and Buddha Beach to Broken Arrow Trail, there is plenty here to inspire budding spaghetti Western directors, as well as instill a sense of grandeur in even the most stone-faced wannabe cowboys.
Among the endless orange groves that lie to the west of Orlando this exquisite attraction awaits, ready to give you respite from the rest of the world.
Privately run as a tourist resort until it was purchased by New York State in 1906, the spellbinding Watkins Glen State Park can be reached with a short drive.