E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
26 OF ARIZONA’S MOST FAMOUS THINGS …
FROM ANTELOPE CANYON TO ZANE GREY
ICONIC A Z
ONE OF THE
A ROAD TRIP TO
THE STATE’S BEST HORSE TRAILS. GIDDYUP!
2 EDITOR’S LETTER 3 CONTRIBUTORS4
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL People, places and things from around
the state, including one of the world’s oldest Eagle Scouts;
Cornville’s best restaurant, hands down; and a beautiful B&B in
Tucson that dates back to 1929.
44 SCENIC DRIVE Sonoita-Patagonia Drive: Straight out of
a Hollywood movie, literally, this winding road in Southern
Arizona is fringed with vineyards, champagne-colored
grasses and wildflowers galore.
46 HIKE OF THE MONTH Badger Springs Trail: Sightseeing and
solitude are the highlights of this hike in the Agua Fria National
Monument. The archaeology is an unexpected bonus.
48 WHERE IS THIS?
14 ICONIC ARIZONA
The next time you’re in Michigan, Massachusetts or
Mozambique, ask the first guy you see about Arizona, and
he’ll likely bring up the Grand Canyon or maybe Geronimo.
When it comes to icons in this state, the letter “G” is
loaded. This month, we feature some of Arizona’s most
iconic people, places and things. There’s one for each letter
of the alphabet. By Keridwen Cornelius & Kelly Kramer
28 WINTER WHITES
Water is a big deal in Arizona. That’s why Oak Creek’s
perennial stream is something special. It’s a respite in the
summer, a scenic wonder in the spring and fall, and a pho-tographer’s
favorite subject when the snow flies in winter.
In this month’s portfolio, our photographer showcases the
creek and the surrounding canyon in a way you’ve probably
never seen before. “Wow” is the first word that’ll come to
mind. By Ralph Lee Hopkins
38 MANE COURSES
Hiking, biking, hot-air ballooning … there are many ways to
explore Arizona’s backcountry. The best, however, might be
on the back of a quarter horse, palomino or even Old Paint.
Like the scenery itself, the trail riding in this neck of the
woods is second-to-none. By Kelly Kramer
Photographic Prints Available Prints of some photographs in this issue are available for purchase. To view options, visit arizonahighways prints.com. For more information, call 866-962-1191.
w From the Desert View overlook, the setting
sun highlights the “layer-cake” strata of the
Grand Canyon. photograph by george
FRONT COVER Striated sand dunes surround
Totem Pole and Yei Bichei rocks in Monument
Valley. photograph by jerry jacka
BACK COVER Fresh snow frosts the trees and
banks along the West Fork of Oak Creek.
photograph by ralph lee hopkins
Agua Fria National
Oak Creek Canyon
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m
TALK TO US: In this month’s issue we feature a roundup of some of the state’s best
horse trails (see Mane Courses, page 38). We’d like to do this story again sometime
down the road, and we’d like your input on what trails to include. Shoot us an e-mail
GET MORE ONLINE:
The NFL season officially comes to an end this month. You’re going to need some-thing
to do, and we’ve got options. For some great ideas, click “Weekend Getaways”
on our home page.
Get details on some of this month’s biggest events, including the International Film
Festival in Sedona, in our “Events Calendar.”
Check out some of our vintage covers by visiting “Online Extras.”
2 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
RALPH LEE HOPKINS
Ralph Lee Hopkins has explored Oak Creek Canyon ever
since his days as a graduate student at Northern Arizona
University. “The juxtaposition of towering walls of red
rock and vegetation along the canyon draws my eye as a
photographer,” he says. “And I love discovering new hid-den
places along the West Fork of Oak Creek.” As Hopkins
ventured out to shoot Winter Whites (page 28), he had only
one regret: “This particular storm dumped almost 2 feet of
snow in the canyon.
The heavy, wet snow
etched every branch;
ideal conditions for
photography, but dif-ficult
walking. I was
wishing for my snow-shoes
as I slogged
along the trail in West
Fork.” Hopkins’ work
has also appeared in
and National Geo-graphic
For a writer who’s always wanted to be a cowgirl, com-piling
a list of Arizona’s best horse trails (Mane Courses,
page 38) was a treat. “If I were to pick one of my favorites,
it would have to be the Escudilla National Recreation Trail
near Alpine,” says Kramer, who also co-authored this
month’s cover story, Iconic Arizona (page 14). “There’s
something magical about the view, which stretches from
the San Francisco Peaks to the Gila Wilderness.” Kramer
is a frequent contributor to Arizona Highways.
stevie Nicks didn’t make our list, but I think she should have. Not because her
first name is a variation of my last, and not because of how sexy she looked in
the heyday of Fleetwood Mac or on the cover of her Bella Donna album. She should
have made the list because she’s an Arizona icon. Period.
Other than Duane Eddy and Sam Moore, Stevie Nicks is the only Arizonan in the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s an elite membership. Couple that with the piles
of money she’s raised for the Arizona Heart Institute, and she ranks right up there.
What kept her out of this month’s cover story was the first letter of her last name —
since we limited ourselves to one icon for each letter of the alphabet, it was either
Stevie Nicks or Navajoland, and we couldn’t leave out the latter. It was one of many
tough calls we had to make while compiling our list. The letter “G” was another one.
Grand Canyon, Geronimo, Barry Goldwater … when it comes to the seventh letter
of the alphabet, Arizona is loaded, which is a good thing, unless you’re making a short
list. As you’ll see, we went with Goldwater. I can’t remember all of the arguments, but
somebody on the staff said something like: “The Grand Canyon is almost too obvious,
and we’ve done a thousand stories on Geronimo. Let’s give it to Goldwater.”
Of course, all three G’s are iconic in their own way. The same is true of the people,
places and things we’ve selected for the other 25 letters. It’s subjective, but we like
our list. If you’d like to plead your case for those icons that didn’t make the cut
(Havasu Falls, Muhammad Ali, the fountain in Fountain Hills …), we’ve cleared out
plenty of space in our e-mail inbox. But before you fire off a message about the merits
of Oak Creek Canyon, check out this month’s portfolio.
Over the years, we’ve featured this scenic wonder in hundreds of photographs.
That’s because Oak Creek Canyon, like so many places in Arizona, looks very dif-ferent
from one season to the next. In Winter Whites, you’ll get a glimpse of what it
looks like when the snow flies. Stunning, breathtaking, awe-inspiring … any of those
adjectives will work, but “wow” is the first word that’ll come to mind. What makes
this portfolio even more impressive is that our photographer, Ralph Lee Hopkins,
shot the entire thing in a single day, while trudging through 2 feet of snow. It was
hard work, and with hindsight, he could have used a horse. Literally.
Whether it’s Oak Creek or Cave Creek, Arizona is horse country, and every few
If you like what you see in this magazine every month, check out Arizona Highways Tele-vision,
an Emmy Award-winning program hosted by former news anchor Robin Sewell.
Now in its fifth season, the show does with audio and video what we do with ink and
paper — it showcases the people, places and things of the Grand Canyon State, from
the spectacular landscapes and colorful history to the fascinating culture and endless
adventure. And that’s just the beginning. “For me, the show is about more than just
the destinations,” Robin says. “It’s about the people behind the scenes. It’s their stories
that make the destinations so interesting.” Indeed, there’s a reason this show wins so many awards — it’s
second-to-none, and we’re proud to have our name on it. Take a look. For broadcast times, visit our Web
site, arizonahighways.com, and click the Arizona Highways Television link on our home page.
ROBERT STIEVE, editor
weeks we get a request for a rundown of the
state’s best horse trails. It took us awhile, but in
Mane Courses, we’ll tell you where to saddle up.
There are 12 trails in all, and they’re sorted by
seasons. So, if you want to take photos in the
snow or ride among the wildflowers in the spring,
we’ve got the details. We don’t have Stevie Nicks,
but we do have some great trails that’ll take you
into the heart of Arizona’s iconic landscape,
which, I’ll admit, is even more beautiful than the
woman on the cover of Bella Donna.
At last count, we had subscribers in all 50
states and 120 countries around the world. It’s
something we’re very proud of, which is why
we’ve launched the
page on our Web site.
Here’s how it works:
Send us a snapshot of
someone you know
posing with our
magazine, and we’ll
post it on our site. It’s
that simple. The shots
can be taken in front of an old church in Croatia
or an art gallery in Los Angeles. Anywhere. For
more information, visit arizonahighways.com
and click “Online Extras.”
Writer Roger Naylor headed West from Ohio because
of cowboy movies, simple as that. “I knew the gunfights
weren’t real, but the mountains certainly were,” he says.
“That rugged, big-sky scenery always stayed with me. So
when it came time to apply to college, I only looked west.”
After a stint at Northern Arizona University and a brief
return to the Midwest, Naylor moved to Cottonwood 13
years ago. Now, he’s a frequent visitor to the Manzanita
Restaurant, about which he writes in The Journal (page 7). “I was such a picky eater as
a child, my mother is appalled that anyone lets me write about food,” Naylor says. “For
much of my life I subsisted entirely on hamburgers, [but] my palate has broadened to the
point where I can actually discern flavors, not just condiments.” Naylor also writes for The
Arizona Republic and Sedona Magazine.
