Red Rock Crossing & Cathedral Rock, A Famous “Icon” of Sedona, AZ
Even if you’ve never specifically heard of Red Rock Crossing, if you are a movie buff of old westerns, this area may look familiar. The classic icon Red Rock seen here is the famous Cathedral Rock and it’s been featured in many classic westerns, including Johnny Guitar and Broken Arrow. The Rounders, Island in the Sky Mesa and The Mittens.
While there used to be an actual “crossing” at Red Rock Crossing, there is none today. There was a “low water” crossing built in 1938, when Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps built a concrete slab across nearby Oak Creek. It was washed out and rebuilt several times between then and 1978, when enormous floods destroyed most human structures around the area, leaving the creek impassible.
In 1996 there was a movement to build a large highway bridge, but through stiff efforts by local residents, the project was scrapped, leaving the area quiet and peaceful but ironically, with no “Crossing”.
So you still can’t cross from one side of the creek to the other by vehicle, but there is access to the area from both sides of Oak Creek. From the south, Verde Valley School Road which ends at Oak Creek, and from the north by Crescent Moon Ranch Picnic Area. On the south side (about 8 miles from Canyon Villa Bed and Breakfast) you can park at the Baldwin Trail Trailhead and then hike down the road about a quarter of a mile to Oak Creek for magnificent views.
OR, you can visit the area by going to the Crescent Moon Ranch Picnic Area where there is a small fee imposed by the National Forest Service for the maintenance of the grounds. Either way, late afternoon sun makes for spectacular photography with sunsets that one you will never forget. It all depends on where you will be on the day you want to see this area, and which is the closest. Facilities include picnic tables, cooking grills and toilets.