A weekend Camping Experience for the Non-Camper – Showers Included



Between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona lies a river gorge called Oak Creek Canyon. Oak Creek is a perennial stream that flows through Sedona, the town of Oak Creek, past Page Springs and joins the Verde River 6 miles SE of Cottonwood. Recreation along the creek includes fishing, swimming, hiking, horseback riding and simply delighting in the natural backdrop of the Sedona red rocks. Take a leisurely scenic drive along meandering Route 89A. Stands at various points along the road offer Native American jewelry and crafts, while local artists display their wares.


Stay at the Briar Patch Inn to nurture your weekend relationship with nature. Choose from 19 cottages that happily rest along the spring-fed waters of Oak Creek. Breakfast includes a creek-side serenade by local musicians. Choose from 19 cozy cabins on 9 acres of lush forest including sycamores and oak trees and home to squirrels, sheep and a peace unlike any other. Enjoy first-class amenities in a relaxing, stress-free environment.

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Visit in the summer for relief from the heat and in the winter to frolic in crisp winter air and to play in the snow, if Mother Nature allows. The cabins have private patios that open to panoramic views of the majestic canyon oaks and mountains in the distance. Each cabin is furnished with southwest appeal including Native American arts and crafts to further channel the magic of the canyon. Warm your toes by the wood-burning fireplace. Larger cabins have full kitchens with ample space for families to gather or friends to converge in casual elegance.


The environment is almost free of technology, except three of the cottages have 19” TVs for those that must get their Sunday football.

This is camping… for the non-camper. Your senses will dance at the Briar Patch Inn and in the surrounding area.

  • Your ears will be filled with the sounds of the creek, wind blowing through the trees and down the canyon, birds chirping, squirrels exploring, and at times, a quiet like you’ve never heard.
  • Your eyes will swirl with a kaleidoscope of outdoor color as your eyelids flutter like the wings of a butterfly. Pure bliss.
  • The fresh air will tickle your taste buds as you breathe in hints of berry, mint and oak.
  • When the breeze gently brushes your skin and blows through your hair, you’ll never be the same.
  • The smell – eggs. The creek-side breakfast wafts into your nose as you satisfy your morning hunger.
  • Synesthesia happens when all the sensory stars align, and your mind, body and soul are in agreement.

That’s what happens along the creek.

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The Briar Patch Inn cabin options include:

  • The Owl – a quaint cottage off on its own little path. This is the definition of charm. The happy little cabin, in all its southwest décor, has a fireplace, small refrigerator and a queen bed. Perfect for an anniversary weekend or that special engagement. $225/night
  • The Treetop stands higher than the rest and has a majestic view of the grounds and its panorama. This cabin sleeps 4 in separate bedrooms and has a full kitchen. $235/night (The website notes no children allowed in this cabin due to a shared wall… perfect for that romantic getaway.)
  • The Creekside sits…you guessed it, right on Oak Creek. The patio hosts a wood-burning fireplace and sleeps four with a full kitchen. $305/night
  • The Ponderosa is the largest country cabin that sleeps 9. It’s ideal for large families or small retreats. With four bedrooms, a full kitchen, large dining and living area, 2 bathrooms, Wi-Fi and a deck that wraps the cabin. $395/night.

Visit briarpatchinn.com for additional photos, maps and descriptions, or call 928-282-2342. Located at 3190 North State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ 86336.


Get a massage in your cottage or in the creekside gazebo before you take a day trip to tour the ancient ruins and petroglyphs of Palatki – a window into the culture of ancient Arizonans. Palatki translates to ‘red house’ from the Hopi language. The dwellings, set in the sandstone cliffs, have over 1,000 pictographs and petroglyphs dating back 6,000 years. The ruins are hidden, so it’s easy to miss if just passing by. Allow 1-2 hours to see the two sites – one trail leads to the cliff dwelling and the other to the rock art alcoves, which are easy to get to, but are not handicap accessible. Rangers can point you in the right direction and are happy to give you some history. Take this archaeological adventure during your weekend getaway to Oak Creek Canyon. Visit any day of the week from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., but don’t arrive after 2:00 p.m. Call for reservations 928-282-4119. For directions and more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/coconino/.

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Next, Visit the Page Springs Hatchery and see the state’s largest cold water fish production facility. Take the nature trail through the grounds as you view wildlife, birds, rainbow trout, brown trout, largemouth bass and walleye. The self-guided tour is a leisurely stroll through the hatchery. Located on Page Springs Road, between SR89 and Cornville Rd, south of its crossing of Oak Creek. Visit Arizona Game and Fish Department website for further info.
All this nature is bound to make you thirsty. Stop off at one of the largest wineries in Northern Arizona – the Alcantara Vinyards – to enjoy Arizona wines and cheese in a spectacular setting; or take a complete tour of the Verde Valley wine trail.

Follow Ann-Marie on Twitter @Annmarieiswrite

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