The drive up Arizona State Route 89 from Wickenburg to Flagstaff stands out among the best in the state. I drove up it for the first time (that I remember anyway) in 2016 at Christmastime, and was blown away by the transition from dusty Wickenburg up to scrubby and cold Yarnell, which had snow on the ground at that time.
That first time last year, I stopped in Prescott, but this year I pressed on to Sedona.
Sedona amazed me. The town is nestled among the famous red rock formations in such a way that it seemed like no matter where you are in town, you have an amazing view. With all the talk of vortices though, I have to say it was less hippy, and more touristy than I was hoping, and older as well.
Of course I loved the hiking around there, and went to an amazing swimming hole that was recommended to me as an alternative to mobbed Slide Rock.
After Sedona, I continued on to Flagstaff. I was planning to use Flagstaff as a base to camp at the Grand Canyon, but it didn't end up happening. (My little brother came to Phoenix for a business trip, so I ended up going back down to see him instead.) I did end up stocking up on camping gear, though, and the drive to Flagstaff from Sedona was incredible.
After hanging out with my brother in Phoenix for a couple days, I started the trek up to Madras, Oregon for the eclipse, but that'll be another post.