E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
Our Pick for
the Best Hike
Why You Should
Head to Bisbee
for a Hot Dog
Nature of a Drive
in Garland Prairie
No. It’s Not What
to Pitch a Tent
The Best Lookouts for Lions, Trogons & Bears
◗ American avocets probe the shallow
water of Gilbert’s Water Ranch.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRUCE D. TAUBERT
FRONT COVER Silhouettes
of The Mittens
in Monument Valley provide a
beautiful backdrop for camping.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KERRICK JAMES
BACK COVER Keanu James races across
the sand at Three Dunes Campground
on Arizona’s “West Coast.”
PHOTOGRAPH BY KERRICK JAMES
contents North Rim
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
Photographic Prints Available
Prints of some photographs in this issue are available for purchase.
Visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com or call 866-962-1191.
2 EDITOR’S LETTER
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from
around the state, including
a look at the history of the
Boy Scouts in Arizona,
former Phoenix Suns great
Kevin Johnson on his
favorite place to hike, and
the best hot dog in Bisbee.
44 SCENIC DRIVE
Garland Prairie: There’s a
lot of history along this back
road in Northern Arizona,
but it’s the scenery that’ll
really get your attention.
46 HIKE OF THE MONTH
Widforss Trail: It’s true,
there are a lot of great hikes
in Arizona, but this one is
the best. There, we said it.
48 WHERE IS THIS?
14 OUTTA SITE!
You’ve heard of rooms with a view? Well, we went look-ing
for something a little different. And we found it. From
the remote wilderness of the Grand Canyon to a place
on the Colorado River that can only be reached by boat,
we discovered 10 of the best campsites in Arizona.
WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY KERRICK JAMES
22 GREEN MILES
There’s a common misconception that Arizona is noth-ing
but a hot, dry desert. In reality, it ranks third in the
United States in terms of biodiversity. And with that
biodiversity comes four seasons, including summer.
You can keep buying into the stereotype, but as you’ll
see in this month’s portfolio, when it comes to the
greens of summer, Arizona can certainly hold its own.
A PORTFOLIO BY NICK BEREZENKO & SUZANNE MATHIA
Visit our website for details on
weekend getaways, hiking, lodging,
dining, photography workshops,
slideshows and more. Also, check out
our blog for daily posts on just about
anything related to travel in Arizona,
including road closures, environmental
news, festivals and other valuable
info we couldn’t fit in the magazine.
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scenes look at Arizona Highways,
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34 WATCH FOR WILDLIFE
People get excited about seeing elk. And antelopes.
And anything else in the wild kingdom. They’ll even
stop in the middle of the road and pull out their cam-eras.
But that’s a bad idea. Instead, go where our
wildlife expert likes to go. It’s safer, it’s scenic and
you might even catch a glimpse of an endangered
species. BY LORI K . BAKER
40 RANCH WOMEN
Thanks to John Wayne, John Ford, Louis L’Amour,
Larry McMurtry ... a romantic image of the Ameri-can
cowboy dominates books, movies and even
advertising. Less attention, however, has been given
to ranch women, who work just as hard as the men,
whether they’re in the kitchen or out on the range.
BY MARY TOLAN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER SCHWEPKER
To order a print of this photograph,
call 866-962-1191 or visit
2 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
When photographer Suzanne Mathia was a child, her version of
a perfect day consisted of packing a lunch and venturing into the
mountains and fields surrounding her home in England. “I didn’t
see the inside of a hotel until the day we emigrated to America
when I was 12,” she says. Her exposure to the lush green lands
of Great Britain and her love for photography are evident in the
images she made for
this month’s portfolio
(see Green Miles, page
22). “I manage to
travel to the magical
places in our state
that hide cool water-falls
and verdant lush
carpets of vines that
grow in profusion
along canyon floors,”
Mathia says. Her work
has also appeared in
Photographer Kerrick James turned a child-hood
love of the outdoors into a career as
a travel journalist. Hiking and camping are
among his favorite activities because, at
least figuratively, it takes him closer to the
stars. “I’ve slept on the ground — often
under the stars — more than 300 nights in
my life, and I wouldn’t trade those places
for the best hotels anywhere,” says James,
who wrote and photographed this month’s
camping guide (see Outta Site!, page 14).
Although he’s set up camp all over the
West, his sights are set on Arizona’s high-est
peak for his next adventure. “I’d love
to camp atop Humphreys Peak and sleep
under the stars at almost 14,000 feet,”
he says. In addition to Arizona Highways,
James’ work has appeared in National Geo-graphic
Adventure, Outdoor Photographer and Sunset.
As a photojournalist and photography instructor, Peter Schwepker says
working at his passion and earning a living from it are as good as it gets.
“Photojournalism allows me to write with my camera,” he says. After two
years of working on Ranch Women (page 40), he became part of the Howell
family. “Mary Tolan [the writer] and I were part of a wedding, a round-up
and little moments of family life. It was a great experience,” he says. He
adds that Arizona is a great place for photojournalists because of the char-acter
of its people and the amazing landscapes. “Arizona is a perfect blend
of those two visual outlets for me.” Schwepker is a frequent contributor to
Arizona Highways and an instructor at Northern Arizona University.
“C AUTION: SLEEPING BEAR INSIDE!”
I think I was 5 or 6 when my dad pinned that note to our big brown tent
in Yellowstone. I can’t remember if he used the exclamation point or not,
but I do remember what went through my head. There were two things: 1) Bear? How
in the hell am I supposed to sleep tonight knowing a bear could get into this tent? And 2) Does he
really think that note is going to keep people from stealing our sleeping bags while we’re away from
He didn’t think that, of course. He was just adding a little intrigue to the over-all
camping experience for my brother and me. My dad loved camping — he still
does — and over the years we’ve pitched tents together in some of the most beauti-ful
places in North America: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ontario, Colorado, Montana,
Idaho, New Mexico, Lake Powell ... and most recently at the North Rim of the Grand
Canyon. We’ve had some pretty impressive sites along the way, and we’ve seen a lot
of Mother Nature, but after looking at Kerrick James’ photos in this month’s cover
story, the bucket list just got a little longer.
When I first talked to Kerrick about this piece, I asked if he’d be willing to leave
the pavement and do some exploring. I wanted the story to focus on the best indi-vidual
campsites in Arizona, not necessarily the mainstream campgrounds. It was a
ridiculous question. Sending Kerrick into the wilderness is like sending Lewis and
Clark to the Pacific. He jumped at the opportunity. The only caveat from our end was
that the campsites be relatively accessible. A high-clearance requirement was OK,
but 4WD wasn’t. As you’ll see in Outta Site!, he came back with an impressive collec-tion
— it’s definitely not a list of KOAs.
In addition to the Monument Valley campsite on our cover, he photographed sites
along the Colorado River, on the edge of the Grand Canyon, down in the Chiricahuas
and over in the White Mountains. The latter is a beautiful site in a tents-only camp-ground
on the south shore of Big Lake. The fishing there is fantastic, and so are the
views of Mount Baldy. The best part of that campsite, however, is what surrounds it.
Located at an elevation of 9,040 feet, the Cutthroat Campground is ringed by aspen
groves and grassy meadows, both of which are extremely alluring to those of us who
live in the desert. Especially in July. That’s what
we were thinking about when we put together
this month’s portfolio.
The theme of the portfolio is green, and there
are a couple things we’re hoping to accomplish
with the images. The first is to inspire readers
to explore the high country, and the second is
to help dispel a myth. There are many stereo-types
about Arizona, the most outrageous of
which is that the state is nothing but a desolate
stretch of merciless desert. The truth is, Arizona
ranks third in the U.S. in terms of biodiversity,
behind only California and Texas. And with
that diversity comes millions of acres of brilliant
green landscapes, some of which are depicted in
Green Miles, our portfolio by Nick Berezenko and
Another benefit of the biodiversity is the ani-mal
kingdom that comes with it. Even if you’re
not a wildlife enthusiast, most people get excited
about seeing elk and antelope and mountain
lions and bears and especially endangered spe-cies,
such as Mexican gray wolves. Although
there’s always a chance that a deer will run right
into your windshield, in most cases, seeing wild-life
requires a little more effort, and that’s where
we come in.
In Watch for Wildlife, we’ll tell you about 10 of
the state’s best places to catch a glimpse of some-thing
wild. As Lori Baker writes, the options
range “from raise-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck
encounters with Gila monsters and black
bears to heartwarming glimpses of iridescent
hummingbirds and diffident Kaibab squirrels.”
The guide, which was compiled with the help
of Bruce Taubert, one of our premier wildlife pho-tographers,
covers the length of the state, from the
Grand Canyon in the north to Cave Creek Canyon
in the south. If you want to see lions and trogons
and bears, check it out. Or, if you have the time,
you could make a trek to Yellowstone. The bears
up there are easy to find. Just look for a big brown
tent with a note pinned to its side.
J U LY 2 0 1 0 V O L . 8 6 , N O. 7
Arizona Highways® (ISSN 0004-1521) is published
monthly by the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Subscription price: $24 a year in the U.S., $44 outside the
U.S. Single copy: $3.99 U.S. Call 800-543-5432. Subscrip-tion
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Deputy Art Director
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Letters to the Editor
2039 W. Lewis Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009
JANICE K. BREWER
Director, Department of Transportation
JOHN S. HALIKOWSKI
Arizona Transportation Board
ROBERT M. MONTOYA
FELIPE ANDRES ZUBIA
WILLIAM J. FELDMEIER
BARBARA ANN LUNDSTROM
VICTOR M. FLORES
STEPHEN W. CHRISTY
ROBERT STIEVE, editor
If you like what you see in this
magazine every month, check
out Arizona Highways Television,
an Emmy Award-winning pro-gram
hosted by former news
anchor Robin Sewell. For broad-cast
times, visit our website,
click the Arizona Highways Televi-sion
link on our home page.
ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/azhighways.
4 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
PROOF IN THE PUDDING
I recently visited my son and his fam-ily
in Arizona, and while we were
there we skimmed through your
restaurant suggestions in the April
2010 issue. The Firehouse Kitchen
[in Prescott] is where we went. The
food was wonderful, and the bread
pudding was the best I’ve ever tasted.
