Discover Why the Red Rocks Look so Extra-Ordinary!
Sedona’s Red Rocks are comprised of sediment layers deposited over many millions of years. The shale foundation is the remainder of ancient swamp lands. Other layers are the remainder of an ancient beachfront, known as the “Schnebly Hill Formation,” that deposited iron about 275 million years ago. (This iron is what gives Sedona’s rocks their rich red color.) The Coconino sandstone layer was formed at a time when a Sahara-like dunes covered the majority of the Western US.
The Kaibab limestone layer was deposited when a warm shallow sea covered the area about 250 million years ago.
The Red Rocks we see today were formed several million years ago when the uplifting of the Colorado Plateau that created the Grand Canyon also caused water to carve out Sedona’s red rock, cake-like layers. Currently, Sedona is considered to be a part of the Colorado Plateau and is in the process of making mountains, raising an average of one inch every 60-80 years!
More information is available from the Coconino Forest Service’s Visitor Center located on the south end of the Red Rock Scenic Byway — make it your first stop!
This is the largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley, as well as being one of the best-preserved. Acquired by the Coconino National Forest in 1994, the site is protected and kept open to the visiting public for their enjoyment and opportunity to learn more about our national cultural heritage. As partners in this effort, both the Verde Valley Archaeological Society and the Friends of the Forest provide interpretive tours and on-site management.
A visitor center and bookstore, operated by the Forest Service and the Arizona Natural History Association, is located about 100 yards from the parking area.
Exploring starts here!
Click here to download your free Coconino National Forest Recreation Guide, which has just about everything you need to know to enjoy Red Rock Country, all in one handy 12-page booklet!
Red Rock Scenic Byway Map