We left the Grand Canyon and made our way south. After an overnight stop at the Quailwood Greens Golf Course (a great Harvest Host boondocking location in Prescott), we headed east to Camp Verde, Arizona. Our home base for the next three weeks was Verde River RV Resort. This is a great campground that is far enough away from I-17 so you didn’t hear the traffic, but close to so much that the area has to offer.
Jerome – Haunted?
Our first sightseeing destination was high up on the side of Mingus Mountain. Jerome, Arizona, sits on the winding 89A, and while they say RVs can make it, we wouldn’t recommend it. We drove our F-350, and even that was a little tight at times. We found a place to park on the edge of town and began exploring.
Jerome is one of those towns that’s been through hell several times, literally burning down, but keeps rising from the ashes. It sprang up when copper was king, but is now home to a large array of art galleries, shops, restaurants, and supposedly ghosts. Our first stop was the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum located at 200 Main Street. Admission is $2 for adults, and was well worth it to see how the town evolved over time.
After learning about the history, we headed out to see the sights. From the ruins of the Bartlett Hotel, where there are now art exhibits, to the Sliding Jail (which is exactly as it sounds as the old jail slid down the hill and came to rest in its current location), Jerome was worth the trip. We didn’t see any ghosts, and couldn’t quite bring ourselves to visit the Grand Hotel that sits looking down over the rest of town. We’d just seen a Ghost Adventures episode featuring Jerome and the hotel, and weren’t sure we wanted that kind of experience.
Gold King Mine & Ghost Town
Just north of Jerome on 89A sits an interesting place. The buildings and remnants of the Gold King Mine are a step back in time. When they were digging for copper in the late 1800s, they actually struck gold! The mine opened in 1890, complete with a post office, school room, laundry facility, and everything a town would need at that time. The town of 30 remained there until the gold dried up.
In 1981, 91 years after the last residents left, Terry and Don Robertson bought the property. They kept many of the buildings as they found them, and added Don’s extensive collection of over 180 cars, trucks and motorcycles. There is a lot to see there if you are interested in antique vehicles.
Read all about events at the mine, hours of operation, and cost to get in here.
We would say that Jerome and the Gold King Mine are worth the winding drive up 89A. And if it’s a clear day, the views are spectacular.
Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Click here for all the details.