My brother & I took the scenic route from Sedona to Flagstaff along AZ 89a. It”s only about 30 miles, and takes about 45 to 50 minutes, but the wonderful mountain scenery is worth the time! The Oak Creek Vista Overlook is a perfect place to stop and check out the view!Enjoy!
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There are few rides in northern Arizona that equal this one in ease of access and spectacular views. Often, getting to a scenic spot requires some difficult dirt roads, but this one is paved end-to-end.For the best views, start in Prescott. The road takes you up Yeager canyon and, although it is switchbacks all the way, it presents no challenges to most drivers. You will reach the pass at 7000 feet, a nearly 2000 foot climb from Prescott, But the best of this portion is yet to come. As a side note, if you have a high clearance vehicle, the unpaved forest road 104 heading east will eventually deposit you at a hang gliding launch point with spectacular views of Cottonwood, the Red Rocks and to the southeast as far as Camp Verde. A nice side trip but it will add an hour or so to your trip.Coming down the other side, it is a 4000 foot drop into the Verde Valley. About halfway down you will come to the town of Jerome, worth a review in itself. A once-abandoned copper mining town, it is now home to art galleries and restaurants in abundance. Get out and walk around, but be aware that Jerome is perched on a hill so there may be some huffing and puffing as you take in the town. Be sure to take visit Nellie Blye, a unique kaleidoscope shop like nothing you”ve ever seen. And if you see a legal parking space grab it. Jerome is often clogged with tourists and parking can be a problem. The view of the Red Rocks is outstanding from this vantage point as well.Descending into the Verde Valley, 89A will take you straight into the City of Cottonwood, but take the side trip through the historic town of Clarkdale and in to Old Town Cottonwood, again restaurants and unique shops galore. As you leave Cottonwood you will pass through a twenty mile section of high desert with great views of the approaching red rocks of Sedona. 89A takes you all the way through spectacular Sedona. If you enjoy art galleries, good restaurants and souvenir shops there are plenty to chose from in the “uptown” area after the roundabouts. Leaving Sedona the road winds up scenic Oak Creek Canyon, following Oak Creek through a densely wooded canyon floor, then climbing a set of steep switchbacks to emerge at the top of the canyon. Go to the viewing area and take in the view down the canyon. There is also an area set aside for Native Americans to sell jewelry and other crafts. That alone is worth the stop.The road continues through high country evergreen forests and emerges at interstate 17. Continue north on 17 to visit Flagstaff, or return to your starting point via 17.