View of Sedona, Arizona from Above

January 20, 2011


Photographer: Dean DeRosia 
Summary Authors: Dean DeRosia; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the view of Sedona, Arizona from a Cessna 140 aircraft, flying 8,500 ft (2,590 m), on January 2, 2011. Notice both the subtle effect of elevation on snow cover and how a little snow enhances certain features, such as the red rocks formation in the mid-background and the Sedona Airport in the center foreground -- a daunting target indeed. Sedona Airport is located atop a 500 ft (150 m) mesa at an elevation of about 4,800 ft (1,460 m) above sea level. It's just high enough to collect (and retain) the dusting of snow that occurred a day or two earlier. The snow line elevation of the red rocks area and the Mogollon Rim, to the north, is similar to that of the Sedona Airport -- peaks and plateaus that are as high or higher are snow-covered, valleys and lower prominences are not. Some higher, south-facing exposures are also snow-free. The mountain looming in the far background is Humphreys Peak, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Its 12,637 ft (3,852 m) summit, the highest point in Arizona, is crowned in snow throughout the winter season. Humphreys is one of several remaining peaks of an ancient stratovolcano collectively now called the San Francisco Peaks. Note that the black, angled objects in the upper right corner are the wing struts of my plane.