Hiking Sedona!

Well Hwy. 260 runs off Hwy. 17 and ends in Cottonwood. About 5 miles or so south of Cottonwood we found a popular boondocking spot off Thousand Trails Rd. It was a mix of “transient” RVers (like ourselves) and what appeared to be folks staying well beyond the 14-day limit on this forest service land. I’m not much of one to pass judgement, well, OK, so I do tend to be a little judgemental, well, OK, it is MORE than a tendency, but we had a couple of evenings where I thought we were audience members of the Jerry Springer show.

Home on Nat'l Forest land outside of Cottonwood, AZ. Popular boondocking, not if you don't want neighbors though...

Home on Nat’l Forest land outside of Cottonwood, AZ. Popular boondocking, not if you don’t want neighbors though…

Before getting into our hiking, we checked out some of the more “stationary” sites in and around the Camp Verde/Cottonwood/Jerome areas. Montezuma’s Castle is an old Indian pueblo ruins site built into a cliff. The archaeologists believe it was once part of a 5 story, about 45 room pueblo that was built and anchored to the cliff face.

Montezuma's Castle

Montezuma’s Castle

A closer view...

A closer view…

Montezuma’s Well is a large spring surrounded by Indian dwellings built into the cliffs. Why these sites were named after Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor, is confusing since there is no indication he ever visited or knew of these sites.

Montezuma's Well, with cliff dwellings

Montezuma’s Well, with cliff dwellings

The cliff dwellings up close

The cliff dwellings up close

Tuzigoot National Monument is another Indian ruins site outside of Cottonwood. It is amazing that the actual decomposition process of nature can also act as a preservative judging by these ruins. As the upper levels lost out to time and caved in, the rubble built up around the base of the walls preserving them naturally.

Some of the walls from Tuzigoot.

Some of the walls from Tuzigoot.

Tuzigoot Nat'l Monument

Tuzigoot Nat’l Monument

The living ghost town of Jerome is built on a hillside near the mines that created it. It is kind of a hippy town now (did I just say “Hippy”?) but is a big tourist attraction. It is a small area, easily covered on foot.

The hillside town of Jerome, AZ

The hillside town of Jerome, AZ

They have historical plaques all over town...

They have historical plaques all over town…

And just so we never forget...

And just so we never forget…

Some of the lovely Jerome architecture.

Some of the lovely Jerome architecture.

A shot of the main drag, Jerome AZ

A shot of the main drag, Jerome AZ

Our first hike we chose to see the Devil’s Bridge. We took the longer of 3 versions which was just about 6 miles round trip. It was an easy trail winding through the desert foliage until we got near the bridge. There is a tiny bit of “all fours” climbing, but the view from the top was pretty spectacular. And Woody made the trek like the real mountain-climbing-dog-trooper that he is.

Can't get lost on the hike to Devil's Bridge. Sedona gets an A+++ for trail signage!

Can’t get lost on the hike to Devil’s Bridge. Sedona gets an A+++ for trail signage!

On the way to the Devil's Bridge.

On the way to the Devil’s Bridge.

Looking down at the valley

Looking down at the valley

Yippee Kayaayyy! We made it to the Devil's Bridge.

Yippee Kayaayyy! We made it to the Devil’s Bridge.

Looking up from below.

Looking up from below.

Hike number 2 was the Broken Arrow Trail. I use the names of these trails although many trails overlap and intermingle with each other. Sedona did a great job on their trail development, they get an A+++ for signage and maintenance. There were beautiful views all along the trail, which we shared parts and pieces with a Jeep tour company with pink Jeeps. This trail wound around to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church built into the rocks.

The Devil's Dining Room sink hole along the Broken Arrow Trail.

The Devil’s Dining Room sink hole along the Broken Arrow Trail.

Geology lesson for today.

Geology lesson for today.

Yes, we shared a very small portion of the trail with a Jeep tour company with bright pink Jeeps.

Yes, we shared a very small portion of the trail with a Jeep tour company with bright pink Jeeps.

The views were fantastic. Notice the "permanent" cairn at the lower left corner of this photo. Not only were the trails well signed, they had ample cairns bound in wire for permanency.

The views were fantastic. Notice the “permanent” cairn in the lower middle of this photo. Not only were the trails well signed, they had ample cairns bound in wire for permanency.

Union regulations require a 10 minute break for every 20 miles we hike. Oh, hah, hah, we're not union, we're scabs!

Union regulations require a 10 minute break for every 20 miles we hike. Oh, hah, hah, we’re not union, we’re scabs! Oh, hell, just enjoy the view!

The Chapel of the Holy Cross

The Chapel of the Holy Cross

Our third big hike day we took the Courthouse Butte Loop. Again, another scenic experience, and we got to see some mountain climbers scaling the face of one of the cliffs.

More of that good ol' Sedona trails signage...

More of that good ol’ Sedona trails signage…

Jeanne on the Courthouse Butte Loop trail.

Jeanne on the Courthouse Butte Loop trail.

Man, oh man is my shirt bright or what?!?!?

Man, oh man is my shirt bright or what?!?!?

We caught some mountain climbers scaling one of the faces to Courthouse Butte.

We caught some mountain climbers scaling one of the faces to Courthouse Butte.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Well, after 6 days of boondocking, it was time to pack it in and head for hookups for a few days. Williams, AZ has a Passport America participating RV park at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. We have stayed there several times and it is always a good choice. We have already done it, but if you ever want to enjoy a day trip to the canyon we suggest taking the train. The loading station is right next to the park, the trip starts out with a wild west show, you get dropped off at the south rim to spend several hours gawking at the big hole in the ground (just kidding, it is SPECTACULAR!), then on the way back the train gets robbed by the members of the wild west show. And, if you needed any other convenience, the RV park has a doggy day-care center for Cujo.

Our home at Grand Canyon Railway RV Park.

Our home at Grand Canyon Railway RV Park.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from a 2-fisted drinker!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from a 2-fisted drinker!

That’s all for now, hope everyone had a Happy St. Patty’s Day!

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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One Response to Hiking Sedona!

  1. Tami Soler says:

    Now, you have me interested in hiking Sedona. Early spring looks like a good time. I’ll keep it in mind for future excursions.

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