Jerome Ghost Town, Arizona


I’ve been to Jerome before, back in 2005.  I spent some time wandering around, and saw all the sights back then, but figured I might find some more good pictures on a second visit.

First, we’ll start off with a picture I took a couple of days later, and earlier in the day.  The sun sets directly behind the town of Jerome, so it gets dark early.  By the time I finally made my way down from Williams on Day 1, half the town was already cast with shadows.

If you find yourself driving from Sedona to Cottonwood at night, you’ll no doubt notice a patch of dim, twinkling lights on the mountainside.  Yes, your suspicions are correct, that is Jerome you’re seeing.

Jerome is a town that’s quite literally on the edge.  Route 89A is the main road through town, and all the businesses are lined up along the road, as it switchbacks through town.

For a while, the main road splits into one-way sections.  The end result is three streets that step their way up the hillside, all of which are Route 89A.

As I mentioned in my previous visit to Jerome, I’m not sure if I fully agree with calling Jerome a “ghost town”.  Sure, it has lots of ruins and run-down buildings, but at the same time, there are a lot of people living, working, and visiting here.

Even though it’s crowded and very much alive, Jerome still offers plenty of photo-opportunities.  This is one of my favorite old building facades, although I’ve never been able to take a picture I like.  (Behind the facade is a business; you enter at the “open” sign.)

The old streets have a lot of character, if you can ignore all the cars parked nearby.

As I walked around, I noticed this front porch.  People were still living here. I know it’s a ghost town, but c’mon, that porch is gonna go soon!  And what’s the deal with that chair?  Sometimes Jerome feels more like an impoverished town, than a ghost town.

To finish off Day 1, I checked into my motel in Cottonwood (the reasonably priced and sparsely furnished “The View”), then drove into Sedona for a brief refresher course on the lay of the land.  My first big hike came the next morning.

Note: This trip was first published in 2007.

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