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F E B R UA R Y 2 0 0 9 V O L . 8 5 , N O. 2
Director of Photography
BARBARA GLYNN DENNEY
Deputy Art Director
SONDA ANDERSSON PAPPAN
VICTORI A J. SNOW
Director of Sales & Marketing
CINDY BORMANI S
Corporate or Trade Sales
Sponsorship Sales Representation
Letters to the Editor
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VICTOR M. MENDEZ
Arizona Transportation Board
ROBERT M. MONTOYA, FELIPE ANDRES
ZUBIA, WILLIAM J. FELDMEIER, BARBARA
ANN LUNDSTROM, V ICTOR M. FLORES
International Regional Magazine Association
2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
Western Publications Association
2006, 2004, 2002, 2001
BEST TRAVEL & IN-TRANSIT MAGAZINE
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4 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
letters people > dining > lodging > photography > history > nature > things to do > > > > THE JOURNAL 02.09
How pleasant it was reading
your article on growing chiles in
Southeastern Arizona [It’s Chile Down
There, October 2008]. I’ve been there,
so it had me inhaling deeply, recall-ing
that wonderful chile smell in
the air. The article brought to mind
many passages about red chiles in
On the Border With Crook by Captain
John G. Bourke. About a meal at
Pete Kitchen’s, Bourke wrote, “...the
Mexican women kneaded the dough
and patted into shape the paper-like
tortillas with which to eat the juicy
frijoles or dip up the tempting chile
colorado.” We’re all still doing that,
and we in Arizona are rich for having
Ed Curry and his chile fields.
CAROLINA C. BUTLER, SCOTTSDALE
ON THE RECORD
Over the years, there have been any
number of books and articles about
Arizona’s Territorial newspapers
and journalists. The Local Papers [June
2008] focuses upon my grandfather,
George Smalley, and mentions sev-eral
others while excluding many
colorful individuals, escapades and
efforts that contributed to the rich
field of pioneer journalism in this
state. George Smalley was, indeed, a
major figure for the six-year period
after he arrived in Arizona, but it
was he, along with many others, who
set the bar high enough to produce
some wonderful journalists. His
newspaper career, by the way, did not
end in 1902, but extended into the
1950s, when he returned to the Tucson
(Daily) Citizen to write a weekly col-umn,
even as I, his eldest grandchild,
was working there.
DIANNE M. BRET HARTE, TUCSON
I (along with my writing partner,
Larry McMurtry) was interviewed
regarding my thoughts about
Arizona for the December 2008 issue
of your magazine. When we received
our copy, both Larry and I were
startled by a serious misquote within
the text of my interview. Larry did
drive my father to Canyon de Chelly
and beyond; but it was not the Navajo
who so moved my Italian immigrant
father: It was the Hopi.
DIANA OSSANA, TUCSON
I love the front-cover photo for the
September 2008 issue. It has an
almost indescribable magic about it.
Although saguaro photos are almost
cliché, it’s still possible to render
this Arizona icon in a fresh way, as
Joel Grimes did. I was privileged to
take a black and white photography
course in the 1970s, taught by Willis
Peterson, a longtime contributor to
Arizona Highways. He taught me to
truly appreciate the art that goes into
great black and white photography.
I’ve been receiving Arizona Highways
as a gift for years because I was born
in Tucson and grew up in Phoenix.
While reading it, I savor the memo-ries
of my life there.
MICHAEL CAST, EDGEWOOD, MARYLAND
I’m sick and tired of your ongoing
squabble about the merits of digital
vs. film and big box vs. 35 mm pic-tures
[Digital vs. Film, September
2008]. Don’t you realize that it’s the
“result” that interests your readers,
not the type of camera that was used?
I’ve taken my share of pictures using
a Brownie Box Camera, a Kodak bel-lows
camera, 35 mm then 35 mm
SLR, Polaroid and now a digital cam-era.
I’ve seen exceptional pictures
taken with all of them. So, please
stop wasting all your energy, time
and magazine space arguing about
which is the best method of taking a
picture and look at the results. There
are just as many “tricks or enhance-ments”
used in the darkroom as there
are using digital. They’re just of a dif-ferent
type, and it matters not to me
that they are used. Unless the use is
to defraud the viewer, as opposed to
just enhancing a picture, I see no
harm. Please show us more pictures
and less argument about how they
MAX A. HATCH, CHINO VALLEY
Wow! Ruth Rudner’s article in the
August 2008 issue [Third Climb’s A
Charm] is my first conscious expe-rience
of her writing, and I was
charmed. Her relationship of experi-ence
to words is poetic.
SAM CLARK, HAIKU, HAWAII
If you have
we’d love to hear
from you. We can
be reached at
by mail at 2039
W. Lewis Avenue,
85009. For more
Unlike downhill skiing, cross-country skiing — a.k.a.
XC skiing — is easy to learn. If you can walk, you
can hit the trail. In Northern Arizona, a great place
to start is the Flagstaff Nordic Center. Information:
928-220-0550 or flagstaffnordiccenter.com.
6 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
Considering Sedona residents can barely step outside without stumbling over a scenic
wonder, it’s no surprise they don’t like to leave town. Especially for something as basic
as a meal. Yet nearly every night of the week, the Manzanita Restaurant in the hin-terlands
of Cornville is teeming with Sedonans. Joining the red rockers are folks from Flagstaff,
Prescott, even Phoenix.
Whether it’s the pecan-crusted pork chops, slow-baked sauerbraten or chicken breast
stuffed with crab, artichoke and spinach, Manzanita serves up meals worth some travel time.
“We’re a frumpy little stucco building with a Spanish name serving German food and we’re
off the beaten track,” says owner Randy Hale. “It’s a wonder we get any business at all.”
Hale is being modest. Since the early ’90s, Manzanita has been regarded by serious foodies
as one of those far-flung gems, a culinary outpost featuring a hearty continental menu. Crisp
Wiener schnitzel, as golden as a winter sunrise. Steaks so tender you wonder how they ever
kept a cow upright. Soups so rich, they should pay for the meal. Hale
strived to maintain that sterling reputation after buying the restaurant
from Swiss chef Albert Kramer in December 2006.
“There are lots of reasons to buy a restaurant, most of them bad,”
Hale says. “But when the opportunity comes along to buy a wildly
successful restaurant because the owner wants to retire, that’s when
I got interested.”
Spanish name? German food? It’s confusing, for sure,
but serious foodies are flocking to Manzanita for pork chops,
sauerbraten and a plate of schnitzel.
By ROGER NAYLOR
HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE SAYS Thomas Shelton Boggess
Jr., but close friends and family call him T.S., Granddad
or T2. He’s not the Terminator by any means — from
his strong Southern accent to his tiny frame, the two
men might as well be opposites. T2 is,
however, a living piece of history.
Boggess is one of the nation’s oldest
living Eagle Scouts, having achieved the honor at the
age of 14 in 1926. But that’s just one piece of the Boggess
family’s scouting legacy. Even more impressive is the
fact that his son, grandson and great-grandson have
all followed in Granddad’s footsteps. Every Thomas
Shelton Boggess, from Jr. (T2) to V (T5), is officially an
President Bush recognized this achievement about
a year ago during a short trip to Arizona, when he
arranged to meet all four generations of the Boggesses
on the tarmac at Sky Harbor International Airport.
“I reckon the biggest thrill, other than meeting
Bush, was when they took us on Air Force One. Of
course, I was in this wheelchair and I thought they’d
just take a lift and lift me up,” Boggess Jr. says, laugh-ing.
“They had four Marines that picked me up and car-ried
me up there, just like I was a baby.”
The experience was more memorable for T.S. than
when he met another president more than 70 years ear-lier,
in 1931. Herbert Hoover greeted T.S. and the rest
of his Eagle Scouts troop before posing for a picture,
which was about all the time he spent with the boys.
And although he says President Bush was more cordial,
Boggess still counts meeting Hoover — with his ciga-rette-
smoking Secret Service men hiding in the bushes
on the White House lawn — among his most precious
Eagle Scout memories.
“Scouting has always been my first love,” Boggess
says. “I think you can take a boy and make a man out
Boggess’ other love also runs in the family. Follow-ing
the tradition of his farming forefathers, T.S. grew
up working their land in the small town of Macon,
Mississippi, and obtained a degree in chemistry and a
master’s degree in biochemistry, which he put to work
as a government scientist and professor.
Recently, Boggess took a trip out to his family’s his-toric
167-year-old farm, which is still in use and main-tained
by his son, Tom Boggess III. He can’t walk the
perimeter anymore, but for years to come, one Thomas
Shelton Boggess or another will likely pour his blood
and sweat into that same Southern soil — if for noth-ing
more than the tradition.
More than 80 years ago, Thomas
Shelton Boggess Jr. became an Eagle
Scout. Now, at age 96, he’s an elder
statesman and the leader of a legacy.
By LAUREN PROPER
Chefs Sam Leffel and Chris Bruneau,
Kramer’s former sous chefs, now run the
kitchen, where meats are still hand-cut, herbs
and veggies are plucked from their own gar-den,
and seafood is flown in fresh. Hale con-tinues
the labor-intensive slow-food practices
that put Manzanita on the map, while still
expanding the menu.
Take those pork chops. For
years, Manzanita served a grilled
chop, tasty but traditional. Hale added one
as a special, sautéed in a bourbon reduction
sauce and topped with a pecan mix giving it a
sweet, nutty crust. It became such an instant
hit, it bumped the original from the menu.
More work to make, but like every other dish
served, it haunts your taste buds.
In addition, Manzanita recently began
offering lunch Wednesdays through Sundays,
and a wine and hors d’oeuvres happy hour on
weeknights — wines from neighboring vine-yards
“This is something we wanted to do for the
locals,” Hale says. Of course, when it comes
to Manzanita, everybody in Arizona with a car
qualifies as a local.
Manzanita Restaurant is
located at 11425 E. Corn-ville
Road in Cornville.
For more information call
928-634-8851 or visit
THE JOURNAL > people THEJOURNAL > dining
COR N V I L L E
and toy guru
Say you were trying
to convince one of
your characters to
relocate to Arizona.
Where would you
I’d take them up in
a small plane, about
10,000 feet, and
show them that Ari-zona
is very diverse in
terms of what you can
see and experience.
