We spent a week at Rancho Verde RV Park, a pretty, green and quiet small park that we've stayed at previously. It's a great place to access the east side of Sedona plus the many Native American historical sites that dot the Verde Valley. The only drawback to this RV park is the slow Verizon signal and spotty park wifi.
We discovered the MacDonald trail, a short but strenuous climb to the Camp Verde Cliff Dwellings. This is a fun place to explore...there are obvious dwellings in the face of the cliff as well as ruins from a large pueblo on top of the mesa to the west. Pottery shards are visible everywhere.
|The final steep ascent to the cliff dwellings.
|This is the most obvious cliff enclosure, but many more alcoves are scattered along the cliff face.
|Heading west from the alcove above, we found a precarious route up onto the mesa top.
Continuing west atop the saddle we came upon extensive rock walls of a former pueblo.
|The red bits are just a tiny sampling of the millions of pottery shards we saw everywhere.
|Exploring additional alcoves in the cliff face...they are on multiple levels.
|This large alcove had several additional holes (storage?, sleeping quarters?) dug into the walls.
|Heading into Woods Canyon.
|Dry Beaver Creek flowing heavy!
|Here's what the creek looked like in March 2014...a lot closer to it's name "Dry Beaver Creek"!
No stay in the Verde Valley would be complete without a weekend trip up to Jerome...live music every weekend afternoon at the Spirit Room!
|Cadillac Angels at the Spirit Room.
We hiked another favorite in the area, the Bell Trail, which follows Wet Beaver Creek for several miles. It's an eight mile out and back to The Crack, a neat geologic feature along Wet Beaver Creek.
|Lovely views along Bell Trail.
We did a little hiking near the Village of Oak Creek, parking at the Bell Rock Vista parking lot and making a 7.5 mile loop including a trail that shows up on Google Maps but not on any of the official Sedona trail maps. This unnamed trail took us up on a mesa overlooking Jack's Canyon, and though it looks well used, we did not see another soul until we returned to the regular trails...gotta love solitude when you can find it around busy Sedona!
|View of Courthouse Butte from the unnamed trail.
|Just another typically fabulous Sedona view!
|Hans spotted this big Javelina and a few of his friends near Oak Creek.
We've since moved on to Dead Horse Ranch State Park just up the road in Cottonwood, AZ. More adventures from one of our favorite parts of the country coming up soon!