Tag Archives: oak creek canyon

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10 Top Arizona Landmarks And Sights

Despite the typical images of a colorless and dry land that the word “desert” brings up in our minds, Arizona has a lot more to offer than varying shades of brown. Arizona landscapes and sights are unique and often breathtaking. They show the long, rich history of Arizona before buildings and people. Here are the 10 top Arizona landmarks and sights that are most eye-catching and jaw-dropping.

Meteor Crater, Winslow

10.

Meteor Crater

It is the world’s best preserved meteor crater, located near Winslow. It is nearly a mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and over 550 feet deep. The crater was formed approximately 50,000 years ago when a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour collided with the Earth.

Grand Canyon

9.

Grand Canyon

Tourists come from around the world to see the magnificent sights of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and proves that with its great size and history. The Grand Canyon spans 277 river miles and is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep.

Canyon de Chelly

8.

Canyon de Chelly

It is the longest continuously inhabited landscape in North America and provides unique sights to anyone who visits. Besides the visual appeal, this area holds a lot of spiritual and cultural significance. There is architecture, artifacts and rock imagery from the past peoples that will amaze anyone.

Flickr: BethinAZ

7.

Oak Creek Canyon

Located near Flagstaff, Oak Creek Canyon offers spectacular scenes with its colorful rocks and unique formations. It is smaller than the Grand Canyon with a length of 88 miles but is no less breathtaking.

Cathedral Rocks, Sedona

6.

Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks is located in Sedona, an area known for its unique and often awe-worthy sights. The best view of this sight is along the Red Rock Crossing, where visitors and residents like to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Sedona, and particularly the areas where hiking is most popular, is also known for what people refer to as vortexes that give off a soothing and healing energy.

Monument Valley

5.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley borders northern Arizona and southern Utah in the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. Its large sandstone buttes are the main attraction of this sight, and they are one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

North Coyote Butte

4.

The Wave

This amazing sight is located near the Arizona-Utah border in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. A permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to visit the Wave, but it is well worth it to see this unique Navajo Sandstone in person.

Papago Park

3.

Papago Park’s Hole-in-the-Rock

This unique sight is closer to home for many Phoenix area residents and far more accessible. Climbing up into one of the series of holes in this hill of red, arkosic conglomerate sandstone gives you a wonderful view of the park and surrounding area.

Corkscrew Canyon

2.

Corkscrew Canyon

This incredible sight is hidden away, just outside of Page, AZ. The only way to get to it is to take one of the tour shuttles that leaves from Page, but once you’re there you know the trip was worth it. You’re surrounded by winding sandstone as soon as you enter, and when the sunlight shines through just right, this sight is very breathtaking.

Flickr: Coconino National Forest

1.

Bell Rock Pathway

Along the Bell Rock Pathway — a hiking trail in Sedona — is an amazing view of the landscape which includes Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. At the right time of the year, you can see just how green Arizona can get and the remarkable contrast of the red soil, as shown above.

West Fork Trail

An Adventure on the West Fork Trail, Sedona

The rising sun illuminated the vibrant reds, greens and purples that paint the canyon. The crisp morning air carried the fresh aroma of Arizona Cypress. I, along with my companions, took our first step onto the West Fork Trail and began our adventure through Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona.

Start of the hike at West Fork Trail in Sedona. With me were my great friends Alyssa, Lance, Mike and Si’on. As full-time students at ASU, it is not often that we can indulge in our love of the outdoors and our desire to explore. We could not, however, surpass the opportunity to hike in the Coconino National Forest; and so, we embarked from Tempe on an early Saturday morning in September.

The two-hour drive up Interstate 17 passed quickly as we surveyed the morning desert transform into a red-rock mountain wilderness. A few miles up State Route 179 North stood Sedona’s awe-inspiring Bell Rock — a triumphant red-rock formation, home to twisted Juniper trees, and vivid green and yellow agave plants.