The waitress was great, too. I’m so
glad you listed it in your magazine.
PATRICIA BEARCLAW, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
A STINGING BLOW
I was happy to see you devote an
entire page to honeybees [Sweet
Somethings, March 2010]. However,
you did them a disservice by not
mentioning their serious plight
across the U.S. — massive colony
collapse and mysterious die-offs that
are costing the economy millions to
truck in bees from other locations.
Your magazine would be better
served not to be so Pollyannaish.
KAREN RIGGS, TUCSON
A FITTING TRIBUTE
After I read Robert Stieve’s “In
Memoriam” about SSG Thaddeus
Montgomery [April 2010], I had
a million thoughts and feelings I
wanted to express to his family and
to Arizona Highways. Now I can’t seem
to put them into words, except God
bless you, SSG Montgomery and all
of our servicemen and women every-where
for what you do every day, so
that we can have our freedom to do
what we do. To his family, my deep-est
condolences — your son is a hero,
and he’ll never be forgotten. Arizona
Highways, thank you for sending a
piece of normal America to someone
so far from home.
ROBERT W. WINTERS SR., FRANKFORT, INDIANA
What a fitting tribute to SSG
Montgomery in your April issue. I
couldn’t keep the lump in my throat
from choking me and could hardly
read the last part through watery
eyes. These young people deserve
so much for volunteering to serve. It
brought back memories of almost 60
years ago. I didn’t volunteer; I received
a summons to join the troops. I was, at
20 years old, one of the biggest gold-bricks
in the whole U.S. Army. Now
I’m proud to have served, and wish I
had done much more. I’m so proud of
these young men and women.
GORDON PUMPHREY, TUCSON
Regardless of where one stands on
our nation’s conflict with terror-ism,
or more specifically the war
in Afghanistan, your statements
about the life and commitment of
SSG Thaddeus Montgomery are a
thoughtful testimony about basic
humanity and the American ethic.
Bravo for writing it!
RICHARD DAY, NICHOLS HILLS, OKLAHOMA
BUY THE BOOK
I’ve been a subscriber to Arizona
Highways for many years. I wish to tell
you how much I enjoyed your article
about J.P.S. Brown [Not Your Average
Joe, January 2010]. I’m an Easterner,
born in Tannersville, Pennsylvania,
moved to northern New Jersey, mar-ried,
have two daughters, relocated
to Florida in 1979, then to Mesa,
Arizona, in 1981 for six and a half
years before returning to Florida. I
love everything about your state. I’m
grateful to have had my years out
there. I don’t know Mr. Brown, but
I feel that I know him after reading
your story, and I’m going to find one
of his books at my first opportunity.
LYDELL “DELL” BUSH, DEERFIELD BEACH, FLORIDA
When I first receive your magazine
each month, I always read the letters
to the editor, and for the most part,
they make sense. However, in the
[March 2010 issue], there was a mis-sive
from a Bob Kraft in Riverside,
California, bemoaning the fact that
all he saw in the [December 2009]
issue were pictures. He didn’t men-tion
how spectacular they were or
anything else, but he missed his
short stories. He also implied that
if you didn’t change your ways, he
(and maybe others) would cancel.
I’ve been in a snit ever since reading
his letter. If I wanted stories, I could
(and do) go to the library. Anyway, I
think you do a wonderful job — each
month you seem to improve on the
FRANCES BROOKS, TEWKSBURY, MASSACHUSETTS
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
Sittin’ on the Bay
Water — crisp, clean, cool. That’s
what you’ll find at Arizona Bay on Lake
Mohave in Western Arizona. It’s a
great place to take in the views, take a
load off and dip your toes. Information:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area,
702-293-8990 or www.nps.gov/lame.
people > dining > lodging > photography > history > nature > things to do > > > > THE JOURNAL 07.10
6 j u l y 2 0 1 0 w w w . a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 7
Everybody knows that to get an authentic Chicago-style hot dog, you head for the South-side.
The Southside of Bisbee, that is.
Jimmy’s Hot Dog Co. occupies a building the color of ballpark mustard and has a
12-foot-tall wiener mounted on the roof. Hey, no one wants to belly up to a bashful hot dog stand.
In his youth, owner Jimmy Pionke worked at some iconic Chicago hot dog stands and fre-quented
others, so he knew exactly what he wanted when starting Jimmy’s. Lunchtime is a rol-licking,
rowdy affair with the few tables filling fast and diners staking out a hunk of the stainless
steel counter lining the walls. Food flies from the kitchen almost as fast as the wisecracks. Even
when crowded with out-of-towners, Jimmy’s feels like a neighborhood joint.
The signature dish here is the classic Chicago hot dog, which is culinary architecture. To
qualify as a Chicago dog, an exacting blueprint must be followed.
Start with the Cadillac of tube steak, Vienna all-beef hot dogs in natural casings. The cas-ing
gives it that satisfying snap, releasing juices and flavor at every bite. The dog nestles on a
poppy seed bun from S. Rosen’s, a Chi-town institution. And ingredients are piled on in precise
order: mustard, neon green relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, a
pickle spear, two sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.
The result is a private riot in your mouth, a joyous collision of
flavors. The juicy beast rolls across your taste buds in waves, a meal
vastly more complex and savory than most served on fine china
Nothing against Oscar Mayer — he feeds a niche — but
a classic hot dog is presented Chicago-style, and in
Bisbee, nobody does it better than Jimmy.
By ROGER NAYLOR
IT’S EASY TO GET sensory overload at Casino Arizona:
the ding-ding-ding of the slots, the flashing lights, the
crooning Elvis impersonators. But right next to the
hype of the gaming and the lounges, you’ll find art.
Loads of it. All by Native American artists.
A huge canvas by Harry Fonseca anchors a wall next
to a bar. A glass case near the elevators holds a clay fig-ure
by Virgil Ortiz. Another wall
is covered with a Dan Namingha
painting. In all, the casino boasts
more than 175 artworks in various mediums.
The remarkable collection is the work of an equally
remarkable woman, curator and art consultant Aleta
Ringlero, a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa
Community, where the casino is located. “The casino
people approached me about ‘doing some art’ for the
building,” recalls Ringlero with a laugh. “Ten years
later, it’s become an ongoing process to showcase
museum-quality art by Native Americans, including
members of this community.”
The thing is, you don’t just ask Ringlero to “do
some art.” It’s her life’s work — she lives and breathes
it. “I got into art because I love museums,” says Ring-lero.
“When I walk into a museum, any kind of a
museum, I feel like I’m at home.”
Born in Arizona, she moved with her family to
Southern California in the 1950s, where her father, art-ist
Mervin Ringlero, worked as a saddlemaker to the
Hollywood cowboy stars. “My high school was across
the street from the Disney Studios,” says Ringlero. “I
had my formative years on the Sunset Strip and in the
Despite the temptations of the surrounding enter-tainment
industry, Ringlero credits her parents for
instilling an early interest in art, recalling playing
among her father’s elaborately crafted saddles (one of
which is in the Casino Arizona collection) and going
to art museums with her mother, a member of the Gila
A chance meeting with Cree folk singer Buffy
Sainte-Marie in 1969 at the Troubadour club raised
Ringlero’s awareness of Indian identity and politics.
“I knew I was different from most other kids in South-ern
California,” she recalls, “but I never really thought
much about my heritage before that.”
Armed with a degree in art history, Ringlero
worked in art and archaeology before moving back to
Arizona in the early 1980s. In 1989, she landed a job as
the Native American public programs manager with
the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of
Natural History in Washington, D.C., and has contin-ued
working on Smithsonian projects since coming
back to Arizona again in 1993.
The Casino Arizona project is not just closest to her
home, it’s closest to Ringlero’s heart, allowing her to put
together works by her favorite artists. “The whole point
of exhibiting art there was to challenge the notion of a
traditional museum,” she says.
“This collection is in a casino,
on a reservation. You can stop
by and look at art at 3 in the
morning. I love that.”
Casino Art? Bingo!
If you look past the slot machines and
card tables at Casino Arizona, you’ll
see something unique: original art. In
all, the casino is home to more than 175
pieces, and the woman responsible is
By NORA BURBA TRULSSON
flanked by a mysterious array of forks.
Pionke is an artisan of bun-cradled grub.
Every dish displays the perfectionist mark
of a craftsman, from the Italian
sausage, the bratwurst and the
Maxwell Street Polish Sausage
(served with grilled onions, pickle and sport
peppers on a Gonnella roll — another legend-ary
Chicago name) to a meatball sandwich so
big it should be delivered by forklift.
That said, french fries might be Pionke’s
true masterpiece. We’ve grown accustomed
to fast-food joints, where fries are lifeless
twigs stacked in a freezer. At Jimmy’s,
5 minutes before you eat the hot, crispy fries,
they were potatoes. The difference aston-ishes.
The earthy richness of pure spud flavor
topped with a light zing of salt rekindles a
passion not just for fries, but for food done
right and for simpler times in general. That’s
the Chicago way.
Jimmy’s Hot Dog Co. is
located at 938 W. State
Route 92 in Bisbee. For
more information, call
THEJOURNAL > dining
When you were with
the Suns, what did you
enjoy off the court?
Typically, “off the
court” meant off-season,
when I was
home in Sacramento.
But during the season,
I enjoyed checking
out a movie at Cam-elview
and reading at the
Coffee Plantation or
Borders in Biltmore
Best place to eat in
Hands down, my fa-vorite
(and still is) Pizzeria
Bianco. Every time I
get back to Phoenix I
stop by for a meal.
Do you have a favorite
The Arizona Biltmore.
It’s close to every-thing,
How did you keep
your cool during the
When I was in
Phoenix during the
off-season, I’d begin
each morning with a
hike up Camelback
Mountain. I’d start
as early as possible
— usually around 5
a.m. It was still 95
If you could have tak-en
a piece of Arizona
with you, what would
you have taken?
I lived there, I hiked
there, and the views
— Dave Pratt is the
author of Behind the
Mic: 30 Years in Radio
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
O N L I N E For more dining in Arizona, visit our “Dining Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
Casino Arizona is located
at 9700 E. Indian Bend
Road in Scottsdale. For
more information, call
480-850-7777 or visit
B I S B E E
S C O T T S D A L E
THE JOURNAL > people
8 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 9
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE GETTING away from it all without having to get too far away.
