Jerome commands big-sky views from its mile-high perch on Cleopatra Hill: look out over red rock mesas and volcanic peaks while standing above a network of 88 miles of mine shafts descending over 4,000 ft.
Founded in 1876, Jerome's population fell from its 1920s boom of some fifteen thousand to a dwindling fifty-something in the 1950s; it almost became a ghost town. Day-tripping visitors hungry for Old West ambiance keep it alive today in its post-copper-bust reincarnation. (Sedona is just up the road.) Plenty of haunted Victorian bricks remain, along with art galleries, jewelry designers, and saloons still frequented by leather-chapped regulars.
Mexican, Irish, Chinese, Italian, and Croatian miners once climbed up and down these hilly streets; on weekends now, art collectors, college kids, and bandanna'd bikers stream into the town that 444 residents still call home.
(A 90-mile drive from Phoenix, it makes for a great day trip if you're in central Arizona. And just a few miles from Jerome are the well-preserved pre-Columbian hilltop ruins of Tuzigoot National Monument.)http://www.azjerome.com/
© 2013 AFAR Media