You’re going on a
road trip to Sedona:
convertible or a
I’d drive the vintage
to Sedona via Oak
Creek Canyon, but
once in Sedona, the
cape goes on!
Favorite place to visit
I enjoy the Sedona
area if traveling by
car, but I also enjoy
the hike to the top of
South Mountain [in
I do regularly.
If you were to craft
a toy in the image of
any Arizona figure,
who would you
Hmmm … probably
She brings grace and
calm to her leader-ship
in these troubled
times, which is a nice
commodity to have.
What’s your favorite
place to grab a bite to
eat in Arizona?
At home, of course!
I have the best cook:
my wife, Wanda.
— Dave Pratt is the host of the
“Dave Pratt in the Morning” show
on KMLE 107.9 FM in Phoenix.
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
MOREY K. MILBRADT
8 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 9
HACIENDA DEL SOL OFFERS pure, old school accommodations. Really.
Tucked into the south-facing toes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this easily overlooked
resort (at least geographically speaking) was built in 1929 and opened in 1930 as an all-girls
school. To the few people who actually saw it, this Spanish Colonial-style ranch, spread out on
34 acres of the Sonoran Desert, may well have been mistaken for a mud hut in
the middle of nowhere. In truth, it was one of the most elite college preparatory
schools this side of the Mississippi — intended primarily for young women who’d
spent the majority of their lives on the other side of it.
Advertised nationally in Vogue magazine, the educational complex/debutante dude ranch
accommodated up to 28 girls at a time, many of whom made the school’s attendance rosters
look like a coming-of-age “Who’s Who?” with names including Campbell (as in soup), Maxwell
(as in House) and Pillsbury (as in lots of dough).
By 1948, the role of Hacienda del Sol had changed from school to guest ranch, but the privi-leged
caliber of guests that flocked there never tarnished. Not only was
it frequented by the likes of John Wayne and Clark Gable, it became
a favorite of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, whose preferred
casita was ultimately named for them and is still enjoyed today.
In fact, Hacienda del Sol recently received official recognition as
a Historic Hotel of America. While its horse stables make it a guest
Old School Accommodations
What began in 1930 as an elite college prep is now one
of the most luxurious places in Tucson to pull an all-nighter.
By JOBETH JAMISON
ranch and help maintain its Old West air, the
resort’s predominant feel is upscale and fresh.
The once-rustic dorms are now colorful, bou-tique
guest quarters. The outer-lying luxury
casitas have become ideal accommodations
for intimate getaways, as well as group gath-erings.
The impeccably landscaped gardens
and grounds, which are personally overseen
and maintained by one of the owners, are as
breathtaking as the surrounding desert and
Recent additions of a spa and fine-wine
shop have ushered the resort into a new age,
but well-placed vintage furnishings, photo-graphs
and memorabilia from Hacienda del
Sol’s academic beginnings keep it steeped in
historic charm. Combine all of that with the
ambience and cuisine of the resort’s acclaimed
on-site restaurant, The Grill (home to one of
Arizona’s best Sunday brunches), and it’s pos-sible
to conjure a memory that your senses
will beg you to recall again and again.
Whether you just happen upon it, or you’re
actively seeking unique, luxury lodging and din-ing,
Hacienda del Sol is worth studying up on.
Hacienda del Sol is locat-ed
at 5601 N. Hacienda
del Sol Road in Tucson.
For more information, call
800-728-6514 or visit
Driving back roads
with your camera gear
on the seat next to you
can be a productive
strategy for wildlife
in the early
hours. But your
approach must be
slow and easy — driv-ing
about 10 mph. An-other
way to get close
to wildlife subjects is
to seek out watering
holes and natural food
sources that birds and
mammals visit, such
as fruit-bearing plants
and trees. Research
is important, too, and
the Internet is a great
place to start planning
your trip. You’ll learn
the dietary, migration
and nesting habits of
your subjects, sunrise
and sunset times,
and more. Regional
nature guidebooks are
useful, as well — it’s
important to know
what you’ve photo-graphed,
will ask. With enough
knowledge and dedi-cation,
you’ll be able to
call yourself a wildlife
editor’s note: Look
for Arizona Highways
Photography Guide, avail-able
at bookstores and
Although it’s inorganic, the manmade burrow in the backyard
of one wildlife photographer is attracting rabbits like … well, rabbits.
And, it’s making the photographer’s work that much easier.
By PETER ENSENBERGER, director of photography
Over the years, I’ve written a few photography
columns about creating a backyard habitat
that’s enticing to birds, insects and animals.
It’s an easy and timesaving way to practice wildlife
photography, because, instead of going into the wild,
the wildlife comes to you. It’s a simple concept, one
that Arizona Highways photographer Tom Bean has
taken to a whole new level.
Tom and his wife, author Susan Lamb Bean, built a
unique and ingenious “rabbitat” out of simple mate-rials.
They first buried a small utility junction box
beneath a mound of soil and limestone rocks, and then
let nature take over as local meadow grasses and wild-flowers
filled in around the manmade burrow. The
triple-ported underground chamber provides wild rab-bits
protection from predators and
freezing temperatures. In no time at
all, cottontails had taken up winter
residence in the Beans’ rabbitat.
Providing refuge for rabbits added
another element to their wildlife-viewing
opportunities. The Beans’
home, just outside of Flagstaff, takes
full advantage of its overlook onto
an open meadow, where a variety of
high-country animals pass through.
In addition, Aberts squirrels provide
endless entertainment and photo
ops as they frolic in the nearby pon-derosa
pines. It’s an ideal setting
for a nature photographer like Tom,
because he can get excellent wildlife
images from the comfort of his liv-ing
room during Northern Arizona’s
cold, snowy winters. Of course, Tom
situated the rabbitat in a way that
ensures clear camera views of the
rabbits’ activity from the windows,
patio and roof of his two-story home.
“I began throwing carrots into the
burrow entrance,” Tom says. “In fact,
I started to ring a little bell each
time I went out with a carrot. In a
surprisingly short time, the desired
Pavlovian response occurred, and
rabbits began to come out and await
The rabbits reached a comfort
level with Tom and his camera, even allowing him a
certain amount of control over where he photographed
the long-eared critters.
“I began tying a string to the carrot to keep them
from picking it up and hopping off with it,” he says. “I
wanted them to hang around where the light was good
so I could take photos. Sometimes we got into a tug of
war over control of the carrot.”
If you’re a frequent reader of this magazine, you’ve
seen many of Tom’s backyard wildlife photographs. He
reaps the photographic benefits of his home’s location,
and he’s always ready when wildlife comes within range
of his telephoto lens. His subjects around the rabbitat
now include other species, as well, because, wherever
rabbits go, coyotes and foxes are sure to follow.
THE JOURNAL > lodging THEJOURNAL > photography
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips and other informa-tion,
ways.com and click on
T U C S O N
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM BEAN
10 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
IF YOU WERE A “working woman” in Territorial Arizona, it usu-ally
meant one of a few things: You were a teacher, ran a boarding
house, took in laundry, worked as a housekeeper … or you hung
out at the local saloon entertaining men — primarily
miners, cowboys and professional gamblers.
In saloons across the territory, good-time gals
— called “soiled doves,” “shady ladies” or “hurdy-gurdy girls” —
managed a certain level of esteem, at least by men. Gamblers and
imbibers greeted them with open arms and open wallets, mainly
because they contributed to the local economy and provided ser-vices
that some believed kept the lid on the powder kegs known as
mining camps. And, while some ladies of the evening belonged to
the lowest levels of society, others bestowed
a feminine touch on an otherwise rugged
and dreary existence. They came to Arizona
from places like Dodge City, Santa Fe and
They weren’t put on pedestals, but the ladies of
the evening played a major role in settling the
West, especially in places like Tombstone.
By SALLY BENFORD
San Francisco, and many brought pianos,
fancy furnishings, the latest fashions and
the finest wines with them.
From Tombstone to Prescott, saloons
with second-floor rooms were the places
these women called home. In 1882, Tomb-stone
boasted 110 saloons, most with
some form of entertainment. Many shady
ladies worked as singers or dancers to
earn extra money. At the Bird Cage The-atre,
there was one woman in particular
who often took to the stage, floating
above the crowd, suspended from wires.
She called herself “Lizette, the Flying
Nymph.” There were others with color-ful
nicknames, too: “Blond Marie,” “Irish
Mag,” “Crazy Horse Lil,” “China Mary”
and “Madame Mustache.” Some, like “Big
Nose Kate,” became famous for the com-pany
Kate was Doc Holliday’s common-law
wife, and she ran a hotel in Globe that
most likely dished up more than break-fast,
lunch and dinner to local miners.
Kate became a successful female entre-preneur
in a man’s world, but for most,
life was hard and prostitution was the
only way to survive in the rugged West.
When mines shut down, the hurdy-gurdy
girls packed up and moved on to
a new boomtown. And as mining camps
became more stable, the women were forced into “tenderloin” or
“red-light” districts, and eventually, they were driven out as laws
against prostitution became enacted. Nonetheless, Arizona’s soiled
doves have a place in the state’s history, and, as some suggest, they
may have even helped tame the Wild West.
Aries, the Greek god of war, rules
over the sign of the ram in the
Western horoscope. However, not
all rams are hotheaded. In fact, because of a
vast network of blood vessels in the underbel-lies
and horns of bighorn sheep, these shy
creatures are able to dispel heat and keep cool,
making them perfectly suited to withstand
the blazing temperatures of the mountain-tops
on which they live. What’s more, desert
bighorn sheep can go several months without
so much as a sip of water, and they’re able
to lose up to 30 percent of their liquid body
weight, something even a camel cannot do.
Those adaptations come in handy in the
rugged mountain ranges of the Southwest.
