Happy Hiking: Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop

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The Vortexes

Sedona, Arizona is known for its healing earth vortexes.  Yes, they say vortexes, not vortices.  Anyway, a vortex is believed to be a special spot on earth where energy is entering it or exiting it.  Sedona has four vortexes, one of which is Bell Rock.

As a result, Bell Rock, located just north of the Village of Oak Creek, is an extremely popular hiking destination and easily reachable off scenic Highway 179.  With spring break in full swing for many states and the popularity of Bell Rock, I arrived to the large, paved parking lot by 7:15am on a weekday.  Fortunately, I had a prime selection of spots with only a few cars in the parking lot.

The Hike on Big Park Trail and Bell Rock Path

While many people meditate or do yoga at Bell Rock to receive its “masculine” energy, masculine meaning the vortex exits the earth, I was there just to hike, and selected a four-mile loop from the AllTrails app called Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop.

Since I made a slight error in my way yesterday at the Seven Sacred Pools, this time I made sure to follow the map and around 7:30 set out on Big Park Trail.  To my surprise, no one was on it.  Soon I realized, everyone just goes directly to Bell Rock, Baby Bell Rock, or Cathedral Rock.

Baby Bell on right

By walking the loop counter-clockwise, I wasn’t going to reach Bell Rock until 8:30 or 9 am when there would be more crowds.  While at first, I thought this was another error on my part, I really enjoyed the peaceful hike in the opposite direction as I hardly ran into a soul until the very end.

The Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loops leads hikers around Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.  It begins in a grassy area and soon drops down onto sandstone rock.  After yesterday’s rain, it was laden in rain puddles with wonderful reflections.  The smooth path gets a little rockier as it continues, but it is easy with little elevation change and offers magnificent views all around.

Bell Rock

On this windy day, the morning sun reflected off the distant buttes creating wonderful contrasting colors.  Unfortunately, the winds blew in the cloud cover, which dampened the hues for the remainder of the hike.  Had the sun come back out by the time I reached Bell Rock, I might have climbed it.

8 second video view from Bell Rock Pathway

But with the heavy cloud cover creating muted colors and my swelled knee that has been taking far too long to heal from a recent surgery, I skipped climbing up Bell Rock for the views or for the vortex energy.  I’m not exactly sure where you have to be to feel it.  I was beside it and didn’t feel anything.

Annie, on the other hand, perked up when we neared, though I suspect she was going into sensory overload with all the people.  Lucky for her, some fellow hikers gave her some loving before we returned to the full parking lot with cars circling like vultures for spaces.

While normally I don’t repeat hikes, there is such a network of trails in this area, that I will be back and detour up Bell Rock in sunnier weather while hiking to another location.  Bell Rock or not, this Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop is a great hike with scenic views. I really enjoyed it, and also liked that it was closer to my dispersed camping location off FR 689.  Perhaps the vortex energy is what is wreaking havoc on my cell service at the campground! ETB 

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

One thought on “Happy Hiking: Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop

  1. Maybe next time bring a jar to capture some vortex energy. 🙂 The pictures are great. The clouds might allow your camera to pull out more color with a higher exposure.

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