Perfect Day for a Getaway: Escape to Crescent Moon Ranch


After months of closures and slow re-openings, my mom lifer, Jennie, suggested we throw our boys in the car and escape Phoenix in search of the perfect day away. Our boys were long over due for a play date in nature and we moms were also due for our own play date. It had been some time since we had a mom face-to-face, and just good girlfriend time.

Jennie told me about this amazing place outside of Sedona where our boys could swim and explore. Of course, I was all in for a new adventure. We did what we always do as moms…we over packed the snacks and brought all the changes of clothes and headed up north. After two hours of replaying “Who let the Dogs Out” and every Guns-N-Roses song (can you tell which era the dads are from?), we arrived at The Crescent Moon Ranch.  

Crescent Moon Ranch was settled in the late 1800’s and changed hands multiple times over the years. It was known for its cattle ranching and fruit trees. However, it’s last purchase was by the U.S. Forest Service in order to preserve the integrity of the ranch. It still has beautiful open pastures with lush forestry along the banks of Oak Creek. It has many hiking trails and remains one of the most photographed areas in Sedona.

When we arrived, we were met by the friendliest parking attendant. It is $11 per carload for a day pass and parking is limited so it is highly recommended getting there early (hours are 8am-8pm). There are restrooms and picnic areas right outside the parking lot, but no restrooms once you get to the creek which is a ten minute walk from car.

Once we arrived at the creek, we were under the canopy of such lush forestry which provided the necessary shade for our day. Many people were already set up at the opening of the creek entrance, so we traveled down stream and found the perfect spot that had a little waterfall and lots of shallow water for our kids to play and swim. 

During our stay we hunted for shells, tried catching minnows, and chased dragonflies. The kids took few breaks to snack because they were just having such a blast in the perfectly refreshing water. They literally soaked up every second of our five hour stay.

Words cannot capture the stunning beauty of Cathedral Rock as the background while the birds serenade you for hours on end. With cooler temperatures and fresh water, it really does make for a perfect getaway.

My recommendations for anyone who has not been here would be the following:

  • Wear water shoes because the creek is rocky.
  • If you have a wagon to pull your items, bring one. Your arms will thank you.
  • Bring little nets to catch minnows.
  • Floats or noodles would add extra fun.

All in all, the boys would say this was the most EPIC and perfect day. We saw people of all ages enjoying this getaway. If you are looking for a day with friends or family, I highly recommend the drive up north for this incredible experience.