In a word “yes”. One of the scenic wonders.
Our trip begins with a drive south east of our BLM camp to Camp Verde and Fort Verde an historic cavalry fort built on the banks of the Verde River. The fort was built int 1800’s to house some 300 troop during the Indian uprising of the 1800’s.
I was surprised and disappointed to learn that most of the forts of that period did not have high walls surrounding an interior compound, as in the movies.
The Indians rarely attacked a fort, for fear of being out numbered. They used more of an ambush type of warfare. The high walls surrounding the fort was a Hollywood creation,….sad.
From Fort Verde we traveled farther south east on hwy 260 along the Verde River before turning north on SR 618 from Verde Lakes. A scenic good gravel road with several ranches. I was looking for more dry camping areas.
There didn’t seem to be any, even though the area was part of the Coconino National Forest,…… not sure why.
The road is narrow and although well kept it is not suitable for RV’s, I had to slow and pull over to let approaching traffic pass.
We followed 618 until it hit pavement and then crossed I-17 and then hwy 179 to the Village of Oak Creek. I was amazed at the transformation of the landscape from somewhat plain scenery to spectacular almost instantly.
After being in the desert for a month the scenery was breath taking.
Oak Creek and Sedona seem to be all in one, I couldn’t tell where one town ended and the other began.
March is a good month to travel here the weather is perfect not too hot or cold. A great side trip if your destination is the Grand Canyon area.
Amazing scenery with the red rock in contrast with the green foliage and blue sky. The red rock color is actually rust from traces of iron ore oxidizing.
It was strange to see residential areas built in a state park setting.
We drove to Sedona on a Wednesday, the traffic was heavy and slow in fact it looked like a substantial wait to get close to the Chapel of The Holy Cross so we didn’t make it. Maybe on a future trip.
It is probably not a good idea to take your RV through Sedona there are several round abouts (traffic circles) and it will probably be necessary to use both lanes to get around and the traffic was heavy.
Sedona has ATV rental if you choose to tour the back roads to enjoy the surrounding country side.
Just a note if you didn’t know it is possible to ride an ATV on most slower speed limit roads. Check the ADOT website for the requirements.
One side trip road 525 actually heads south from Sedona and leads back to hwy 89A. Several off shoot roads lead to some dry camping areas, ATV trails, historic ruins (I can’t remember the name) and some amazing rock formations Loy butte and some other butts
Check your fuel before you venture onto these back road so your wife doesn’t freak like mine did. We did make it back without the fuel tank running completely dry. Lucky for me.
A pleasant day’s drive.
Cliff Castle Casino
Just off I-17 exit 289 about 65 miles north of Phoenix city limits. If you are in the area I recommend the breakfast buffet for $7. Very fresh with all the breakfast items you would expect, also the Friday fish fry. It included the fish and fries as well as prime rib roast and all the trimmings for $14.
There is also overnight RV parking in the lower lot just follow the signs. A sign stating not to disconnect your trailer is for semi trucks not for RV’s.
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