Home > About Sedona
The SpiritQuest® Retreat Planner:
An Insider's Guide To The Culture & History Of Sedona
The Sedona Scene
With an abundance of unspoiled scenery and numerous sacred sites surrounding the town, Sedona has become the top pilgrimage destination in the United States. Its international reputation as a spiritual and healing center attracts over 4 million visitors annually to experience the vortex phenomenon, along with various spiritual and healing sessions, many of which are offered nowhere else on Earth.
Despite this large number of visitors Sedona retains an ambiance that
is distinctly "small town." In fact, the town covers an area of only 19 square miles, and boasts a population of only about 12,000 residents. It is possible to drive from one end of Sedona to the other in just 10-15 minutes.
Travel To Sedona
Sedona is 120 miles north of the Phoenix airport and 278 miles southeast of the Las Vegas airport. Most
visitors fly into Phoenix, rent a car, and drive up on I-17. There is also a shuttle service available from Phoenix
to Sedona. While a car is definitely the best way to get around, there is also taxi service and the Sedona trolley.
Lodging In Sedona
There are fantastic accommodations to choose from in every price range. Our retreat coordinators will be happy to help book your reservation at one of partner properties to ensure the best rate and a convenient location for your sessions..
Nestled among red rock canyons at the foot of the vast Colorado Plateau, Sedona enjoys a mild 4-season climate. With approximately 16 inches of precipitation annually, Sedona is considered semi-arid rather than desert. The town is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest, which is dominated by pinon pine and juniper at this elevation, with cottonwood and sycamore trees along the canyon bottoms. The area surrounding Sedona offers outstanding hiking trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
The population is mostly college educated and relatively affluent, with a median age of 52 and median family income of $52,659. 55% of the population is female, 45% male, and approximately 54% of adults are married. Sedona is approximately 90% white, 8% Hispanic and 2% other.
Sedona Housing Statistics
Sedona currently has many homes for sale due to the ecoonomy and prices have fallen dramatically. The median home price is now around $375,000. Approximately 73% of living spaces are owner occupied.
Human settlement in the Sedona area dates to about 10,000 years ago, when hunter-gatherers roamed the area. Sinagua and Hohokam farmers built several significant villages in the Verde Valley and began growing their crops here over 1,000 years ago. They established trade routes extending to the Pacific coast and southward to Central America. However, by the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in the late 1500's, the farmers had moved on and the Yavapai people had moved in.
When gold was discovered in the Bradshaw Mountains near Prescott, the local native tribes were forced to relocate to the San Carlos Reservation in southern Arizona. Immediately after their removal in 1876, Anglo settlers began moving into the Verde Valley, drawn here by year-round water sources. Thankfully there was never any mining in the red rocks of Sedona, since the sedimentary rock found here contains no precious metals. The early economy was based on agriculture and ranching, and the town remained relatively unknown.
By 1900 about 15 homesteading families called the area home. T.C. Schnebly arrived in 1899 and purchased 80 acres along Oak Creek where Tlaquepaque and the Los Abrigados Resort are now located. Schnebly opened a general store and hotel on the property and soon realized there was a need for regular mail service. He submitted applications with the Postmaster General using several other names for the community, but they were rejected as too long. He eventually submitted an application using his wife's name. On June 26, 1902 the Postmaster approved the name "Sedona."
Movies In Sedona
Once a sleepy, out-of-the-way agricultural community, the spectacular scenery of Sedona soon caught the attention of Hollywood movie directors. While the hayday of film in Sedona was during the 1940's and 1950's, film crews still come here to shoot television commercials and magazine ads. To date more than 100 feature films and numerous television productions have been shot either partially or entirely in Sedona.