When the weather in Phoenix starts to get hot, people start thinking about heading north to higher elevations. Example: on the day we arrived in Sedona, it was a comfy 70 degrees (21c). Back in Scottsdale the temperature was above 90 (32c).
On the recommendation of a friend, we paid a visit to the Tuzigoot National Monument, about a half hour south of Sedona. The village ruins at the top of the hill are interesting, but not spectacular. There’s a pleasant, flat, tree-lined walk along the Verde River nearby.
On the hillside across the valley lies Jerome, one of our favorite small towns. (Look for the white J on the hillside). Jerome, a former mining town, is so steep that there is only one street. It enters town from Cottonwood at the bottom, makes a series of zig-zags as it climbs the hill, then exits town at the top end headed for Prescott.
Sedona was packed! The highway through town was bumper-to-bumper from our entrance on the west side to our exit in the east. At least the slow pace gave us time to admire the beautiful geology as we crawled slowly by one strip mall after another. We couldn’t even visit one of our old favorites, Tlaquepaque. The parking lots were full. Not. One. Space.
Locals told me that it’s like this all the time now.
Pro tip: if your going to Sedona and are not fond of crowds either book yourself into a luxury resort spa and don’t ever leave the grounds, or stay outside of town. We chose the latter and checked into the fabulous Penrose Bed and Breakfast in the nearby Village of Oak Creek.
Here are views taken from our balcony at the Penrose. We did no hiking on this trip, just enjoyed the scenery. The first photo is the aptly-named Bell Rock. To the right is Courthouse Rock.
This is Castle Rock – perhaps not an obvious name from this angle. The final photo is the Sphinx head on the slopes of Castle Rock.
We drove to the Village of Oak Creek for dinner at a small family-run Mexican restaurant. Mary Anne, to my surprise, ordered a Grande Margarita. Of course I followed suit. I think she was a little startled at the size when they arrived.
Finally, a bonus photo: me at our condo with the bikes we bought for riding around Scottsdale.