Grand Canyon Attractions
The Grand Canyon and the Navajo- Hopi
Remember this: In Phoenix,
you're at 1100' elevation. In 1 hour, you're in the Central Highlands at
4,000. At the top of the Mogollon Rim (climbing out of Oak Creek Canyon) or at the
edge of the Grand Canyon, you're at 7,000 to 7,400'. You've climbed 6,000' in
Drink 1 bottle of water every
hour. Walk slowly. Rest often. Use sunscreen. Seek shade. Dress
in layers. Wear a hat. Take twice as much film as you think you'll use. Love the
views. They're spectacular!
|Travel Time from Phoenix
||Related links on this site
1. Phoenix is located in the
Sonoran Desert. Surrounded by mountains, the area receives less than 10 inches of
rain per year. Creosote bushes, ironwood, palo verde, mesquite, saquaro, barrel,
hedgehog, prickly pear cactus and brittle bush plants create an errie
The Salt River, also known as the
Rio Salado, and Verde River provide water to the area. Current population: 3
million. Projected population: 6 million by 2015. Elevation: 1100'.
Founded by Jack Swilling and Darrell
Duppa. You can visit both of their homes in Phoenix.
||Up into the highlands
2. At Black Canyon City, you begin to climb into
the Central Highlands. The Black Mountains and Bradshaw Range are on your left. Bloody Basin, which goes all the way to the Verde
River and Sheeps Bridge, are to your right. Either way, it's 4 wheel country.
Jagged granite rocks and bedrock pockmark the dirt roads. You can still see the old stagecoach road wind up the hill to your
left. This was a favorite place for robberies because of the difficult terrain and
the ease of ambushing.
The saguaros disappear because of the altitude.
Sunset Point is at the top of the mesa and marks
the beginning of 4,000' elevation. Wild burros, horses, and coyotes begin to
There are over 40 ghost towns and numerous
deserted mines in the Bradshaws. Rugged country. No
services are available. If you break down back there, you're
3. At the Grand Canyon, you'll see 17 major
visible layers of geologic history: in Sedona, you see 10 of these. This is a great
place to begin understanding what you'll see at the South Rim: limestone, mudstone and
sandstone layers are clearly visible. The iron leached from lava created these
gorgeous colors. Mesas, buttes and spires are clearly visible. Steamboat Rock,
Coffeepot, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and "Snoopy"are just some of the names
Drive Oak Creek Canyon and climb up the
switchbacks to the top of the Mogollon Rim. You're on Kaibab limestone, the final
layer formed during the Permian Extinction, 250 million years ago. That's the end of the
Paleozoic and beginning of the Mesozoic.
|02:00 hours. Flagstaff. Elevation: 7,000'.
The Ponderosa pine forest you're in is the largest forest
in the world. Mt. Humphreys is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633'. Sunset
Crater is the youngest extinct volcano, last erupting in 1065 AD.
To the east is Black Mesa and the Hopi
Reservation, the Painted Desert, The Petrified Forest, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous
plains dotted with dinosaur tracks which stretches for hundreds of miles.
|03:00 hours. Cameron, Desert View and the South Rim of the Grand
north out of Flagstaff, Sunset Crater and Wupatki are on your right. North of Wupatki,
you'll see the Painted Desert and both the Navajo Reservation and Black Mesa, home of the
Hopi on your right.
*If you have time, go 1 mile north of the Grand
Canyon turnoff to the Cameron Trading Post which sits on the Little Colorado River (now
dry because of the Glen Canyon Dam in Page). And if you have another hour or so,
drive the 16 miles north to the Hwy 160 and take the turnoff toward Tuba City. Drive about
4-5 miles: on the north side of the road are the dinosaur tracks. Really a
If you use the Desert View entrance to the
Grand Canyon, stop and walk up Mary Coulter's Watch Tower to the top. You'll be at
the same elevation are the North Rim. Take a good look at the murals, done by a
Hopi, and notice the fine Anasazi style rock work. Coulter studied numerous
Hopi/Anasazi sites before designing this and, in my estimation, is one of the finest she
produced. She became so fanatical about it, she took over much of the stone work.
In the middle of the tower, you'll see a layer of white, representing Kaibab
limestone, you're "marker" stone here.
I encourage you to stop as many times as possible
along the way. Walk the trails. Watch for the condors, deer, foxes and
Visit Tusayan Museum on the south side of the
road. It's the only publicly opened Anasazi ruin and well worth the short walk to
their gardens. You'll see the San Francisco Mountains to the south and Navajo
Mountain to the northeast.
|*If you take the road to Tuba City, north of Cameron, you'll go by Anasazi ruins
of Betatakin and Keet Seel. At Kayenta, turn north. You'll be in Monument Valley in
about 30-45 minutes. That's where I wrote the poem.
This place is a passion of mine.
Map of Arizona
Map of the reservations and Four Corners