Distance: 91.7 miles • Elevation Change: Prescott 5400 ft.-Flagstaff 6907 ft.
The road from Prescott to Flagstaff on Arizona Route 89A is among the most scenic drives in America. It is also a very dramatic transition from Arizona’s central mountains to the Colorado Plateau. 89A begins five miles north of Prescott and climbs to the top of Mingus Mountain. From there the highway descends to Jerome and the Verde Valley.
To follow the original route of 89A, continue straight at the roundabout between Jerome and Clarkdale. This will take you through Clarkdale and old town Cottonwood. In Cottonwood, follow the signs for Sedona as the road turns left and crosses the Verde River. From Sedona, 89A follows Oak Creek into one of the most scenic areas in Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon. At the head of the canyon, 89A switchbacks its way onto the Colorado Plateau and into Flagstaff.
Jerome: Perched precariously on the side of a mountain overlooking the Verde Valley, the old copper mining town of Jerome features art galleries, museums and unique gift shops housed in historic buildings. Stop here for a meal at one of many restaurants or spend a night or two in a restored hotel or a modern bed and breakfast.
Clarkdale Historical Museum: Founded in 1912 by William Andrews Clark, Clarkdale is known as Arizona’s first “Master Planned” community claiming to be one of the most modern mining towns of its time. The Historical Society Museum houses a collection of documents, photographs and artifacts. The Copper Art Museum housed in the old Clarkdale high school will open in 2012.
Tuzigoot National Monument: Built on a desert hilltop, Tuzigoot is an ancient pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. Learn about this prehistoric culture in the Visitors Center and then take a short hike through the ruins to get a feel for what it must have been like to live there.
Oak Creek Canyon: Outdoor adventurers will love Oak Creek. Minutes from Sedona, you can enjoy a picnic, take a dip in the creek, shoot photos or go for a hike. For a bird's eye view, stop at Oak Creek Canyon Vista at the top of the switchbacks where you can also shop for Native American jewelry and craft items.
Towns, Cities & Reservations:
Public Lands & Historic Places:
Jerome State Historic Park
Tuzigoot National Monument
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Red Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park
Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness
Hiking the West Fork of Oak Creek
Oak Creek Canyon