www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 1
E SC A P E . EX P LOR E . EX P E R I ENCE
Our favorite Inns & B&B’s
20 OF ARIZONA’S BEST PLACES TO HIT THE HAY
ELUSIVE IN NATURE:
IN SEARCH OF THE
MEXICAN GRAY WOLF
THE BEST PHOTOS YOU’LL
EVER SEE OF NORTHERN ARIZONA
Hacienda del Sol, Tucson
2 j u n e 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 1
◗ An Arizona thistle, photographed
along Forest Road 231 in the Coconino
National Forest. | DEREK VON BRIESEN
FRONT COVER The courtyard of historic
Hacienda del Sol, shown just after
sunset, was converted from a girls
school to a guest ranch in 1948, be-coming
a favorite getaway for movie
stars. | MARK LIPCZYNSKI
BACK COVER A sunflower at Bonito Park,
near Sunset Crater in Northern
Arizona. | SHANE MCDERMOTT
• POINTS OF INTEREST IN THIS ISSUE
2 EDITOR’S LETTER
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
5 THE JOURNAL
People, places and things from around the state,
including a man whose name is synonymous with the
town of Snowflake, a local bird that can reach speeds
up to 200 mph, and a cabin-cozy B&B near Flagstaff
with only three rooms.
18 REST STOPS
It’s summer. The kids are out of school. It’s time to
hit the road. Wherever you spend the day — Greer,
Grand Canyon, Sedona — think carefully about where
you spend the night. There are plenty of places that’ll
leave a light on for you, but for something special, hit
the hay at one of our favorite places.
BY KATHY MONTGOMERY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK LIPCZYNSKI
Available Prints of some
photographs in this issue are
available for purchase. To view
options, visit www.arizona
highwaysprints.com. For more
information, call 866-962-1191.
Visit our website for details on weekend getaways,
hiking, lodging, dining, photography workshops,
slideshows and more. Also, check out our blog
for regular posts on just about anything related
to travel in Arizona, including road closures,
environmental news, festivals and other valuable
information we couldn’t fit in the magazine.
Like us on Facebook and get a behind-the-scenes
look at Arizona Highways, along with exclusive
photos, trivia contests, interesting news and more.
GET MORE ONLINE
30 NORTHERN EXPOSURES
We first became enamored with Shane McDermott’s
work while putting together our December 2010
issue — his twilight shot of Chocolate Falls blew us
all away. Turns out, that photograph wasn’t a fluke.
When we asked Shane for some images of the San
Francisco Peaks and the surrounding highlands, he
blew us away all over again.
A PORTFOLIO BY SHANE MCDERMOTT
42 GOING WITH THE FLOW
To the casual observer, the San Juan River flows into
Lake Powell without a splash. To writer Craig Childs,
who recently kayaked that remote stretch of the great
lake, the confluence is a whole different story, one
that’ll make you think, I wish I could write like that.
BY CRAIG CHILDS
48 ELUSIVE IN NATURE
It’s been more than a dozen years since Mexican gray
wolves were reintroduced to their native habitat in
Eastern Arizona. The captive-breeding program has
been half successful at best, but that doesn’t deter
nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from hitting the
trail in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the evasive
BY RUTH RUDNER
ILLUSTRATIONS BY DUGALD STERMER
52 SCENIC DRIVE
Forest Road 618: In July, any road that leads to a
swimming hole ranks as a scenic drive. This one just
happens to be scenic, too.
54 HIKE OF THE MONTH
Uncle Jim Trail: There are many reasons to visit the
North Rim, including this trail, which offers a little
solitude with its Canyon views.
56 WHERE IS THIS?
2 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 3
Having lived in Flagstaff for the past decade, pho-tographer
Shane McDermott is no stranger to the
San Francisco Peaks (see Northern Exposures, page
30). Photography, he says, allows him to combine
two of his passions: art and nature. “My time spent
photographing in nature is incredibly rejuvenating,
inspiring and creative, allowing me to bring fresh
and dynamic perspectives to the rest of my life.”
