Sedona’s red rocks make it famous worldwide, and perhaps that’s why it’s often associated with a dry, dusty landscape. And yet the land in which the Creative Gateways studio is located within is also a place of great natural abundance when it comes to rivers, creeks and waterways – a place of trickling streams and flowing rivers, making their way through watery landscapes just as inspiring as the vast rocks they meander round. Here are three waterways local to Sedona, perfect for combining with an art trip to the city.
The Verde River
This river is called the green river for a reason! Most of the landscape in the desert is dry and brown, but where this river flows there is an abundance of green trees and plant life. The Verde River a key tributary of the Colorado River, and stretches for almost two hundred miles. Much of it winds through the state of Arizona over private, state, and tribal land. Oak Creek and Wet Beaver Creek are tributaries of this much larger river. It is the state’s only federally designated Wild and Scenic river and is a critical flyway for migratory birds. Alongside its stunning natural beauty, its habitat supports over fifty threatened, endangered, sensitive or special status fish and wildlife species, making it a haven for the wildlife that inhabits this unique environment. In fact, it is the main reason that settlers were so successful making the Verde Valley habitable, allowing for farming and cultivation of the land. The Verde River is a destination for all water lovers, from canoers and kayakers of all experience levels. Mostly calm waters with occasional rapids make for an exciting adventure.
Connecting Sedona with nearby Flagstaff, the Oak Creek carves its way through majestic red cliffs and lush greenery. The road that follows the winding journey of the water has been called “one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world”. In fact, Oak Creek Canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon in terms of its natural beauty. There is a plethora of campgrounds, trail heads, swimming holes and even a few restaurants to stop at along the road (Our favorite is Indian Gardens– their food is phenomenal!). Swimming, hiking, fishing and relaxing are all popular activities here for visitors keen to soak up the natural beauty and experience the magic of the flow of water between high canyon walls.
Wet Beaver Creek
Sycamore, alder and cotton trees shade nearby Wet Beaver Creek, which is a refreshing detour from the trail to the famous Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek. Coldwater pools and vivid blue green swimming holes are hidden from view by the colorful canyon walls, creating a wilderness habitat that’s home to many rare and wonderful creatures.
Art, Landscape and Inspiration
The landscape of Sedona and the incredible natural beauty is a source of endless inspiration for all the city’s artists, and our community at Creative Gateways are no different. We all love to spend time at the creek on a sunny summer day, soaking up the life and inspiration that the water gives to the desert.
Come and spot the flowing water inspiring our pieces – perhaps in our glass artists’ famous raindrop bowls, or in the vivid colors chosen by our resident painters. Come visit our studios and see our art in the gallery today!