After a delicious and filling breakfast, take a short fifteen minute drive from El Portal to the Palatki Ruins, where you can see 5,000 year old petroglyphs, and ruins left by the Sinagua Indians as early as 1100 A.D. There is a ceremonial site among the red rock cliffs that is an easy half-mile walk. From here, you head to Sedona’s majestic Red Rock State Park. The park is a 286-acre preserve and environmental education center with breathtaking scenery of red rock and flowing water. Hike one of the many trails winding through manzanita and juniper to the banks of Oak Creek.
Revisit the ancient past of the Sinagua people at Tuzigoot Pueblo, located on the summit of a long ridge that oversees much of the Verde Valley. Get a glimpse into what was once a two-story structure that formed a thriving village.
Continue on your tour to the eclectic copper mining town of Jerome. This wild-west town has a rich history as a booming mining town, surviving several major fires, and becoming a virtual ghost town after the close of the Phelps Dodge mine in 1953. Take in great views and the funky, western feel as you stroll through the shops and art galleries, visit the history museum and grab some grub at one of the local restaurants.
After lunch in Jerome, head back through Cottonwood to Montezuma Castle, another wonderful example of the Sinagua legacy. Montezuma Castle is a five story high pueblo built under overhanging cliffs above Beaver Creek. It is one of the best-preserved Indian ruins in the Southwest. Eleven miles from the castle, you come to Montezuma’s Well, a unique geologic feature that is home to unique species of animals, ancient Indian ruins and a 1,000 year old irrigation ditch still in use by residents today. Upon your return to El Portal and Sedona, unwind with our ever-changing happy hour of wine,cheeses, ripe black olives, green stuffed olives, bruschetta, assortment of cold meats, fruits, vegetables, tapenade and more.