Merry Go Round Rock Wedding in Sedona, Arizona
One of the most spectacular views in all of Sedona, Merry Go Round Rock overlooks Bear Wallow Canyon and is one of the most dramatic sunset locations for your intimate wedding or elopement. Also called Carousel Rock, this red rock formation has both an upper area and lower area with several overlooks to choose from for portraits, as well as open areas for a ceremony with a beautiful backdrop.
Visiting these uniquely shaped stone ledges overlooking the red rock canyons will take either a high clearance 4×4 vehicle with an experienced off road driver to traverse the washed out, jarring Schnebly Hill Road, or a 6+ mile hike up the old Munds Wagon Cattle Trail. The local jeep tours run groups up throughout the day, but most must be down the mountain before the sunset. This leaves a window of gorgeous light with much more privacy if you plan to drive down with the last sunlight, or hike down prepared with headlamps and stargazing.
Pro-Tip: This is not a drive one should take lightly, I have personally had to rescue 2 vehicles who were not prepared for the unmaintained, deeply washed out areas. While the road itself is wide, it is no longer regularly maintained and there are deep trenches and extra large boulders that make navigating the lines up difficult for novice off road drivers.
Merry Go Round Rock Wedding Info at a Glance
- Location Cost: No special permit at this time
- Guests: 0-25
- Setups Allowed: None
- Accessibility: This location requires a either a longer somewhat steep hike- or an experienced 4×4 driver with a high clearance vehicle. Kid and non-car sick dog friendly (the ride is VERY bumpy) If driving, there is still a short hike down to the overlook area. Appropriate footwear and water is a must.
- Parking: At the top- extremely limited- no pass required, OR if hiking limited parking available at Munds Wagon Trailhead (Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass required)
Britt and Colton’s Off-road, Picnic Adventure at Merry Go Round Rock, Sedona
Brittney and Colton were one of the many couples who postponed their original big weddings into 2021 due to covid. Like many couples, they had to get creative and find other ways to celebrate their love and commitment to each other. When they told me they were spending their anniversary exploring Sedona and renting OHV vehicles, I thought they may just be one of the couples brave enough to undertake the long rugged Schnebly Hill Road drive to Merry Go Round Rock. I suggested it to Britt- and they were on board!
We planned a full afternoon, as the drive takes about an hour one way up an extremely bumpy dirt road. Once we reached the top, we walked down the side of the main rock formation to the bottom overlook where we were able to relax for a few minutes as the last of the jeep tours made their way down the hill. Britt and Colton usually enjoy going out country dancing, but with covid they hadn’t had a chance to hit the dance floor in almost a year. Wearing boots and smiles, they were able to enjoy an evening of dancing followed by a picnic overlooking Sedona as the sun set behind the mountain. After a couple hours, we made our way carefully down the mountain.
Below are the vendors who brought this vision to life.
- Floral: Wildflower Design Co.
- Dress: Joyfolie Boutique
- Picnic: DIY Chartreuse Board
- Backpacks: Gregory Mountain Packs
and I want to be your Elopement or Intimate Wedding Photographer!
I wholeheartedly believe that elopements and intimate weddings are the best way for couples wanting more freedom and spontaneity for their wedding day. I love helping couples visualize and craft an experience that feels true to you. The way your marriage begins matters. Set your marriage up for success by allowing yourself to get married your way!