After we enjoyed a nice relaxing night at the SpringHill Suites in Cottonwood, we were able to follow our itinerary again. We awoke early in the morning, sat down for some continental breakfast, and then made our way east along 89A toward Sedona.
Traveling through Arizona is a treat in itself. The scenery is constantly changing, and when we saw the red rocks of Sedona we had to prevent ourselves from pulling off every few miles to get more photographs.
We entered the outskirts of Sedona before heading north toward the Mescal trailhead. Our plan was to take the Mescal trail to the Chuck-wagon trail before reaching Devil's Bridge. We started down the trail and stopped about what felt like every 10 feet or so before taking some more photos or videos.
Around the first hour of our hike, we realized we didn't see any signs for the Chuck-wagon trail or Devil's bridge. We then pulled out All Trails to check our status and quickly figured out why. We took the Mescal trail northwest toward Mescal mountain and didn't cross the road from where we parked to go southeast, toward Devil's Bridge. Luckily, the mountain and hike had been beautiful up until this point, and we just kind of laughed it off. The Mescal mountain trail was a loop that went around the entire mountain.
We then continued on the trail, meeting a variety of mountain bikers and other hikers, including one elder couple that walked with us until the Deadman's Pass Junction, where they continued on toward their resort. They had never done Deadman's Pass, and we weren't entirely sure what to expect with a name like that, but we continued around the mountain and headed through the pass. Needless to say, Deadman's Pass was one of the easier parts of our hike but also one of the least crowded, with us only meeting two or three other parties. The eastern part of the trail wasn't very exciting, and we kept trekking at a decent pace until we made it back to the Jeep. All in all, the trip took around four hours, with the majority of our time spent taking pictures of the southwestern and western portions of Mescal Mountain.
Completing our loop around the mountain, we made our way outside Sedona to a pleasant stop at the Grasshopper Point Picnic Area to eat some of our Trader Joe's grub while enjoying the scenery. After that, we headed back to Sedona and checked out the city. We didn't have much time to really look around, so there is undoubtedly much more to enjoy inside Sedona and the countless trails around it.
We then made our way north up 89A toward Williams. The road switchbacked up the mountain and reminded us of our trip up Mt. Rainier. A quick stop at the Oak Creek Vista at the top of this portion of the drive was well worth it. The views of the area are incredible!
Once done at Oak Creek Vista, we continued on our way toward Williams, where we toured the alleged city that inspired Cars. We didn't really see many connections, but we're also not Cars fans. Then, we enjoyed a meal at Fred Harvey's Restaurant before calling it a night.
That's all for Day 2!
Arizona is a fantastic state with a lot to offer for places to visit. We were lucky enough to be able to spend five days there recently, and while there wasn't enough time to see everything, we enjoyed every minute we got there.
Our trip definitely didn't start as planned; we were supposed to arrive in Phoenix late at night and get some sleep before starting our first day. But unfortunately, our flights through United Airlines were delayed and messed up to the point where we spent the night at Newark Airport. Due to the overall lack of customer service and support, and waiting hours in line, we will not be flying with United Airlines again.
This 12-hour delay with United Airlines caused us to miss part of our first day's itinerary, and we had to cut off the Prescott part of our trip. However, we were able to pick it up with Jerome, and the rest of the trip was incredible.
Finally, in Arizona, we got our rental car from Budget (we highly recommend getting a Jeep Wrangler). Next, we stopped by Trader Joe's to get plenty of water, food, and snacks for our on-the-go trip. We then made our way up 17 before hitting 260 and 89A to get to Cottonwood. The scenery changes from Phoneix to Cottonwood were more than enough to keep us inspired and awestruck (we felt this just about the entire trip).
We checked into the SpringHill Suites in Cottonwood before making our way to Jerome, a quirky little ghost town that lost most of its population due to the mining industry leaving. There is a lot of history here, including the Audrey Mine Shaft, the Sliding Jail, and some other attractions. There are also a lot of ghost tours and other things to do focused on the infamous ghost town. I was able to get the drone out for a few flights, steering clear of any State parks. Before settling back in for the night, we stopped at The Haunted Hamburger, which was a great place to eat.
Depending on your love for ghost stories and such, this may be a town that could be worth skipping. But if you're coming from Prescott to Cottonwood, I'd highly recommend stopping in.
Well, that's it for Day 1 of our Arizona trip. Stay tuned for Day 2!