A March 2004 trip
to Sedona by Dave Lapha
Quote: Enter our journal see how much fun can be found in this area. Ride the train, hike or Jeep tour Red Rocks of Sedona. There's also National Forest and Monument Parks to visit in the area. Then have a great dinner at the end of the day.
Hotel | "Verde Valley Thousand Trails Preserve"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 27, 2004
Hwy 260 & Mile Marke
Sedona, Arizona 86326
Restaurant | "Nick's Italian Steak and Crab House"
Nick's Italian Steak & Crab House
925 North Main Street
Sedona, Arizona 86326
Attraction | "Pink Jeep Tour"
We start off with another couple and our driver. We head out on the main highway. Its not long before we make the turn onto "The Road of No Return" that begins our Broken Arrow tour. As we ride along this dirt path we are all thinking, well this isn’t bad. When all of a sudden our eyes open wide as our driver pulls to the edge of this flat rock and says "hang on". Next thing we know we’re leaning into our seat belts and looking straight down as we go over the side of that rock. Wow, it was great. Now we’re back on that dirt path passing through magnificent canyon walls. The calm part doesn’t last long before we’re bouncing down a natural staircase at a 45-degree angle.
Finally we get a chance to climb out and make sure we’re in one piece. Our driver has stopped on a huge rock formation that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the area. We get to look around while he gives us some background info on the area, geology and the various rock formations we can see. Then, before we all climb back in he takes our picture so we have something else to remember our day with.
Before we know it our fun-filled four-wheeling jeep tour is over. It’s been everything we expected and more. A mild bouncy ride, up and down through creek beds and taking it to the extreme of going down the side of boulders or up the side of very, very steep hills. The excitement of dropping off the side of that rock and the bouncing down the staircase. Best of all, we got to go to places we never imagined existed.
No matter which tour you take sit back but hang on and enjoy every minute of it. Gee, I wonder if our Jeep Wrangler back home can do some of these stunts?
For more info Check out Pink Jeep Tours.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2004
Pink Jeep Tours
204 North State Route 89A
Sedona, Arizona 86339
Attraction | "Walking at Tuzigoot National Monument"
There at the crown of the summit stand the remnants of a Sinagua Village built between 1125 and 1400. From the park ranger we learned that at one time the original pueblo was 2 stories high in some places and had at least 77 ground-floor rooms. Main entry to the pueblo was by ladders through openings in the roofs. They believe about 50 persons inhabited the village for a hundred years. Then as a drought began in outlying areas in the 1200s the population began doubling.
The Sinagua of the Verde Valley were peaceful village dwellers. Considered farmers they grew crops of corn, beans, squash and cotton. They had plenty of water, a fertile land around them and plenty of animals for hunting. They also found an important commodity in the area, which was salt. They also enjoyed making stone tools such as axes, knives, hammers, and manos & metates for grinding corn. They also did a lot of weaving cloth from cotton, as well as drying skins and making baskets. All the above they would trade with Mexican explorers or other Indian tribes for macaws and a more decorated pottery that came from the north.
It’s really hard to believe how these people would build their homes and make tools and everyday appliances from the ingredients of the earth. Or how they fashioned ornaments for themselves or for trading out of shells, turquoise or local red stone for personal decoration. You can learn from all this that family, friendship and hard work really does pay.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2004
Tuzigoot National Monument
100 Main St
Clarkdale, Arizona 86324
National Park Servic
There are two classes of tickets, coach or first class. Both classes have access to an open air-viewing car with historic narration in all cars. We decided to take the coach class since we planned on spending all our time on board in the open air-viewing car. We hear the sound of the train horn and we hear the engine whine as we get ready to pull out of the depot. Our afternoon delight has started. In the beginning we learn that the first rail line, the Atlantic and Pacific, was completed in 1882, connecting Jerome and Ashfork. The railroad was also referred to as the "Verde Mix" because of a diverse mixture of both product and people. The old United Verde Mining Company that the train provided service for went out of business in 1952 putting an end to the railroad in the immediate area. However, in 1997 the train and depot was purchased and turned into the Verde Canyon Railroad excursion train.
