SPEX Private Hikes

Explore the big questions in life at one of Sedona's coolest and quietest places to enjoy Oak Creek.

“If you think you have experienced Sedona, you haven’t even touched the surface. Go deeper with SPEX.”
Margot Carlson Delogne, Boston MA  

"We can recommend it highly to anyone interested in a meaningful involvement with ideas, Nature, and -- most gratifyingly -- both."
Ken Bork, Geologist

“I liked going on a hike that I had never been on before. Truly the best part though was the conversation and getting to know the people I was with a bit better. I appreciated hearing perspectives different than my own which led me to think differently.”
Carissa Authier, Psychologist

You two did an excellent job of setting the physical pace AND leading the conversations.  The fact that we had the opportunity to involve ourselves -- in multi-logue with others -- in the wide range of topics was rewarding.
Ken Bork, Geologist

"the group dynamics were such that we could consider science, politics, the meaning and merits of parks, and the rich variety of human intersections with nature.  It was a memorable morning.” 
Ken Bork, Geologist

"Using Red Rock State Park as a hiking venue was a wonderful concept, as it offered an ideal setting for interaction with spectacular scenery, a bit of physical exercise, and genuinely insightful discussion."
Ken Bork, Geologist

2 1/2 hours

$220 for the first hiker,

$50 for each additional

At Red Rock State Park

Request a Private Hike:


See our reviews (hover over to pause; drag to advance; click to go to review page):


Explore the big questions in life:

What is the meaning of life?
What is my relationship with nature?
What is truth and knowledge?
What is happiness?
What is good and moral?
How should I live my life?
What is wisdom?

Request a Private Hike:

As hikers explore the natural beauty of Red Rock State Park and the cool trails along Oak Creek, their guide introduces topics, ideas and questions that naturally help the distractions and stresses of everyday life drift away. Hikers are encouraged to participate in active discussions and contemplation in a way we often don’t make time for in our day-to-day activities. This transformative program encourages each individual to examine their own internal life, resulting in an experience that stays with everyone in a unique way long after they’ve finished the hike.

There are a variety of trails and routes that can be followed on these hikes depending on hikers' experiences and abilities, including paved accessible paths.

Route Options

Eagle's Nest Trail and Kisva Trail loop
This trail climbs up out of the cool riparian habitat to the Eagle's Nest overlook--the highest point inside Red Rock State Park with a 300 foot elevation gain.

Apache Fire Trail
This trail affords a close look at the historic House of Apache Fires, built by Jack and Helen Frye in the 1940s.

Coyote Ridge Trail
This trail offers numerous glimpses of Cathedral Rock as well as protected U.S. Forest Service land.

Javelina Trail
This is one of the most secluded corners of the park and affords intimate views of Cathedral Rock.

Kisva Trail and Smoke Trail loop
The coolest place in Sedona! On hot days in the middle of the summer we will stick to this trail, staying close to Oak Creek and enjoying the cool breezes that come off the water. This is one of the most intimate places to encounter Oak Creek far away from the crowds.

Mesquite Loop Trail and Bunkhouse Trail
These are the two paved trails in Red Rock State Park each with many informational kiosks to acquaint visitors to the sights and sounds of the park. These are also closest to the amazing Miller Visitor Center where ADA restrooms, cold water, and a gift shop can be found.

Sample Itinerary

8:30 AM Meet at the Red Rock State Park Visitor Center

  • The park opens at 8:00 AM.
  • There is a restroom at the Visitor Center


  • What is philosophy?
  • What does it mean to philosophize or do philosophy?
  • Why is going into nature a good way to start doing philosophy?

Follow the Rattlesnake trail to the Smoke trail

Cross Black Hawk Bridge

  • Talk about water and the riparian habitat of Red Rock State Park.

Walk uphill on the Eagles Nest trail

  • We will stop at Armijo Ditch, an irrigation ditch that brings water from the creek into irrigation fields. We will discuss the human imprint throughout the hike, and discuss ways that can be considered good or bad.
  • Along the way we will notice homes that are built and are currently being built near the boundaries of the park. We will discuss the concept of home and how this is related to the study of ecology.

Eagle’s Nest Overlook

  • We will stop at one of the most expansive viewpoints available at Red Rock State Park. Here we will see Sedona’s most iconic features.
  • What are some of the designations of managed spaces, such as Federal Lands, National Monuments, and National Parks?

Red Hawk Overlook

  • From here we begin to descend back down toward the creek.
  • What is wild and what is wilderness?

Coyote Ridge Overlook

  • What is a land ethic, or an environmental ethic?
  • What does it mean to “think like a mountain” (Leopold)?

Wildlife Viewing Area

  • Here we will be sitting on benches in a shaded area.
  • Where does morality come from? Only from people? From the Divine? What about from nature?
  • Can we be moral if we are disconnected from nature?

Kisva wildlife viewing platform – Facing Eagle’s Nest

  • The human gaze—having been up we appreciate the view from below, and recognize the significance of our actions.

Kisva trail

  • We will follow this trail alongside the creek back to Black Hawk bridge, then return to the Smoke trail and the Twin Cypress Ramada.

Sample topics

Environmental Topics

Why is hiking so helpful for thinking and talking?
What is a land ethic?
What is the difference between wilderness and wildness?
What are the land protection agencies and policies?
What is the evidence of climate change impact?
Why are dark skies important?
How do we relate to our home in nature?
Do we belong in nature?
How do we perceive time, and how do we perceive geological time?
What does separation from nature do to us?
How does immersion in nature affect us?
What does Taoism teach about the way of nature?
What does Buddhism teach about change?
How are attention and perception different in nature?
Can morality be found in nature?
How does life survive in the desert?

Environmental Philosophers

Edward Abbey
Wendell Berry
St. Francis of Assisi
Aldo Leopold
Henry David Thoreau
John Muir
Lao Tzu
Terry Tempest Williams

Register for a Philosophy Hike!

Call 928-274-8737

Or email

Red Rock State Park location.
See Red Rock State Park's trail map.

Ask us about our SPEX Hike:

Call 928-274-8737

Or email