A Side Trip from Sedona, AZ

Palatki petroglyphs
  • Palatki petroglyphs

Visitors to the spiritual center of Sedona, Arizona, may not know of the many wonders nearby.

Sedona is known for amazing red rock formations and its “vortexes,” centers of spiritual energy. But in addition to Sedona’s well-known hot spots, the surrounding area holds many treasures. I took this side trip during my last visit and highly recommend it.

Start early and drive southwest along 89 to Tuzigoot National Monument, where you’ll find 12th century remains of an 80-room Sinagua Indian dwelling. You’ll also want to visit the historic hilltop town of Jerome, famous for its copper mines and hand-crafted copperware, just 5 miles from here.

Then take the 240 south and the I-17 northeast to the well-preserved cliff dwelling Montezuma’s Castle – a 20-room, 5-story structure 70 feet above ground. Amazing! Continue 7 miles up the road to Montezuma’s Well, a flooded, 55-foot-deep limestone sinkhole formed by the collapse of an underground cavern and maintained by underground springs. There are several trails to explore at the site. The Sinaguans, who lived here from the 12th to 14th centuries, are thought to have created the Palatki petroglyphs in nearby canyons.

You can stay at one of the many Sedona B&Bs or refresh yourself at Los Abrigados Resort and Spa, in the heart of Sedona, where you’ll see the Red Rock Fantasy holiday displays, lit up with a million lights from November 19 to January 2. Winter in Sedona, is refreshing, clear and crisp — a cool contrast to southern California weather!

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