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Grand Canyon Attractions

The Grand Canyon and the Navajo- Hopi Reservation Tour

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 elevation. 

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 Destination Elevation
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00:00 hours Starting point 1100'

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 landscape. 

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.

 

 

01:00 hour Up into the highlands 4,000'

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 appear. 

There are over 40 ghost towns and numerous deserted mines in the Bradshaws.  Rugged country. No services are availableIf you break down back there, you're in trouble.

 

 

1:30 hours Sedona 4,400

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 you'll hear.

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.

Flagstaff Arizona Volcanic Fields
Archaeology The Hashknife Outfit
Arizona Trail Mogollon Rim Trails

 

 

03:00 hours. Cameron,  Desert View and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Elevation:7,400'.

Going 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 spectacular site.

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 coyotes.

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.

Dinosaur Tracks The Painted Desert
Basket Dance at Old Oraibi The Fabulous Navajo Wind Talkers
South Rim South Rim Village
North Rim Grand Canyon
The Condor and the Goat  
*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.

Earth Song

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of Arizona.jpg (55174 bytes)

Map of Arizona

 

The rez.jpg (39886 bytes)

Map of the reservations and Four Corners 

 

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