Mormon Lake Lodge is that kind of place. You don’t have to go to the airport. You don’t
have to load up your bikes or hitch up your horses. And you don’t have to pack 15 different
road maps or enough food to get you through a long weekend with growing boys.
Of course, you could do all of that — there’s an airport nearby, there are dozens
of roads and trails to explore in the area, and some of the resort cabins have kitch-enettes
— but you don’t have to. Between the simple guestrooms, the multiroom
cabins, the enclaves of cabins for large parties, the RV park, the on-site country store, the restau-rant,
the stables and the rental equipment, this lodge has it all. And getting there isn’t bad either.
The drive down Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3) is one of the state’s most scenic, offer-ing
jaw-dropping panoramic views of the San Francisco Peaks. Plus, it’s just 30 easy minutes
southeast of Flagstaff, so it’s not too far from civilization. Nevertheless, you might feel like
you’ve traveled at least 86 years back in time once you get there.
Mormon Lake Lodge, originally known as Tombler’s Lodge, was built by a Chandler man in
1924 as a place for local loggers and ranchers to enjoy dining and nightlife. Like today, the loca-tion
was remote enough to be rustic but close enough to be
considered an appealing option and all-around happening place
for people as far away as Flagstaff and beyond. So beloved was
the lodge that, when it burned to the ground in 1974 during the
world’s largest team-roping contest, its regulars from around
Close for Comfort
Located just 30 minutes from Flagstaff, the historic Mormon Lake Lodge
is a quick getaway with all the comforts of home. That is, if your home is
surrounded by 300 acres of national forest.
By JOBETH JAMISON
the state volunteered to have it rebuilt by the
time the event rolled around the following
year. The pioneering traditions live on today
in the lodge’s famed open-pit steakhouse
and 1880s-style saloon, where summer
brings a great lineup of live entertainment.
Although the lake itself doesn’t always fill
up — some years the natural water feature is
little more than a bed of mud and marshland
— after a wet northland winter, you might be
lucky enough to find the lake at its peak. If
not, water enthusiasts can enjoy nearby Lake
Mary. Mere minutes away, that lake carries
enough water for a hotbed of aqua activities,
along with the burden of noise and chaos
that accompanies them, leaving Mormon
Lake and its spectacular wildlife (buffalo
actually do roam there) to rest peacefully in
their forest surroundings.
All of which adds up to what could be your
best family vacation, your most romantic
couple’s getaway, your most-raved-about
estrogen or testosterone fest, or even
your most meaningful solo soul-searching
Mormon Lake Lodge is located 7
miles south of Lake Mary Road
on Mormon Lake Road. For more
information, call 928-354-2227 or
PLAY IT COOL
Movies are cool in
three dimensions, and
To add depth to your
images, think about
Quiet pools of water,
patterns on the shiny
hood of a car or even
the reflections in a
storefront window can
double the impact of
what might already be
an interesting compo-sition
— no 3D glasses
ADDITIONAL READING: Look
for Arizona Highways Pho-tography
at bookstores and www.
Made in the Shade
When shooting landscapes, photographers set their schedules
to the rise and fall of the sun — they know they’ll see the light.
When shooting in areas of diffused light, things aren’t so simple.
By JEFF KIDA, photo editor
NICK BEREZENKO ENJOYS MAKING photographs
along heavily shaded streambeds close to his home
on the Mogollon Rim, but he says that shooting
streams and rivers is incredibly difficult because
the sweet light of open landscapes doesn’t exist.
The frequent Arizona Highways contributor explains
the importance of taking different angles in spots
of lower elevation, where the light is blue and dif-fused:
“You should shift from side to side, look high
and low. It’s almost like you’re stalking the photo,”
he says. In this image of Fossil Creek, Berezenko
used the light at the end of the “alley” to create a
highlight that appears as a diagonal line of reflec-tion.
Those leading lines set up the foreground
elements of the boulder and the log, which are
balanced by the lighter reflections at the top of the
frame. “When shooting in low light, it’s crucial to
find the areas where lights and darks work against
each other to create an interesting composition. Get
close to the foreground with a wide-angle lens to
bring everything into focus from near to far — and
always use a tripod.”
THEJOURNAL > photography
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips and other informa-tion,
highways.com and click
THE JOURNAL > lodging
O N L I N E For more lodging in Arizona, visit our “Lodging Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
DEREK VON BRIESEN
M O R M O N
L A K E
10 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
ALTHOUGH THE THICK-RIMMED GLASSES and sleek, short hair-styles
of the 1950s have evolved to LASIK eye surgery and messy
bed-head, the mission of the Boy Scouts of America
has remained constant. “The goal is to build character
in youths,” says Derek Bechtel, director of develop-ment
for the Grand Canyon Council. “It’s all about serving kids
and giving them good direction.”
That’s been the guiding principle of the BSA, which celebrates
its 100th anniversary this year — it’s been around in Arizona for
89 years. Robert Baden-Powell, who established the Boy Scouts in
1910, wanted an organization through which youths could learn
about the environment and develop leadership skills to apply
within their communities.
This year, the Boy Scouts of America
celebrates its 100th anniversary. Although
the organization is only 89 in Arizona,
there’s still a lot of local history.
By JODI CISMAN
Scouts have the opportunity to earn
any of 121 merit badges in such disci-plines
as canoeing and archery at camps
scattered throughout Arizona, including
outposts like Camp Geronimo, which opened at Hewitt Station in
Magma, Arizona, in 1922. Today, Geronimo is a year-round camp
north of Payson.
The pursuit of merit badges has played a significant role in
the evolution of the Scouts’ attire. While shirts and pants have
remained fairly basic, other than the addition of cargo pockets and
a more water-resistant material, the differences are in the details.
Buttons, for example, have gone from metal to plastic, and
belts are much sturdier. Interestingly, the Scouts’ socks have gone
through dozens of redesigns, from old-fashioned calf-high stock-ings
in the Boy Scouts’ early years to 21st century low-cut ath-letic
anklets. “When I was a Scout in the 1980s and ’90s, we had
knee-high socks with a red band at the top,” Bechtel says. “No one
wanted to wear those.”
Uniforms are constantly being restructured for functionality,
but not necessarily style. “They even have pants where the bot-tom
part of the leg can be unzipped to make shorts,” Bechtel says.
“They had nothing like that back in my day.”
Whether it’s the improved uniforms or something else, the
number of Scouts in Arizona is on the rise. When Boy Scouts orga-nizers
met in Mesa in 1921 to form the Arizona chapter, they did so
over a cup of joe. That summer, only nine troops with 204 Scouts
attended the first camp, which was held at Irons Ranch near Supe-rior.
There, the Theodore Roosevelt and Grand Canyon councils
merged, adopting the latter’s name for its national identity.
Today, Arizona has 2,886 troops composed of 58,865 members.
Despite the growing numbers, the mission is still the same — only
the uniforms are different.
■ In July 1858, the
opened a station
at Apache Pass
■ The Maricopa &
arrived in Phoenix
for the first time on
July 4, 1887. Before
that day, passengers
had to travel 30
miles to Maricopa to
catch the train.
■ A 1-square-mile
site in what is now
the city of Mesa was
on July 17, 1878. The
name was Fort
Utah, but when the
site was moved
to a nearby mesa,
Our July 1960 issue was dedicated to the
ancient crafts of Arizona’s Native American
tribes. Included were Hopi basket makers,
who weaved colorful designs into storage
baskets with cloud symbols and animal
drawings, and Navajo artists, who pounded
sterling silver into intricate rings and neck-laces
with bright turquoise stones.
50 years ago
I N A R I Z O N A H I G H W A Y S
THEJOURNAL > history
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, GRAND CANYON COUNCIL
The Snake Patrol, of Scottsdale’s Troop 446, gathers in the
Adirondack Cabin at Camp Geronimo in Payson in 1962.
Catch a greater short-horned lizard
off guard and you might end up
bloody. Not because it’ll pounce
like a jungle cat and turn you into lunch,
but because it might just shoot blood out
of its eyeballs. Heidi Easudes learned that
firsthand when she held one captive during
a road trip to Prescott. She was only 11, so
maybe she didn’t know any better, but boy,
that must have been quite a scene.
Ocular bloodletting is weird, but it’s
also an effective defense mechanism. It’s
intended to ward off potential predators
because of its resultant onerous odor. In
most cases, the lizard will puff itself up and
charge with its horns first, but beware: pro-jectile
blood might be imminent.
As the name suggests, it’s the horns that
differentiate this variety of lizard from others
in the horny-lizard category. A broad gap
separates the two stubby central horns and
a swath of pointed, horn-like scales cascades
down the lizard’s back. The lizard’s lower
extremities are also fringed with pointy
On average, this midsized lizard model
measures just shy of 5 inches from snout to
vent, and it has a remarkable way of blending
in with its surroundings, which means it can
range in base color from tan to gray and vari-ous
shades of brown. The lizards’ backs are
often marked with black blotches, while their
chins and bellies are commonly red-orange
Although they’re cold-tolerant, they hiber-nate
during particularly cold winter months
and save little lizard-making for the spring,
when they move above ground to bask in
the warm midmorning sun. Come summer,
litters can include up to 48 newborn lizards,
which must release themselves from a clear
amniotic sac in order to survive.
Those that make it can be found through-out
Northern, Central and Southeastern Ari-zona,
from semidesert grasslands to conifer
forests. They’re known to frequent open,
sunlit areas and shrubby plateaus, or any-where
they can find a steady, protein-filled
diet of ants, beetles and grasshoppers. They
are not, however, fond of family vehicles or
girls named Heidi.
A Little Short Although they’re only 5 inches long, greater
short-horned lizards can hold their own — pick one up and you might end
up with blood on your hands. By KELLY KRAMER
THEJOURNAL > nature
Touch of Gold
a happy golden
hue in March, and
then off and on
them amid rocks
and on road-sides,
as well as
on sandy mesas.
In late spring,
atop the flowers,
turning them into
tight little balls.