When watering holes
dry up, bighorns
from pincushion and
Normally, their diet consists of a smattering of
leaves, twigs, flowers and grasses, including
jojoba, paloverde and fluff grass.
Although bighorns rarely fight over food,
the rams will exhibit the fiery nature of their
namesake when battling over ewes, or female
sheep. Starting from about 20 feet apart,
challengers charge at each other with low-ered
horns. These curly, rust-tinted hunks of
keratin, a substance akin to human fingernails,
can grow as long as 40 inches and weigh
more than 30 pounds. The resulting crashes
resound amid the steep mountain canyons
until one of the rams admits defeat — spar-ring
sometimes lasts up to a half-hour.
Desert bighorns are perfectly suited to
desert life, but an increase in mountain lions,
a prolonged drought, and development are
making it difficult. At one point, an estimated
30,000 desert bighorn sheep inhabited the
state. By the 1940s, the population dropped
to 750, mainly due to mining and cattle
ranching. Today, approximately 5,000 big-horns
roam Arizona’s craggy mountaintops.
The largest group lives in the Black Mountains
north of Kingman. Other significant popula-tions
wander the Cabeza Prieta and Kofa
national wildlife refuges.
The Kofa refuge’s bighorn population
reached a historic low of 390 in 2006,
according to studies conducted by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona
Game and Fish Department, which work
together to manage the sheep.
“The big factor that’s playing a role is moun-tain
lion predation,” says Brian Wakeling, the
big-game supervisor for Game and Fish.
While concerns remain, hope is on the hori-zon
— a November 2007 survey showed a
slight jump to 460 sheep at Kofa. Accurate
counts are difficult, but the recent increase is
indicative of a stable bighorn population,
that it’s moving
upward,” he says.
“It’s a very good sign.”
Counting Sheep Although their numbers have dropped
significantly over the years, recent studies suggest that desert bighorn
sheep are making a comeback. By LEAH DURAN
THEJOURNAL > nature
For more information
on Tombstone, call
800-457-3423 or visit
In February 1959, we featured some of the
state’s best fishing holes. From the streams
and rivers of the White Mountains to Oak
Creek and the reservoir lakes along the Colo-rado
River, the stories and photographs offered
information about where to catch rainbows,
catfish and other cold-blooded dinner entrees.
50 years ago
I N A R I Z O N A H I G H W A Y S
When it comes to
roosts, those of
spotted bats just
might be the most
fliers — also
known as jackass
bats — make their
homes on the
cliffs of the Grand
Canyon, as well
as in coniferous
and crooks of
When it comes
to dinner, they’re
the heads and
wings of moths in
order to eat only
THEJOURNAL > history
Game and Fish Depart-ment,
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
■ In February 1908,
Arizona saloon own-ers
raised the price
of a mug of beer to
10 cents to offset a
law mandating that
saloons close each
day at midnight and
all day on Sundays.
■ On February 18,
1930, at Lowell Ob-
servatory in Flag-staff,
his discovery of a
new planet. The new
planet was named
■ In the early
morning of Feb-ruary
the Walnut Grove
sending a rushing
wall of water down
believed that more
than 100 people
ARIZONA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
12 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
THEJOURNAL > things to do
F E BRUA RY 1 4 F LOR ENCE
Tour some of Florence’s historic homes and public buildings while
learning about the town’s architecture and history. An antiques and
collectibles show, as well as living-history demonstrations, take place
at nearby McFarland State Park. Information: florencemainstreet.com or
A Chocolate Affaire
F E BRUA RY 6 - 8 GL ENDA L E
Chocoholics will want to be in Glendale
this month for its annual chocolate festival.
More than 40 vendors offer everything
from chocolate Belgian waffles to chocolate-banana
egg rolls. The event also includes
tours of the Cerreta Candy factory, live
entertainment and writing workshops. Infor-mation:
877-800-2601 or visitglendale.com.
Sample some of Southern Arizona’s photographic opportunities
during Arizona Highways Photo Workshops that travel to Tucson,
Tombstone and beyond. Learn how to shoot great portraits of period
personalities as well as scenic landscapes filled with wooded canyons,
desert cactuses and a variety of wildlife. Information: 888-790-7042 or
F E BRUA RY 2 5 -MA RCH 1
S E DONA
Sample the work of indepen-dent
filmmakers this month in
one of Arizona’s most beautiful
settings. More than 130 new
films will be screened, as
well as some Hollywood
classics. An opening-night
reception, workshops and
dessert parties are also
included. Information: 928-
282-1177 or sedonafilmfestival.com.
F E BRUA RY 1 -2 8 T UCSON
Tucson Botanical Gardens showcases hundreds of the world’s most exotic butterflies during
Butterfly Magic at the Gardens. Watch butterflies from Asia, Africa and Australia as well as
tropical America flutter around the garden’s Tropical greenhouse. Information: 520-326-9686
Used Book Sale
F E BRUA RY 1 4 - 1 5 PHOEN I X
Looking for a good book? The 53rd Annual
VNSA Used Book Sale at the Arizona State
Fairgrounds features more than 600,000
books in every genre imaginable, as well
as DVDs, CDs, computer games, record
albums, maps and more. Proceeds benefit
local charities. Information: vnsabooksale.org.
DAVID H. SMITH
Covering more than a century of photographic
history, the exhibition features 60 photographs by
well-known photographers including:
Burton Barr Central Library
1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, Arizona
“Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography” was created by the Grand Canyon Association
and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
The exhibit is sponsored locally by the Phoenix Public Library Foundation with media support from Arizona Highways magazine.
PHOENI X PUBLIC L IBR ARY HOSTS
125 Years of Grand Canyon
JANUARY 10 – MARCH 2 9, 2 0 0 9
PHOTO COURTESY JACK DYKINGA
PHOTO COURTESY DUGALD BREMNER PHOTO COURTESY S&A PARTNERS
14 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
B Y K E R I D W E N C O R N E L I U S & K E L L Y K R A M E R
The next time you’re in Michigan, Massachusetts or Mozambique, ask the first guy
you see about Arizona, and he’ll likely bring up the Grand Canyon or maybe Geron-imo.
When it comes to icons in this state, the letter “G” is loaded. For the other 25,
the names aren’t as obvious — thank goodness for Quartzsite. What follows are
some of Arizona’s most iconic people, places and things. There’s one for each letter
of the alphabet, with a few honorable mentions mixed in. Ari zona
A crescent moon shines over
Monument Valley’s snow-dusted
mesas near Totem Pole and Yei Bichei
rocks. photograph by jack dykinga
16 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 17
If novelist Larry
McMurtry calls you
the “Thoreau of the
chances are you’ve done some-thing
big, and Edward Abbey did
plenty. As author of The Monkey
Wrench Gang and Desert Solitaire:
A Season in the Wilderness, Abbey
was a staunch advocate for the
preservation of the West’s most
beautiful places, from another
Arizona “A,” Antelope Canyon,
to Zion National Park in Utah.
And although some deemed his
ideas inflammatory, his essays on
conservationism still resonate.
“Cactus Ed,” as he was known
to his contemporaries, died at
his home in Oracle, but rumor
has it his friends and family
buried him somewhere in the
empty desert of Cabeza Pri-eta
National Wildlife Refuge
beneath a stone that reads:
“Edward Paul Abbey, 1927-1989.
As far as dentists go, Dr. John Henry Holliday was probably the most
recognized in American history, but not because of the way he nimbly handled an extractor. You see, Doc Holliday
was, at one time, the West’s most notorious gambler and, as he was known to Wyatt Earp, “the deadliest man
with a six-gun.” After being diagnosed with tuberculosis in the mid-1870s, Holliday headed west from Georgia,
and after run-ins with the law in Texas, Nevada and Colorado, made his way to Tombstone in 1880 with his on-again-
off-again love, Mary Katharine Harony, known as “Big Nose Kate.” There, Holliday continued to get into
trouble, which culminated in the famed gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Holliday escaped to Colorado, but his freedom
didn’t last long. His tuberculosis finally caught up with him, and he died — after drinking a glass of whiskey — on
November 8, 1887. Information: 800-457-3423 or tombstonechamber.com.
People have come from far and wide to stay
at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, but perhaps none is more
famous than Marilyn Monroe, who called the hotel’s pool her favorite,
or Irving Berlin, who penned White Christmas poolside. But whether you’re
a miner from Bisbee or a grocery store magnate like Eddie Basha, you’ll have to
appreciate the sheer beauty of the Biltmore, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this
month. When it opened in 1929, it was crowned the “Jewel of the Desert,” and that’s a
handle that suits it well. Its architecture, influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, is built
with pre-cast concrete textile blocks that feature the Biltmore’s palm tree insignia.
The 739-room resort is an homage to both Wright and the Arizona desert. Information:
800-950-0086 or arizonabiltmore.com.
01 EDWARD AB B E Y
02 THE B I LTMOR E R E SORT
03 THE F IVE C ’ s
04 DOC HO L L IDAY
For some diehard fans, Cactus League baseball is the
stuff that dreams are made of, but things were different back in the
days of Cochise and his mates, not long before cotton, copper, citrus,
cattle and climate reigned supreme. The five C’s appear on the state
seal as a testament to the industries that built Arizona’s economy, and
today, the C’s continue to have a significant impact on the state’s cof-fers.
At one point, Arizona was the nation’s largest producer of cotton;
the state’s mines account for two-thirds of the nation’s copper output;
and, clearly, the varied climate draws plenty of visitors to each of the
state’s five regions during all four seasons.
DON B. STEVENSON
ARIZONA BILTMORE RESORT
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
18 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 19
Major John Wesley Powell had big
dreams — not the least of which was exploring the great Colo-rado
River and the even greater Grand Canyon. So one morn-ing
in May 1869, the Civil War veteran and a team of nine men
headed down the Green River from Wyoming, hoping to make
it to the Colorado. Three months later, Powell and a few remain-ing
men made it and proved Powell’s theory: The Colorado
River predates the Canyon, and helped cut it as plateaus rose.
