Sedona is a destination unto itself: sequestered, serene and sensual. It’s the land that renders this Arizona enclave so singular, so set apart. That land doesn’t stop at the city limits. There are side trips to be had, day-long journeys that will enrich any trip to this deep desert state.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce suggests a trio of there-and-back excursions:
– Many consider the highlight of the Flagstaff Loop to be the trip up Oak Creek Canyon. This is the West the way we remember it: rock-bordered highway curves, tree-arched tunnels, topography rife with giant creek-side cottonwoods and sycamores. Make for Midgley Bridge, perhaps the old Mayhew Lodge site, where the now burned down edifice once attracted the high and the mighty.
– Venture out to the Verde Valley Loop, to Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma Well. Discover ancient ruins, lose yourself (figuratively, not literally) in the long, long ago. Next up is Tuzigoot National Monument, a prehistoric Indian ruin. Once a ghost town, the town of Jerome has led many lives: mining center, abandonment, hippie retreat and – today – artists’ colony. If you’re in search of that one of a kind gift that evokes memories of the deep desert, this is the place to find it.
– The Grand Canyon Loop puts you into position to see the Grand Canyon’s South/East Rim. Spectacular surroundings. Subtler perhaps is the route that encircles the base of the San Francisco Peaks. In the fall and winter this area is often covered by snow. Other great places to see and savor on the Grand Canyon Loop are Cameron Trading Post and Wupatki & Sunset Crater National Monument.
(Featured image by Ed Siasoco (aka SC Fiasco))