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
12 j u l y 2 0 1 0
JULY 1 - 3 1 F L AGS TA F F
Starry nights take center stage above Arizona’s International Dark Sky City. Head to Lowell
Observatory, on Flagstaff’s Mars Hill, to gaze at summer’s night skies through numerous
telescopes, and peruse exhibits and presentations about celestial objects. Information: 928-
774-3358 or www.lowell.edu.
JUNE 2 8 - JULY 4 PR E SCOT T
This time-honored event revolves around the World’s Oldest Rodeo —
123 years and counting. The weeklong celebration includes specialty
acts, a parade along Prescott’s famous Whiskey Row, a dance, an
arts-and-crafts show and the excitement of one of the country’s most
popular PRCA rodeos. Information: 928-445-3103 or www.worlds
F L AGS TA F F
The cool pines and majestic mountain peaks surrounding Flagstaff
offer the perfect photographic experience. Join Arizona Highways
contributor Chuck Lawson for this photo workshop, which takes
place August 20-22. The trip includes photo shoots at Wupatki and
Sunset Crater national monuments, as well as the Weatherford Trail
and other summer wildflower locations. Information: 888-890-7042 or
JULY 1 7 CAMP V ER DE
Check out one of Arizona’s corniest cel-ebrations.
You’ll get some old-fashioned
entertainment at this festival, which includes
bluegrass music, a corn-eating contest, hog-calling
and outdoor games. Vendor booths
and a corniest joke contest round out the
entertainment. Information: 928-567-0535
JULY 1 - 3 1 TUCSON
Take yourself out to the ballgame this month as the Tucson Toros,
an independent professional baseball team, take on opponents at
Hi Corbett Field. Information: 520-325-1010 or www.tucsontoros.com.
THEJOURNAL > things to do
14 j u l y 2 0 1 0
You’ve heard of rooms with a view? Well, we went
looking for something a little different. And we
found it. From the remote wilderness of the Grand
Canyon to a place on the Colorado River that can
only be reached by boat, we discovered 10 of the
best campsites in Arizona. They’re not exactly
easy to get to, but talk about tents with a view.
written & photographed by kerrick james
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
16 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 17
The first thing that inspired me to tackle the 24 miles of rutted dirt
road leading to this isolated fishhook-shaped bay was its very name.
I thought Arizona Bay sounded cool and promising, not to mention a
little out of the ordinary in a state known mostly for sandstone and
saguaros. Turns out, it’s an excellent place to camp at water’s edge
and photograph the clouds or the stars reflecting off the usually still
waters of the pooling Colorado River. It’s also a prime spot to shoot
kayaking reflections or silhouettes at sunrise or sunset. Perhaps best
of all — at least in the middle of summer — the 60-degree water offers
a wonderful respite from the sun.
Directions: From Kingman, take U.S. Route 93 north for 28 miles
to Cottonwood Road. Turn left (west) onto Cottonwood Road and
drive 29 miles, veering right on Road 36 to Arizona Bay.
FYI: The camping at Arizona Bay is free; however, there are no
restrooms or amenities and no potable water. Filter any water you
drink from the river.
More Information: Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 702-293-
8990 or www.nps.gov/lake
Hidden high up in the Chiricahua Mountains, one of Southeast-ern
Arizona’s spectacular sky islands, is Barfoot Park. That’s not a
typo, by the way, but if you’re so inclined, you can walk barefoot in
the surrounding meadow, which is ringed by the mountains’ sheer
volcanic ramparts to the west. By camping at Barfoot, you’ll miss the
summer crowds in the better-known Rustler Park area, about 2 miles
to the south. And, if you do see another camper, it’ll
probably be a birder — this area offers some of the
best bird-watching in the world (see related story,
page 34). Whether you’re alone or not, you’ll want
to wait for the morning sun to arc high enough in
the sky before crawling out of your tent. When you
do emerge, look up and enjoy the views of Barfoot
Lookout on the summit of Buena Vista Peak.
Directions: From Tucson, drive 81 miles east on
Interstate 10 to Willcox and State Route 186. Turn
south onto SR 186 and continue for 23 miles. Turn
left (east) onto State Route 181 and, following signs
for Chiricahua National Monument, drive 3 miles,
turning right (south) onto Forest Road 42 (Pinery Canyon Road).
Continue to the undeveloped campsite.
FYI: The camping at Barfoot Park is free; however, it’s primitive,
which means there are no amenities and no potable water. As in all for-est
areas, be extremely careful with your fire. At this site in particular,
the majestic pines under which you’ll be camping leave a deep carpet
of dry flammable needles.
More Information: Douglas Ranger District, Coronado National
Forest, 520-364-3468 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
BUCK FARM OVERLOOK,
I went looking for this rarely visited vantage point of the Grand
Canyon after seeing it described as one of the most isolated camping
spots in Arizona. If you crave solitude, this is the campsite for you.
Driving in, I was actually grateful for the 23 miles of washboard dirt
road that separates the rim from the pavement of State Route 89A
— it’s what keeps the casually curious at bay. Naturally, a place so
isolated and so incredible requires a major commitment of time and
endurance along some rugged back roads. It’s worth it, though. The
views of Marble Canyon and the sliver of the Colorado River that you’ll
glimpse while hiking along the rim are nothing short of breathtaking.
Directions: From Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon, drive west on
U.S. Route 89A approximately 20 miles to Forest Road 8910. Turn left
onto FR 8910 and drive 23 miles to the fork. Take the left fork and
drive 2 miles to Forest Road 445H. Turn left onto FR 445H and drive
3 miles to the end.
FYI: The camping at the overlook is free; however, it’s primitive,
which means there are no amenities and no potable water. Beware,
>> EDITOR’S NOTE: What follows are 10 of what we consider the most amazing campsites in Arizona. Although each
one falls into the general category of “car-camping,” they’re remote and require more effort than just pulling into a KOA.
You’ll need to pack the basics: tent, sleeping bag, sunscreen, sunglasses, maps, matches, compass, flashlight, pocket-knife,
first-aid kit, food, water, clothing, etc. Because you’re car-camping, pack plenty of extras and, if at all possible,
travel with someone else. If that’s not an option, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. Of
course, while you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, keep in mind that even when the skies are clear, flash floods are a
reality in Arizona. Beware. Also, if you see lightning approaching, take cover in your vehicle or crouch down in a low, dry
spot. If you plan to use a portable stove or build a campfire, check with the area’s governing agency beforehand — fire
restrictions may apply during periods of high fire danger. At campsites where fires are allowed, use only established fire
pits, and put your fire out at least 30 minutes before you start to break camp. Let the fire die down, then pour water over
the wood and ashes and cover them with soil. Mix the soil, water and ashes until the fire and any embers are completely
out. Finally, use common sense and always obey the Leave No Trace Ethics (see page 46).
this is remote backcountry, so be prepared and check your spare tire
before leaving the house (see Editor’s Note, page 16). A high-clearance
vehicle is strongly recommended.
More Information: Backcountry Information Office, Grand Can-yon
National Park, 928-638-7875 or www.nps.gov/grca
COCHISE STRONGHOLD CAMPGROUND
Cochise Stronghold Campground, in an area that formerly served
as the home base of the famed Apache chief, is tucked in a canyon
of the Dragoon Mountains. This campground has just 11 sites, but
your chances of nabbing one are pretty good. In addition to the obvi-ous
scenic beauty of the area, I love the way the warm morning light
reflects into the campground off the light-colored walls of granite.
And, of course, at an elevation of 5,000 feet, it’s a cool place to get a
great night’s sleep.
Directions: From Tucson, take Interstate 10 east for 72 miles. Turn
right (south) onto U.S. Route 191 and drive 12 miles. Turn right (east)
onto Ironwood Road (which becomes Forest Road 85), and continue
for 8 miles to the campground.
FYI: The camping fee is $10 per night, and there’s a $5 user fee
in this section of the Coronado National Forest. Open September
through May. Grills and picnic tables
More Information: Douglas Ranger
District, Coronado National Forest, 520-
364-3468 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
CRABTREE WASH, APACHE LAKE
Not far from Phoenix, the fifth-largest city in the United States,
several gorgeous lakes offer a quick getaway and a chance to escape
the gridlock. Apache Lake is among them, and Crabtree Wash Recre-ation
Site, tucked in a lovely shallow cove, is one of my favorite spots
on the lake. In the cove, you can pitch your tent on gravelly sand that’s
surrounded by vistas of saguaros, volcanic cliffs and refreshing water
— ideal for swimming, fishing and (figuratively) drinking in. In the
morning, the day’s first light will illuminate the cliff walls to the west.
It’s beautiful. Also, on the beach, there’s room to play Frisbee, have a
barbecue, watch for shooting stars, and forget you’re just a quick hop
from the freeways and the rush of people.
Directions: From Mesa, drive north on State Route 87, the Beeline
Highway, for 60 miles. Turn right onto State Route 188 and continue
PRECEDING PANEL: The clear, cool water
of Arizona Bay along the Lower
Colorado River attracts campers to
OPPOSITE PAGE: Coronado National
Forest signs lead travelers to camp-ing
sites in the Chiricahua Mountains.
ABOVE: The Arizona Trail offers many
camping spots along its 819-mile
route, such as this one at Crabtree
Wash on Apache Lake.
18 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 19
33 miles. Turn right onto State Route 88 and drive 12 miles. Turn right
onto Forest Road 79 and continue 1 mile to the site. Another option is
to take State Route 88 from Apache Junction.
FYI: A $6 per day fee applies. At an elevation of 1,900 feet, this site
is better suited for late summer and early fall; however, nighttime
temperatures will often drop into the 60s, even in the summer. State
Route 88 (the Apache Trail) is a narrow, winding mountain road.
Filter any water you drink from the lake.
More Information: Tonto Basin Ranger District, Tonto National
Forest, 928-467-3200 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/tonto
CUTTHROAT CAMPGROUND, BIG LAKE
This beautiful site in a tents-only campground on the south shore
of Big Lake offers great views of nearby Mount Baldy. Named for the
trout that are stocked in the area lakes, the 9,040-foot-high site is sur-rounded
by groves of aspens and grassy meadows. If you’re looking
for a little exercise, follow the Little Colorado River drainage up the
slopes of Mount Baldy — the views from the top extend well into New
Mexico. You’ll find potable water, showers and vault toilets on-site;
filter any water you drink from the lake.
