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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
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    SE CT
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    1,012

    Default I'm Going to ARIZONA! Ideas for Trail Riding, etc., PLEASE!!

    So, DH gave me a note in a card for Christmas, he needs a new cowboy hat, boots, and I need more Navajo sterling jewelry, and maybe a saddle...He's taking me to AZ in April as a Christmas present!! Can you tell I'm excited...

    We are thinking of flying into Phoneix, going to Sedona for two days, then heading up to the Grand Canyon, over to the Cameron /Second Mesa area, back down to Sedona/Phoneix area.

    A total of 8 or 9 days....I would LOVE any ideas from Cothers who live there, or have visited.... Mid priced B & B's or hotels, and any ideas for a ranch that offers trail rides are most appreciated....Also would like to purchase Navajo sterling from the source/maker-any Native markets with numerous vendors, in a flea market/swap meet type of venue...?

    Both DH and I do lots of trail riding here in the North East, we are fine with up 3 to 4 hours in the saddle per day. Not looking for staying an entire week at a ranch UNLESS it is centrally located-that would be great!

    TIA for any replies!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2011
    Posts
    1,143

    Default

    I have never been so cannot advise on the horse scene, but if you get a clear night in Sedona make sure you go outside and look up at the Milky Way.

    That's on my bucket list haha, go to the desert and see the Milky Way, so enjoy the view for me Have fun on your trip!
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 24, 2007
    Posts
    967

    Default

    If you can get to Monument Valley I HIGHLY recommend it. We went to AZ a few years ago, went to the Grand Canyon, which was amazing, then to Monument Valley, which was so incredible I didn't want to leave. We got their for sunrise, took a private jeep tour (they have trail riding tours but my husband doesn't ride) took a few hours to go to Valley of the Goads, then went back for dinner and sunset. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2008
    Posts
    1,051

    Default

    If you're in north Phoenix, here are a couple of trail riding suggestions:

    http://www.macdonaldsranch.com/

    http://www.cavecreektrailrides.com/

    Here's a good calendar of equine events:

    http://www.azhorseconnection.com/Calendar.pdf



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
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    SE CT
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    Default

    Thank you for the suggestions!

    Jump QH, Have you heard of the Diamond M Ranch in the Sedona area? They have rides into the Coconino Nat'l Forest-they have a 3 hour ride that goes into the foothills a bit, we'd like to see a varied terrain, rather than (just) desert...

    Keep the ideas coming, and thanks again!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    5,882

    Default

    I went on a 4-hour petroglyph ride at Spur Cross Ranch in Cave Creek. It was a fun ride--desert, but the desert is very varied there, so we went through creeks, up along cliffs, though trees, etc. Walk only, but the terrain doesn't really allow you to do anything but walk! And the petroglyphs were really fun to see--we stopped to go climb around the rocks and rest halfway through. They do half-day or full-day rides too, but my husband was off hiking through the desert on his own, so I felt bad ditching him for any more than 4 hours. (;

    Some recommendations on places to stay: In Cave Creek, we stayed at this absolutely amazing B&B: http://www.fullcircleranchaz.com/ Super nice people, and absolutely gorgeous place--we had a private deck with a hot tub, which was great to sit in and watch the stars in the desert. They also had a trail riding place that they recommended, but it was after I had already ridden--it sounded cool though. In Prescott we stayed at the Motor Lodge, which is AWESOME also--really great couple who owns it, really cute retro rooms, and they greet you with a good craft beer. (: Plus you can borrow their retro bikes (including tandem ones) to ride into town.

    In Sedona we hiked around Airport Butte, which doesn't sound pretty, but was really gorgeous. Go around dawn and miss the crowds, plus see sunrise. In Jerome we stayed at the Grand Hotel, which was neat for the ghost hunting. Also check out Vulture Mine, between Phoenix and Prescott, which is awesome to explore (also very haunted). In Flagstaff I wasn't crazy about where we stayed, but there's a neat old hotel right downtown with an awesome bar downstairs, and I wish we'd stayed there. In Phoenix we stayed at the Clarendon, which was a hip, nifty little hotel with a great pool area.

    Avoid Winslow/Holbrook. We went so we could stay in the Wigwam motel, which was admittedly cool, and the big railroad hotel out there was also neat, but there is absolutely nothing else in the area at all whatsoever and it had a creepy bad juju sort of feel to that whole area.

