Top Things to Do in Camp Verde

Camp Verde is located 27 miles south of Sedona in Yavapai County, Arizona.  The town of 11,000 is quiet, offers friendly service, and is a gateway to many tourist activities.  I was surprised to find out how much there was to do nearby Camp Verde.

I was camping on Forest Service 579 just 11 miles north of town when I ventured that way in search of propane given the following day forecast of 47 degrees and rain.  Since I’m in the trial run with VANgo, I didn’t have a sense of my propane use.

After calling many places, I finally reached someone at Ace Hardware who suggested the Camp Verde Feed Store.  The service couldn’t have been nicer, and when I told Joey, who filled my tank, that it was going to be cold and rainy tomorrow, he asked, “Where?”

EXPLORE!

Happy Hiking: McDonald Trail

When I stopped by the Camp Verde Visitor Center to check out the museum, Lynette greeted me with a wealth of knowledge.  She wanted me to have a map. I pointed to the map in my hand, and I said, “I have this one.”

She replied, “That’s the trails map.  Here is the other.”

While there, I learned lots of things about Camp Verde, but also, that the McDonald Trail features a bunch of Indian Ruins.

HAPPY HIKING!
view from copper canyon loop trail #504

Happy Hiking: Copper Canyon Loop

Having lots of flexibility has spoiled me, and I do my best to skip weekend hiking and only go during the week when it is more peaceful.  The exception is when I hike with friends who only have the weekend off.

With two days of bad weather this week, however, I had an itch to get outside.  After having hiked near Camp Verde and near Sedona, I noticed the crowds didn’t exist in Camp Verde.  As a result, I took a weekend hike at Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 that I found on the AllTrails app.

HAPPY HIKING!
full moon over sedona

Airport Mesa Sunset

I’ve followed many threads about Sedona on a Facebook Travel Group. It seems almost weekly someone asks for the tops things to do in the Sedona area.  Almost always, someone comments to watch the sunset at the airport mesa.  Additionally, there is also an earth vortex at the airport. As with Bell Rock, also a “masculine” vortex, meaning the energy exits the earth at this location.

While normally I prefer early morning hikes, I wasn’t sold on hiking in the morning, going back to my campsite for the afternoon near Camp Verde, and then going to the airport later.  As a result, I planned on killing two birds with one stone by hiking the 3.2 mile airport loop trail and then watching the sunset.

WATCH THE SUNSET

Happy Hiking: Big Park to Bell Rock Path Loop

The Vortexes

Sedona, Arizona is known for its healing earth vortexes.  Yes, they say vortexes, not vortices.  Anyway, a vortex is believed to be a special spot on earth where energy is entering it or exiting it.  Sedona has four vortexes, one of which is Bell Rock.

As a result, Bell Rock, located just north of the Village of Oak Creek, is an extremely popular hiking destination and easily reachable off scenic Highway 179.  With spring break in full swing for many states and the popularity of Bell Rock, I arrived to the large, paved parking lot by 7:15am on a weekday.  Fortunately, I had a prime selection of spots with only a few cars in the parking lot.

HAPPY HIKING!
brins mesa

Happy Hiking: Seven Sacred Pools

A very popular hiking destination in Sedona is called the Seven Sacred Pools.  It is located in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness and may be reached by the Soldier Pass Trailhead or Jordan/Cibola Pass/Brins Mesa Trailhead.

Getting to Seven Sacred Pools

It is very hard to find parking at the Soldier Pass location, thus I started my hike at the Jordan/Cibola Pass/ Brins Mesa Trailhead.

This is a fee area ($5 daily, $15 weekly), and the machine takes credit cards if you do not have a National Parks Pass.  Do not park on the side of the dirt road, or you will be ticketed! I heard you can pay a local to shuttle you to the trailhead, but I didn’t try this.  I just got up early.

HAPPY HIKING!
indian ruins at montezuma well

Montezuma Well National Monument

I found a hike on AllTrails to Montezuma Well.  It was just a short 0.7 mile loop with an offshoot.  Since the forecast called for rain, I thought it would be a nice outing for Annie and me to stretch our legs before the approaching bad weather. 

With the paved trails and information boards, I felt like Montezuma Well was more like a preserved monument than a hike.  The well is a National Monument that is operated by the National Parks Service, and it is free to visit.

LEARN MORE

Happy Hiking: Bell Trail

As a I mentioned in my previous post, I arrived in the Sedona area Sunday afternoon in hopes of finding some nice, dispersed camping after the weekenders left.  Surprisingly, tons of spots were taken and as a resulted I squeezed into the only option left on Forest Road 689 and shared it with a large 5th wheel.  Little did I know, I selected a campsite just minutes from Bell Trail, one of the hikes I saved on the AllTrails app.

HAPPY HIKING!
petrified forest national park

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park is located on I-40 about halfway between Albuquerque and Sedona, though a little closer to Sedona.  It is a good stop for breaking up the monotonous drive through miles of barren landscape and sometimes strong winds.  I had to drive my top heavy VANgo below the 75mph speed limit to keep from getting blown sideways.

Ten years ago, the Petrified Forest National Park was one of the last places I visited before ending my year long road trip in VANilla.  Now it is one of my firsts! In my previous visit, I wandered around the area called Crystal Forest in the southern section where I entered the park.  Thereafter, I made several stops at overlooks like most visitors were doing today.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

State Sign Challenge: New Mexico

Ten years ago, on my first road trip across the USA (map), I wanted to snap a photo of each state sign.  The first few times, I did so as I zoomed across the state line.  Naturally, the photo was little to be desired.  By the fourth state that I visited, I forgot to capture an image, and soon became less enamored with the idea.

Now, on my second road trip, I’ve decided to give it another go.  Only this time, I’m making it more fun by dressing myself and Annie in costume.  I hope that my fellow readers will play along and submit their photos of signs for me to feature.

That said, please do not stop on a busy highway and endanger yourself.  Find a quieter road or in some cases visitor centers that also have the state sign.

TAKE THE CHALLENGE