Numerous turns up the mountainous road of highway 89A disoriented the group. Considering the possibility that we had already passed the trail, we stopped at a convenience store for directions. When asked where the West Fork Trail was located, the clerk’s smile alluded to the commonality of the question. “It’s actually just a half-mile up the road,” he replied. Sure enough, in a half-mile we arrived at the trailhead lot. Parking cost $9 in the lot, which is guarded and maintained by park rangers. The lot was littered with walking sticks used by past travelers. We each selected our respective walking stick, grabbed our gear (lunches, water and a camera) and began our journey through the canyon.

A small bridge guided the group over the creek and onto the West Fork Trail. My curiosity was sparked at a peculiar site on the outskirts of the canyon. An old, brick structure lay in shambles next to a small cave carved into the red rock. The site was once home to the Mayhew Lodge, home to tourists and travelers in the early 1920s. As we sprinted toward the ruins, I was overcome with a sense of nostalgia. My childhood dreams of being an adventurer in the wild were being fulfilled.

As we journeyed further along the trail, the tranquil sounds of the creek grew nearer. We had reached our first, true creek crossing. A trail marker sat across the water, but this time there was not a bridge to leisurely stroll across. Being accustomed to such circumstances, due to his years spent backpacking, Lance guided the group across one by one, jumping from one stone to the next. Our first crossing was a success; our hike would consist of over 10 more.

West Fork Trail streamAt every chance possible, we climbed the massive, fallen rocks, which, for many years, have rained down the mountains to the bottom of the canyon. Each rock surmounted grew larger and increasingly difficult to climb until we finally met our match. “Let’s eat lunch up there,” Alyssa said as she pointed to the top of a 40-foot, rock cliff.

After contemplating the possibilities, Lance disappeared behind the cliff, determined to find a way up. Minutes later, he appeared atop the rock, triumphant, and again guided the group to the summit. I couldn’t help but smile as we enjoyed our cliff-top picnic.

Descending the rock was quite easy for everyone, except me. As I scaled down, I lost my footing and quickly grabbed onto a protruding branch. Knowing it wouldn’t hold for long I signaled Mike who stood on the ground below. The branch finally gave way, and I slid down; Mike braced for impact and broke my fall. We couldn’t help but laugh as we dramatically retold the story to the rest of the group of my treacherous five-foot fall.

Soon after, we arrived at what many would have considered the end of the trail. A pool of water filled the middle of the smooth canyon walls. Before I even had the chance to take off my shoes, Mike and Si’on ran straight into the creek bed; Alyssa, Lance and I followed. With the sun beating on our back, we waded through the cool, waste-deep water. I paused for a moment and gazed into the air; I sighed in contentment.

Surrounded by nature’s green giants and enclosed by the canyon’s massive red walls, I couldn’t help but feel at peace. Just for a day, I hadUpward gaze escaped the stresses of day-to-day life. For a day, I had escaped into the wild, carefree, with four of my greatest friends. It was now time to make the journey back.

After wading our way out of the creek, we grabbed our gear and returned to the trail. Passing by the familiar sights of the trail, we recalled the events of the day as if they were distant memories.

At last, we emerged from the canyon. We signed our names in the trail log, returned our walking sticks to the ground, and began the drive home. As we drove away, I turned and watched my walking stick disappear. I smiled at the thought of the next adventurer beginning his or her journey, choosing the same walking stick I had chosen.

For more information about the West Fork Trail go to sedonahikingtrails.com

 

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon: A Scenic, Smaller Canyon

Occasionally referred to as the “scenic, smaller cousin” of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff, is known for some of its geological details, including colorful rocks and unique natural formations.

Getting to Oak Creek Canyon isn’t hard, either; in fact, State Rt. 89A goes right into it. Before you go into the actual canyon, though, you might want to take a look at the Oak Creek Canyon Vista. From this place, you can get a nice bird’s-eye view of much of the canyon. Also, if you’re interested in Native American jewelry and crafts, and other items from the locals who set up displays around the area, you can pick up something at this vista.

