Arizona attractions

By Jack Dini
This item appears on page 26 of the August 2021 issue.

Sedona, Arizona — with its red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests — is a favorite destination for many folks.

When my wife, Anne, and I visited Sedona, Feb. 20-26, 2021, we stayed at the Arroyo Pinion Hotel (3119 W. Hwy. 89A; 928/204-1146, Only 20 miles away via Highway 89A are two gems in Clarkdale worth visiting: the Copper Art Museum and the Verde Canyon Railroad.

• The Arizona Copper Art Museum (849 Main St., Clarkdale; 928/649-1858, features things man has created using copper. It provides an amazing story, told by combining history and stunning artifacts into truly enjoyable exhibits. It’s a good way to find out why Arizona is nicknamed the Copper State.

The museum contains a massive and incomparable collection of over 5,000 works of copper art and architecture from Western Europe and North America dating back hundreds of years.

In addition to the usual military trappings — copper medals, ceremonial swords, weaponry and such — the bulk of an exhibit in one full room features a library’s worth of elegantly decorated metal vases and urns, all of which were made from the casings of expended artillery shells. Created during World War I, these vases were a form of “trench art” made by soldiers as they waited for the next battle.

Admission costs $9.75, adult, $8.75, senior (60+), $3.50, youth (10-17), and $1.25, child (5-9).

• Almost within walking distance of the museum is the station for the Verde Canyon Railroad (800/582-7245,, which takes passengers on a ride through Arizona’s backcountry that is accessible only by the train. It’s a 4-hour round trip ($99 per person), and at times you feel like you’re moving through the Grand Canyon because of all the red-rock mountains.

• Another attraction, the Tuzigoot National Monument (928/634-5564,, is located between Cottonwood and Clarkdale. It’s a 42-acre Sinagua pueblo, a 2- to 3-story ruin where the remains of dwellings of 12th-century Sinagua people have been preserved. Entry costs $10 per adult, and children under 16 get in free.

• A final stop, also nearby, is the town of Jerome, residing above what once was the largest copper mine in Arizona. The mine used to produce an astonishing 3 million pounds of copper per month.

In addition to its shops and historic sites, Jerome is worth visiting for its scenery. From the town, you can see Sedona’s red rocks, Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks and even eastern Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country.

Livermore, CA