    We flew into Phoenix and spent the night, then went to Vulture Mine and drove to Prescott for the night, hiked Thumb Butte in the morning, drove to Jerome and explored/stayed there, woke up early and went to Sedona to hike and then explore, went to Flagstaff and stayed, drove to terrible Holbrook/Winslow (stopped in a creepy roadside ghost town, Two Guns, which is probably where the bad juju came from). Then drove to Cave Creek, went trail riding the next day, and stayed in Phoenix again for the night. So that was 7 nights total.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 10, 2008
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Monument Valley is really beautiful. DH and I took a 2 hour trail-ride there. It was expensive and the horses were skinny. You can see a picture in my profile.
    Keep in mind that though things look near on the map, it takes a long time to drive from place to place. Monument Valley is pretty far away from nearly everywhere else! There are lots of traditional jewelry and crafts sold around there and on the Navajo and Hopi reservations (and you will see some serious poverty.) I think the BEST place to get high-quality items is at the Museum of Northern Arizona. http://www.musnaz.org/shops/index.shtml
    I found Sedona to be super-touristy and basically a waste of time. The red rocks are beautiful, but everything is very expensive.
    There is a lot of gorgeous scenery up near Flagstaff, and you can go on many hikes or some driving trips that are free or very inexpensive to the state parks or state and national forests.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,669

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    The Grand Canyon has half day mule rides down to a point overlooking the river, and two day rides down to Phantom Ranch for an overnight and back up. My vet, trainer, and I took the Phantom Ranch ride in March, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime ride and great experience. Scared the crap out of us, moreso than the tourists who had no idea, but we were scared in a good way - like- that was great, never need to do that again!. The half day ride would be really worth doing to get down in the canyon and April would be perfect. Book well in advance through Xanterra, and there is a 200 lb limit per rider.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
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    SE CT
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    Default

    I really appreciate the great responses....Sarah, that place in Cave Creek sounds great, we might be calling them. I've looked into some nice B & B's in the Sedona area-expensive, and seem to be very "wine oriented", and neither hubby or myself are wine drinkers. We do like an ice cold beer, however...

    I have been to the extreme eastern corner of Monument Valley-we drove down to the Four Corners on a trip to CO five years ago, and went into AZ a tiny bit there.

    I will also look into the half day mule rides, they sound scary and FUN!!

    Thanks again fellow Cothers, I KNEW I would get some great ideas by posting here!!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    1,529

    Default

    Take the back road (89a) from Sedona to Flagstaff. Stop at the overlook at the top of the hill. There are always some Native Americans set up w/jewelry.

    Definitely take the ride down to Phantom Ranch and spend a night (or 2! at that time of year you still can) if at all possible. I've done it 2x and would do it again in a second.

    There is a fun train that runs out of Cottonwood. If you do take it, also spend some time or the night in Jerome. Very cool mining town on the side of a mountain.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2000
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    1,804

    Default

    You've picked a great time of year to visit. It'll probably be in the 70s or 80s here in the Valley of the Sun. Cooler up north.

    Some folks have given you great advice on places to stay, ride, etc. If you need more, or recommendations on where to eat here or Flagstaff, let me know!
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2008
    Posts
    1,051

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spurgirl View Post
    Jump QH, Have you heard of the Diamond M Ranch in the Sedona area? They have rides into the Coconino Nat'l Forest-they have a 3 hour ride that goes into the foothills a bit, we'd like to see a varied terrain, rather than (just) desert...
    Nope, but then, I've only been to Sedona a few times and never stayed longer than a couple hours.

    If you want varied terrain, go east or north! We have ski slopes in both areas, along with high altitudes and pine trees. For a real treat, do a sleigh ride at Sunrise in the winter! I know you're coming in April, but the high country is still beautiful. If you're going to the Grand Canyon, consider taking some time in Flagstaff and Williams on the way. Not really horsey areas, but full of charm!

    Spur Cross Ranch is terrific - although I've never done it, the petroglyph ride sounds really neat!

    Also, if you like nature stuff, Sunset Crater is pretty incredible:

    http://www.nps.gov/sucr/index.htm

    Jerome - well, it had quite a weird vibe that I didn't dig! They are famous for their ghosts and it is a rather quaint place to visit, but kind of off the beaten path.

