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It’s one of the more popular hikes in the area — and the abundance of parked cars proves it.Sedona City Council voted 6-1 on March 12 against the request to make parking illegal along the entire length of Back O’Beyond Road outside of designated parking areas. The Cathedral Rock parking lot often has all 18 spots filled and a constant flow of cars looping through in hopes to find a place, which results in people parking along the roadside. City Council requested that city staff meet with the U.S. Forest Service to possibly find a solution.

Cathedral Rock, located off State Route 179, hosts thousands of hikers, walkers and photographers a year. But as its popularity has continued to grow, so has the issue of where its users should park.

The Back O’Beyond trailhead, created and maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, is a popular access point to Cathedral Rock. It has just 18 parking spaces and often overflows. The overflow traffic parks along Back O’Beyond Road.

According to a city document, Back O’Beyond Road is a narrow road and has several significant washes crossing it. The parking causes traffic to move out of its lane in many locations. In some locations, parking on both sides would hinder the movement of emergency vehicles, and the width and ditches along the roadside do not allow for safe turnaround. In addition, many cars are parking in the washes just off the road. This would be a problem in the case of a significant storm event occurring in the wash.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, March 19, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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