Theirs was the first recorded passage through the Grand Can-yon.
Today, another waterway is named for the explorer, Glen
Canyon National Recreation Area’s Lake Powell. Information:
928-645-9426 or powellmuseum.org.
Just as Irish history is to
Boston, Indian culture is to Arizona.
From the ceremonial dances of the Hopi
and Navajo people to the historic sites
left behind by Apache warriors, much
of Arizona’s modern existence is rooted
in Native foundations. That’s important,
particularly given that around 250,000
Native Americans from 21 tribes live in
the state. Phoenix’s Heard Museum cel-ebrates
a number of these tribes, and fea-tures
nearly 40,000 pieces of cultural art,
including Hopi kachina dolls, Navajo rugs
and countless paintings, sculptures, bas-kets
and jewelry. Information: 602-252-8848
Dwight “Red” Harkins loved
Harley-Davidson motorcycles. So much so that he
hopped on one in Cincinnati in 1931 and headed for
Hollywood. He didn’t make it, though. Instead, he
landed in Tempe, not far from the Heard Museum
and the home office of Holsum Bread. Two years
later, at the age of 18, he opened his first movie
house, the State Theatre, and in 1940, he opened
the College Theatre, which is now Harkins Valley
Art on Mill Avenue. Since then, countless Harkins
theaters have sprouted up around Arizona and
several surrounding states. Although Red (pic-tured)
passed away in 1974, his son, Dan, contin-ues
to run the family business, which is the largest
family-owned theater chain in the country. Infor-mation:
480-627-7777 or harkinstheatres.com.
The Grand Canyon and Geronimo are obvious
when it comes to golden G’s in Arizona history. But if the state ever had a
golden boy, five-term U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater might have been him.
“Mr. Conservative” was the man the GOP turned to during the Watergate
scandal to tell President Richard Nixon that the party would push for his
impeachment and conviction. Goldwater was also a champion of conser-vatism
and the author of several books on the subject. Today, many politi-cal
historians believe that Goldwater’s unsuccessful run for president in
1964 sparked the beginning of a revolution in the Republican Party.
07 BAR RY G OLDWAT E R
08 HAR K INS TH EAT R E S
09 INDIAN CULTUR E
10 JOHN W E S L E Y P OWE L L
Football and Arizona go together
like Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin West.
The Fiesta Bowl, which moved in 2007
from Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium to
Glendale’s University of Phoenix
Stadium, became part of the Bowl
Championship Series in 1998. That
means fans from as far and wide as Fort
Bowie and Fort Wayne, Indiana, descend on the
state each January to watch top teams in college
football vie for the title of Fiesta Bowl Champion.
And a number of iconic players have emerged from
the Tostitos-sponsored game, including former ASU
wide receiver John Jefferson. After his MVP appear-ance
in the 1975 Fiesta Bowl, he went on to amass
1,001 yards in his rookie season with the San Diego
Chargers. How’s that for a fiesta? Information:
480-350-0900 or fiestabowl.org.
05 E L T OVAR HO T E L
06 F I E S TA B OWL
Had Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday ever visited
El Tovar, they might have changed their Wild West tunes and embraced
more contemplative existences instead. Since it opened in 1905, the
historic hotel has drawn intellectuals like Zane Grey, Albert Einstein and
Teddy Roosevelt. And for good reason: The hotel sits along the South
Rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most inspirational places.
Rumor has it that the lodge’s main dining room was designed specifi-cally
for Roosevelt, who, according to PBS, had a habit of arriving for
meals dressed in an “inappropriate uniform of muddy boots and dusty
riding clothes.” Today, the dining room and the lodge’s guestrooms
maintain their historical ambience, drawing thousands of visitors each
year. Information: grandcanyonlodges.com/el-tovar.
DON B. STEVENSON
COURTESY HARKINS THEATRES
ARIZONA HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
20 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
12 LONDON B R IDGE
bridge isn’t what it used to be.
That’s because the 1831 original
wasn’t structurally sound and
couldn’t, by 1962, support the
weight of London’s increasing
traffic. The city, hoping to finance a
new bridge, decided to sell it, and
found a buyer in the late Robert
McCulloch. McCulloch had a fair
amount of money — so much, in
fact, that you might have thought
he’d found the Lost Dutchman’s
treasure. But he hadn’t. McCulloch
was the founder of Lake Havasu
City (and Fountain Hills in Metro
Phoenix), and he had the bridge
disassembled and shipped to Ari-zona,
where reassembly began
in 1968. These days, the bridge
is a tourist attraction, and even
though the fishing isn’t what it is
at Lee’s Ferry, there are plenty of
photo opportunities. Information:
golakehavasu.com or 800-242-
11 K IT T P EAK
The scientists at Kitt Peak National Observatory follow the sun — literally. Established
in 1958 on the Tohono O’odham Nation, the observatory atop Kitt Peak is 56 miles southwest of Tucson. KPNO is known for its
three major nighttime telescopes. It’s also home to the world’s largest collection of optical telescopes, which means that scientists
and civilians alike have an amazing opportunity to explore out-of-this-world sights — like faraway galaxies, Saturn’s rings and a
moon or two. Kitt Peak is most famous as the first observatory to host a near-Earth asteroid-seeking telescope. It’s a good thing,
too — there are already enough rocks in Arizona. Information: 520-318-8726 or www.noao.edu/outreach/kpoutreach.html.
The scientists at Kitt Peak aren’t likely to
miss any giant rocks hurtling toward Earth, but 50,000 years ago
there weren’t any scientists around. That’s when a giant ball of rock,
nickel and iron slammed into the ground outside of Winslow, form-ing
one heck of a hole. Meteor Crater, as it’s known, is more than
4,000 feet across and about 550 feet deep. Modern scientists estimate
that the impact of that meteor was enough to produce a shock wave
similar to that of a 5.5-magnitude earthquake. They also believe the
thermal energy of the impact probably killed everything within a
3-mile radius. Luckily, the only things roaming the Colorado Plateau
back then were woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths. Informa-tion:
928-289-2362 or meteorcrater.com.
13 ME T EOR C R AT E R
22 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
It might be the mid-dle
of nowhere, but
every winter Quartzsite is ground
zero for a motley crowd of retirees
and rockhounds. That’s when the
RVs roll in, adding more than a mil-lion
attendees of rock and mineral
shows to the permanent popula-tion
of 3,650. Despite its toast-dry
milieu, the quirky outpost’s per-petual
sunny days, proximity to
both Phoenix and Los Angeles,
and laid-back vibe keep snowbirds
flocking back each year. They come
for the 24 gem and mineral shows
that transform the settlement into
an agate- and jasper-filled bazaar.
Information: 928-927-4333 or ci.quartzsite.
It’s not just a catchy song and John
Steinbeck calling it the “mother road”
that put this thoroughfare in the highway hall of fame. Route
66 was the 20th century’s answer to the Oregon Trail — an
asphalt artery from America’s heartland to a future filled with promise, freedom and
sunshine. Since its decertification in 1985, it’s become almost the opposite: a nostalgic
conduit to a past when everything was full of promise, freedom and … well, you get the
idea. Arizona’s portion of the Main Street of America is the longest drivable segment
and a pageant of quirkiness, from curiosities like faux dinosaurs and teepees to curios
peddling car-themed keepsakes. Information: historic66.com.
17 QUART ZS IT E
18 ROUT E 6 6
Pluto may have
been demoted as a planet
recently, but in our eyes
it will always be Arizona’s
shining star. First photographed
without his know-
ledge by another “P” —
Percival Lowell — the
mysterious planet was offi-cially
discovered in 1930 by
Lowell Observatory scien-tist
Clyde Tombaugh. Planet
or no, the ninth rock from
the sun remains an emblem
of Arizona’s astronomical
achievements. Back on
Earth, the crystallized trees
at Petrified National For-est
with their Triassic secrets,
and at the bottom of the
Grand Canyon, hikers are
always relieved to see
the 86-year-old Phantom
Ranch, where, after a long
day of hiking, you’ll sleep
like a rock. Information:
928-774-3358 or lowell.edu.
16 P LUTO
It lasted just 30 seconds, but it’s been immortalized
in dozens of books and films. (One of which, The Gunfight at O.K.
Corral, was filmed at another “O” icon, Old Tucson Studios.)
The most famous shootout of all time — featuring such big
guns as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday — became a symbol of
the lawless Wild West and cemented Tombstone’s reputation
as “the town too tough to die.” Fortunately, we’ve come a long
way from anarchy to Sandra Day O’Connor, the Southern
Arizona ranch girl-cum-U.S. Supreme Court associate justice
who proved that the West can produce the wise as well as the
wild. Information: 800-457-3423 or tombstonechamber.com.
15 O. K . C OR R AL
14 NAVA JOL AND
High on the upper shelf of Arizona sits a storied landscape
larger than Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island
combined. Navajoland’s star attraction is Monument Valley — a Martian-like desert
with mitten-shaped monoliths that, in Navajo lore, represent the hands of spirits. The
reservation is saturated in history — from millennia-old Anasazi, Hopi and Navajo
traditions to Hubbell Trading Post, a national historic site. Another fabled landscape
is Canyon de Chelly, one of the longest continuously inhabited areas in North America.
What the canyon lacks in width and depth, it more than makes up for in myth. And like
all of Diné Bikéyah, as Navajoland is known, it’s inextricably connected to the Navajo
culture. Information: 928-871-6647 or navajonationparks.org.