I guess you could say we where there during the winter season. It was early March but the weather was spectacular. We where told to keep an eye out for the bald eagles that make their winter home in the canyon. As we round the corner low and behold there’s what we’re all looking for. We spot an eagle sitting in a tree along the Verde River and across the river high on the side of the canyon wall we spot another eagle sitting on the nest. Now we’ve seen eagles at Dollywood in Tennessee at her eagle habitat, but what an awesome sight to see them in their natural habitat. As we meandered along the countryside we saw wild boar and cows grazing along the path and river. As the train snakes around curves, over trestles, and through a 680-foot man-made tunnel what beautiful pictures you can take. In some places, the canyon walls are so close it's hard to believe that there's room for the tracks, what with the river right next to you on the other side.
There are no stops on this train ride until you arrive at your destination of Perkinsville Ranch. At one time there were 10 families living in the immediate area. It finally became a ghost town in the early 1950s when the locomotives switched from steam to diesel and the train no longer needed to stop to refuel at the water station there. The engines detach from the rest of the train at this point and actually come down along side of you and rehook to the other end of the rail cars. Then you head back the same way you came but it all looks completely different from a new angle and a different time of day.
The trip was fantastic. The sights in the canyon where excellent and the staff was friendly and courteous.
During our ride, we had the opportunity to see some of the most awesome landscape and wildlife and waterfowl imaginable.
To make reservations or get more info on group or special events Verdecanyonrr. Check out Verde Canyon RR.
No coolers or hard-pack containers, strollers or large carry-ons are allowed. The train and the depot are non-smoking facilities.
Personal vehicle is best way. But there are also many tour companies that can bring you in to the depot. Some of the hotels, motels and resorts in the area also offer "Room and Ride" packages with shuttle service to the depot.
Your first sighting is a glimpse of Courthouse Butte in the distance. Not far from that point ancient traders carried their products over a trail that linked the Gulf of Mexico with the Four Corners region. As you continue on you pass along the roadside, soaptree yucca, crucifixion thorn and prickly pear cacti that provides a good habitat for lizards, snakes and roadrunners.
Next you come into the Village of Oak Creek, once an 80-acre ranch owned by a pioneer named James Lay. Up until the 1970s this area was cattle country and used as a backdrop in many Western movies. As we continued on we where awestruck at the magnificent rock formations rising above from the land ahead of us. In this area there is also the South Gateway Visitor Center. It’s a good place to stop to find out about road conditions, fire danger, passes, permits and hiking trails.
As you approach Bell Rock’s broad base this stretch of road is nicknamed the roller coaster. There are lots of pullouts for you to stop along the way to enjoy the beautiful scenery. From here you also get to see Lee and Munds Mountains that top off at 6500 feet.
The designated scenic portion of Rt. 179 is only 15 miles and at this point a sign marks the end of the scenic road. However, the highway still affords wonderful glimpses of the Twin Buttes and 7,122-foot Wilson is directly ahead of you.
Here we decided to take our Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 and try out Schnebly Hill Road, which is just before you cross the Oak Creek Bridge into Sedona. The road was known years ago as Munds Road, a wagon route that locals used to transport goods and cattle up to Flagstaff on. T.C. and Sedona Schnebly had there home off this trail and would allow travelers to stay overnight with them. So, as time went on Munds Road became Schnebly Hill Road in honor of them.
Schnebly Hill is a primitive and rocky dirt road. Unless you have a high-clearance vehicle I wouldn’t attempt taking this road up and over the Mogollon Rim. The views on the way up were amazing as the road winds its way up and up and up. We made it to the Schnebly Hill Vista and as we made the curve to continue up there was a gate across the road stating it was closed for the winter. See even though it was 70 degrees out it was only March and being how its well above 6,000 feet up and over I can understand why they still had it closed. You could still see the snow lying across the road and throughout the forest. So, we had to turn around and come back down. If we could have made it we would have come back out on I-17 at the top of the Mogollon Rim. One day we will come back and make it over, the entire ride was great.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you only have a car, it is very hard on the suspension. I also wouldn’t recommend going up or down it after dark. The road is very curvy and at places shear drop-offs are on both sides of you.
We finished our day going into Sedona and taking in the shopping around the town.
Georgia, United States