ABOVE: Cathedral Rock, Sedona, AZ, trailhead.
We recently took a trip to Arizona to attend a training for our real estate business, Kadilak Realty Group, and we had one free day to explore the area. I really enjoy hiking, it’s just something I do recreationally, so that was on my list of things to do. My friend Lisa, who runs her own business as a spiritual and life coach, was excited to visit a famous energy vortex, so we decided on Cathedral Rock in Sedona. It’s a relatively short hike, only about 1.2 miles, but I had seen it described as “moderate-to-difficult” and having a steep elevation (741 feet according to All Trails), so I was a little nervous, but I figured it wasn’t a big deal because it was so short.
It was a nice day, only about 70 degrees, and the beginning of the trail is relatively easy. There were a few areas of tall rock to climb, and I thought that was the worst of it until we were standing at the bottom a steep straight up narrow path, the “scramble”, that required hands and feet crawling because of the slope. Lots of people stopped and turned back at this point. I was staring up the slope, mentally calculating exactly how I’d make it up there without spilling the contents of my backpack or worse… how was I going to get back down?!
I stood there for a while thinking about it and came to the conclusion that I was 100% ready to call it quits. I was hoping Lisa was on board with this so we could run home with our tails between our legs together, lol! But she said we didn’t come all this way to not keep going so, knowing she was right, I reluctantly made my way up, still unsure of how I was getting back down.
Ok, getting through that steep part of the climb wasn’t as bad in real life as it was in my head. Once we were at the top it felt like a big accomplishment, until I realized that we were less than halfway to the top, and I still wasn’t confident I’d ever get back down! It was looking very likely that I’d be living on Cathedral Rock forever. Luckily, all of those on their way down who had gone before us were giving out free pep-talks to let us know that the worst part was behind us! The rest of the climb wasn’t easy per se, but it was less nerve wracking than what we had just done. Once we made it to the top the views were amazing! Pictures and video just cannot capture the feeling you get when standing at the top. By that point we were even brave enough to go out on the ledge!
On the way back we repaid all the pep-talks we got by handing out plenty of our own, even to those who may not have wanted them. The journey back down was almost all hands and feet crab walking, but it was easier than going up. When we got to the scramble, my visions of the too-many-snacks I had packed flying around everywhere went away when I came up with the brilliant plan to wear my backpack like a front baby carrier! As it turned out, I neither had to pitch a tent for permanent shelter on Cathedral Rock, nor did I knock anyone out with a stray granola bar as I was coming down. Truly miraculous.
It was a great experience, and I would totally do it again. Lisa and I told everyone we encountered after for a solid week that we climbed a mountain! If you ever get the chance to visit Cathedral Rock just remember:
- It looks worse than it is,
- Make sure you wear shoes with a good grip, and
- You don’t really need to stuff your backpack with enough snacks to feed a tiny village.