When he’s not making photographs, McDermott
practices meditation and yoga. He was a holistic
health practitioner for 25 years, and he currently
works as a professionally certified integral coach.
This is his first portfolio for Arizona Highways.
— Interviewed by Daniel Jacka
Ruth Rudner is attracted to Arizona
because of the wildness of its moun-tains.
For her, the Mexican gray wolf
represents that wildness (see Elusive in
Nature, page 48). “I believe it essential
that wolves be restored to their tradi-tional
landscapes, the landscapes that
evolved with them,” she says. “The
more people are aware of the wolves’
situation, the more voices are added for
their protection.” Rudner, who is a regu-lar
contributor to Arizona Highways, has written 11 books, including two with her husband,
photographer David Muench. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
As chairman of the Illustration
Department at California Col-lege
of the Arts in San Fran-cisco,
Dugald Stermer spends
a lot of time in front of the pro-verbial
sketchpad. His subjects
are unlimited, but lately, he’s
found himself sketching more
and more wildlife, including
Mexican gray wolves, which
appear in our story Elusive
in Nature (see page 48). In
addition to Arizona Highways,
Stermer’s work has appeared
in The New York Times, Time,
Esquire and Rolling Stone.
george Washington never slept at the Heritage Inn. Kirsten Dunst has, but
not George Washington. That’s not a knock on the Heritage Inn. None of
the Founding Fathers ever slept there. If they had, this column would have
a different lede, or maybe I’d be focused on Kirsten Dunst, the Spider-Man
actress who stayed at the inn in Snowflake during a cross-country road trip.
Although it was 30 miles off the beaten path of Interstate 40, she made the detour
anyway, and liked what she saw. Everyone does. There’s nothing not to like about
the Heritage Inn.
The rooms are cozy, the gardens are lush and the German pancakes will change
your mind about German cooking — there’s no sausage or sauerkraut in sight. The
best thing about the Heritage Inn, however, is its host, JoAnne Guderian. She’s spir-ited,
she’s hip, she’s gracious, and your stay at the inn is an extension of her. Most
inns and B&B’s are like that, and that’s one of the things we considered when put-ting
together this month’s cover story. We also looked at amenities, breakfast menus,
latitude, longitude … we looked at a lot, and what we ended up with was 20 of Ari-zona’s
best places to hit the hay.
There are others, of course, but this story covers some of our favorites. Places like
Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge near Sedona, the Verde River Rock House Bed & Break-fast
in Payson, and El Rancho Merlita in Tucson, which at one time was the home of
cosmetics pioneer Merle Norman and was recently named one of the “Top 10 Roman-tic
Inns” in the United States.
At the other end of the spectrum and the other end of the state is Wallace Fam-ily
Hogans, which offers guests a taste of traditional Navajo life as it’s lived in an
eight-sided log hogan — without running water or electricity. There’s also a modern
hogan with Wi-Fi and other creature comforts, but the old house is more intriguing.
Another interesting option, one that’s not in our cover story, is the Double Circle
Ranch in Clifton.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of this place. Neither had I. Not until I was editing
Ruth Rudner’s story about Mexican gray wolves.
The story, Elusive in Nature, is about her visit to the
Bear Wallow Wilderness in Eastern Arizona.
She and her husband, longtime Arizona Highways
photographer David Muench, often visit the area:
Mr. Muench goes to make photographs and our
writer goes in search of endangered species.
Her narrative recounts that visit, and also
touches on the captive-breeding program that
was intended to rescue the wolves from the brink
of extinction. Like most environmental efforts,
there are those who are in favor and those who
are not. The nots in this case are predominantly
ranchers. However, as Rudner writes: “For family
ranchers struggling to make a living from cattle,
there are potential economic benefits from hav-ing
wolves in the area. Hosting guests who are
eager to see or hear wolves has proved a boon.
One Arizona rancher who does this is Wilma
Jenkins at the Double Circle Ranch in Clifton.”
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, a
night at the ranch sounds like a great experience.
And so does a night along the San Juan River.
