Verde Valley, AZ (125)

From Tucson, we visited the beautiful Verde Valley north of Phoenix.

Verde Valley, AZ

Camp Verde

We stayed in Camp Verde, while taking day trips to Sedona, Cottonwood, Jerome and Prescott.

It was also the first time we have stayed in one place for 2 weeks, which was eye-opening. It really gave us a chance to relax and explore the area,

Verde Ranch in Camp Verde, AZ

We stayed at Verde Ranch RV Resort, which is along the Verde River on one side and I-17 on the other.

While you can hear the sound of the big rigs on the freeway, it really didn’t bother us at all, and we enjoyed the park, taking many walks along the river.

Verde River

During our stay, the cottonwoods along the river started to green up nicely. Before long, the whole area will be filled with cottonwood seeds floating in the air, in some areas as thick as snow.

The greening trees are really obvious as you look from a distance, as in the photo below. From a higher vantage point, they look like a green ribbon running through the valley, which I guess is how it got its name.

Our favorite place in Camp Verde is Thanks-a-Latte. The covered patio was a great place for an iced latte in the warm afternoon.

Thanks A Latte in Camp Verde, AZ

Sedona

We visited Sedona a few times. The drive there is always beautiful and full of anticipation. The red stone of Sedona slowly starts to peek at you as you wind into the valley, with each turn more amazing than the last.

Of course, during this time of year, it sometimes also makes for a beautiful parking lot!!

Only a wide view of the skyline does justice to Sedona. Click on either of the photos below to see a larger version, depending on your screen.

Click either photo to enlarge.

The last time we visited, we hiked around Bell Rock and Courthouse Rock. It’s a great hike that takes you away from all the tourism and gives you a chance to really appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

Bell Rock

We enjoyed lunch at Creekside American Bistro. The food was good, and the views were even better. 🙂

Our hike took us up the Fay Canyon Trail to a lookout over Sedona where you can see all the way to Bell Rock in the distance.

It’s a beautiful trail, mostly shaded and well marked.

You get up close and personal with the canyon.

There is a natural bridge in the photo below. See if you can spot it, in the middle of the photo about a third from the bottom.

The last part of the hike is a scramble up the cliff. You can choose how high you want to go for a good view.

And, of course, you are rewarded with this. You can see Bell Rock in the distance standing to the right of Courthouse Rock. It takes several minutes just to take this in. Very inspiring.

Cottonwood and Jerome

We also took a fun trip to Jerome, passing through Cottonwood on the way. Jerome is a mining town built right on the side of the mountain and overlooking the vast mine.

It’s a very vertical town with a lot of character. While once a serious mining town, it’s all about tourism now.

The view, however, is still pretty good!

It looks like someone made a statue of our dog Lucy!

Hmm, not much building left. Is that what it means by being open?

The Jerome Grand Hotel is still a working hotel. It seemed to be the largest building in the town and is prominent in the skyline.

Jerome Grand Hotel

We explored the town and had a great lunch outside at Bobby D’s BBQ, even though we had to fight off a yellow jacket that seemed to want our lunch as much as we did. After lunch, we headed back down the mountain.

Prescott

The day before we left, we went on a nice drive to Prescott, a 50 minute drive from Camp Verde. We didn’t have much time to visit, but enjoyed walking around the old town center and “Whiskey Row”, which served the old miners a good time. It must have been pretty wild back then. These days, we found a good Italian place for lunch and later enjoyed a nice coffee. Here’s a few photos from this visit, and we hope to visit the area again down the road.

Well, it was time to return home from our longest RV trip to date. We enjoyed spending time in Arizona, and enjoying some longer stays than we usually plan. Arizona really is one of the most beautiful states to visit and we look forward to returning in the years to come.

Our trip home included a warm night in Needles at the Desert View RV Resort,

…and a night in Bakersfield at the River Run RV Park, which included a trip to Dewars, our favorite candy shop, for their delicious peanut butter chews.

A fitting end to a very sweet RV trip.

Al & Deb

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