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
24 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 25
20 TAL I E S IN WE S T
Speaking of saguaros … when architect Frank Lloyd Wright saw the cactus’s natural pleats, he was inspired
to fashion shadow-casting canvas panels on the roofs of Taliesin West. That’s just one of the ways this masterpiece of organic
architecture mimics the landscape. Constructed not for a client but as a lab and school, the structure emerged from the mind of
its creator as raw and unadulterated as the surrounding desert. Taliesin — Welsh for “shining brow” — definitely raised eyebrows
in its heyday, attracting visiting iconoclasts like Georgia O’Keeffe with its avant-garde architecture. The future also looks bright
for the Scottsdale compound: In 2008, Taliesin West made the U.S. World Heritage Tentative List. Information: 480-860-2700
Ask 100 people to draw an Arizona
landscape, and 99 of them will sketch a saguaro. It’s
impossible to think of our state without conjuring an image
of this celebrity-status cactus. That’s largely because it
grows only in the Sonoran Desert, in a swath of Arizona
and northern Mexico shaped, coincidentally, like a saguaro
bloom, Arizona’s state flower. The largest cactus in the
United States, the saguaro can tower up to 50 feet tall, tip
the scale at more than 6 tons, and live to the ripe age of
200 years or more. It can also endure for years without
water, making it the picture of desert survival. Information:
520-733-5153 or nps.gov/sagu.
JERRY SIEVE DAVID H. SMITH
26 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 27
It was one of the most notorious
slammers in the West, and the final destination
(literally) of the villain in the film 3:10 to Yuma.
Nicknamed “Devil’s Island,” the Yuma Terri-torial
Prison had a reputation as an Alcatraz-esque
hellhole from which no one ever escaped.
But this was largely myth. Of the 3,069 men and
women who did time there between 1876 and
1909, 26 broke out. Those who stayed had access
to education and one of Arizona’s first public
libraries. Fittingly, the place later became home
to the Yuma Union High School “Criminals”
and is now a historic museum. Information: 928-
0783-4771 or azstateparks.com.
Though the “father of the Western novel” was born in Ohio, he found
his muse in Arizona, where he set 24 of his more than 60 Western novels. The Mogollon Rim was the back-drop
for half of those — including Under the Tonto Rim and To the Last Man — earning the area the nickname
“Zane Grey Country.” Several weeks a year, Grey rusticated and wrote at his cabin in Payson, which burned
down in the 1990 Dude Fire. It was later rebuilt as a museum dedicated to the dentist/semipro baseball
player/screenwriter/best-selling Western author of all time, whose stories inspired more than 100 movies.
Information: 928-474-6115 or zanegreycabin.org.
A single block jammed with more than 40 saloons: Recipe for a perpetual hangover,
or a legacy that would shape the city of Prescott? Both, actually. Montezuma Street, a.k.a. Whiskey Row, was the
place Territorial miners and cowboys went to drown their sorrows or stir up trouble. In 1900, a fire destroyed the
row, scorching 25 bars and the red-light district. But the barflies couldn’t endure long without their
watering holes. By 1905, most of the buildings were rebuilt in vintage style, including Sam’l Hill
Hardware Co., the Highland Hotel, the Palace, the Levy Building and the Hotel St. Michael.
Information: 800-266-7534 or visit-prescott.com.
With its stunningly intricate art, Mission San Xavier del Bac has been
heralded as the Sistine Chapel of the United States. Jesuit missionary and explorer Father
Eusebio Kino founded the mission in 1692, and Tohono O’odham Indians constructed the
present building in the late 1700s. An exotic blend of Moorish, Byzantine and Mexican Renais-sance
architecture, the “White Dove of the Desert” is considered by critics the finest Spanish
colonial church in the country. The powers that be agree: In the 1960s, San Xavier del Bac was
declared a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Information: 520-294-2624 or sanxaviermission.org.
25 YUMA TE RRITORIAL P RISON
26 ZANE GR E Y
23 WHI SK E Y R OW
24 SAN X AVI E R D E L B AC
22 VORT E XE S
It never saw its namesake state
before it sank, and only a handful of Arizonans
were aboard on December 7, 1941, when 1,177 crew
members were killed. Yet the USS Arizona — the first
battleship to be christened after the newly formed state —
holds a special place in the hearts of Arizonans. In honor of the
ship that lost the most lives in American history, the University
of Arizona constructed its student union in the shape of the USS
Arizona’s bow, and displays one of its bells. In addition, artifacts
from the ship are showcased in the Arizona Capitol Museum
and nearby Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. Informa-tion:
602-0926-3620 or www.lib.az.us/museum.
21 US S AR IZONA
Eye candy abounds in stunning Sedona, yet some of its biggest attractions are invisible.
Defined as energy funnels where the Earth is especially alive and healthy, vortexes are mysterious, energy-enhancing
and, if you ask the hundreds of New Agers who visit regularly, life-altering. Several vortexes are
said to whirl throughout Sedona, including Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock. They
even shape the landscape, allegedly twisting the branches of juniper trees. Sounds nebulous? Maybe, but one
thing’s for sure: They’ve put Sedona on the spiritual map. Information: 800-288-7336 or visitsedona.com.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
SHARLOT HALL MUSEUM
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
28 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
Water is a big deal in Arizona.
That’s why Oak Creek’s perennial
stream is something special.
It’s a respite in the summer, a
scenic wonder in the spring and
fall, and a photographer’s favorite
subject when the snow flies in
winter. In this month’s portfolio,
our photographer showcases the
creek and the surrounding canyon
in a way you’ve probably never
seen before. “Wow” is the first
word that’ll come to mind. winter
WHITESby ralph lee hopkins
a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 29
OAK CREEK CANYON
p o r t f o l i o
30 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
The views on a snowy evening along Oak Creek in Sedona are stunning,
but during daylight hours, the sun illuminates an even greater number
of breathtaking scenes. A winter storm clears over Red Rock Crossing
(preceding panel) as snowmelt swells the creek (left), and the rushing
water reflects the sunrise. During a blizzard at Slide Rock State Park
(below), a blanket of white covers everything except Oak Creek.
32 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
As snow clouds clear, blue patches of sky appear over
vast panoramic views from Schnebly Hill Road, and
the air regains its crisp, dry winter chill. The red rocks,
lightly coated with fresh powder, escape the heavier
snow that settles in Oak Creek Canyon.
34 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
In the course of a year, Slide Rock State Park (above) receives about
25 inches of snow, coating the bare branches of juniper and sycamore
trees that line the creek. A winter storm clears at Cathedral Rock
(right), one of Sedona’s most recognizable red-rock formations,
creating a halo of light as snow clouds drift past the peaks.
36 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 37
Frosty branches almost obscure Sedona’s burnt sienna cliffs that
escape the winter storm’s whitewash, creating a snowy scene in
Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness (left). True to their name,
evergreens glow under a fresh coat of snow against a vertical
wall along the West Fork of Oak Creek (above).
38 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
◗ Wink Crigler, owner of X Diamond
Ranch, leads her horse to
water — and makes it drink —
near Greer. photograph by john
C O U R S E S
HIKING, BIKING, HOT-AIR
BALLOONING … THERE ARE
MANY WAYS TO EXPLORE
THE BEST, HOWEVER,
MIGHT BE ON THE BACK OF
A QUARTER HORSE, PALO-MINO
OR EVEN OLD PAINT.
LIKE THE SCENERY ITSELF,
THE TRAIL RIDING IN THIS
NECK OF THE WOODS IS
B Y K E L LY K R AME R a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 39
40 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 41
spr i ng
H.L. Canyon Trail Clifton
Old alligator junipers and dense stands of ponderosa pine line this
5-mile loop trail, which riders pick up about 2 miles north of Granville
Campground at either Sardine Saddle or H.L. Saddle. Although the
elevation change is minimal — 100 feet from the trail’s original 7,200-
foot starting point — the scenery makes this trot worth it. Riders
amble across natural springs, the remnants of a rock corral and an
old cabin before the day is done. The trail is typically open from April
through November, which means mild-weather-loving wildlife —
ground squirrels, chipmunks and a slew of loud-mouthed warblers
— will be out in full force.
Directions: From Clifton, take U.S. Route 191 north for 23 miles. The
Sardine Saddle trailhead is on the east side of the road.
Information: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, 520-687-8600 or
Kellner Canyon Trail Globe
This moderately difficult trail makes a rapid descent into a nar-row
canyon before it ascends again along the ridge beyond Kellner
Canyon Spring, approximately a half-mile down the trail. The 4.8-mile
run gains nearly 2,000 feet in elevation when all’s said and done, and
although riders and their horses should focus on safe passage, pay
special attention, too, to decades-old cabins that dot the trail, as well
as sweeping views of the valley below. Kellner Canyon Trail is open
spring through fall.
Directions: From Globe, drive south on Forest Road 112 for approxi-mately
3.5 miles to Forest Road 55. Turn southwest and travel on FR
55 to its junction with Forest Road 651. Follow FR 651 to the Kellner
trailhead on the north side of the road.
Information: Tonto National Forest, 928-402-6200 or www.fs.fed.us/
Secret Canyon Trail Sedona
As far as secrets go, Sedona’s Secret Canyon Trail isn’t one that was
well kept. The 5.5-mile trail is a favorite among adventurers looking
to spend some quality time in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilder-ness.
The wide, mostly flat trail offers stunning views of the canyon,
but limited relief from the late-spring and early summer heat. But as it
progresses closer to Secret Canyon — at approximately 2 miles — the
trail drops to cross a drainage, and oak and ponderosa pines emerge
to offer shady sanctuary. At mile 5, the trail turns sharply, leading to
ravines and a series of pools in the rocky streambed.
Directions: From Sedona, drive west on State Route 89A to Dry Creek
Road. Turn right (north) and drive 2 miles to Forest Road 152. Approx-imately
3 miles up the road, a two-track road will emerge on the west
side, where you’ll find the trailhead sign.