    If you want higher country, but not too far from the city, try Prescott Valley. I see this place, just off the highway, every time I go to Prescott.

    http://www.foothills-ranch.com/

    ETA: I forgot! There's trail riding in the pines in northeast AZ, too. Beautiful location!

    http://flaghollowranch.com/
    Last edited by JumpQH; Dec. 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM. Reason: forgot another place



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
    Location
    Western NY
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    5,882

    Default

    Sedona itself seemed like an awful place to stay. The hiking and scenery is beautiful if you go during off times (I was also there in April, and a weekday early was perfectly deserted and beautiful), but the lodging was all expensive and the town itself felt like one big New Age-y strip mall. Prescott or Jerome are both within a very short drive (the drive from Sedona to Jerome is really twisty, windy, gorgeous-if-slightly-scary mountain roads), so I definitely suggest staying in one of those places instead and just hitting Sedona for a little while. Above anyplace else I'd recommend the Motor Lodge in Prescott and the B&B in Cave Creek, so Prescott might be worth the slight detour--very pretty and varied area there.

    I'll have to see if I can post any pics from our petroglyph ride!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default

    This isn't horse-related, but Phoenix hosts the only Musical Instrument Museum in the country. They have a gong you can ring that is HUGE and Fun to Hit!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2010
    Posts
    363

    Default

    Windwalker Expeditions, in Cave Creek are GREAT!
    http://www.windwalkerexpeditions.com...rizona-arizona

    You go riding in the Tonto National Forest, which is lovely scenery.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Not exactly horse related, but I just came back from Sedona and I had to share this! About half an hour outside of Phoenix on highway 17, there's a little town called Black Canyon City. Just before Black Canyon City, there is a cafe called Rock Springs Cafe that has the BEST pies in the world. Seriously. They're hands down the best pies I've ever had.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2007
    Location
    SE CT
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    Hubby and I just got back from our trip this morning-took the red eye last night, so I'm beat...anyway, we did the Apache Trail-twists and turns on an unpaved road, went to Payson-nice town! We checked out several National Forests/Monuments, etc., went up to Winslow, and stayed at The La Posada-neat old RR hotel, but yes, the town is seriously run down. I got some GORGEOUS jewelry at the pawn shops there, and at a great price

    We checked out the Petrified Forest-beautiful, saw the Meteor Crater, and headed up to Indian Country-Second Mesa. Some serious poverty there, but we met some very gracious and friendly people, and were invited to the children's dance at the Veteran's Center. After that, we headed to Cameron, and saw the Grand Canyon. We hiked about 4-6 miles around the rim here and there-it was beautiful, but quite windy that day. Loved the Watchtower there...

    Went down to Sedona, beautiful, but expensive and touristy. The B & B we stayed at was off the beaten path, loved it! We went over to Jerome one morning, then did the Verde Canyon RR ride-fun, and relaxing. Saw Bald Eagles from the train. Jerome is an awesome town, with a friendly, artsy vibe...

    The highlight of the trip was going on the WINDWALKER EXPEDITIONS ride-we rode all around the Cave Creek area, for the 5.5 hour ride....GORGEOUS, and we rode very well trained and catty endurance Arabs. This New England girl can't believe where she rode-mountain up one side, 200 to 300+ foot drop on the other, along foot wide "goat paths"!! Our guide had extensive knowledge of the early Native sites, flowers, and wildlife. Other than his horse ALMOST stepping on a young Western Diamondback rattler right at the start of the ride , he was very professional (he was describing the riding conditions, and here a snake came slithering across the road)....Highly recommend them!

    We also stopped at the Rock Springs Cafe for the pies....The horse guide said they are now under new ownership, and the pies are still good, but no longer fabulous. I agree...The pies were good, but not what I was expecting. I make the very same ones on holidays-no giant oozy creations there any longer, I'm afraid



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    I have no knowledge of the area, but I wanted to wish you safe travels and have fun!!! Sounds like a great trip!
    Sorry to see xtranormal is gone
    For funnies, search youtube for horseyninjawarrior!

    Www.caringbridge.org/visit/mysecretgarden



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2008
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    Western NY
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    I loved Jerome! Agree on Sedona being beautiful but too touristy. We went and hiked around Airport Butte right at dawn so we beat the crowd and it was gorgeous, but the town itself was blech. The La Posada is beautiful but Winslow and Holbrook were the two most depressing places I've ever been in my life. I think we picked up bad spirits when we stopped at a ghost town (Two Guns) off of 66 heading to Holbrook, because it was terrible around there.

    Glad you had fun!
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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