Carbo-load, conquer a peak, shop for art

Sunset  – December 8, 2005

Start the day in the Village of Oak Creek, and carbo-load for a morning of exploring with some coffee and pastries at Desert Flour Bakery. You’ll definitely need energy for the short but steep 0.7-mile, nearly 700-foot climb up Cathedral Rock Trail. It’s a must-do for Type-A, conquer-the-rocks sorts. If you’re not in a world-beater mood, stay on the easier Templeton Trail.

As meditative as a hike in this high desert can be, so too is a stop at the landmark Chapel of the Holy Cross, a striking modern structure with commanding views.

For lunch, the eclectic cuisine at the Heartline Café ― from a hoisin-portabella mushroom wrap to pecan-crusted local trout ― has helped make it a Sedona institution.

Take the afternoon to do more gallery hopping. Across State 179 from Tlaquepaque, the Gallery District has several. For more traditional Native American crafts, Garland’s Navajo Rugs offers a huge selection, including rare and antique rugs. (Be sure to take a drive into scenic Oak Creek Canyon to browse Garland’s Indian Jewelry too.)

The James Ratliff Gallery in the Hozho Center shows the katsina-inspired ceramics of Four Corners artist Molly Heizer and the distinctive landscapes of Myrna Harrison, a Wickenburg artist and onetime student of Hans Hofmann.

During a Sedona visit, it’s sometimes difficult to choose between gallery hopping and boulder hopping in the red rock. But if that choice seems daunting, take some comfort in the fact that, like trail guide Mike Krajnak, you’ll be back.

• Desert Flour Bakery.
$; breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Wed-Sat. 6446 State 179, Village of Oak Creek; 928/284-4633.

Cathedral Rock and Templeton Trails. $5 per vehicle. To reach the trailhead for both, exit State 179 north of the Village of Oak Creek at Back O’ Beyond Rd. and continue west 1 mile to parking area; 928/282-4119.

Chapel of the Holy Cross. 9-5 daily; free. From State 179, take Chapel Rd. ¾ mile east; 928/282-4069.

The Heartline Café. $$$; lunch and dinner daily. 1610 W. State 89A; 928/282-0785.

Garland’s Navajo Rugs. 411 State 179; 928/282-4070.

Garland’s Indian Jewelry. 3953 N. State 89A; 928/282-6632.

James Ratliff Gallery. In the Hozho Center, 431 State 179; 928/282-1404.

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