After leaving Yuma on April 1st, we went to Sun City outside of Phoenix. While there for two nights (Paradise RV Resort) I visited Tracy Bussabarger, a childhood friend/cousin I have not seen nor been able to visit with since I can’t even remember.
We chatted, laughed, and reminisced for hours. It was so wonderful seeing Tracy and catching up. On April 3rd, we woke up, loaded up the RV, and made our way to Camp Verde, Arizona, setting up camp, knowing we would be here for a month.
|Entrance into Distant Drums RV Park|
|Overlooking our campground|
Distant Drums is the RV park we stayed in, and we love it here. It is a great place to park, and because it’s so centrally located, we can do day trips to all the surrounding cities/towns.
While we were here, we took three amazing hikes that I recommend if you love being close to nature and getting up close and personal with the beauty in the Sedona area.
Bell Trail is listed as a moderate hike; it’s more on the “easy side.” If you continue to follow the entire trail, it can be somewhere near 7 miles. We didn’t go that far, so our hike was only about 4 miles long. The trail followed along Beaver Creek.
|The usual selfie!|
Boyton Canyon Trail/Subway Cave: Now, this was a hike. We got up early and were among the first to the trailhead. It starts as a nice leisurely hike, and at the end, you will find yourself climbing up to the cave along a narrow rocky unmarked path. The final challenge is shimming your way around a narrow ledge into the cave itself. Once you reach the cave entrance, you will feel all the effort was worth it. The view from here was spectacular.
|Views from Subway Cave|
|This is from the trail going to subway cave|
|Teri and Mark at Subway Cave|
|Inside Subway Cave looking out|
Devils Bridge: I will admit I didn’t hydrate the day before like I usually do when we hike like this, and I paid for it. We did the hike starting at the Mescal Trailhead, which I highly recommend (easier to find parking early on,) and it does not have the issue of sharing part of the trail with an ORV road. Initially, you walk through a nice wide path surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The hike becomes more challenging when you get close to the bridge and will test you a bit. The views and scenery are overwhelmingly gorgeous once you are up on Devils Bridge. Even with my fear of heights, I could reach the bridge where Mark and I took our pictures. It indeed was an experience I will never forget.
|Here we are on Devil's Bridge|
|On our way to Devil's Bridge|
Visiting the city of Sedona is a must when visiting this area; keep in mind the city of Sedona is a tourist trap with people and long lines of cars, especially during spring & summer seasons, so keep that in mind when planning your day. Get up early - don’t wait and start in the middle of the day.
One day we did a nice drive with our friends, Kim and Bob. After leaving the campground, we got off the Interstate @ exit 298 and went to Arizona 179 N. Which is the scenic byway into Sedona from the south. We saw some incredible vistas and sites along the way. Many markers provide information on where to pull off for scenic views, and we spent the entire day just snapping pictures and enjoying the beauty. We took 89A N from Sedona to Flagstaff, completing our scenic road tour of the area before driving south down I-17 to Distant Drums at the end of the day.
Cottonwood: Another small town that you need to put on your list. The old part of this town boasts so much personality. There are shops, restaurants, and souvenir shops, just fun things tourists enjoy.
While we were there, we ate at two restaurants:
The Colt: Excellent food and ambiance.
|Colt Grill - Excellent Food|
The Tavern Grille: The food was good, and we could sit outside and enjoy the afternoon.
Jerome: This is another little town that we put on our list. It’s an old copper mining town atop a hill on 89-A. You can take this road to the top and see the views of Prescott Valley. We didn’t eat while we were in Jerome, even though there were some great restaurants there; we just walked around and shopped; we didn’t buy anything, but looking was fun.
Prescott: Decided to take a drive there on a Saturday afternoon. The city does have a lot to offer. Whiskey Row is a must-see, with restaurants and shops lining the main street. There was a lot of hustle and bustle, and many events were going on that day. We enjoyed a snack at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon. This place is an icon in the community, so it was reasonably busy.
|Whiskey Row - Downtown|
Before leaving town, we got a picture of Mark in front of his Alma Mater – Embry Riddle Aeronautical University class of 1982.
|Mark in front of his Alma Mater|
Montezuma’s Well- The Castle and the Well are close, so we visited them the same day. It was fun reading about both and excellent picture opportunities.
Montezuma’s Castle- It was, again, a great picture opportunity; after visiting Mesa Verde in Colorado, this was just on a much smaller scale.
Tuzigoot National Monument- This was another day trip where we spent a few hours hiking around and reading about the monument. There was a guide/forest ranger there talking about the Sinagua people. It was interesting to listen to.
Cliff Castle Casino: We made a few trips here to see what it offered. We visited this campground and this casino in 2018 when we flew to Tucson to pick up the motorhome. If I could be fair about my analysis, if you are looking for cheap alcohol, this is the place. The machines were pretty tight, and the food was just meh!
Our time in the Sedona area was beautiful, and if we did decide to return, we would stay at the same campground and do more hikes around Sedona. We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it.