Directions: From Pinetop, drive east on State Route 260 for 60
miles. Turn south onto State Route 261 and continue 20 miles. Turn
south onto Forest Road 115 and drive 1 mile.
FYI: The camping fee is $12 per night, and there are 18 campsites
available; RVs are not allowed. The campground is open May through
September; reservations may be made by calling 928-537-8888 or online
at www.reserveamerica.com. Take a warm sleeping bag. You’ll need it.
More Information: Springerville Ranger District, Apache-Sit-greaves
National Forests, 928-333-4301 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf
THE PRIMITIVE CAMPGROUND,
Ranking right up there with the Grand Canyon in terms of world-famous
icons are The Mittens of Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley
Park — sandstone monoliths that look like giant red hands emerging
from the ocher soil. Most people simply drive by and gaze out the
window, but a better option is to camp right next to The Mittens. It’s
the best way to watch the interplay of light, shadow and cloud. But
that’s just the beginning. Rainbows, star tracks, evanescent sunrises
and sunsets, horses and riders ... they all allow a seemingly endless
range of photographic possibilities, whether you shoot them with a
camera or the lenses of your eyes.
Directions: From Kayenta, take U.S. Route 163 north 23 miles to
Indian Route 42 (the entrance road to Monument Valley Tribal Park)
and turn right (east). Drive 4 miles to the park entrance booth, where
you will receive directions to the campground.
FYI: The camping fee is $10 per night, and there’s another $5 per
person entrance fee to access Monument Valley Tribal Park. The
campground is primitive; however, there are chemical toilets and
picnic tables. The Navajo Nation observes daylight saving time, while
the rest of Arizona does not. And be sure to pack every memory card
or roll of film you can find — you’ll need them all.
More Information: Monument Valley Tribal Park, 435-727-5874 or
WOODS CANYON LAKE
Just a mile or so north of the edge of the Mogollon Rim, about 30
minutes northeast of Payson, this fantastic fishing lake offers campers
an oceanfront view, so to speak. When I’m there, I like to pitch my tent
under the ponderosa pines at the Spillway Campground. There’s noth-ing
better than listening to the swish of the branches and the lapping
of water just 30 yards below. The campground provides a shady spot
to cool off after hiking along the scenic Mogollon Rim, home to the
largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world.
Directions: From Payson, drive east on State Route 260 past Kohl’s
Ranch to where the road tops out on the Mogollon Rim. Turn left onto
Forest Road 300, across from the Rim Visitors Center; follow the signs
for approximately 5 miles to Woods Canyon Lake.
FYI: The camping fee is $20 per night. Reservations are highly
recommended; make them at 877-444-6777 or online at www.recre
ation.gov. Because the lake is located at an elevation of 7,500 feet, the
Royce James enjoys a good
book, along with a magnifi-cent
view of The Mittens, at
Monument Valley Tribal Park.
ARIZON A HIGHWAYS
20 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
nights will be chilly — you might even need an extra blanket. The
campground is closed mid-September through mid-May, earlier or
later, depending on weather. Drinking water is available.
More Information: Springerville Ranger District, Apache-Sit-greaves
National Forests, 928-333-4301 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/asnf
POINT SUBLIME, GRAND CANYON
Rarely does a name say it all, but this one surely does. After 18
deeply rutted, often-muddy miles on a high-centered road, you’ll come
to the naked limestone ledges at the very edge of the North Rim of the
Grand Canyon. You’ll know you’re there when you’re surrounded by
endless vistas to the south, east and west. At any time of day, from
morning sunbeams to afternoon thunderstorm displays, it’s likely
you’ll be blown away by what you’ll see in front of you. So, pack a
camera, preferably something panoramic, a tripod, a rain slicker and
watch the weather, light and drama change the views of the Canyon
every other second.
Directions: From Flagstaff, drive north on State Route 89 to State
Route 89A and turn left. Continue to State Route 67 and turn south
toward the North Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Turn
right just before the ranger station before reaching the rim.
FYI: The camping is free; however, it’s primitive, which means
there are no amenities and no potable water, and a camping permit
is required. Permits are available from the Backcountry Information
Office of Grand Canyon National Park. The office is open 1-5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday only. Beware, this is remote backcountry, so
be prepared and check your spare tire before leaving the house (see Edi-tor’s
Note, page 16). A high-clearance vehicle is strongly recommended.
More Information: Backcountry Information Office, Grand Can-yon
National Park, 928-638-7875 or www.nps.gov/grca
Arizona’s “West Coast,” as it’s known, offers a wide variety of small,
secluded campsites, many of which are reachable only by boat. One of
my favorites, Three Dunes, is in a small cove ringed by a soft, sandy
beach. I especially like the wind-sculpted dunes that afford views up
and down the river. It reminds me of the shoreline along the Sea of
Cortes. In addition to being a scenic location to shoot, it’s also ideal if
you just want to camp and relax.
Directions: To Cattail Cove State Park from Lake Havasu City,
drive south on State Route 95 for 11 miles. Turn right (west) onto Lake
Shore Boulevard and follow to the park’s entrance. To reach the park’s
28 primitive boat-in campsites by motorized boat, contact a park
FYI: The camping fee is $10 per night. Although it can get warm
in the daytime, evenings cool off nicely by the water, even during the
summer months. Nevertheless, always keep plenty of water handy, and
filter any water you drink from the river.
More Information: Cattail Cove State Park, 928-855-1223 or www.
RIGHT: Keanu and Royce
James enjoy a campfire along
the Colorado River at a Three
BELOW: Point Sublime in
Grand Canyon National Park
is an apt description for one
of Arizona’s ultimate
ADDITIONAL READING: For more campsites, pick up a
copy of our book, Arizona’s 144 Best Campgrounds. Now
in its fifth printing, the book ($15.95) features the state’s
most beautiful campgrounds. To order a copy, call 800-
543-5432 or visit www.arizonahighways.com.
22 j u l y 2 0 1 0
When it comes to Arizona, there are a
couple of half-baked stereotypes: 1) the
state is overrun with old people and 2)
the terrain is nothing but hot, dry des-ert.
Here’s the reality: Arizona ranks
25th in the U.S. in terms of people over
65 (even Vermont has more seniors per
capita) and third in terms of biodiver-sity.
And with that biodiversity comes
four seasons, including summer. You
can keep buying into the stereotypes,
but as you’ll see in this month’s port-folio,
when it comes to the greens of
summer, Arizona can certainly hold
its own, no matter how old you are.
P O R T F O L I O
A Portfolio by Nick Berezenko
and Suzanne Mathia
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
To order a print of this photograph, call 866-962-1191 or visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com.
24 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 25
P O R T F O L I O
PRECEDING PANEL: A drop of dew clings to a blade of grass,
showing the softer side of Arizona summers.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
ABOVE: An iris bud reveals its multihued form before coming
into full bloom. PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE MATHIA
RIGHT: Central Arizona’s Fossil Creek reflects the low-hanging
branches of an Arizona alder. PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
26 j u l y 2 0 1 0
Tonto Falls flows amid a variety of verdant vegetation
in the Tonto National Forest, below the Mogollon Rim.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
P O R T F O L I O
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28 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 29
P O R T F O L I O
ABOVE: A yellow bee plant stands out
against the red soil of Fossil Springs
Wilderness in the Coconino National
Forest. PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
RIGHT: Sunset’s glow combines with
reflections of Oak Creek’s tree-lined
banks to create an idyllic summer scene.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE MATHIA
30 j u l y 2 0 1 0
P O R T F O L I O
Wild grapevines cover the lush landscape of Havasu
Canyon within Grand Canyon National Park.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE MATHIA
" www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
P O R T F O L I O
LEFT: A waterfall rushes over travertine
cliffs at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE MATHIA
ABOVE: Along the Barnhardt Trail in the Mazatzal
Mountains, a seep in the quartzite walls provides
moisture to the area’s natural foliage.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NICK BEREZENKO
34 j u l y 2 0 1 0
WILDLIFE People get excited about seeing elk. And antelopes. And anything
else in the wild kingdom. They’ll even stop in the middle of the
road and pull out their cameras. But that’s a bad idea. Instead, go
where our wildlife expert likes to go. It’s safer, it’s scenic and you
might even catch a glimpse of an endangered species.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BRUCE D. TAUBERT
To order a print of this photograph, call 866-962-1191 or visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com.
BY LORI K . BAKER
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
36 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 37
espite evidence to the contrary in places like Phoenix and
Tucson, Arizona is still the epicenter of the Wild Wild
West. Not the cowboys-and-Indians kind of wildness,
but wildlife — from raise-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck
encounters with Gila monsters and black bears to heart-warming
glimpses of iridescent hummingbirds and diffi-dent
Kaibab squirrels. Spotting a rare Mexican gray wolf in
the White Mountains, spying an even rarer elegant trogon
in a riparian area, or seeing an elk saunter through an alpine
meadow is not only a thrill, it’s an uplifting experience. If any-one
should know, it’s Bruce D. Taubert, an acclaimed wildlife
photographer and wildlife biologist who has devoted more
than 25 years to protecting wildlife and Arizona’s remaining
wild places. In a recent inter-view,
he shared 10 of his favor-ite
places to view wildlife.
Clockwise from above left: Rocky Mountain elk (C.K. Lorenz), elegant trogon
(Bruce D. Taubert), bobcat (John Cancalosi), Sonoran pronghorn (C.K. Lorenz)
CAVE CREEK CANYON
“Once you see the condor soaring, it owns you,” writes National Pub-lic
Radio reporter John Nielsen in his book, Condor: To the Brink and
Back — The Life and Times of One Giant Bird. After dramatically surviving
near-extinction, this prehistoric bird, a remnant of the Pleistocene
epoch, now soars gracefully for miles and miles over the vast cliffs and
buttes of the Grand Canyon’s South Rim — its giant 9-foot wingspan
outstretched. This is home to one of only three wild populations of
California condors in the world. The scruffy black vulture with a
bald head was rescued from the brink of extinction by a successful
captive-breeding program and reintroduction at Arizona’s Vermilion
Cliffs beginning in 1996. While many other skittish wildlife species
dodge for cover along the Canyon’s South Rim, which draws about
4.5 million visitors a year, the California condor can easily be spot-ted
windsurfing the updrafts. If your timing is right, you might also
glimpse mule deer, bighorn sheep and elk.