Information: Coconino National Forest, 928-282-4119 or redrock
North Kaibab Trail Grand Canyon
The only North Rim trail leading to the Colorado River, the North
Kaibab winds for 14 miles through Roaring Springs and Bright Angel,
and meanders past Phantom Ranch and the Supai Tunnel. It switches
back countless times as it descends along Roaring Springs Canyon,
to the Kaibab suspension bridge and the mighty river. Several equine-friendly
campgrounds are near the trail, and photo opportunities
abound, from Manzanita Creek to Ribbon Falls. This is, after all, the
Directions: From the Grand Canyon’s North Rim entrance, travel south
along North Rim Drive to the North Kaibab trailhead.
Information: Grand Canyon National Park, 928-638-7888 or nps.gov/
Sunset Trail Flagstaff
A camera is required when riding along Flagstaff’s Sunset Trail.
The easy 4-mile path leads to the eastern edge of Mount Elden’s sum-mit
plateau, affording views of the Painted Desert, the San Francisco
Peaks, Sunset Crater and the Bonito Lava Flow along the way. What’s
more, plenty of mule deer and elk make their homes in the surround-ing
wilderness. Riders might even spot an emboldened black bear,
although most won’t venture onto the trail, preferring instead to
stay secreted away in forest shadows. At its highest points, the trail
crosses a stretch of land that was devastated by wildfire during the
late 1970s, but the forest is recovering, with aspen and Gambel oak
trees taking hold.
Directions: Drive north from Flagstaff on U.S. Route 180 to Forest
Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road). Drive 6 miles east on FR 420 to the
trailhead at a parking lot on the south side of the road.
Harvey was one heck
of a horse. He wasn’t much to look
at — his tail was a bit knotted, and his once
cream-colored coat was stained a certain
shade of mushroom — but he was every-thing
I, as a 6-year-old girl, could want in a
trail horse. He slowed with the gentlest tug
on the reins and had just enough giddyup to
get the wind blowing through my hair. Ari-zona
is home to thousands of horses just like
Harvey, and hundreds of trails for all kinds of
riders, whether you’re an adventurous novice
or a seasoned pro. What follows are 12 of our
favorites, sorted by seasons.
◗ A caption will go here and
it says something clever
about the fabulous image.
photograph by xxx
OPPOSITE: A caption will go
here and it says something
clever about the fabulous
image. photograph by xxx
OPPOSITE: Lori Bridwell of Lorill Equestrian leads a group of
riders west of Needle Rock in Scottsdale. photograph by
BELOW: Ponderosa pines and cattails frame a mirror-like
Hulsey Lake at the foot of Escudilla Mountain. photograph
by randy prentice
42 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
Information: Coconino National Forest, 928-526-0866 or www.fs.fed.
Escudilla National Recreation Trail Alpine
Not all trails are created equal. There are some so spectacular
that Congress recognizes them as National Recreation Trails, and
Escudilla National Recreation Trail is one of them. Tucked within
the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, the easy trail stretches out
across 3 miles of spruce, fir and aspen groves that alternate with vast
expanses of open meadow. Views of the San Francisco Peaks abound,
as do plenty of panoramic views of the Blue Range Primitive Area,
the Gila Wilderness, Mount Graham and the Pinaleño Mountains.
If you decide to ride all the way to the summit, park your horse and
climb the Forest Service fire tower to absorb the views from a higher
Directions: Drive 5.5 miles north from Alpine on U.S. Route 191 to
Forest Road 56. Turn right (north) onto FR 56 and follow it 3.6 miles
to Terry Flat. Take the left fork past Tool Box Draw for a half-mile to
Information: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, 928-333-4372 or
Old Military Trail Chino Valley
So named because of its former use near a base of operations dur-ing
the Hualapai War, the Old Military Trail is, in essence, a military
supply road. Although Camp Hualapai was abandoned in 1873, the
road remains and follows a rolling course through a mountain pass,
the Pine Creek Drainage, canyons, meadows, Happy Camp and pri-vate
lands (be sure to close gates behind you and leave the land as you
found it). Because the Old Military Trail puts Arizona history under-foot,
riders will want to take their time along this scenic, moderately
Directions: From Prescott, go north on Williamson Valley Road (For-est
Road 6) for 38 miles to the junction with Forest Road 95. Turn
left (west) onto FR 95 and drive about 1.5 miles. The trailhead lies 0.2
miles east of the Walnut Creek Station.
Information: Prescott National Forest, 928-777-2200 or www.fs.fed.
Pine Mountain Trail near Camp Verde
Although it’s just 1.2 miles long, this trail doesn’t lack in awe-inspir-ing
sights. After the west side of Pine Mountain burned in a 1989
wildfire, many of the trees that flanked it were lost. Now, saddle-mounted
explorers can investigate the unique changes in vegeta-tion
that resulted, including a variety of native grasses. As the trail
approaches the Verde Rim, riders can breathe in sweeping views to
the north and northeast, as well as parts of the Bishop Creek drain-age.
Take care with horse selection, though. The first part of the trail
is exceedingly steep and includes a challenging switchback over the
Directions: From Phoenix, drive north on Interstate 17 to Exit 268,
Dugas Road (Forest Road 68). Take FR 68 southeast for 18 miles to
the trailhead for Nelson Trail (number 159) at the edge of the Pine
Information: Prescott National Forest, 928-567-4121 or www.fs.fed.us/
Walker Basin Trail Patagonia
Not to be confused with a trail by the same name in Sedona, the
Walker Basin Trail in Patagonia is a portal to the southeastern portion
of the Santa Rita Mountains. Rising from ver-dant
Walker Basin, the trail climbs 1,200 feet
and offers access to Gardner and Madera can-yons,
all the while tempting riders to park it for
a bit and take in views of Big Casablanca Can-yon,
Josephine Saddle and Mount Wrightson.
Although getting to the trailhead is rough, it’s
well worth the effort.
Directions: From Patagonia, go north on 1st
Avenue for 2.5 miles to Forest Road 72 and turn
left (north). Continue on FR 72 for 4 or 5 miles
to the Forest Road 72A junction and turn left
(west). A four-wheel-drive vehicle is recom-mended
for this drive.
Information: Coronado National Forest, 520-
281-2296 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado.
◗ A cowboy and his horse are sil-houetted
against the autumn
leaves near Greer. photograph
by don b. stevenson
Verde River Sheep Bridge Trail Cave Creek
In 1943, the Flagstaff Sheep Co. decided that its sheep were in
danger. They needed a bridge to cross the Verde River, so the com-pany
constructed one. More than 40 years later, the bridge began to
crumble, so a new one was built to replace it. Now, although sheep
ranching has long been gone from the area, the bridge provides hikers
and riders access to the Mazatzal Wilderness. Just 21 miles north of
Cave Creek, the trail is close enough to metro Phoenix that urbanites
can venture there for a quick weekend getaway, but far enough away
to feel exhilarating.
Directions: From Cave Creek, drive east on Cave Creek Road toward
Bartlett Reservoir, turning left onto Forest Road 24 (Seven Springs
Road). Drive north on FR 24 to Bloody Basin Road (Forest Road 269)
and continue to the trailhead at the road’s end.
Information: Tonto National Forest, 480-595-3300 or www.fs.fed.us/
Spur Cross Trail near Clifton
If you’re into rocks, the Spur Cross Trail will tickle your fancy. Its
highlight is a small cave, approximately 4 miles down in the bluffs
near the ridgeline. Given the smoke-stained ceiling, experts theorize
that the cave sheltered ancient people. Another draw is the amazing
vegetation that dots the rocky trail — Arizona cypress, sycamore
and white oak trees. Riders should carry plenty of water, because any
water along the trail needs treatment before drinking.
Directions: From Clifton, take U.S. Route 191 north for 21 miles. The
trail is on the west side of the highway, about a mile north of Granville
Information: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, 928-687-8600 or
Towel Creek Trail Camp Verde
Towel Creek Trail stands out among its peers, both for its history
as a cattle trail and its proximity to the Verde River. In fact, cowboys
still use the trail to move their herds. The plethora of flora along the
trail — from manzanita and cliffrose to hackberries, cottonwoods,
junipers and willows — also makes it a standout. The trail is a great
one for camping, or for exploring during a day-trip trail ride. This is
Coconino National Forest land at its finest, complete with a bovine
friend or two for company.
Directions: From Camp Verde, drive east on State Route 260 for 6 miles
to Forest Road 708. Turn right (southeast) onto FR 708 and travel 9
miles to the trailhead, which is near Needle Rock.
Information: Coconino National Forest, redrockcountry.org or 928-
◗ Sam Udall leads Julie Koeth
(in pink) and friends along a ridge
at the X Diamond Ranch near Greer.
photograph by john beckett
For more information on trail riding in Arizona,
call 866-275-5816 or visit arizonaguide.com.
44 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
on-screen, the Sonoita-Patagonia
area has doubled as Oklahoma
(Oklahoma!), Texas (Red River) and
ancient Israel (David and Bathsheba).
People claim it looks like Montana,
and when you catch glimpses of the
vineyards and cypresses, you might
reach unconsciously for your Italian
phrasebook. But with its pastoral
landscapes dotted with pygmy for-est
and crumbling ghost towns, one
thing this region doesn’t resemble
is the typical coffee-table images of
This 60-mile drive begins in
Sonoita, headquarters of Southern
Arizona’s wine country, where you
can stock up on a bottle of Zinfandel
or Syrah before venturing south on
State Route 83. The winding road is
fringed with vineyards, champagne-colored
grasses and wildflowers as
yellow as the signs warning of cattle
crossings and hairpin turns. At 14
miles, one of these turns reveals a
jaw-dropping pass where cotton-woods
and greenery ribbon through
the fields, backdropped by blue
But don’t be so distracted by the
scenery that you miss the turnoff less
than a mile later. When you see a sign
pointing left to Parker Canyon Lake,
go straight instead, down Canelo Pass
Road, a.k.a. Forest Road 799.
