|Cliffrose Trailhead in Cottonwood|
Friday, January 30, 2015
In what might be described as the "tip of the iceberg", the Cliffrose trailhead in Cottonwood represents the ongoing efforts of the Verde Valley Regional Trails Concept Plan. This grassroots effort to enhance and maintain the area's multi-use trail systems draws upon the expertise of residents from towns of Jerome and Camp Verde, and staff from the Prescott National Forest, Coconino National Forest, State Parks, City of Sedona, City of Cottonwood, Town of Clarkdale, and Yavapai County.
Together these groups are working to foster a long-range vision for Verde Valley trails and open spaces for the development of interconnected recreational travel systems.
The compact, no-frills Cliffrose trailhead sits near the Verde Valley Botanical Area and provides access to the Lime KilnTrail which in turn provides an established 15-mile travel corridor between Cottonwood and Sedona. At this writing (Jan. 2015), the trails here are unsigned but well defined. A dirt road heading east from the trailhead curves north to meet Lime Kiln in roughly 2 miles while a web of loop trails heading west trace a starkly beautiful landscape of ravines and cave riddled, jagged-edged limestone outcroppings. Beyond the chalk white sediments and high-desert scrub, sweeping vistas of Sedona's angular, vivid, rusty hued sandstone mesas and spires contrast with the hushed tones and rounded slopes of the Bradshaw Mountains. Finding your way around the roughly 3 miles of nicely maintained trails is easy. Just use the lay of the land as a natural compass. The red rocks of Sedona are in the northeast, Cottonwood and Jerome on the western frontier and the hum of Cornville Road to the south provide all the navigation tools you'll need.
LENGTH: variable, our GPS track of the loops read 3 miles
ELEVATION: 3,089' – 3,353'
From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17 to the McGuireville exit 293 and go 12.4 miles west on Cornville Road (a.k.a. CR30, Mingus Ave.) to State Route 89A. From here, cross 89A ,continue less than a mile and turn right at the Cliffrose Trail sign.