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, drive west on Interstate 40 for approximately
35 miles to the State Route 64 exit. Drive north on SR 64 for 62 miles to
the South Rim entrance of Grand Canyon National Park.
INFORMATION: 928-638-7888 or www.nps.gov/grca
A splash of color catches your eye — a glistening green back, a bright
crimson belly and long coppery tail. With binoculars in hand, you spy
one of Arizona’s rarest and most dazzling birds, the elegant trogon, a
top prize for bird-watchers. “If there’s a single bird among the roughly
six dozen Arizona species that fill the dreams of out-of-state birders
planning their first trip to the Southwest, it most assuredly must be
the elegant trogon,” says Jim Burns, author of Jim Burns’ Arizona Birds:
From the Backyard to the Backwoods. One of the best places to see this
flamboyant bird, by which even dazzling hummingbirds pale by
comparison, is Cave Creek Canyon, located on the outskirts of Portal
in Southeastern Arizona. Your best bet is to take the South Fork Trail,
which starts at the South Fork Picnic Area and crosses and recrosses
a stream as it meanders through a riparian forest of walnut, sycamore
and cypress trees. Enjoy a few moments of silence, and you might
spy a cast of characters in the branches: a red-faced warbler, Arizona
woodpecker, Lucy’s warbler, sulphur-bellied flycatcher or one of a
variety of hummingbirds found only in Arizona. While Cave Creek
Canyon is one of the best places to see wildlife, it’s also one of the
state’s best-kept secrets.
DIRECTIONS: From Tucson, take Interstate 10 east for 139 miles, crossing
the New Mexico border. Turn right (south) onto U.S. Route 80 and drive
28 miles, then turn right (west) onto the road to Portal, for 7 miles. Head
west on Forest Road 42 for approximately 2 miles to the South Fork turnoff;
turn right (south) and continue 1 mile to the South Fork Picnic Area and
INFORMATION: 520-388-8300 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
38 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 39
or simply Mount Lemmon Road — keep in mind that it’s a real zoo
out there. The winding road begins in the saguaro-studded Sonoran
Desert and climbs past scrub oak and finally into cool mountain
forests of pines, aspens and firs at the top. As you travel though the
varied habitats, just about anything might wander out of the woods:
a white-tailed deer, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, ringtail, gray
fox or red squirrel. “It is the best place to see the yellow-eyed junco, a
real rare bird that’s found in one or two sites in Arizona,” Taubert says.
It’s also home to the Arizona woodpecker, Steller’s jay, plumbeous and
Hutton’s vireos, hepatic and western tanagers, mountain chickadees
and painted redstarts.
DIRECTIONS: From Tucson, drive northeast on the Catalina Highway to the
national forest boundary where the road designation changes to (General)
Hitchcock Highway. Continue up the mountain 26 miles to the village of
Summerhaven and another 2 miles to the summit.
INFORMATION: 520-388-8300 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
Madera Creek zigzags through the heart of this canyon in the Santa
Rita Mountains south of Tucson, spinning lush ribbons of grasslands,
sycamores and pines. This is a fecund realm for more than 240 species
of birds — including 15 different hummingbirds, which flutter among
scenic views of 9,453-foot Mount Wrightson and the broad Santa Cruz
Valley. If you’re a birder stalking an elegant trogon, painted redstart,
broad-billed hummingbird or whiskered screech owl, this is the place
to be. Meanwhile, be on the lookout for the Mexican jay, bridled tit-mouse,
acorn and Arizona woodpeckers and sulphur-bellied and
dusky-capped flycatchers. Exotic mammals and reptiles also roam
there, so if you’ve ever wanted to brush past a coatimundi, mountain
skink or Madrean alligator lizard, this is the place.
DIRECTIONS: From Tucson, drive south on Interstate 19 to Continental Road,
Exit 63. Continue approximately 11 miles, following the signs to Madera
INFORMATION: 520-388-8300 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
Don’t let the name fool you. It’s best to take it slow on this 35-mile
roller-coaster drive that starts at an elevation of 3,200 feet among
cactus, yucca and mesquite and ends at 9,400 feet in verdant alpine
meadows just below the top of Mount Graham. From an ecologist’s
point of view, traversing these switchbacks is the equivalent of driv-ing
from Mexico to Canada in one leisurely afternoon, because you
pass through five of North America’s seven life zones, all populated
by a variety of plants and wildlife. The endangered Mount Graham
red squirrel (it’s actually grayish-brown in color with rusty and tan
markings along its back) inhabits the highest elevations. Stage a stake-out
and you might also see white-tailed deer, Abert’s squirrels, black
bears, northern goshawks or Yarrow’s spiny lizards.
DIRECTIONS: From Safford, drive 8 miles southward on U.S. Route 191. Turn
right and head southwest on State Route 366, the Swift Trail. The road
continues for 35 miles to the top.
INFORMATION: 520-388-8300 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado
Just take a seat on a park bench along the Lake Loop Trail in Pinetop-
Lakeside’s Woodland Lake Park and enjoy the show while ospreys,
perched on snags surrounding the lake, dive for fish. You might also
spot turkey vultures, double-crested cormorants, pied-billed grebes,
great blue herons and belted kingfishers, along with a host of wood-peckers,
hummingbirds, blackbirds and swallows during the summer
months. For a road trip, head out on the 45-mile Wildcat Point Loop
Drive around dawn or dusk, and this road, which passes through old-growth
forest and skirts Black River vistas, might also offer a sneak
peek at elk and mule deer.
DIRECTIONS: From Phoenix, drive east on Interstate 10 for 10 miles to U.S.
Route 60. Head east on U.S. 60 for 80 miles to Globe. Turn left, remaining
on U.S. 60, and continue 75 miles to Show Low. Turn right (south) on State
Route 260 for 9 miles to Pinetop. Turn right onto Rim Road and continue a
half-mile to Wagon Wheel Road. Take Wagon Wheel Road less than a mile
to White Mountain Boulevard, the center of Pinetop.
INFORMATION: 928-368-6700 or www.ci.pinetop-lakeside.az.us/
Each summer, migratory songbirds flock to an 1890s homestead,
where a rough-hewn cabin remains in a small, scenic mountain
meadow on the south slope of the San Francisco Peaks. Two springs
form a small creek and pond surrounded by towering ponderosa, fir
and aspen trees — an enticing habitat known as the Lamar Haines
Memorial Wildlife Area that offers visitors a good chance of seeing
mule deer and elk in the mornings and evenings.
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, drive 7 miles northwest on State Route 180.
Turn north on Forest Road 516/Snowbowl Road and continue 4.5 miles to
the designated parking for the wildlife area.
INFORMATION: 928-527-3600 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino
KAIBAB PLATEAU PARKWAY
SAN FRANCISCO PEAKS
SIPE WHITE MOUNTAIN SWIFT TRAIL
Summer brings an array of festivals. In Arizona, there’s even a hum-mingbird
festival (High Country Hummers) in the Sipe White
Mountain Wildlife Area, outside of Springerville in Eastern Arizona.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would take to catch a high-speed
hummingbird, you can find out on July 31, when handlers from the
Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory will be at Sipe to capture and
collect data on the area’s diminutive birds. In this cool, high-elevation
destination that includes views of Escudilla Mountain, one of Ari-zona’s
tallest peaks, visitors can explore exhibits of live hawks and
owls, as well as venture off on four hiking trails through a variety of
habitats, including grasslands roamed by abundant elk, pronghorns,
mule deer and coyotes. An observant eye might also catch a glimpse
of smaller critters, such as porcupines, badgers, Abert’s squirrels,
golden-mantled and 13-lined ground squirrels, and cliff chipmunks.
Make new feathered friends by heading down the 3-mile Rudd Creek
Loop Trail, binocs in hand, or by exploring the orchard and tall trees
surrounding the visitors center, which is strewn with hummingbird
feeders. Rudd Creek is where the action is for songbirds (mountain
and western bluebirds, white-breasted nuthatches, American robins,
Virginia’s warblers, black-headed grosbeaks and Bullock’s orioles) and
water birds (northern pintails, cinnamon and green-winged teals,
white-faced ibises and great blue herons).
DIRECTIONS: From Eagar, take State Route 260 to U.S. Route 180/191 and
drive south for 2 miles toward Alpine. At the top of a mesa, turn right at the
sign, and continue 5 miles to the two parking areas.
INFORMATION: 928-367-4281, 602-942-3000 or www.azgfd.gov
Set your alarm clock for the wee hours of the morning, and you’ll be
nearly guaranteed a wildlife sighting along this 44-mile National
Scenic Byway, which ribbons past ponderosa pines, spruce firs, grassy
high plains and mountain meadows, and ends at the North Rim of the
Grand Canyon. “You’ll see lots of Merriam’s turkeys along the way,
feeding in the fields with their young,” says Bruce D. Taubert, retired
assistant director for wildlife management for the Arizona Game and
Fish Department, and a frequent visitor to this area to photograph
mule deer. This is one of only two places (the other is nearby Mount
Trumbull) you’ll find Kaibab squirrels — shy sprites, known for their
tufted ears, contrasting black bellies and white plumes for tails. As the
name suggests, the scenic drive crosses the enormous Kaibab Plateau
(“Kaibab” is derived from a Paiute word meaning “mountain lying
down”), which is home to one of the country’s densest populations of
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, drive north on U.S. Route 89. Turn left (west)
onto U.S. 89A, where the routes split. Follow the highway to Jacob Lake,
which is the start of the Scenic Byway on State Route 67. Continue 30 miles
to the Grand Canyon National Park North Rim entrance. The Canyon is 13
miles farther south.
INFORMATION: 928-635-5600 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai
There’s one place in Arizona where wildlife is guarded by a fort —
Fort Huachuca, the historic headquarters of the 4th Cavalry patrols
that pursued Geronimo and the famous Buffalo Soldiers who chased
Pancho Villa in 1916. Now a military intelligence and communica-tions
center, Fort Huachuca is about the last place you’d expect to
find a Garden of Eden. But, bordered by creeks, ponds, forests and
waterfalls, Garden Canyon is home to white-tailed deer, pronghorns,
javelinas, coatimundis and must-sees for bird-watchers, including
elegant trogons, acorn woodpeckers, Mexican jays and red-faced war-blers.