That’s where Craig Childs likes to pitch his tent.
Or sleep on the ground, as he did on a recent
kayaking trip. He was exploring a place “where
the San Juan River ends and Lake Powell begins.”
It wasn’t a scientific journey, but rather an adven-ture
“Many people come to Lake Powell to engage
with another world,” he writes in Going With
the Flow. “One where nature is the predominant
force, and where humans are ultimately few. It
is a rare clarity, a moment of quiet. You feel dif-ferent
when you drop your sleeping bag on the
ground knowing there is no one else within
shouting distance. Sitting on your bag, fixing a
small meal in a pot for yourself is a satisfying,
almost eerie pleasure. As crowded as parts of
Lake Powell sometimes get, its long, remote arms
feel silent, forgotten.”
If you’re thinking of dropping off the grid for a
while, read this essay. If you’re in search of excel-lent
writing, read this essay. If you’re repulsed
by the idea of sleeping on the ground, book a
room at the Heritage Inn. You won’t run into
Craig Childs or the ghost of George Washington,
but you will find German pancakes, and they’re
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.
Wolves and Water
J U LY 2 0 1 1 V O L . 8 7, 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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Letters to the Editor
2039 W. Lewis Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009
JANICE K. BREWER
Director, Department of Transportation
JOHN S. HALIKOWSKI
Arizona Transportation Board
WILLIAM J. FELDMEIER
BARBARA ANN LUNDSTROM
FELIPE ANDRES ZUBIA
VICTOR M. FLORES
STEPHEN W. CHRISTY
KELLY O. ANDERSON
4 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 5
letters to the editor
Your special issue on Arizona’s state
parks [May 2011] comes at an impor-tant
time. Let’s hope it opens some
eyes and makes a difference.
THOMAS LANGFORD, PHOENIX
As soon as the April 2011 edition
arrived, I couldn’t wait to dive into
the cover story, “25 of Our Favorite
Places to Eat in Arizona,” since my
husband and I are always on the look-out
for some good grub in our travels
around our state. But my attention
slid down the cover to the subtitle,
“Treasure of the Sierra Ancha,” and
suddenly my desire for food was
set aside and I couldn’t wait to read
about the wilderness of Arizona that
I love so much. Our family camping
trips into the Sierra Ancha over the
past 25 years are so beloved that it’s
as if we’re camping in our own back-yard.
This little-known piece of para-dise
north of Roosevelt Lake is rich
in history and vivid in unique beauty,
and we can only imagine what it was
like for our Native American prede-cessors
to dwell along the cliffs so
long ago. I’m sure they loved this land
as much as we do now.
MICHELE WATERS, CHANDLER, ARIZONA
The most recent issue of your truly
outstanding magazine [May 2011]
arrived today. I was disappointed
to find an egregious error in an
article by Jana Bommersbach titled
Arizona: 1932-1941. In the last paragraph
is a sentence reading (in part) thusly:
“December 7, 1941, will forever be
remembered as a ‘day that will live
in infamy.’ ” My presumption is that
Ms. Bommersbach inserted this sec-tion
in quotation marks because she
believed that this is what President
Roosevelt said in his famous speech
on December 8. It is not. What he
said was, “Yesterday, December 7,
1941 — a date which will live in
infamy ... .”
ROBERT F. LONGLEY, GREEN VALLEY, ARIZONA
THE AYES OF MARCH
Is it possible for me to buy 10 copies
of the March 2011 issue of Arizona
Highways? The depth of coverage and
storytelling ability that show in this
particular issue are extraordinary.
I would like to strategically place
copies of this issue in places where
people who need an uplifting experi-ence
tend to gather. I just loved trav-eling
back in time with your Harvey
girl; trekking through Arizona’s most
spectacular wildflower landscapes;
learning the rocky history of one of
Arizona’s trademark brews; being
introduced to the family that has
built a thriving pecan-growing busi-ness;
and, after having breakfast at
Red Rock Café, relaxing at a Nature
Conservancy [property] ... all this
while sitting in a waiting room at the
local service station. I want others to
enjoy this trip as much as I did.
