We were driving from Flagstaff to Sedona for a day at Bell Rock, and we learned that we needed a red rocks parking pass to the activity. The Oak Creek Vista Overlook has a small gift shop that sells the pass, giving the funding directly to the local park service. With that in mind, we stopped here for the pass, and ended up with an unexpectedly enjoyable side trip.
First, getting the pass couldn't have been easier. The staff on duty was very friendly and helpful, giving us maps of the trail in addition to the pass. The pass itself was only $5, so that was easy on the wallet.
The views from the overlook were, like much of this area, stunning. What was particularly remarkable was looking down on 89A. Once you leave the Vista Overlook headed south, there are several miles of sharp, steep switchbacks in the highway. It was kind of cool to be standing at the top of them, looking down at how far below you would end up with the cars at the bottom.
Finally, there was a local Native American market set up there. We were able to do much of our gift shopping right there. There was a variety of jewelry, hand crafts, and tee-shirts for sale, and we picked up several items. Never expected that, but glad we stopped where we did.
I wouldn't make this a 'go out of you way, you gotta see this' stop on your visit to Flagstaff/Sedona. BUT, if you are in the area, it is definitely worth 30 minutes or so of your time to check out.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.