After spending a little time in Phoenix, I got on the road towards Sedona. It’s about a 2 hour drive. If you’re looking for a pit stop, Montezuma Castle National Monument is about an hour and a half into the trip. The cliff dwellings, carved into the limestone walls, were built by the Sinagua people between 100 and 1425 AD. The castle sits about 90 feet above the ground. It looks so tiny, but there are 20 rooms nestled in there. Archeologists think that the small-scale famers picked this location because it sat right along the Verde River. Knowing the river would flood from time to time, they made a home for themselves high above the danger zone. It’s a beautiful reminder of what humans are capable of achieving with the most modest of tools. Once I got to Sedona, I grabbed a quick bite at Tortas De Fuego. This local burrito joint is so good, I went there twice. Then stopped at a gas station to buy a few gallons of water. Arizona is HOT and offers very little shade. My first hike, with grand views, was along Munds Mountain Wilderness Trail. The beautiful rusty color of the rock makes you feel like you’re on Mars.
As the day drew to a close, I watched the sunset from the airport overlook. You can easily drive up and park for $5, the hard part is fighting the crowds for your spot on the hillside. However, it was worth it to watch the sun disappear over the iconic rock formations in the distance.
With the night still fairly young, I made the quick drive to Sedona Brewing Company for dinner. This sweet little brewery has a patio with pretty great views and their food was delicious.
Stay tuned. I head to the Grand Canyon next!