EILEEN LOWRY, STERLING, VIRGINIA
LOST IN TRANSLATION
I’m a winter Arizonan and I’ve moved
into the modern world. Although
a senior senior citizen, I purchased
a GPS. The salesman told me that
with this new device, I never need
fear becoming lost anywhere in the
U.S. or Canada. My GPS is a lady.
She has a soft, soothing voice. She
gives me turn-by-turn instructions
once I’ve programmed in my destina-tion.
What a wonderful invention. I
named my new friend “Esmeralda.”
If I inadvertently turn left instead
of right, she simply says, gently,
“Recalculating,” and directs me
around the block to where I should
have turned in the first place. I love
Esmeralda! There’s only one problem
with her. Here in Arizona, there are
many Spanish street names, and
Esmeralda can’t speak Spanish.
Traveling to a friend’s new home on
Calle de Tesoros, Esmeralda told
me to turn left on “Caw-w-wl dee
TESS-or-ohze.” I missed my turn.
“Recalculating,” said my helpful
friend. Turn right on “PLAZE dee
ES-quew-lah,” then right on “AVE-nigh-
da dee RIVV-er-uh,” then right
on ... .” I never did find those streets
where Esmeralda wanted me to turn.
But I used my previous wonderful
new invention, my cell phone. My
friend gave me directions to her
house and I was there in a flash. I
guess Esmeralda can’t be right ALL
BEATRICE FULTON KEEBER, MILFORD, MICHIGAN
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
THE JOURNAL 07.11
people > lodging > photography > centennial > dining > nature > things to do > > > >
When it comes to summer recreation,
the Mogollon Rim offers something
for everyone, from hiking and biking
to boating, fishing and camping.
You might even find a spot to sit and
enjoy cool water and a sprinkling of
wildflowers, like these yellow cone-flowers,
reflected in Chevelon Creek.
Information: Black Mesa Ranger District,
928-535-7300 or www.fs.usda.gov/ansf
6 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 7
THE JOURNAL > people
— Dave Pratt is the author of
Behind the Mic: 30 Years in Radio
Why set up shop in Arizona?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and
I’d dabbled in the customizing field, but I
wanted better skills, so I came here, because
Phoenix is home to the Motorcycle Mechan-ics
When you’re packing your saddlebag, what’s
most important, other than water?
Favorite ride in Arizona?
I love Jerome. It’s one of my favorite rides
to take, and I think it’s totally cool. I love the
drive and the scenery. I always have a great
Favorite memories in Arizona?
I met my fiancée at Handlebar J’s in Scotts-dale,
so that’s a good one.
After a long day in the shop, where do you go
for a bite to eat?
There are so many great restaurants in
the Phoenix area. Drinkwater’s City Hall in
Scottsdale is my favorite steak place. Tommy
V’s is my favorite Italian. Delux is my favorite
burger place. I could go on and on. Pancake
House has the best breakfast. Stingray has
my favorite sushi. I also really like Culinary
If you could ride with any Arizona icon, who
would it be?
Alice Cooper. I wouldn’t mind riding next to
What three words best describe Arizona?
Weather, women, nightlife.
P R A T T ’ S Q&A
THE JOURNAL > people
SANFORD “SANK” FLAKE COULDN’T
escape his past if he wanted to. His town’s
history can’t be separated from that of his
family, and folks here know it well. How
Brigham Young sent Flake’s great-grand-father
Flake from Utah to settle
the town in 1878. And
how the town came to be called Snowflake
by combining Flake’s name with that of
Mormon apostle Erastus Snow. These
events are celebrated every July during
Snowflake is still chock-full of Flakes,
and Sank’s neighborhood forms a kind of
architectural family tree. Across the street
stands the house where Sank was born.
The imposing brick Victorian just down
from it belonged to his grandfather, James
Madison Flake. It’s now a museum.
