Drive carefully: charming Jerome, Arizona sits at 5,000 feet (straight up).

Abby Tegnelia

Relaxing in Sedona before our death-defying drive to Jerome, Arizona.


Since I already hinted at a stop in the charming mountain town of Jerome, Arizona, I thought I’d go buck wild and kick off my recent Southwest road trip there, although it was technically our last stop. Diana and I went there on a whim (following a restaurant recommendation, of course), with zero expectations. As we climbed higher and higher towards this town that sits at more than 5,000 feet, my hands sweating as I rounded a few bends guarded by a barrier I just didn’t think was thick or high enough, I decided this was my first and last trip to Jerome. Diana drove the rest of the way! Once we were safely parked, however, we both fell in love with this historic mining town.




Jerome, Arizona

Charming Jerome is about two hours north of Phoenix and 45 minutes from Sedona.



I’m so glad I didn’t read that Jerome is called “America’s most vertical city” until after our detour — I might have chickened out on the drive!


Jerome, Arizona

I bought several trinkets in stores like these on Main Street.

If I ever go back to Jerome, I’m told I have to eat at the Haunted Hamburger. Did I mention that they also call Jerome “the largest ghost town in America”?


Jerome, Arizona

As this old-fashioned police sign says, Jerome was founded in 1876. About 500 people still live there.

Β Even though the town was founded in 1876, Jerome fell victim to three fires before 1900!


Jerome, Arizona

Many of the buildings in Jerome have fallen victim to the town's 30-degree incline.


If you love the Wild West history of the Southwest, Jerome, Arizona is a must-see. It was once the wildest of the wild mining towns (nicknamed the “wickedest town in the west”) but is now an adorable throwback to simpler times.

Jerome’s tourist site has directions from major Arizona towns.

Have a safe drive! (Don’t look down…)


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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. I love old western moutain towns. I’ve heard a lot about Jerome, but haven’t been there yet. I didn’t realize that the town was built on such a steep incline. Nice photos.

  2. Might be hard to reach, but it does look lovely!

  3. I just LOVE these pictures. Ghost towns seem really intriguing to me. Did it feel haunted too? πŸ™‚

  4. I’m certainly no expert on mining, but why would you build a mining town above a 5000 ft elevation? I usually associate a mine as being underground.

  5. Love that last pic!

  6. Okay it’s official, in the next 12 months I want to see Arizona – and I’ll figure out a way to see Las Vegas too!

  7. Can’t believe I’ve actually been in Jerome! I’d forgotten the name but recognize it from your pictures and the steep roads. Did a road trip with my brother around in the USA when we were at uni… ages ago! Very cool, Abby πŸ™‚

  8. No way, Sophie!! That’s amazing!

  9. This looks so fascinating! I’m always looking for road trip ideas from Vegas, so we might have to give this a try. (Although my husband is afraid of heights, so I’ll have to do the driving.)

  10. You find the coolest places. Do you mean ghost town as in haunted? If so, I wouldn’t want to be there at night. πŸ˜‰

  11. Just close your eyes … I’m STILL craving that green chile. Mmmmm.

  12. Christy, I would NEVER drive those roads at night!! So if the sun went down, I’d rather brave the ghosts!

  13. Cool town, though from what you say it is better visited during the day. However the sky must be full of stars at night from what I see in the photos!

  14. I have never heard of Jerome before. Elevation climb? OK. But three fires in a span of 24 years, the largest ghost town, and a mining town? I am not sure how to feel about this place – a ghost miner might come and set where I am at on fire! πŸ™‚

  15. Don’t you love how we like to give US cities a nickname involving a superlative πŸ™‚

  16. Sort of unnecessary — but makes for easier blogging lol

  17. Jerome looks so lovely. I wish I could spend the next few weeks there, rather than studing for exams.

  18. I’m thinking you and I need another little weekend escape and that it should be in the Southwest this time. Sedona? Santa Fe? I mean, really I’m game for anywhere in Arizona or New Mexico, as long as the Jungle Princess and wine are involved =)

  19. Let’s look into Santa Fe! My parentals might be involved… Also, Taos!

  20. I’m glad you enjoyed Jerome, but if you want to drive a scary road, try the Apache trail out of the east side of the Phoenix valley north to Saguaro Lake, then the Jerome road will seem quite tame by comparison. Arizona has lots of great thriller roads like that, and I think we’ve driven most of them. My husband loves to drive these roads–I think its his Swiss ancestry. Once in Crete we were on a road that most car rental companies would not permit their cars to be driven on!

  21. Eee! I have yet to go to a ghost town. I would love to take lots of pictures. Abandoned buildings are the BEST!

  22. Yet another reason I must get to Arizona, sounds like getting there is half the fun.

  23. how fun! it’s been YEARS since i’ve been to a ghost town!

  24. Jerome is cool, isn’t it? I always think the town belongs on a beach, so much so that I find myself looking for the water when I drive through it.

  25. Ryan Anthony says:

    Living in Tucson, I’m half a day away from Jerome, and I’ve been there more than a dozen times, which is not nearly enough. I’m overdue to return; I need a fair companion who will fall in love with the place as I have and doesn’t mind that you don’t walk around Jerome — you hike. You must visit Nellie Bly on Main Street, which is one of the two finest kaleidoscope stores in the world (, and you must dine at The Asylum in the Jerome Grand Hotel ( Check out “Old Jerome” by the late folk singer Kate Wolf (from *The Wild Blows Wild*, 1983), and you’ll want to book a flight. I’ll meet you at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

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