Picture courtesy: Ninad Paranjape/Me.
This was the first trip N and I took as a couple. The states neighboring Arizona are closed for business so we decided to go local. Owing to the pandemic, we researched and made a list of 34 lesser-visited destination in Arizona. We mapped a few destinations out and left the next morning.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Morristown, AZ: It is one/one and a half hour away from Chandler. We reached around noon. The drive to the park was amazing – loved it! I recommend you to check the working hours and routes before you travel. The last leg to the lake was shut so we viewed the lake from the Pleasant Harbor Marina. You can rent boats and kayaks here. The lake is as blue as it can be.
Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ: Watson lake is one and a half-hour away from Lake Pleasant. The route from Lake Pleasant to Watson Lake is amazing. Arizona suddenly turns into scenic Montana and ends as Colorado with all the granite at Watson Lake. This charming lake is surrounded by granite rocks.
You can hike the Watson lake loop trail. We chose to maintain distance and climbed down to the lake by taking the rocky path to the left. It’s nothing that you cannot do in slippers (though I recommend you wear shoes). We did not see anyone kayaking/boating here.
Sycamore falls, Williams, AZ: This was going to be our sunset point. The last 10-15 miles of the road to the Sycamore falls is a dirt road lined with private properties. We re-checked the map several times en route to this one. The road ends at a place with a signboard and restroom. There were no markings for the trail. After guesswork, we decided to take the route that started from behind the signboard. We climbed down for 30 seconds (no markings. only logs.) and took a right. Unexpectedly, the falls were frozen. Yes, you read it right. It was not snowing but the falls were frozen. There was no sign of life (at all!). Pretty spooky.
On our way back we saw the best sunset ever.
Williams, AZ: We were not sure if we could visit Sycamore on Day 1. So, we had booked a room for the night at Williams. Good life choice. We stayed at the Holiday Inn – a comfortable stay. Grand Canyon Brewing + Distillery is right next door. It has great ambiance (Christmas lights made it look even better), and good food. The portions are substantial. You will enjoy the adult beverages here.
Bearizona, Williams AZ: LOVED this place! If you are accompanied by kids, this place is a must-visit. As adults, we could have spent a few more hours for sure. This is a drive-thru zoo attached to a walk-thru zoo! It is recommended that you shut down all doors and windows while driving. A few pictures below to get you excited!
Sedona, AZ: The route from Williams to Sedona is beautiful. You can still see fall colors! The red rocks are mesmerizing. The next destination was the Devil’s bridge. We did not find a parking spot and looking at the crowd we decided to pass. We walked the lonely Two Fence Trail for a little bit instead. It has good views and is not a tough walk at all. Later, we went to Tlaquepaque for lunch and shopping. It is very picturesque. I recommend that you visit The Chai Spot here. A few pictures from Sedona.
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, AZ: We stopped at the Chapel of the Holy Cross after lunch. The views from here are fantastic! It was on the way to our next destination. It was very crowded though. FYI, public restrooms are not available.
We were going to end the trip at Montezuma Castle National Monument but we could not get there in time. It shuts down at 4:45 PM and we reached at 4:55 PM.
Since we could not find a spot for sunset, we stopped at a random place to see the magic. Photos from the valley. We left for home soon after.
Arizona is enthralling. Overall, it was a very good road trip. Hopefully, we will take more trips in the future. Keep reading this space for more. Stay Safe.