Sedona, Arizona

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City of Sedona
Sedona Arizona-27527-2.jpg
View of Sedona from Airport Mesa
Coconino County and Yavapai County Arizona Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Sedona Highlighted 0465350.svg
Location of Sedona in Coconino County and Yavapai County, Arizona
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Location of Sedona
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Sedona (the United States)
Coordinates: 34°52′11″N111°45′40″W / 34.86972°N 111.76111°W / 34.86972; -111.76111 Coordinates: 34°52′11″N111°45′40″W / 34.86972°N 111.76111°W / 34.86972; -111.76111 [1]
Country United States
State Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona
Counties Yavapai, Coconino
  MayorSandy Moriarty
  Total19.07 sq mi (49.40 km2)
  Land19.03 sq mi (49.29 km2)
  Water0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)
4,350 ft (1,330 m)
 (2010) [3]
(2018) [4]
  Density543.03/sq mi (209.66/km2)
Time zone UTC−07:00 (MST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-65350
GNIS feature ID 34242
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, 2010 Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ.jpg
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, 2010
Sedona Schnebly (The city's namesake) and her son Ellsworth (Tad) Miller Schnebly in a christening gown in 1898 Sedona Schnebly - 1898.jpg
Sedona Schnebly (The city's namesake) and her son Ellsworth (Tad) Miller Schnebly in a christening gown in 1898

Sedona /sɪˈdnə/ is a city that straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties in the northern Verde Valley region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,031. [5] Most of the city lies in Yavapai County, with a portion in the east located in Coconino County.

Coconino County, Arizona U.S. county in Arizona

Coconino County is a county located in the north central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 134,421 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Flagstaff. The county takes its name from Cohonino, a name applied to the Havasupai. It is the second-largest county by area in the contiguous United States, behind San Bernardino County, California, with its 18,661 square miles (48,300 km2), or 16.4% of Arizona's total area, making it larger than each of the nine smallest states.

Yavapai County, Arizona U.S. county in Arizona

Yavapai County is near the center of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 211,073. The county seat is Prescott.

The Verde Valley is a valley in central Arizona in the United States. The Verde River runs through it. The Verde River is one of Arizona's last free-flowing river systems. It provides crucial habitat for fish and wildlife, fresh water for local agricultural production, recreational opportunities for locals and tourists alike, and brings clean drinking water to over 2 million people in the greater Phoenix area. The valley is overlooked by Mingus Mountain and the Mogollon Rim.


Sedona's main attraction is its array of red sandstone formations. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The red rocks form a popular backdrop for many activities, ranging from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.

Sedona was named after Sedona Miller Schnebly (1877–1950), the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city's first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness. [6] Her mother, Amanda Miller, claimed to have made the name up because "it sounded pretty". [7]

Sedona Schnebly Arizona pioneer

Sedona Schnebly was an early pioneer in the Oak Creek area of Arizona. She was the namesake of the town of Sedona, Arizona. She helped in the establishment of the family farm and general store in the town. She also served as the town's bible school teacher. Sedona saved funds to build the Wayside Chapel. Among her legacy is a sculpture of a statue in her likeness by the Sedona Red Rocks Arts Council honoring her memory.


Native American history

The first documented human presence in the Sedona area dates to between 11,500 and 9000 B.C. It was not until 1995 that a Clovis projectile point discovered in Honanki revealed the presence of the Paleo-Indians, who were big game hunters. Around 9000 B.C., the pre-historic Archaic people appeared in the Verde Valley. These were hunter-gatherers and their presence in the area was longer than in other areas of the Southwest, most likely because of the ecological diversity and large amount of resources. They left by 300 A.D. There is an assortment of rock art left by the Archaic people in places near Sedona such as Palatki and Honanki. [8]

Clovis point characteristically fluted projectile points associated with the Clovis culture, present in dense concentrations across North America and in northern South America, dating to the Early Paleoindian period roughly 13,500 to 12,800 calendar years ago

Clovis points are the characteristically-fluted projectile points associated with the New World Clovis culture. They are present in dense concentrations across much of North America; in South America, they are largely restricted to the north of that continent. Clovis points date to the Early Paleoindian period roughly 13,500 to 12,800 calendar years ago. Clovis fluted points are named after the city of Clovis, New Mexico, where examples were first found in 1929 by Ridgely Whiteman.


The Honanki Heritage Site is a cliff dwelling and rock art site located in the Coconino National Forest, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Sedona, Arizona. The Sinagua people of the Ancestral Puebloans, and ancestors of the Hopi people, lived here from about 1100 to 1300 AD. The Palatki Heritage Site is nearby, also in the Coconino National Forest.

