Jun 29, 2022
There’s so many beautiful spots in Sedona for engagement sessions or elopements, however my new favorite location is Merry Go Round Rock. Originally Sarasheena and Adam had picked a different place but because of construction we had to quickly find a new place for their engagement photos. I had seen photos taken at this spot on Instagram so I suggested it and they loved the idea! This place isn’t the easiest to get to and does require more planning than usual for a typical photo session location. Keep reading to find out how we got to this location and what important information you should know!
Merry Go Round Rock is located on the North East side of Sedona. To get to it you can either drive along Schnebly Hill Road or hike Munds Wagon Trail. Hiking will take about 3.5 hours. For this session, we chose to drive which too about an hour. The road starts at the first roundabout South of 89a Highway. About 5 minutes in you’ll get to the end of the pavement and the road from there will be all dirt and rocks.
It is a VERY bumpy road and in my opinion impossible to drive without a lifted 4×4 vehicle, preferably with off-road suspension. My clients had a 4×4 lifted truck that was able to make it to the rock and back but without the off-road suspension it was pretty rough. Because we had to change the location so soon to the date, it was hard to find a jeep to rent but if you have enough time I highly suggest looking into this option. There are a few places to rent a jeep in Sedona and I will list them later in this post.
You’ll be able to see the location from the road as you approach. The road will take a long left curve, there will be a bridge that you cross and the rock will be on your left. There isn’t a lot of parking and you’ll most likely have to park right on the side of the road. Merry Go Round Rock isn’t the rock pictured in the first photo in the post. That is a rock formation at the location. Merry Go Round Rock is actually the big rock (kinda looks like a hill) that a hiking path goes around. There’s lots of beautiful spots along the path around to the west side of the rock and I definitely recommend taking some time to check out that are. Here are some photos along the path around Merry Go Round Rock.
As with any location in Sedona, it is better to try to go to this spot on a week day rather than a weekend. Even though it takes more effort to get to this spot, it still is popular and can get crowded. We went on a Wednesday and there were a few other photographers and some people hiking. It also is best at sunset for photos if you want that golden hour glow.
To get to the exact spot in the first photo, you’ll go to the South side of Merry Go Round Rock. It should be easy to spot the rock formations on the edge. There’s two different “columns” that you can stand on and take photos of. This is probably the spot you’ve seen the most photos of on Instagram and social media.
There are also a few important items you should bring with you when you go to Merry Go Round Rock:
This location is one of Sedona’s most beautiful spots for an adventure elopement. The views are stunning and when the sun is fully set you can see the city lights in the distance. If you’re searching for the perfect spot to say your vows and celebrate your elopement in Sedona, I would highly recommend Merry Go Round Rock.
Schnebly Road is a very rocky road so I recommend renting a jeep when planning your elopement or engagement session at Merry Go Round Rock. You definitely do not want to get stuck out in the Sedona wilderness with no cell service! Here are a couple companies in Sedona that offer jeep rentals and/or tours that will take you to Merry Go Round Rock.
Pink Adventure Tours
Sarasheena and Adam had the most beautiful photo session at Merry Go Round Rock in Sedona! We made sure we had plenty of time to explore the area, change, and take photos. They even did a champagne pop to celebrate! After the sun set, I brought out my lanterns so they could use them in their photos. I think it really gave the photos a warm and cozy feel. I can’t wait to go back here someday and take more photos. If you’re looking for an adventure elopement photographer who can help guide you to amazing locations like Merry Go Round Rock, Sedona all over the world, don’t hesitate to reach out!