South of Fort Huachuca, a spring-fed stream and high canyon
walls create the moist, cool Ramsey Canyon, known for its immense
variety of plant and animal life. In this exotic landscape, water-loving
sycamores, maples, lemon lilies and columbines line the banks of
Ramsey Creek, often growing just a few feet away from iconic des-ert
cactuses, yuccas and agaves. Here, you might catch glimpses of
14 hummingbird species, including beryllin and white-eared hum-mingbirds
— the numbers peak from mid-July to August. Another
bird-watching mecca is nearby Miller Canyon, where visitors lounge
at picnic benches at Beatty’s Guest Ranch and watch hummingbirds
hover around feeders. Meanwhile, the highly elusive plain-capped
starthroat has been spotted at Ash Canyon, along with the Scott’s
oriole and Lucifer hummingbird.
DIRECTIONS: From Tucson, drive 44 miles east on Interstate 10. Take Exit
302, turn right (south) onto State Route 90, and drive 30 miles to the
center of Sierra Vista.
INFORMATION: 520-417-6960 or www.visitsierravista.com
Before you embark on the 25-mile National Scenic Byway leading to
Mount Lemmon, which is known by several aliases — General Hitch-cock
Highway, the Catalina Highway, the Sky Island Scenic Parkway
Gray fox (BRUCE D. TAUBERT)
40 j u l y 2 0 1 0
Thanks to John Wayne, John Ford,
Louis L’Amour, Larry McMurtry ... a
romantic image of the American
cowboy dominates books, movies
and even advertising. Less attention,
however, has been given to ranch
women, who work just as hard as the
men, whether they’re in the kitchen or
out on the range.
BY MARY TOLAN PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER SCHWEPKER
RANCHWOMEN www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 41
42 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 43
t’s close to noon on this windy Friday,
and Victoria Howell Westlake has been
up since 4 a.m. She’s preparing her second meal
of the day, which, like the first, will feed a dozen
or so hungry cowboys, including her father, hus-band
and new brother-in-law.
As huge beefsteaks sizzle on the outside
grill, Victoria and her mother, Jamie Howell,
scrub and slice potatoes inside the bunkhouse
kitchen, and then Victoria drops them into a
large cast-iron skillet on the gas stove. On the
long Formica-topped table is a mouthwatering
spread, laid out cafeteria-style. With the steaks
are cowboy beans, greens, rolls, tall plastic
pitchers of lemonade and ice tea, and a tanta-lizing
The men file in, some with spurs jingling,
all in jeans, cowboy hats off for this midday
dinner, and serve themselves heaping plates
as the women stand by. After the men’s plates
are filled, Victoria, her mother, sister Danielle
Howell Rodgers, Victoria’s young daughters,
Katherine and Rebecca, and a couple
of visitors join in the breaking of the
bread. Or, rather, the freshly baked
It’s the last day of the fall roundup at the Redlands Camp of the
Babbitts’ Cataract Ranch about 75 miles northeast of Flagstaff. The
cowboys have gathered to wean the calves, perform “preg checks” and
to “turn the cows out” to winter country.
Like many ranch families, the Howell men and women work hard
together to keep the cattle business thriving. Jamie’s husband, Vic
Howell, has been managing the Babbitt ranches for about a decade.
Before him, his father, Bill Howell, worked as Babbitt ranch manager
for 25 years.
Romantic images of the cowboy permeate American literature, arts,
music and even advertising. Less attention has been paid to ranching
women, who can be found in ranch kitchens and out on the range. The
Howell family provides one snapshot of a way of life for ranchers in the
American West today.
Family traditions are passed through the generations of this North-ern
Arizona ranching family. And not simply riding and roping. Both
Jamie and Vic come from ranching families. Jamie grew up in Prescott
and married Vic when she was 17; he was an older man at 19. Vic basi-cally
grew up on the Babbitt ranches. And now, all three of Vic and
Jamie’s daughters have married cowboys they met while their future
husbands worked for Vic. Two of those cowboys still work for their
“Vic’s thing was he wanted his girls to grow up and ranch and rope
and ride and brand,” Jamie says after the cowboys give their thanks
and leave the bunkhouse with full bellies. While Jamie and Victoria
clean up the kitchen, Danielle, who married in the summer and is now
pregnant, keeps watch over her nieces. “He would tell them, ‘You don’t
have to do this [life], but you have to know how to.’”
“And he knew once we did it, we’d love it,” adds Victoria, who with
her sisters is a fourth-generation ranch woman.
“Because Dad didn’t make us do this, but he made us learn it so we’d
know how, then it was ... like, ‘I’m not living in town; that’s the last
thing I’d ever want to do,’ ” Danielle explains. “The last thing I’d want
to do is marry some man who wanted to live in town.”
She didn’t. Danielle married Clay Rodgers, who, like the Howell
girls, had grown up on the Babbitt ranches. Their wedding saw a Flag-staff
church bursting at the seams with long-legged cowboys in their
go-to-town jeans and best snap-button shirts, pretty cowgirls and a
heap of children. A photo in the church vestibule shows Danielle in her
white wedding dress donning a white cowboy hat.
The third Howell daughter is Cassandra Howell Oland, who lives
with her husband about 40 miles southwest of Prescott, where she’s
a ranch bookkeeper. Her husband, Ryan Oland, worked as a horse-breaker
for Vic, and now shoes and breaks horses outside Prescott.
Cassandra didn’t join the family for the fall roundup. But she echoed
her sisters’ and mother’s words one summer day in Flagstaff where
she and her sisters traveled to get their toenails painted for Danielle’s
“Everything that Dad was part of, we were part of, too,” Cassandra
says, picking out just the right faux rhinestone to be placed on her big
toenail for the wedding. “He didn’t have boys, so he seized the oppor-tunity
of having girls. Dad gave us each a horse when we were born and
wanted us definitely to be part of it all.”
All three Howell girls were home-schooled by their mom. “I don’t
regret home-schooling them and being able to have children at home
and teaching at home. We rodeoed with them and 4-H’d with them;
the family 4-H club was a big part of the girls’ growing up,” Jamie says,
stopping for a moment before shaping her next words. “We only have
them for a short time. I was able to spend every day with them while
they were little.”
Many ribbons, trophies and giant belt buckles were brought home
by the girls’ efforts. Cassandra was the only one of the Howell girls who
wasn’t 100 percent sure if ranch life was for her.
“When I was little, I wanted to be a beautician. Later I thought about
going to New York and pursuing modeling,” says the second daughter,
who, like her sisters, has long straight hair and a stunning smile. The
second year of her marriage, she was pregnant with her first child. “We
lived in Tucson, in an apartment,” Cassandra recalls. “I hated it. I can’t
handle all those people. It wasn’t for me, and it wasn’t for my husband.”
t another family workday, this time in November, Victo-ria
and Danielle join their husbands and father. Instead
of cooking for a crew on this windy day marked by puffy
clouds flying across the sun’s rays, the sisters mount up.
The morning is filled with the constant lowing of heifers.
As their mom and aunt work the cattle, Katherine
and Rebecca, the next potential generation of ranch women, watch
from the other side of the fence, helping their dad weigh the heifers,
and tossing stones at a stock tank.
Both women wear jeans, boots, winter parkas and, of course, cow-boy
hats — a gray one for Victoria and a tawny one with a jaunty feather
for Danielle. Danielle wears a white silky scarf around her neck to keep
the dust out, and Victoria’s is silver.
Today’s work is to gather heifers from the pastures to the corrals
at the Tin House camp — part of the Babbitts’ Espee Ranch, off State
Route 64, about halfway between Williams and the South Rim of
the Grand Canyon — and onto an 18-wheeler that will transport the
animals to Oklahoma.
Victoria rides Piñon while Danielle rides Chocolate, the ranch’s
fastest horse and one that helped both Cassandra and Danielle win
numerous rodeo prizes, including trips to nationals for Danielle when
she was in high school. Chocolate was awarded the state’s prestigious
Horse of the Year award 2 years in a row, and carried Danielle around
hundreds of barrels at a breathtaking clip.
The sisters look like they were born on horseback. Horse and rider
become one, turning the horses like city girls might take a bicycle
around a bend. The job requires moving often-reluctant cattle from
one corral to the other to be weighed and then counted before being
loaded onto the truck. The women lean over to pull gates closed, horses
backing up, moving sideways, flowing with their riders. It’s a dusty job
as the wind whips through camp.
Both women slap the ends of their coiled ropes over and over, nudg-ing
the heifers from one corral to another. Clay also rides the herd, as
Scott, Victoria’s husband, stays outside the corral with the little girls.
“Hey,” Danielle calls out as one of the animals decides it’s not inter-ested
in moving into the weighing area with the rest of the herd. Danielle
deftly turns Chocolate and the two race after the lone heifer to
bring her back. Danielle clicks her tongue to get the animal moving.
As Victoria moves another bunch of heifers, she yells a harsh “hey,
hey, hey, hey, hey.” Suddenly, the little voice of one of the girls floats on
the air from outside of the corral. “Mommy, mommy, mommy.”
“In a minute, sweetheart,” Victoria answers from atop her mount.
Her voice is now high and sing-songy, the perpetual mother’s call. Then
it’s back to the raspy “hey, hey, hey, hey, hey” as she focuses again on the
cattle running in front of Piñon.
It’s been a few years now since Victoria has worked on horseback.
She’s content in both jobs, but says it’s fun to mount back up and work
“It’s like riding a bike. You never forget,” she says after the job is fin-ished.
When she and Danielle are asked if the men will cook for them,
they both laugh quietly.
“I wish,” Victoria says. “It’s so much more work now because of having
them [her daughters]. You’ve got to get them ready, get yourself ready,
do all this, and then go home and work.”
Growing up, Victoria, being the eldest, was often her dad’s main
sidekick. “He’d say to me things like, ‘You pick out a good bull,’ and
I would,” Victoria remembers. “I didn’t cook, I didn’t do stuff in the
kitchen until now. When Scott and I got married, I still helped. I was
out there with him 3 days a week, maybe 4.”
