Sedona “hidden gem” inn & beautiful hiking trails

Mimic fireplace

Sedona has a special place in my heart; my soul is immediately connected once I arrive in the majestic Red Rocks.  I have been coming to Sedona for 15 years to offer connection to myself, my hubby and with family and friends.  The energy in Sedona is so special, grounding and uplifting.  I will be sharing lots of places, some of which include beautiful hikes to cozy, modern lodges and hotels, to yummy local restaurants.  For this post, I’d like to share my most recent journey to the healing Red Rocks for a quick but super potent 48 hour soul connecting vacation with my husband and Ellie May, our boxer pup.

Where we stayed: Butterfly Garden Inn, located in upper Oak Creek Canyon.  I have a passion for finding hidden gems tucked away from the hustle and bustle of busy tourist spots.  Sedona is absolutely stunning which draws people from all around the world, so needless to say it can be very busy.  To find something away from it all and download the healing energy Sedona has to offer is essential for me.  I have driven by this little log cabin resort numerous times on my way to my favorite hike, West Fork (very busy on holidays but great during mid-week).  Just south of West Fork is a special place called The Butterfly Garden Inn. When I was looking to book a cabin for this last minute vaca, I googled the Butterfly Garden to read reviews. Well, the reviews were VERY good… from the cleanliness, to the comfort.  However, the highest reviews are for the husband and wife team/Inn owners, the Garrisons.  That’s all I needed to read, when I find owners that take great pride in their business and have passion for what they do, it’s a win/win!  I checked availability – we were in luck with the one cabin that I really wanted to experience, that’s the Mimic cabin #19.  The Mimic cabin is full of character and has been recently remodeled to add modern comforts which include a beautiful kitchen and heated floors in the bathroom.  They also kept the huge stone wood burning fireplace that warms and fills the cabin with history & charm.  After doing some reading on the history of the Inn, some of the property’s cabins were built back in the late 1800’s.  In 1945 the resort was run as Don Hoel’s cabins and then sold in 2002.  After a few brief ownerships the Garrisons bought the property a couple of years ago, renovating the cabins but leaving the history and charm of each cabin intact.

The Mimic cabin has a comfy queen bed in the upstairs loft that you access up a spiral staircase.  The loft has skylights which make it feel as if you are in a tree house.  Imagine falling asleep in peaceful slumber looking up at the stars and moon, awakening to the tree tops & sky.  The place is really only big enough for 2 people and a child or your pet.  Our boxer, Ellie loved it there and was welcomed by the staff & owners of the Butterfly Garden Inn.  The Mimic cabin was very clean and offered all modern amenities needed to cook, relax and embrace the quiet and connective space.  FYI, there are no TV’s or internet just pure solitude in beautiful Mother Nature and having the ability to simply “BE”.  So bring a good book, playing cards & your favorite board games; quality time, peace and relaxation is abounding at the Butterfly Garden.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

Butterfly Garden breakfast basket1-2

One of the unique & scrumptious offerings at the Butterfly Garden is a breakfast picnic basket delivered to your cabin each morning full of fresh-baked goods, fruit and yogurt… topped off with a hand written message to start your day.  Bravo Garrisons, you two have done a wonderful job making your guests feel welcomed and engaged.  There is also The Canyon Market on site that offers anything you need, from forgotten essential items, and just in case your sweet tooth starts talking to you, wonderful fresh baked cookies and plenty of your favorite candy bars.  They also have a great selection of beer and wine & local offerings.  Super cute, quaint market with focus on customer service, quality & simplicity.

special- burger with bre cheese

Lastly, thanks to awesome reviews on Trip Adviser and Yelp.  The Canyon Market also makes fresh breakfast burritos, sandwiches and burgers!  I brought food to make dinner the first night and planned on having one of their highly recommended burgers for dinner the second night. We had the “Special” offered that night which featured a burger with melted brie cheese, bacon and caramelized onions severed on a toasted brioche bun with home fries on the side.  The burgers were delivered to our cabin and we enjoyed dinner by the crackling fire, they were rich and juicy, so good!!!  For dessert, I brought creamy Belgian chocolate to dip some fresh strawberries.  I poured myself a glass of wine while my hubby & pup relaxed by the fire… the sweet culinary journey continued.

dipping chocolate strawberries1

To fully embrace Mother Nature, we went on 2 beautiful hikes, one in the town of Sedona called Brins Mesa Trail #119 and Sterling Pass trail #46 recommended by Frank,  the owner of the Butterfly Garden.  Both hikes were amazing and offered incredible views of the towering Red Rocks. Below is more info and facts on each hike.

“The Souls Path is not strait & orderly; It’s windy, often bumpy and has an incredible view.”- Elisa Romeo

Brins Mesa Trail #119

Soldier Pass Trail3 Soldier Pass Trail1-2 Soldier Pass Trail Brins Mesa Trail- SedonaBrins Mesa Trail #119

Length: 6.4 miles round-trip
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4,503 to 5,099 feet

File Feb 16, 1 18 55 PM


 Sterling Pass Trail #46- Oak Creek, Sedona

Sterling Pass Trail- oak creek-2File Feb 17, 2 33 35 PM - CopyLocal trail- oak creek 4
Local trail- oak creek 7Sterling Pass Trail- Oak Creek, Sedona:

Difficulty level: Moderately strenuous.

Distance One Way:          2.2 miles

Trail head Elevation:       4,840 feet

Elevation Gain:                  1,049 feet

Accumulated Gain:           1,053 feet

Average Time One Way:    2 hours



  • Reply Shannon February 19, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Oh my, this sounds heavenly! I can’t wait to check in and check out! Or better yet, check out to actually check in?✨

  • Reply Alexis February 20, 2016 at 1:47 am

    So beautifully written, the charm and magic of the Inn comes through…cannot wait to visit!!

    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes March 1, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you Alexis, will be a wonderful little journey to the Red Rocks for you & your fam. xo-Stacey

  • Reply Jill February 20, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Wow. This looks and sounds amazing!

    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes March 1, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you Jill! If you make it to Sedona sometime I hope you can experience one of the hikes & the Butter Fly Garden Inn… or all three journeys. 🙂 With gratitude- Stacey

  • Reply Stephanie February 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Wow-this sounds and looks like a pretty special place! The food delivery sounds so awesome. I’d love to go sometime. Thanks for sharing this with us and for the very detailed, informative information for the hikes! ?

    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes March 1, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you Stephanie- the boys would love the hikes & the burgers at the Butterfly Garden Market. Fun stop on the way up or down from Flagstaff. xo-Stacey

  • Reply Bear February 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Love how you write about such wonders of my little place of heaven! I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Inn and of course…I am partial to those trails you hike! Sterling Pass is a ridiculously wonderful hidden (to the regular public) trail that brings on some serious stair master work. Short and sweet!

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    Love n Hugz,


    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes March 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you Bear! Sedona is such a sacred place with beautiful sights and energy. Agreed, the Sterling Pass Trail is a beautiful local trail that offers a great work out with the steep incline… the view is so worth the climb. Need to schedule a healing hike tour with you next visit with Ben. Love what you are doing and your beautiful music you’ve created in the healing Red Rocks- xo-Stacey

  • Reply Patricia @ Grab a Plate February 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Sounds like a great place for a mini getaway! I love hearing such great things about local businesses/owners, too! Great photos!

    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes March 1, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Patricia, would be a great little escape for you and Pat. The Mimic cabin has a awesome kitchen to whip up some of your amazing Grab a Plate recipes- 🙂 xo-Stacey

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