Archaic humans Hominin events for the last 10 million years

A number of varieties of Homo are grouped into the broad category of archaic humans in the period contemporary to and predating the emergence of the earliest anatomically modern humans over 315 ka. The term typically includes Homo neanderthalensis (430+–25 ka), Denisovans, Homo rhodesiensis (300–125 ka), Homo heidelbergensis (600–200 ka), and Homo antecessor.

Around 650 A.D., the Sinagua people entered the Verde Valley. Their culture is known for its art such as pottery, basketry and their masonry. They left rock art, pueblos, and cliff dwellings such as Montezuma Castle, Honanki, Palatki and Tuzigoot, especially in the later period of their presence. The Sinagua abandoned the Verde Valley about 1400 A.D. [8] Researchers believe the Sinagua and other clans moved to the Hopi mesas in Arizona and the Zuni and other pueblos in New Mexico. [9]

Sinagua Pre-Columbian culture in Arizona, US

The Sinagua were a pre-Columbian culture that occupied a large area in central Arizona from the Little Colorado River, near Flagstaff, to the Verde River, near Sedona, including the Verde Valley, area around San Francisco Mountain, and significant portions of the Mogollon Rim country, between approximately 500 CE and 1425 CE.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved dwellings located in Camp Verde, Arizona which were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam and other indigenous peoples of the southwestern United States, between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD. The main structure comprises five stories and about 45 to 60 rooms and was built over the course of three centuries.

Hopi ethnic group

The Hopi are a Native American tribe, who primarily live on the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona. As of the 2010 census, there were 19,338 Hopi in the United States. The Hopi language is one of 30 in the Uto-Aztecan language family. The majority of Hopi people are enrolled in the Hopi Tribe of Arizona but some are enrolled in the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Hopi Reservation covers a land area of 2,531.773 sq mi (6,557.26 km2).

The Yavapai came from the west when the Sinagua were still there in the Verde Valley around 1300 A.D. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Some archaeologists place the Apache arrival in the Verde Valley around 1450 A.D. Many Apache groups were nomadic or seminomadic and traveled over large areas. [10]

The Apache are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with which they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Apache people have moved throughout the United States and elsewhere, including urban centers. The Apache Nations are politically autonomous, speak several different languages and have distinct cultures.

The Yavapai and Apache tribes were forcibly removed from the Verde Valley in 1876, to the San Carlos Indian Reservation, 180 miles (290 km) southeast. About 1,500 people were marched, in midwinter, to San Carlos. Several hundred lost their lives. The survivors were interned for 25 years. About 200 Yavapai and Apache people returned to the Verde Valley in 1900 and have since intermingled as a single political entity although culturally distinct [11] residing in the Yavapai-Apache Nation.

Anglo-American settlement

The first Anglo settler, John J. Thompson, moved to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876, an area well known for its peach and apple orchards. The early settlers were farmers and ranchers. In 1902, when the Sedona post office was established, there were 55 residents. In the mid-1950s, the first telephone directory listed 155 names. Some parts of the Sedona area were not electrified until the 1960s.

Sedona began to develop as a tourist destination, vacation-home and retirement center in the 1950s. Most of the development seen today was constructed in the 1980s and 1990s. As of 2007, there are no large tracts of undeveloped land remaining. [12]

Important early settlers included the Steele family, originally of Scotland.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

In 1956, construction of the Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed. The chapel rises 70 feet (21 m) out of a 1,000-foot (300 m) redrock cliff. [13] The most prominent feature of the chapel is the cross. Later a chapel was added. Inside the chapel there is a window and a cross with benches and pews. [14]

Cinematic legacy

Sedona played host to more than sixty Hollywood productions from the first years of movies into the 1970s. Stretching as far back as 1923, Sedona's red rocks were a fixture in major Hollywood productions—including films such as Angel and the Badman , Desert Fury , Blood on the Moon , Johnny Guitar , The Last Wagon , and 3:10 to Yuma . However, the surroundings typically were identified to audiences as the terrain of Texas, California, Nevada, and even Canada–US border territory. [15]

Brins Fire

The Brins fire of 2006 Sedona Brins Fire 2006.jpg
The Brins fire of 2006

On June 18, 2006, a wildfire, reportedly started by campers, began about one mile (1.61 km) north of Sedona. [16] The Brins Fire covered 4,317 acres (17 km2) on Brins Mesa, Wilson Mountain and in Oak Creek Canyon before the USDA Forest Service declared it 100 percent contained on June 28. Containment cost was estimated at $6.4 million.

