Scenic Drives: Sedona
Slip behind the wheel, open the sunroof and fire up your playlist – we’re taking a road trip to Sedona! Located about two hours north of Scottsdale, Sedona is known for its fiery red rock formations and eclectic New Age personality. Just for fun, we’re going to make a stop in the historic mining town of Jerome on our way to Sedona.
Leg 1: Scottsdale to Jerome
Your Route: 101 North→ I-17 North→ AZ-260→ AZ-89A
Approximate Drive Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Directions: Plug Jerome, AZ into your GPS or follow these easy directions: Jump on the 101 North in Scottsdale and follow it to I-17 North. After approximately 72 miles on I-17, take the exit (#287) for AZ-260 and turn left (west). Go approximately 12 miles to S. Main/AZ-89A in Cottonwood and turn left. Follow all signs in the up-coming roundabouts to stay on AZ-89A, then follow it up the hill and right into Jerome. The easiest parking is close to the town entrance – a lot on your left, angled street-side spaces on your right. The town is hilly but walkable, with stairways connecting the switchback streets.
About Jerome: Located high atop Cleopatra Hill, Jerome was one a rip-roaring copper mining town. Following four disastrous fires and the Great Depression, the town dwindled to fewer than 100 residents. Today, Jerome is a thriving artist community filled with galleries, craft shops and restaurants. Browse a while, then grab a bite and a ghost story or two at the Haunted Hamburger or Asylum Restaurant. You can make your trip an overnighter by calling ahead to book a room at the reputedly haunted Jerome Grand Hotel . . . if you dare.
Leg 2: Jerome to Sedona
Your Route: AZ-89A → Sedona
Approximate Drive Time: 45 minutes
Directions: Tell your GPS you're heading for Sedona, AZ. Leave Jerome on Main St./AZ-89A, then follow 89A back down the hill, through the roundabouts and back to the town of Cottonwood. From Cottonwood, follow signs to East AZ-89A/Sedona. Your destination is about 20 miles ahead.
About Sedona: Sedona is a must-see on any Arizona itinerary. The town’s towering crimson formations, formed over centuries by water and wind, stand in glorious contrast to Arizona’s deep blue sky. There’s plenty of excellent hiking in this photographer’s paradise, as well as art galleries, craft shops, New Age stores, off-road Jeep and vortex tours, and outstanding dining options. In warmer weather, follow the signs to Oak Creek Canyon and take a dip in the cool waters.
Leg 3: Sedona to Scottsdale
Your Route: Highway 179 → I-17 South → 101 East → Scottsdale
Approximate Drive Time: 2 hours
Directions: When you’re ready to head back to Scottsdale, take the Highway 179 exit from the “Y” roundabout, which will take you right to I-17 (trust us, after spending even a few minutes in Sedona, you’ll know exactly what the “Y” is). Head south on I-17 to the 101 east and you’ll be back in Scottsdale in about 2 hours.