If you’ve ever been to Cathedral Rock you know it is one of the most popular hiking trails in the red mountains of Sedona Arizona. Planning for Desti & Garret’s elopement wasn’t difficult at all because of how many times I have climbed this trail before. But what we were trying to avoid during our planning phase was the rain that was brewing weeks before their elopement date. Although this day didn’t turn out as planned (which is the fun part of eloping), it still was one of the best memories they’ve had together.

WHY DESTI AND GARRET CHOSE CATHEDRAL ROCK FOR THEIR ELOPEMENT LOCATION

Desti & Garret wanted to create new memories starting their marriage together. They wanted to experience the red rocks of Sedona, climb up a mountain, and be rewarded with the perfect sight to take in the grandeur of nature and to share a connection together. They wanted to feel the peace and tranquility the sacred space of Cathedral Rock offers and make it the perfect location as the sun sets to exchange heartfelt vows in an intimate setting.

THEIR RAINY HIKING ADVENTURE

When we parked at Cathedral Rock (this is before the Sedona Shuttle system took place) the skies were gloomy and the red sandstone mountain was already slippery and wet from the rain hours before. We began our day with bridal shots at the foot of the mountain. It was cold, windy, and starting to sprinkle. Desti brought her family made native blanket and wanted to incorporate it into some photos.

We began our day with bridal shots at the foot of the mountain. It was cold, windy, and starting to sprinkle. Desti brought her family made native blanket and wanted to incorporate it into some photos. I had Desti grab their umbrella and continued capturing their unique rainy elopement experience. No way was rain going to stop their adventure!

Our goal was to exchange vows at the top of the mountain outlooking the beautiful Sedona scenery. We did hike a quarter of the way up the mountain but because of the unplanned weather and safety concerns we explored another trail connected to the foot of the mountain and found a private spot looking up at Cathedral Rock with no by passers.

HOW DESTI & GARRET EMBRACED THEIR BEST ADVENTURE YET

Things didn’t go as we originally planned months in advance. But being prepared to roll with the unexpected and having a backup plan is the reason these two still had an amazing and adventurous experience they were looking for. A daring adventure, climbing slippery slopes, learning more about their relationship, and building trust for one another is one of my favorite reasons why this elopement was perfect for Desti and Garret.

WHAT TO DO IF IT RAINS DURING YOUR HIKE AT CATHEDRAL ROCK

Because Cathedral Rock, in my opinion, is more of a rock climb than a hike I do not recommend hiking to the top of Cathedral Rock if it is raining, snowing, or icy. Even with proper hiking shoes the sandstone rock is slippery it’ll be easier to fall down harder to catch yourself.

When planning to hike Cathedral Rock, it’s essential to be aware of the safety concerns related to flash floods, especially during the rainy season. While the beauty of this magnificent natural wonder is great for avid adventurers, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety above all else. This I learned recently from the Sedona Rangers! They are great resources to reach out to if you have a question in regards to hiking or if you have a legal quetion.

Flash floods can be sudden and unpredictable, and they pose serious risks to hikers caught in their path. The narrow canyons and steep slopes of Cathedral Rock can quickly become channels for rushing water during heavy rainfall, making it hazardous to navigate.

Important Tips to Consider

  • Check Weather Conditions – Always check the weather forecast before heading out for your hike. If there’s a chance of rain or thunderstorms, it’s best to reschedule your hike for a day with more favorable conditions.
  • Hike Early Start your hike early in the day, as flash floods are more likely to occur during the afternoon or evening when thunderstorms are common.
  • Local Warnings and Alerts: Pay attention to any local warnings or alerts about flash flood risks in the area. Local authorities often issue warnings when flash flood conditions are present.
  • Flash Flood Preparedness: Familiarize yourselves with flash flood safety measures and be prepared to act quickly if the situation changes. Always have an escape route in mind.
  • Know the Terrain: Be aware of the terrain and the location of higher ground in case you need to seek shelter during a flash flood.
  • Don’t Cross Flooded Areas: If you encounter water on the trail, do not attempt to cross it. Even seemingly shallow water can be dangerous and powerful during a flash flood.
  • Respect Trail Closures: If the trail to Cathedral Rock is closed due to weather conditions, obey the closures and avoid hiking until it’s safe to do so.

Remember, the beauty of Cathedral Rock will always be there, but your safety and well-being come first. If there are concerns about potential flash floods, it’s best to postpone your hike and explore other safe and beautiful locations.

Explore Safer Hiking Trails

There are many other hiking trails close to Cathedral Rock that are safe to hike during the rain. You may have to hike in the mud on some trails but if you don’t mind getting your shoes muddy that shouldn’t be a problem!

  • Bell Rock – This is a more flat area you can hike around. I don’t recommend climbing to the top because, once again, the rain will make the surface of the mountain more slippery.

Remember, the beauty of Cathedral Rock will always be there, but your safety and well-being come first. If there are concerns about potential flash floods, it’s best to postpone your hike and explore other safe and beautiful locations.

Try Other Activities in Sedona When It Rains

If you aren’t someone who likes to be outside when it rains in Sedona during your hike, here are some options to choose from if you’d rather stay dry during your visit.

  • Experience the Verde Canyon Railroad – Conveniently located just outside of Sedona you can take a ride on a train and explore one of Arizona’s most beautiful canyons.
  • Check Out the Sedona Arts Center – In the North District of Sedona you can see some local artists, photography, jewelry, or even take an art class.
  • Grab a Bite to Eat At Tlaquepaque – (T-la-keh-pah-keh) is a traditional Mexican village full of food and small shops. This historic landmark is great to pass time and to window shop.

YOUR SEDONA ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER

Hey, I’m Kelcee!

As an Arizona born and raised local I know everything from the secret hidden elopement locations that aren’t overpopulated with tourists to the best time to elope!

I’m here to help you with all things adventure & elopements. From scouting out your ceremony location in Sedona to planning your adventurous elopement timeline, I’ll help you plan your best day ever, take away any stress you are experiencing, and support you as your new best friend.

Your Sedona elopement is the experience of a lifetime and you deserve not only the support for doing what you love but also the best quality photos that tell your love story that will last a lifetime.

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9 Comments

  1. Way for the three of you to stick it out AND be safe about it! Love the way these turned out and it seems like they still had a great Sedona adventure despite the rain!

  2. Loved following this story along, and what a memorable day for this couple! Way to roll with the punches.

  3. Jessica Kovach says:

    I felt like I was right there with you as I read the story of this couple! What an amazing place to elope at!

  4. These pictures are EPIC, and these two are the sweetest. Great background and amazingly captured story 🙂

  5. Love the way you broke this up into segments of the day, and those colours are amazing!

  6. Wow! I don’t usually fall in the love with a prop but that blanket is so perfect for the session! The color is so bright and contrasts so well with the oranges of the scene. It really ties everything together!

  7. Wow! What a gorgeous elopement. I know rain isn’t always everyone’s first choice, but it made these photos totally magical, and it sounds like they had an incredible day!

  8. Oh my gosh, these literally look unreal. I’m obsessed with the story desert! This day looks gorgeous!

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