We've spent quite a lot of time exploring Sedona and the Verde Valley over the past few years, it's one of our favorite places in the west. Last summer in Oregon when we hiked with our buddy Linda
from Portland, we planted a seed that she needed to see Sedona some time and she'd be welcome to stay with us in March 2018.
Linda took us up on our offer and joined us for five nights in mid March. Linda is an avid hiker and photographer so we planned to take her on a whirlwind tour of our favorite spots in the Sedona/Verde Valley area.
Her visit also coincided with RVing friends Steve and Mona Liza
being in the area so we invited them to join us for our first hike: the Hiline Loop. This is an awesome eight-or-so mile loop around Cathedral Rock. This time we parked at the Baldwin trail head and took Baldwin trail, to Hiline, to Slim Shady, to Templeton.
|Steve, Mona Liza, Linda and Hans enjoying the views from a plateau on the Hiline Trail.|
The next day we rested our legs somewhat by visiting several of the Native American sites that dot the Verde Valley. First stop: Montezuma Well
, a sink hole filled with water that fell as rain on the Mogollon Rim thousands of years ago. Water in the desert always draws people and Native Americans lived here from about 1050 CE to 1425.
|Cliff dwellings are built into the wall surrounding the Well, upper left.|
|Linda captures the beauty of Wet Beaver Creek which the Well drains into.|
Our next stop was V Bar V Heritage Site
, the largest petroglyph site in the Verde Valley. Security is tight at this site and access is only allowed during open hours and with a host in attendance. V Bar V is named after the former ranch property where it is located.
|V Bar V contains several rock panels with hundreds of petroglyphs...and more are known to be below the surface of the soil.|
Next stop: Montezuma Castle National Monument
. Southern Sinagua farmers built this five-story, 20 room dwelling about 100 feet above the valley sometime between 1100 and 1300. The remains of another five-story, 45 room dwelling can be seen at ground level. Wet Beaver Creek flows near this site as well, and provided fertile farmland for the ancient peoples.
Our last ancient site for the the day was a visit to Tuzigoot National Monument
. Another Sinagua village built between 1000 and 1400, Tuzigoot sits at the summit of a long ridge overlooking the fertile Verde Valley.
|Hans and Linda stroll Tuzigoot grounds.|
Since it was a Saturday we had to finish the day with a beer and live music at the Spirit Room in Jerome!
|Live music every weekend afternoon at the Spirit Room in Jerome!|
It was a cool 41 degrees when we arrived at Munds Wagon trail head the next day ready to hike the eight mile Hangover trail. Fortunately we all enjoy hiking in cool weather because we had a few snow flurries and gusty conditions off and on during the hike!
|Hans and Linda all bundled up enjoying views of Sedona early in the hike.|
|As we drop into the canyon the rocks we will scrambling over loom ahead of us.|
|Linda captures reflections in pools left from the previous night's rain.|
|Linda bundled up against the cold wind as we traverse the sandstone ledges leading to a dramatic saddle.|
|Clouds provide an ever changing light show as we approach the saddle.|
|Fabulous views from the saddle.|
|Our trail follows the line of trees ahead of Hans.|
|The saddle is a stunning feature of this hike!|
|All sorts of interesting rocks along the way.|
|Rocks hanging overhead may be the reason this trail is called the Hangover.|
|Great views of Sedona.|
|Some butt scooting required to get down from the Hangover!|
Follow the white marks down the rock face...
|All day long we are dwarfed by the incredible formations surrounding us.|
Our last full day with Linda we hiked the Hog trails...a series of double black diamond mountain biking trails that we would never consider riding, only hiking!
|The usual incredible views of Sedona, this time from high on the Hog trail.|
|Linda taking it all in.|
|Hans and Linda enjoying a snack at Chicken Point.|
|This is the rock face above Hans and Linda's right shoulders...see that thin white line across the rock?|
Google "White Line Sedona" and prepare yourself to be astounded!
We bid farewell to Linda, happy to have introduced her to this incredible area and we think she liked it too! You'll want to check out her blog
in the next couple of months (it's going to take her a while to process the thousands of photos she took!). I know her photos will be amazing!
Next thing we knew, Mark and Bobbie
arrived in town. We took them on a hike that starts out at busy Bell Rock/Courthouse Butte then heads off onto an unmarked trail with solitude and great views.
|Mark, Bobbie and Hans and lovely Sedona for a backdrop.|
Every single one of these folks we've just spent time with are friends we've made on the road! We love these connections we've made through full time RVing and blogging!