AZ 89A Prescott to Flagstaff
Basin and Range
Prescott Elevation (feet)
Flagstaff Elevation (feet)
The road from Prescott to Flagstaff on Arizona Route 89A is among the most scenic drives in America. It is also a dramatic transition from Arizona’s central mountains to the Colorado Plateau. 89A begins five miles north of Prescott and climbs to the top of Mingus Mountain. From there, the highway descends to Jerome and the Verde Valley. To follow the original route of 89A, continue straight at the roundabout between Jerome and Clarkdale. Then, enjoy the drive through Clarkdale and Old Town Cottonwood. In Cottonwood, follow the signs for Sedona as the road turns left and crosses the Verde River. From Sedona, 89A follows Oak Creek into one of the most scenic areas in Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon. At the head of the canyon, 89A switchbacks its way onto the Colorado Plateau and into Flagstaff.
Basin and Range
Jerome, Clarkdale and Cottonwood
Located on the south side of the Verde Valley, Jerome, Clarkdale and Old Town Cottonwood are linked to the history of copper mining in the area. The mines were located in Jerome; the smelter was in Clarkdale and Cottonwood was the center of farming to feed the workers. Today the three towns attract tourists to art galleries, unique shops, fine restaurants and history museums.
Tuzigoot National Monument
Located on a desert hilltop, Tuzigoot National Monument preserves a prehistoric pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms, including two and three-story structures. Learn about this prehistoric culture in the visitors center and then take a short hike through the ruins to feel what it must have been like to live there.
Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness
The Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness provides recreational opportunities for travelers to Sedona. This collection of cliffs, buttes, and canyons has to rank as one of nature’s most magnificent masterpieces. It certainly is one of the most colorful. Red is the predominant hue among these 43,950 acres of wind and water sculpted pinnacles, windows, arches, and slot canyons.
Located in one of the most beautiful settings in Arizona, Sedona is surrounded on three sides by red sandstone cliffs, buttes and canyons. Once a sleepy, artsy small town, it now draws tourists worldwide to art galleries, restaurants, and resorts. It is also a gateway to the Colorado Plateau as AZ Highway 89A enters Oak Creek Canyon and climbs the switchbacks toward Flagstaff.
View photo galleries of special attractions along Historic Highway 89A between Prescott and Flagstaff…
Towns, Cities and Reservations
Public Lands and Historic Places
Jerome State Historic Park
Tuzigoot National Monument
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Red Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park
Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness
Oak Creek Canyon
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Two historic major east-west highways cross Arizona and each played a role in the westward migrations of the early 20th century. US Route 66 carried people across northern Arizona from Chicago to Santa Monica. US Route 80 linked Savannah to San Diego through southern...
Precious metals have been mined in Arizona since the first people arrived thousands of years ago. Gold, silver and copper were used by indigenous people for pigments, ornaments and tools. Spanish explorers in the sixteenth century came to Southwest looking for...
There are two parts of highway 89 that are designated as alternatives. One is an Arizona State Route and the other is a Federal US Route. To add to the confusion both are in Arizona. I get a lot of questions about driving conditions on these roads especially from...
Towering above you as you hike up the West Fork of Oak Creek are red and white limestone and sandstone canyon walls. At your feet is the gentle burble of the creek surrounded by wildflowers. The descending notes of the Canyon Wren’s song echos against the rocks. It is...
When you look at a map of Arizona, US 89 is hard to find. In fact, it only exists from Flagstaff to Page and into Utah. So what happened to our border to border highway? A little background—when the federal highway system came into existence in the late 1920s, US...
Can you imagine living in Arizona 800 years ago? By visiting five National Monuments along Highway 89, you can learn about and experience the living conditions of Native Americans in the early part of the last millennium. How did they obtain food? What sort of...
National Geographic selected US Route 89 as the #1 Drivers’ Drive in the world in its recently published book, Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips. Having driven over 20,000 miles on Highway 89, I couldn’t agree more. I have my favorite...
Larry Schnebly is the grandson of Sedona Schnebly for whom the town of Sedona was named. He is also a member of the US Route 89 Appreciation Society. Larry emaied me a couple of months ago and I arranged to record an interview. I knew he would have some great US 89...