Vic Howell is thrilled that all three of his daughters are living the
“It’s a great way to raise kids,” he says while holding his grand-daughter
Rebecca during a local cowboy rodeo. “I hope it stays around.
I hope we don’t lose it. American standards live through the ranching
life: truth, honesty, fairness and values.
“I’m happy to see our girls choosing men who continue that lifestyle,”
he adds. “They didn’t move to New York City or L.A. to lose that.”
Little Katherine is already in love with the life. She wears pink cow-boy
boots, no matter what else makes up her outfit of the day.
“She’s been riding forever, but by herself since she was 4,” Victoria
says. She remembers earlier in the year when Katherine had just turned
4 and she ran barrels for the first time — at a lope and atop one of the
safer horses on the ranch. She was not pleased. “She said, ‘I just want
to ride on Chocolate, and go faster and faster and faster.’ And when I
cooked for the cowboys last spring, Katherine thought it was wonder-ful
— all this food and all these guys.”
Today, there’s no telling what life choices will be made by the fifth-generation
Howell cowgirls — Katherine, Rebecca and their youngest
cousins — but one thing remains clear: This family will keep working
together to keep the ranching tradition alive. And the Howell women
will continue to support an American way of life, far from the America
of malls, lattes and instant messaging.
PRECEDING PANEL: Victoria Howell Westlake leads her daughter,
Katherine, out of the gate after a long day of work at the Tin House
FAR LEFT AND LEFT: In addition to kitchen duty, Westlake drives heifers
onto the loading truck for the Babbitt ranches.
ABOVE: Danielle Howell Rodgers sports the appropriate cowgirl attire.
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
44 j u l y 2 0 1 0
there’s an age-old stigma
about venturing to the
south side of almost any set of
railroad tracks. Mothers warn
against it. Songs lament the
consequences. But it’s probably
safe to say that if Mom or Bruce
Springsteen had ever ventured
through Garland Prairie — just
west of Flagstaff and south of
the BNSF Railway tracks —
they’d sing a different song.
After exiting south, off
Interstate 40 at Parks (Exit
178), onto Garland Prairie Road
(Forest Road 141), you not only
cross the tracks, you also cross
into another dimension of
Northern Arizona. With such
driving-force destinations as
the Grand Canyon, the San
Francisco Peaks and Sedona
nearby, Garland Prairie gets a
lot less attention, but its rec-reational
and scenic bounties
rank right up there.
At first, traveling the
26-mile side stretch from Parks
to Williams feels a little like
traveling down several other
roads in the Kaibab National
Forest, whose vistas are nar-rowed
to dense, shady stands of
ponderosa pines. Then, 4 miles
in, you begin to break through
the wooded atmosphere into
the glorious open space of his-toric
In the 1860s, this spot was
a stopping point for military
troops and miners making their
way from Flagstaff to build
Fort Whipple near Prescott,
and to find gold along Lynx
Creek. Allegedly, it was also
the stomping grounds of Bill
Williams, a 19th century guide
and trapper whose Kid Shel-leen-
like reputation made him
a local legend — a legend that
lives on in the nearby town,
river and mountain that bear
his name. Ultimately, the brutal
winters and short water supply
sent homesteaders and farmers
searching for greener pastures.
The splinter-bare remains of
their cabins and structures
give the prairie a lonesome,
ghostly charm that, along with
the panoramic views of the San
Francisco Peaks, is uniquely
photogenic. Still, there’s plenty
of new life at the meadow’s
southernmost end, where the
road passes through a block of
Deer, antelopes, ospreys
and a wealth of other wildlife
can also be seen roaming and
playing — especially around
Scholz Lake, a few miles north
of FR 141 on Forest Road 63,
and White Horse Lake, south
of FR 141 on Forest Road 109.
Summer brings abundant flora
to the prairie and adjacent
meadowland of McDougal
Flat, including sunflowers and
acres of golden crownbeard. If
you care to linger, there are a
number of hiking and biking
trails, including the Overland
Trail, off FR 141. Also, White
Horse Lake offers fishing and
At mile 15, FR 141 comes to
a junction with Forest Road
140. Take FR 140 past Dogtown
Reservoir to Forest Road 173
and turn right (north) to Wil-liams.
Be sure to visit the Wil-liams
Kaibab National Forest
Visitors Information Center
(a restored Santa Fe Railroad
depot) before you end your
rebel foray to the “wrong” side
of the tracks.
LEFT: Summer wildflowers blanket
Garland Prairie as the San Francisco
Peaks rise in the background.
ABOVE: Area wildlife, such as ospreys,
deer, elk, coyotes and wild turkeys, can
be found at Scholz Lake.
PRAIRIE There’s a
lot of history along
this back road in
but it’s the scenery
that’ll really get
BY JOBETH JAMISON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TOM BEAN
Note: Mileages are approximate.
LENGTH: 26 miles one way (paved/dirt)
DIRECTIONS: From Flagstaff, drive west on Interstate 40 for 17
miles to Parks (Exit 178), and turn left (south) onto Garland
Prairie Road (Forest Road 141). Approximately 7.5 miles south
of I-40, turn right and continue west on Garland Prairie Road.
About 1.5 miles later, take another right to continue north on
Garland Prairie Road for 5 miles, then west for 3 more miles to
the junction of forest roads 141 and 140. Turn left (south) on FR
140 and continue 2.8 miles to Perkinsville Road (Forest Road
173). From there, continue on to Williams or back to I-40.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to all vehicles. A four-wheel
drive, high-clearance vehicle is recommended in winter and wet
weather conditions. Deep water and mud may be present.
WARNING: Back-road travel can be hazardous, so be aware of
weather and road conditions. Carry plenty of water. Don’t travel
alone and let someone know where you are going and when you
plan to return.
INFORMATION: Williams Ranger District, 928-635-5600 or www.
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov or dial 511 to
on road closures, construction,
O N L I N E For more drives in Arizona, visit our “Scenic Drive Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
READING: For more
scenic drives, pick
up a copy of our
book, The Back
Roads. Now in its
fifth edition, the
features 40 of the
state’s most scenic
drives. To order
a copy, call 800-
543-5432 or visit
K A I B A B
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
C O C O N I N O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
S T A R T H E R E
46 j u l y 2 0 1 0 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
month OF THE
it’s hard to single out the best hike in Arizona. There are
too many 10s. That said, a solid case can be made for the
Widforss Trail. It’s quiet, the ecosystem is exceedingly
diverse and over your left shoulder you’ll see one of the
Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The only thing the
Widforss doesn’t offer is elevation gain, which is impor-tant
to hikers who want to burn calories while drinking
in the scenery. Still, this is a 10-mile round-tripper, so a
few calories will be incinerated.
Named for artist Gunnar Widforss, this relatively easy
trail follows the rim of the Grand Canyon all the way to
Widforss Point. A few minutes into the hike, you’ll see
a box with trail guide pamphlets inside. Grab one. The
guides include numbered listings
that correspond to numbered sites
along the first 2.5 miles of the trail.
No matter how many times you’ve
hiked this trail, you’re bound to
learn something from the guide.
When you’re not learning, take
time to enjoy the idyllic forest of
Colorado blue spruce, Engelmann
spruce, white fir, Douglas fir and
aspens, the latter of which you’ll
see growing in droves where recent
fires have burned. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the
aspens move in and shoot up once the sun isn’t blocked
by the towering evergreens, including the one you’ll see
at Site No. 8. It’s not official, but this might be the biggest
ponderosa pine on the trail. It’s definitely impressive, and
it’s several hundred years old.
From the big tree, the trail meanders through the quiet
forest. Before long, you’ll start catching glimpses of the
Canyon to your left. Then, after about 30 minutes, you’ll
come to a short side trail that leads right to the rim, from
which you can see into Transept Canyon below — it’s a
side canyon of the big canyon.
The scenery stays much the same as you rack up the
miles, and after about an hour, the trail angles away from
the rim and eventually leads to a lush valley, which ranks
as the best part of the trail — other than the Canyon, of
course. Here, the narrow path cuts through a beauti-ful
grove of aspens and ferns and tall grasses. The wind
blows a lot on the North Rim, and this is a great place to
pause and appreciate the sound. Also, if you sit still long
enough, you might catch a glimpse of a Kaibab squirrel, a
shy, dark animal with tufted ears and a bushy white tail.
Deer and turkeys are likely to cross your path, as well.
Take your time, but keep in mind the best is yet to
come. Not far from the lush valley is the approach to Wid-forss
Point. Although the trail stops short of the actual
point, the views from the end of the trail are out of this
world. Among other famous Canyon landmarks, you’ll be
able to see Isis Temple and Cheops Pyramid. You can also
see Phantom Creek. Bottom line: The views are second-to-
none. As you’re standing there, you’ll agree that there
might be other trails in Arizona that compare to the
Widforss, but few, if any, have this kind of diversity and
solitude. Not to mention the temples and the pyramids.
LENGTH: 10 miles round-trip
ELEVATION: 8,200 to 7,811 feet
DIRECTIONS: Drive 4 miles north of Grand
Canyon Lodge on the North Rim, and turn
left onto the gravel road marked with a sign
to the trailhead.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: Accessible to all
USGS MAP: Bright Angel Point
INFORMATION: Backcountry Office, Grand
Canyon National Park, 928-638-7875 or
• 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.
Widforss Trail, on
the North Rim of
the Grand Canyon,
lead to Widforss
views of Isis
Temple and the
WIDFORSS TRAIL It’s true,
there are a lot of great hikes in
Arizona, but this one is the best.
There, we said it.
BY ROBERT STIEVE
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID ELMS JR.
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit our “Hiking Guide” at www.arizonahighways.com.
Roaring Springs Canyon
To Jacob Lake
B R I G H T A N G E L C A N Y O N
G R A N D C A N Y O N
N A T I O N A L P A R K
Bright Angel Point
Uncle Jim Point
Grand Canyon Lodge
T R A I L H E A D
48 j u l y 2 0 1 0
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May 2010 Answer:
our winner, Hilary
Hartline of Phoenix.
figure is one
of a pair that
American flag at
one of the great-est
feats in history,
this site gave
hope to a strug-gling
to mention jobs
to more than
Like so many
this one is still
by cranes and
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