One of the most amazing natural features of the Sedona area is the red rock. There are restaurants, clubs, music venues, and even stores that all revolve around the theme of the red rock in Sedona. It’s a major draw for tourists and locals alike. It’s amazing to see in person, photos just can’t do the natural wonders justice. Today we’re sharing with you the story of how the red rock in Sedona came about!
The Story of the Red Rock in Sedona:
Anyone who comes to Sedona to see the red rock knows that the geology of the area is what makes it so beautiful. The red rock formations help to make the sunrise more beautiful, enhances the sunsets glow and simply makes everything in between more stunning. While many people enjoy the red rock formations, not many people know how it got here. The story of the red rock is almost as beautiful as the formations themselves.
Before the red rock was turned into rock, it was all soft mud and sand. Over a 320 million year period changes in nature helped transform the sand and mud into something more beautiful than we could have imagined. Sea levels rose and fell during this time and with each rise and fall mud was added. During the sea level rise the mud would be washed in and then when it receded the wind brought in layers of sand. After years of this happening over and over again, the sediment was lithified (transformed) into hard rock.
The hard rock had a thin layer of iron oxide that was caused by chemical weathering of natural minerals. The process of the iron oxide weathering turned the rock its signature red color. At one point there was 1,900 feet of red rock covering Sedona. While we know how the red rock got there, how it was formed into beautiful natural sculptures is another story.
Oak Creek began to form and over time the other rivers in the area began to erode and break up the rock. The rivers would carry parts of the rock out to the ocean and leave behind red rock formations that we love today. When we look at the red rock formations we are actually looking at natural erosion taking place right before our eyes. Oak Creek, for example washes sand over the rock, smoothing it out like with a natural polishing type process. The sand also cuts a smooth groove through the rock that visitors float in during the hotter months of the year!
Hearing about how the red rock was formed and how it continues to change is amazing, but nothing will compare to seeing it in person. Visit Sedona today and see how nature creates beautiful works of art on the largest canvas of all!