Slide Fire

On May 20, 2014, a wildfire started from an unknown cause began north of Sedona at Slide Rock State Park. The Slide Fire [17] spread across 21,227 acres in Oak Creek Canyon over nine days and prompted evacuations. [18] State Route 89A opened to Flagstaff in June, but all parking and canyon access was closed to the public until Oct. 1, 2014. [19]


West Sedona - Route 89A Sedona - Route 89A.jpg
West Sedona – Route 89A

Sedona is located in the Upper Sonoran Desert of northern Arizona. Sedona has mild winters and hot summers.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (49.7 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.22%, is water. [5]


The red rocks of Sedona are formed by a unique layer of rock known as the Schnebly Hill Formation. The Schnebly Hill Formation is a thick layer of red to orange-colored sandstone found only in the Sedona vicinity. The sandstone, a member of the Supai Group, was deposited during the Permian Period.


Sedona has a temperate semi-arid climate. In January, the average high temperature is 57 °F (14 °C) with a low of 31 °F (−1 °C). In July, the average high temperature is 97 °F (34 °C) with a low of 64 °F (17 °C). Annual precipitation is just over 19 inches (480 mm). [20]

Climate data for Sedona, Arizona
Record high °F (°C)77
Average high °F (°C)56.5
Average low °F (°C)30.5
Record low °F (°C)0
Average precipitation inches (mm)2.10
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)
Source #1: NOAA [21]
Source #2: The Weather Channel (record temps) [22]
Vortex panoramicview sedona.jpg
Panoramic view of Sedona from the "vortex" point near the Sedona airport. The famous bell rock, located on the south side of the "vortex" point, can be seen on the right side of the photo. Major parts of the town are in the middle of the photo. This picture was taken in October, 2009.
Sedona 2250px.jpg
Panoramic view of the immediate Sedona area, covering an angle of view of approximately 90 degrees. The line of bare (deciduous) trees at center left marks the course of Oak Creek.


Historical population
1970 2,022
1980 5,368165.5%
1990 7,72043.8%
2000 10,19232.0%
2010 10,031−1.6%
Est. 201810,335 [4] 3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census [23]
Aerial view of West Sedona, Arizona Rock Formations Near Sedona Arizona.jpg
Aerial view of West Sedona, Arizona
Sedona Airport viewed from the south, showing its location atop Airport Mesa SedonaAirport.JPG
Sedona Airport viewed from the south, showing its location atop Airport Mesa
View of Sedona from Schnebly Hill Road SEDONA AZ19.jpg
View of Sedona from Schnebly Hill Road

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,192 people, 4,928 households, and 2,863 families residing in the city. The population density was 548.0 people per square mile (211.6/km²). There were 5,684 housing units at an average density of 305.6 per square mile (118.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.17% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 4.29% from other races, and 1.57% from two or more races. 8.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

At the 2000 census there were 7,229 people living in the Yavapai County (western) portion of the city (70.9% of its population) and 2,963 living in the Coconino County (eastern) portion (29.1%). By land area Yavapai had 66.2% of its area, versus 33.8% for Coconino.

There were 4,928 households out of which 15.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.52.

In the city, the population was spread out with 13.7% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 21.2% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 25.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,042, and the median income for a family was $52,659. Males had a median income of $32,067 versus $24,453 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,350. About 4.7% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.


Politically, Uptown Sedona, the Gallery District and the Chapel area (all in Coconino County) and West Sedona (in Yavapai County) form the City of Sedona. Founded in 1902, it was incorporated as a city in 1988. The unincorporated Village of Oak Creek, 7 miles (11 km) to the south and well outside the Sedona city limits, is a significant part of the Sedona community.

Sedona became one of the Arizona municipalities to approve of civil unions for same-sex partners. [24]


The Sedona area hosts numerous events annually, including:

Sedona hosts several notable arts organizations in Northern Arizona:

A specialized New Age tourist industry operates in Sedona, where José Arguelles organized the "Harmonic Convergence" in 1987. Some New Age proponents purport that "spiritual vortices" are concentrated in the Sedona area at Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon. [32] [ failed verification ] [33]


Sedona is served by the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District.

West Sedona School, serving grades K–6, is located at 570 Posse Ground Road.

Red Rock Early Learning Center [34] is a year-round Preschool program designed for children aged 3–5 years old. Their normal school year runs from August to May each year, with a summer session offered during June and July. It is licensed by the ADHS, and located in West Sedona Elementary School building 300.

