Tucked away 2½ hours north of Phoenix (2½ hours south of the Grand Canyon), Sedona’s terrain overwhelms the visual senses with a striking contrast in color and form. If the stupendous red sandstone rocks seem eerily familiar, it’s probably because they’ve co-starred as the classically rugged American landscape in recent SUV commercials and more than 70 Hollywood Westerns, chiefly filmed in the 1940s and '50s. Colossal cliffs, spires and cathedral-like buttes catch fire in the late afternoon sun, burning a deep crimson against a flawless blue sky. The magic is caused by eons of erosion and the iron oxide laid down in a shallow sea 375 million years ago. 

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