While it’s definitely possible to explore the majority of the canyon just by driving down State Rt. 89A and taking in the sights, what fun is that? Most of the people who take the time to come to Oak Creek Canyon want to do more than just stay in their car the whole time; they want to go out and hike, or swim, or fish, or do any number of other things to make the most of their visit. If you’re one of these people, there are overlooks, picnic areas, hiking trails and swimming holes scattered throughout the canyon.

Oak Creek Canyon even offers its visitors something to see as they’re leaving. On the way away from the canyon, the keen-eyed observer might notice some of the various natural sculptures on the horizon. Among others, there’s Steam Boat Rock, Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.

So if you’re around Flagstaff and want a place to go where you can see a neat little piece of the Arizona landscape, go give Oak Creek Canyon a look. And try not to stay in your car the whole time.

For more information about Oak Creek Canyon, visit its page on U.S. Forest Service’s website.

centennial top10

10 Top Arizona Landmarks And Sights

10 Top Arizona Landmarks And Sights

Despite the typical images of a colorless and dry land that the word “desert” brings up in our minds, Arizona has a lot more to offer than varying shades of brown. Arizona landscapes and sights are unique and often breathtaking. They show the long, rich history of Arizona before buildings and people. Here are the 10 top Arizona landmarks and sights that are most eye-catching and jaw-dropping.

Meteor Crater, Winslow

10.

Meteor Crater

It is the world’s best preserved meteor crater, located near Winslow. It is nearly a mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and over 550 feet deep. The crater was formed approximately 50,000 years ago when a piece of an asteroid traveling at 26,000 miles per hour collided with the Earth.

Grand Canyon

9.

Grand Canyon

Tourists come from around the world to see the magnificent sights of the Grand Canyon. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and proves that with its great size and history. The Grand Canyon spans 277 river miles and is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep.

Canyon de Chelly

8.

Canyon de Chelly

It is the longest continuously inhabited landscape in North America and provides unique sights to anyone who visits. Besides the visual appeal, this area holds a lot of spiritual and cultural significance. There is architecture, artifacts and rock imagery from the past peoples that will amaze anyone.

Flickr: BethinAZ

7.

Oak Creek Canyon

Located near Flagstaff, Oak Creek Canyon offers spectacular scenes with its colorful rocks and unique formations. It is smaller than the Grand Canyon with a length of 88 miles but is no less breathtaking.

Cathedral Rocks, Sedona

6.

Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks is located in Sedona, an area known for its unique and often awe-worthy sights. The best view of this sight is along the Red Rock Crossing, where visitors and residents like to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Sedona, and particularly the areas where hiking is most popular, is also known for what people refer to as vortexes that give off a soothing and healing energy.

Monument Valley

5.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley borders northern Arizona and southern Utah in the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. Its large sandstone buttes are the main attraction of this sight, and they are one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

North Coyote Butte

4.

The Wave

This amazing sight is located near the Arizona-Utah border in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. A permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is required to visit the Wave, but it is well worth it to see this unique Navajo Sandstone in person.

Papago Park

3.

Papago Park’s Hole-in-the-Rock

This unique sight is closer to home for many Phoenix area residents and far more accessible. Climbing up into one of the series of holes in this hill of red, arkosic conglomerate sandstone gives you a wonderful view of the park and surrounding area.

Corkscrew Canyon

2.

Corkscrew Canyon

This incredible sight is hidden away, just outside of Page, AZ. The only way to get to it is to take one of the tour shuttles that leaves from Page, but once you’re there you know the trip was worth it. You’re surrounded by winding sandstone as soon as you enter, and when the sunlight shines through just right, this sight is very breathtaking.

Flickr: Coconino National Forest

1.

Bell Rock Pathway

Along the Bell Rock Pathway — a hiking trail in Sedona — is an amazing view of the landscape which includes Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. At the right time of the year, you can see just how green Arizona can get and the remarkable contrast of the red soil, as shown above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A doctor in New York City writes an article for the Youngstown Vindicator about how climate may affect health. Those diagnosed with illnesses such as tuberculosis, began migrating to Arizona in the 1900’s and it has since been known as the ideal climate for many illnesses and conditions.