Verde Valley School, a boarding International Baccalaureate high school with many international students, is located between the Village of Oak Creek and Red Rock Crossing. It hosts numerous 'traditions' and performances open to the community. Their mascot is the coyote. Total attendance measures about 120 students per year, grades 9–12. Oscar winner composer James Horner studied there (Titanic, Braveheart, Avatar, Legends of The Fall).

Sedona Red Rock High School (SRRHS), built in 1994, is located on the western edge of town in West Sedona. The school's mascot is the Scorpion. The high school's new campus, a series of single story buildings, is located opposite the Sedona campus of Yavapai College. As of 2016, Sedona Red Rock High School holds grades 7–8 in the Junior High portion of campus.

Sedona Charter School (SCS) [35] is located behind the Sedona Public Library, serving as a Montessori-based school for grades K-8.

Yavapai College's Sedona Center for Arts & Technology includes the Sedona Film School, which offers certificates in independent filmmaking, the Business Partnership Program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and the University of Arizona Mini Med School.

The University of Sedona is an unaccredited institution providing ministerial training and education in metaphysics.

Health care

Verde Valley Medical Center – Sedona Campus is an outpatient facility providing 24/7 emergency services, cancer services, and primary and specialty healthcare to the Sedona/Oak Creek area. The facility is part of the Northern Arizona Healthcare system and is a subdivision of Verde Valley Medical Center in the nearby city of Cottonwood. [36]

Notable people

See also


  1. 1 2 "Sedona". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey.
  2. "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  3. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  5. 1 2 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Sedona city, Arizona". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  6. Territorial Women's Memorial Rose Garden: Sedona Arabelle Miller Schnebly. (n.d.) Sharlot Hall Museum. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
  7. "Arizona Scenic Roads ~ See for yourself why the Scenic Roads of Arizona are truly a hidden treasure!". Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  8. 1 2 "Verde Valley Archaeology Center – Early Inhabitants".
  9. "Visit Phoenix Arizona: travel guides, outdoors, hotels and attractions – azcentral Travel and Explore".
  10. "Verde Valley Archaeology Center – Yavapai-Apache".
  11. History of the Yavapai-Apache Exodus Archived January 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. Heidinger & Trevillyan, 2007, Images of America: Sedona, Arcadia Publishing. ISBN   978-0-7385-4800-5
  13. "Chapel of the Holy Cross". Sacred Destinations. April 18, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  14. Somerville, Slyvia. "Chapel of the Holy Cross,Sedona Architectural Landmark". Gateway To Sedona. Range Dog Publishing Inc. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  15. McNeill, Joe. "Arizona's Little Hollywood: Sedona and Northern Arizona's Forgotten Film History 1923–1973" (2010, Northedge & Sons)
  16. USDA Forest Service. (June 19, 2006). Brins Fire Update. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
  17., InciWeb developed and maintained by USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management,. "Slide Fire Information - InciWeb the Incident Information System". Retrieved April 24, 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  18. Graham, Christopher Fox. "Oak Creek Canyon evacuated north of Slide Rock due to fire - Sedona Red Rock News - Sedona News, Jobs, Things to Do". Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  19. "Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona to reopen Wednesday". azcentral. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  20. "SEDONA, ARIZONA – Climate Summary".
  21. "Climatology of the United States No. 20: SEDONA RANGER STN, AZ 1971–2000" (PDF). National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  22. "Monthly Averages for Sedona, AZ (86351)". Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  23. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  24. "Sedona City Council OKs civil unions in 5-2 vote" . Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  25. Sedona recent events
  26. "Sedona Marathon".
  27. "The Sedona Miracle".
  28. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved March 27, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. "Unity of Sedona – New Age Spiritual Center, New Thought Church and Energy Vortex".
  30. Greg Lawson Galleries
  31. Greg Lawson Galleries. Artzii.
  32. "Travel".
  33. NY Times: Sedona Archived May 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  34. "Red Rock Early Learning Center".
  35. Sedona Charter School
  36. Verde Valley Medical Center – Sedona Campus Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  37. "Donna Loren Official Website".
  38. "Sedona". AllMovie.
  39. Fried, Paul. "Michelle Branch, Local singer/songwriter is "Everywhere"". Red Rock Review. Archived from the original on November 27, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2014.
  40. "List of Famous People from Arizona". The Free Resource. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  41. Barnes, Mike (August 9, 2016). "Sagan Lewis, Actress and Wife of Emmy Winner Tom Fontana, Dies at 63". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved August 16, 2016.

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House Mountain (Arizona) mountain in United States of America

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