The well-maintained dirt road
(suitable for a regular passenger car)
winds through a pygmy forest of
juniper, oak and maroon-branched
At 19 miles, the view opens to
reveal the San Rafael Valley — a wide
expanse where forest laps up to a
savannah smeared with wildflow-ers.
Cottonwoods stand like pins on
a map marking the flow of the Santa
Cruz River, which trickles from the
Patagonia Mountains and Canelo
Hills, crossing your path a few times.
Not to toot our own horn, but
when Hollywood producer Arthur
Hornblow saw a photo of the San
Rafael Valley in Arizona Highways, he
was inspired to set his next film,
Oklahoma!, here amid the chest-high,
windblown grasses. Then, like now,
only a few ranches dotted the land,
whereas the Sooner State was too
developed to play the role of turn-of-the-
The valley has also starred in
McLintock!, with John Wayne (the
scenery must inspire exclama-tion
points), Tom Horn, with Steve
McQueen, and Wild Rovers, with Wil-liam
Holden and Ryan O’Neal.
The road zigzags, but keep follow-ing
the signs toward Lochiel, a tiny
hamlet that spent previous lives as
a border crossing point and smelter
site for neighboring mines.
Just past Lochiel, a 25-foot-tall
cross commemorates Franciscan friar
Fray Marcos de Niza, who entered
Arizona on April 12, 1539, to become
the first European west of the Rockies.
Four miles later, turn left down
a somewhat rough road (still suit-able
for most passenger vehicles)
toward the ghost town of Duquesne,
pronounced du-CANE. The historic
mining outpost consists of five
decaying buildings circa the late
1800s, one of which was the home of
George Westinghouse, of the electric
company family. Shortly after, you’ll
pass the blink-and-you-miss-it ex-mining
town of Washington Camp.
Two miles later, turn right toward
Patagonia onto Forest Road 49,
which twizzles through the oaks and
sycamores of Coronado National For-est
to emerge at views of mauve and
You can side-trip to Harshaw, a
shadow of a silver-mining boomtown
hit hard in the 1880s by a thunder-storm,
a fire and a decrease in ore
quality. Tellingly, its main attraction
is now a cemetery.
The drive ends in lush and charm-ing
Patagonia, where you can refuel
with pizza at Velvet Elvis or picnic
at the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Pre-serve,
a Nature Conservancy-owned
bastion for 300 bird species, includ-ing
gray hawks, green kingfishers
and violet-crowned hummingbirds.
As you follow the trail along the
green and fluttering riverbank, you’ll
feel like you’re in yet another world.
Or maybe on a Hollywood movie set.
editor’s note: For more scenic drives, pick up
a copy of our book, The Back Roads. Now in its
fifth edition, the book ($19.95) features 40 of the
state’s most scenic drives. To order a copy, call
800-543-5432 or visit arizonahighways.com.
DRIVE Straight out
of a Hollywood
movie, literally, this
winding road in
Southern Arizona is
fringed with vine-yards,
BY KERIDWEN CORNELIUS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GEORGE STOCKING
Note: Mileages are approximate.
directions: From Tucson, drive east on
Interstate 10 to State Route 83 (Exit 281).
Continue 27 miles south to Sonoita. Pro-ceed
about 15 more miles, and veer right
onto Canelo Pass Road (Forest Road 799).
At 24 miles, take Forest Road 58 south
(left) and follow the signs toward Lochiel.
Leaving Lochiel the road becomes Forest
Road 61. After 4 miles, turn left toward
Duquesne. Two miles later, turn right
onto Forest Road 49 toward Patagonia
and Harshaw. The 60-mile drive ends in
vehicle requirements: None
information: Sonoita/Patagonia visitors
center, 888-794-0060 or patagoniaaz.
Travelers in Arizona can visit az511.gov
or dial 511 to get information
delays, weather and
ABOVE: It’s easy to see why the sparsely populated San Rafael
Valley doubled as the Sooner State in the 1955 film Oklahoma!.
LEFT: Backlit grass looks like fiber-optics in the pastoral San
Rafael Valley, south of Sonoita.
C O R O N A D O
N A T I O N A L
F O R E S T
C O R O N A D O
N A T I O N A L
F O R E S T
P A T A G O N I A M T S .
C A N E L O H I L L S
San Rafael Valley
Santa Cruz River
Santa Cruz River
NOGALES A R I Z O N A
M E X I C O
To Tucson To Tucson
S T A R T H E R E
46 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9 a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
month OF THE
there are a couple of things you should know about
the Badger Springs Trail. 1) Badgers aren’t among the
mammals you’re likely to see — your chances of seeing
the trail’s namesake are about as good as they are at the
Tempe Music Festival. 2) Agua Fria, a Spanish phrase
meaning “cold water,” is the name of the river
you’ll be following, but the river is usually just
a riverbed, and it’s almost never cold. Here’s
another thing: If you’re a little squeamish about
rattlesnakes, you might want to sit this one
out — the desert sun stirs up Mohave Greens
and other rattlers as early as February. (Note to
reader: This is our February issue, so beware.)
Disclaimers notwithstanding, the Badger
Springs Trail is one of Arizona’s best, espe-cially
in the spring. Archaeology, ecology, his-tory,
spectacular scenery, peace and quiet are
the selling points of this hike, which winds
through the heart of the Agua Fria National
Monument, a 71,000-acre parcel of high mesa
grassland established in 2000. Unlike other fed-eral
parklands, this one offers a respite — if the
Grand Canyon is Grand Central, Agua Fria is a
bus stop on a deserted stretch of Route 66.
Indeed, very few people have ever been to
the monument. Millions, however, drive by it every year.
The trailhead, which is within shouting distance of the
Sunset Viewpoint Rest Area, is located just off of Inter-state
17 at the Badger Springs Exit. From the freeway, it’s
a short drive — less than a mile — down a forest road to
the trailhead. That brings up another thing. The Badger
Springs Trail isn’t really a trail. It’s more of a route. From
the “trailhead,” you’ll follow a traditional path for a few
hundred yards down to the river. After that, the trail is
whatever route you choose to take along the river.
This time of year, the river will be more substantial.
Other times, it’ll be nothing but a series of pools. Either
way, what you’ll quickly realize is that this hike is slow-going.
That’s because you’ll be bushwhacking through a
combination of soft sand (imagine walking on the beach)
and an endless stream of boulders, ranging in size from
large pumpkins to Volkswagen Beetles. There’s a lot of
up and down and around and around on this hike, which
makes it hard to gauge distance. Although the river runs
for several miles to Black Canyon City, it’s best to hike for
an hour or two, and then retrace your steps.
Along the way, you’ll experience one of Arizona’s most
beautiful riparian corridors, which is home to cotton-woods,
sycamores, willows, coyotes, bobcats, antelope,
native fish and 177 bird species. The list goes on, but the
monument wasn’t established because of Mother Nature.
It was created to protect one the most significant systems
of prehistoric sites in the Southwest — from a.d. 1250 to
1450, a people known as the Perry Mesa Tradition inhab-ited
this Precambrian canyon.
As you make your way downstream, keep your eyes
peeled for their cliff dwellings and petroglyphs, as well
as the old pipeline left over from the Richinbar Mine —
interestingly, the rusted steel feels more like a museum
piece than an eyesore. Of course, more than anything,
you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for snakes. It is Feb-ruary,
w Badger Springs
Trail offers scenic
vistas that include
views of the Agua
Fria River (oppo-site)
BADGER SPRINGS TRAIL
Sightseeing and solitude are
the highlights of this hike in
the Agua Fria National Mon-ument.
The archaeology is
an unexpected bonus.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit our “Hiking Guide” at arizonahighways.com.
length: Varies, depending on how far downstream
you’re willing to hike.
elevation: 2,150 (along the river) to 4,600 feet
(in the northern hills)
directions: From Phoenix, take Interstate 17 north
for approximately 40 miles to the Badger Springs
Exit (256) and turn right. Cross the gravel parking
lot to Forest Road 9001 and continue for .75 miles
to the trailhead.
information: Bureau of Land Management,
623-580-5500 or blm.gov/az.
leave no trace ethics:
• Plan ahead and be prepared.
• Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
• Dispose of waste properly and pack out your trash.
• Leave what you find.
• Respect wildlife and minimize impact.
• Be considerate of others.
A G U A F R I A
N A T I O N A L
M O N U M E N T
P R E S C O T T
N A T I O N A L
F O R E S T
T O N T O
N A T I O N A L
F O R E S T
T R A I L H E A D
Agua Fria River
48 f e b r u a r y 2 0 0 9
Win a collection of our most popular books! To enter, correctly identify the location featured above and e-mail your answer to
email@example.com — type “Where Is This?” in the subject line. Entries can also be sent to 2039 W. Lewis Avenue,
Phoenix, AZ 85009. Please include your name, address and phone number. One winner will be chosen in a random drawing of
qualified entries. Entries must be postmarked by February 15, 2009. Only the winner will be notified. The correct answer will be
posted in our April issue and online at arizonahighways.com beginning March 1.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KERRICK JAMES
December 2008 An-swer:
Wheeler Park in
to our winner,
of Hamburg, Germany.
“Historic fixer-upper; sun-dappled and airy,” the real estate ad might read. At least Apache at-tacks
aren’t an issue like they were for the residents who abandoned this area in the 1860s. The
settlement was briefly resurrected after the discovery of a literal bonanza in the 1880s, becoming
a booming supply community for a trio of nearby towns. But despite its capital name, this place
eventually faded into obscurity. Now all that’s left are shafts, mining buildings and ruins. But the
prospects are unbeatable.
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