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)

Looking for more information to help you while planning your Sedona Elopement or Intimate Wedding?

Check out the full Sedona Elopement Guide & why you should hire a Local Sedona Elopement Photographer

Get Inspired…

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.

Shannon Durazo- Arizona Elopement Photographer

Hello! I’m

Shannon Durazo

and I want to be your Elopement or Wedding Photographer!

I love helping couples visualize and craft an experience that feels true to you. The way your marriage begins matters, and I would love to help you tell your story. Set your marriage up for success by allowing yourself to get married your way!

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  1. Ah….all the feels….Sedona is just breathtaking and that light gives me life!!!! Absolutely stunning elopement…

  2. Wow! The view is unreal! There is so much helpful info in this post, I’ve bookmarked it so I can come back and read info if I ever want to visit this spot!

  3. Andrea Brandt says:

    I’m very familiar with Merry-Go-Round Rock and you’ve captured the magic of this place with so much beauty! I’m obsessed!

  4. Beautiful photos AND helpful information?! This post has it all, thanks for sharing! What a lovely spot in Arizona!

  5. Oh these moments are magical and I love how the landscape and the couple compliment each other

  6. These are so gorgeous, and what a stunning location for an elopement! Beautiful work, love the vivid colors!

  7. I am so in love with these photos and your description of this adventure. What a beautiful day!

  8. I really love the desert southwest. These photographs are beautiful! What a perfect setting for an elopement.

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