From Camp Verde, head west up the Verde Valley and up over Mingus Mountain, where the old mining town of Jerome clings to the mountainside high above the valley floor. On the other side of this mountain range and across a wide valley, you'll come to the town of Prescott, the former territorial capital of Arizona and the most western town in the state. Not only is there the huge old courthouse in the middle of a shady park, but along one side of the courthouse plaza stands Whiskey Row which once boasted 25 saloons and still has several saloons today. The Palace, completely restored a few years ago, is by far the most impressive of these saloons. Although today it is more restaurant than saloon, the Palace has a more genuine feel than just about any other saloon in the state. In fact, the owner often dresses up in full Wild West gear (complete with six guns), which adds an extra bit of character to the Palace.
Prescott is also home to a trio of interesting museums. The Sharlot Hall Museum is another assemblage of historic buildings, including the territorial governor's mansion (actually a log house). Displays here focus on pioneer days in Arizona. In contrast, the Smoki Museum, in a historic stone building, is filled with Native American artifacts. On the northern outskirts of town, you'll find the Phippen Museum, one of the nation's foremost museums of western (cowboy) art.
From Prescott, your route climbs up and over yet another mountain range to the town of Wickenburg, which at one time was the dude ranch capital of the U.S. Today there are still several dude ranches (now called guest ranches) in the area, and plenty of open range where city slickers can ride into colorful Arizona sunsets. Here in Wickenburg you'll also find the Desert Caballeros Museum, which not only has displays of western art but also has a reproduction of a street in a wild west town. Outside of town, you can delve into the region's mining history at the Vulture Mine (a combination old mine and ghost town) and Robson's Arizona Mining World, which houses an amazing collection of antique mining equipment. From Wickenburg it is about an hour's drive back to Phoenix.