Sedona Northern Lights
View of the Sedona Northern Lights from SaltRock Southwest Kitchen at Amara Resort & Spa.

When most people think of the Northern Lights, they imagine stunning feats of light in nature – wavy green and yellow lines and orbs drifting across Arctic skies in Iceland or Alaska.

The Northern Lights in Sedona are a little different, but equally spectacular.

Technology turns the red rocks of Sedona into a seasonal light show with a dazzling 3D projection mapping project – the largest to ever be performed on a natural canvas in the U.S. Twelve projectors are used by Los Angeles-based company PaintScaping to cast holiday-themed 3D art onto 182,000,000-square-foot Camelhead Rock from 3,000 feet away.

The spectacular scale allows viewing from various points throughout Uptown Sedona and Gallery Row, and accompanying music can be heard by tuning radios into KAZM 780AM. This year’s projection tells the story of a little girl named Sedona and how she came to believe in Santa through a dazzling and colorful array of projections against the Sedona rocks that bring the story to life. It actually looks like Santa’s sleigh is breaking through the mountains, and like the giant shadows of tiny elves are jubilantly dancing in firelight. The “shooting stars” look breathtaking when they are illuminated and sprayed across the red rocks of Sedona and the pitch-black skies. It’s been touted as one of the largest projected light shows in the country, and is a lot like projecting a giant movie screen onto the side of a mountain.

This stellar audio-visual experience takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, December 13 through Sunday, December 16. The best seat in Sedona from which to watch the Northern Lights show is the Kimpton Amara Resort & Spa, 100 Amara Lane, Sedona, 928-282-4828, Room rates start at $199 per night. The resort’s restaurant, SaltRock Southwest Kitchen, provides prime views with abundant sides of flavorful food. There’s even a special Northern Lights menu that includes things like a delicious, fork-tender platter of osso buco and a fresh filet of salmon. Talk about dinner and a show!

For other fun out-of-town experiences, visit our attractions page.