We obtained this book from Arizona Highways Online Shop, the same place as we got Arizona Ghost Towns, a book I recently reviewed. Its full title is Arizona Highways Scenic Drives: 40 Of The State s Best Back Roads. When it comes to covering Southern Arizona Back Roads, this book is not as inclusive as our website. It only lists 9 back roads and they are not the ones we consider the most interesting. For instance, they mention Redington Road, which we also cover, but not our Ghost Town Trail from Pearce to Cortland to Gleeson, which is seriously interesting.
To their credit, they do talk about the Black Hills Back Country Byway, which we also cover from Clifton to Soloman, an exceptional back road drive. They also cover our favorite from Portal over the Chiricahua Mountains. One of the drives they do cover that we haven’t driven yet is from Williams to Jerome, called Perkinsville Road. I want to give it a try. Here’s why. They write:
“Once you leave Coconino County and enter Yavapai County, the road becomes County Road 70. At 24 miles, the pavement ends, but the road is still suitable for a regular passenger vehicle in good weather. After 3 miles on the dirt road, turn right on to County Road 72 (still Perkinsville Road), which winds its way toward Perkinsville.”
“Despite earning a dot on a map. Perkinsville is not so much a town as … well, a ranch. But what it lacks in population, it makes up in big scenery. It’s easy to see why, In 1900, the Perkins family put down roots in this pastoral landscape of grama grass backdropped by endless blue sky. The perennial Verde River burbles through, flanked by cottonwoods that, in the fall, resemble giant yellow cauliflowers.”
Ms. Karen and I are going to the Verde Valley this fall to ride the scenic train and look forward to seeing the giant yellow cauliflowers. We plan to stay in Cottonwood the night before the train ride and at the Jerome Grand Hotel the next night. Why Jerome? This article tells us …
“Like the town of Williams, Jerome is a wild child made good, a Western town that’s followed a familiar boom/bust/babyboomer pattern. We’ll never know what adventuresome trapper Bill Williams, pioneer rancher Marion Perkins, and copper-mining mogul Eugene Jerome would think of the decline of their industries and the taming of this chunk of the Wild West. But it’s something to ponder, perhaps over a famous cheeseburger at the Haunted Hamburger, where you can finally savor those valley views from the safety of the balcony.”
While our stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel should be delightful (it ought to be for $250 per night), it’s the cheeseburger at the Haunted Hamburger that I’m really looking forward to.
If you are adventurous, there are many scenic drives to try in this book separated geographically. You can buy the book on the Arizona Highways website or buy it here Arizona Highways Scenic Drives: 40 Of The State s Best Back Roads, where we get a small commission.
Interestingly, the Arizona Department of Transportation also has a free site you can read up on their list of Historic and Scenic Roads. Happy and safe travels!