But Sank doesn’t seem eager to escape
his past. His home is a kind of monument
to his own history. In addition to a long
career in law enforcement and ranch-ing,
Sank has pursued many interests. An
amateur painter and musician, he honed a
talent for carving elaborate walking sticks
while on a mission in New Zealand. He
rode with the Pony Express and served as
wrangler for a half-dozen professional trail
rides. Roy Rogers and Rex Allen became
his friends. Family pets have included a
deer, a bobcat and a 26-year-old paint horse
named Denver, which Sank has ridden
from border to border and coast to coast.
Mementos from all these exploits fill
his home. When the house could no longer
contain them all, he built a two-story barn
that serves as a private museum.
At 78, Sank’s hearing isn’t what it used
to be, a fact he attributes to years of pistol
fire. But he retains a full head of silver hair,
unruly eyebrows and an engaging smile.
On a summer day, he greeted guests wear-ing
a bola tie, turquoise bracelet and cow-boy
boots. His wife, Louise, stood nearby
to shout the questions he couldn’t hear,
even with a hearing aid. But Sank needed
few prompts. Stories poured from him like
water from a spring.
Louise played straight man and kept
him honest. “Oh, Sanford,” she clucked as
Sank recounted a time he was so upset it
took four men to hold him down.
“It wasn’t that bad,” she said. “He exag-gerates.”
He’s a Flake and He’s Proud of It
In 1878, at the request of Brigham Young, William Jordan
Flake settled the town that now bears his name. More than
100 years later, Flake’s great-grandson — lawman, rancher,
musician, artist and raconteur “Sank” Flake — is one of
Snowflake’s most colorful characters.
By KATHY MONTGOMERY
Many of the stories would, indeed,
seem incredible if not for the evidence.
In the living room hangs a photo of Lou-ise
with her arm around the pet deer.
Through the miracle of taxidermy, the pet
bobcat stretches forever upon a tree limb
in a room filled with hunting trophies
that include moose, caribou and Dall
sheep from hunting trips to Alaska.
Sank points to a painting of his and
says: “See that? Isn’t that pretty? That’s
where we’re going to retire.”
“Where is that?” a guest asks.
“I don’t know,” he answers.
The barn out back displays racks
of beaver-skin costumes; several pairs
of cowboy boots that were gifts from
bootmaker John Justin; a collection of
cowboy hats and beaver-skin caps; a Pony
Express uniform; a bed lined from edge
to edge with coyote pelts; three life-sized
replicas of Sank’s horses; a full-sized
wagon; Native American rugs and jew-elry;
a player piano; hunting trophies that
include mountain lions, wolves, grizzlies
and black bears; and a mounted, stuffed
toy tiger. There is a full commercial
kitchen with a grill that accommodates
“more steaks than I can afford,” as Sank
puts it, and a sign that reads: “Some of my
best friends are Flakes.”
Though it’s July, the house and barn
are decorated for Christmas, with gar-lands,
chile-pepper lights and a full-sized
“I think you notice we decorate for Christ-mas
all year,” Louise says. “He likes to deco-rate,
but he doesn’t like to take it down.”
Sanford and Louise met when they
were cast in a romantic play opposite each
other. They were both 22. “It was a love
story,” Louise explains. She was working
as a high-school teacher to save money to
go on a mission but never made it.
“My mission became him,” she says.
Together they raised four children. For
a while they owned a ranch in Peeples
Valley. Sank took a job with the Phoenix
Police Department before being recruited
as Snowflake town marshal. When the
department expanded, he became police
chief and remained on the job for 30 years.
A cowboy at heart, Sank retired in 1991
to devote his time to raising the overo
paint horses that follow him around like
“They like me,” he explains.
Louise retired from teaching after 30
years. An excellent seamstress, she sewed
the buckskin outfits her husband liked
and followed him in a horse trailer as he
rode across the country.
“When he decided to go, we went,” she
Their fondness for each other is evident.
Sanford calls Louise a star.
“To me that’s what she is,” he says. “She
doesn’t do anything that isn’t first class.
How she ended up with me, I’ll never know.”
Louise calls Sank a man of integrity.
“Sanford has been fun to live with,” she says.
