Ghost Town. Desert Landscapes. Narrow Roads.
Steep Hills. Red Rock Views.
Jerome, Arizona, USA
I have always wanted to go to Sedona, AZ and last month I finally got the opportunity to take a weekend trip from Phoenix to Sedona. Most people usually hop on the 17 and head North from Phoenix, but I took the long way around. The 17 is the fastest route. But for me, I needed something with a little more adventure so I decided to drive on the 93 to 96, heading East through Prescott Valley, to Sedona. And this is a trip you have to take!
Fastest route Phoenix –> Sedona: I-17N (about 2 hr)
Most scenic route Phoenix –> Sedona: AZ-60 – AZ-93, turn onto AZ-93 (about 4 hr 45 min)
1. Take in the amazing views in Prescott National Park.
Prescott National Park is a 1.25 million acre national forest located West-Southwest of Jerome, AZ and Sedona, AZ. The roads are windy but once you climb all the way to the top the drive is well worth it. There are plenty of pull-over spots for great lookouts with vast-scenic views. I especially loved the overlook on the East side of the mountains that looked onto Sedona.
2. Jerome, Arizona > Sedona, Arizona. This mining ghost town is worth a visit!
As you exit Prescott Forest you take a windy road that traverses the back of the mountain and drops you back down into the flats towards Sedona, AZ. But don’t just rush through this little town! This town is Jerome, AZ. In the early twentieth century Jerome was a bustling mining town. Nowadays it is home to many wineries, local artists, coffee shops, and breath-taking views. The streets are narrow and parking is limited! It’s not pretentious like Sedona and has a great Americana culture that you can’t find in the modern shops of downtown Sedona. We had to park down the road a few blocks and walk up to get to the wineries. So I highly suggest bringing a pair of shoes you don’t mind walking in. When you get to Jerome take some time to visit the Mining Museum and read the historical placards as you walk around.
3. Visit Caduceus Cellar in Jerome, AZ – Winery of Maynard James Keenan (the lead singer of Tool)!
It totally wasn’t expecting to find an amazing winery on the hill-side in a mining ghost town but Caduceus Cellars is seriously top notch! The wine embodies a unique flavor because all of the vineyards are local within the Arizona. The wines hold a subtle taste of earthiness – like the aroma of a desert after the rain mixed with sage. I loved the crowd that visited this winery too because you had a lot of retirees stopping in on their way to Sedona as well as alternative rock loving individuals that wanted to get a taste of the progressive metal band’s wine. The food was just as delectable. A must when stopping through.