But that’s plain to see.
S N O W F L A K E
8 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 9
Even in the shadow of the Grand Canyon, it pays to look around.
As photographer Jack Dykinga illustrates, a little fog, a clump of weeds and
some brilliant red flowers can lead to an image that rivals
any shot of the Seventh Natural Wonder.
By JEFF KIDA, photo editor
TOM TAYLOR, WHO OWNS and single-handedly operates A Shooting Star Inn northwest
of Flagstaff, is a Renaissance man and it shows. Every nook and cranny of his cabin-cozy
B&B is filled with books, pictures, guitars, amps, telescopes, vintage
cameras and other objects that reflect his various passions — astronomy,
music, photography, art and nature.
With a little help from his friends, Taylor built his 4,200-square-foot dream house on a
5-acre meadow in Kendrick Park, purposefully creating a 26-foot tongue-and-groove ceil-
Situated on a 5-acre meadow in Kendrick Park near Flagstaff, A Shooting
Star Inn is Tom Taylor’s dream project. It isn’t big — there are only three
rooms — but with views of Humphreys Peak and a billion stars in the sky,
you won’t need a lot of company.
By NIKKI BUCHANAN
ing (the better to house his extensively
furnished music loft), huge picture windows
overlooking Humphreys Peak (the better to
watch the deer and the antelope play) and
an open floor plan (the better to encourage
guests to come together for a glass of wine
and an ice-breaking chat when they first
Because A Shooting Star is remote, Tay-lor
makes dinner for guests who’ve given
him 24 hours’ notice and an extra $25 per
person. Although the meal might be simple
and straightforward — say, steak, potatoes,
asparagus and salad — the mood is roman-tic
and convivial, thanks to the soft glow of
kerosene lamps and Taylor’s easygoing style.
After dinner, the host morphs from chef
to entertainer, whipping out his guitar for a
serenade of romantic ballads from a Boomer
repertoire that includes Crosby, Stills & Nash,
The Moody Blues and Leonard Cohen. Before
his audience slips into happy couch potato-dom,
Taylor hustles everyone outside for a
look at Flagstaff’s famously dark night sky —
even inkier at a 21-mile remove from the city,
and breathtakingly Star Wars-ian through the
lens of his research-grade telescope. As an
amateur astronomer who has worked at Kitt
Peak Observatory and a professional photog-rapher
who has practiced astrophotography
since childhood, Taylor is in his element here,
pointing out stars, constellations, planets,
nebulae, the Milky Way and the Andromeda
Galaxy, all the while conveying his own sense
of wonder and excitement to his guests.
What a treat to say “awesome” and truly
mean it. Diehards may even rent his equip-ment
for the evening.
When the star party’s over, guests retire
to one of three charming, simply furnished
rooms with private entrances and spacious,
private baths, each named for a famous
astronomer and outfitted with celestial-themed
bedding. Because Taylor uses solar
power to live “off the grid” as much as pos-sible,
his air-dried bath towels are rough
to the touch. But those who don’t require
fancy soaps, plush bathrobes and spa-like
luxury are rewarded with hearty breakfasts,
which make this
unique B&B a
A Shooting Star Inn is located
at 27948 N. Shooting Star
Lane, 21 miles northwest of
Flagstaff off U.S. Route 180.
For more information, call
928-606-8070 or visit www.
PULL A FAST ONE
Using a fast shutter
speed helps to freeze
movement in an im-age.
Think of capturing
the frantic energy of a
What’s more, a faster
shutter speed is more
forgiving of typical
human wobbles and
vibration. Use this
general rule: shutter
speed = 1/x seconds,
where x is the focal
length of your lens.
Multiply by your cam-era’s
crop factor. This
photograph was made
with a 500 mm lens at
THEJOURNAL > photography
THE JOURNAL > lodging
WHILE WORKING ON HIS book, Images: Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
was focused on capturing Wotans Throne from Cape Royal. To take advantage of the day’s first light, Dykinga
camped on the rim and was greeted with an early morning fog that had settled into the Canyon. He made a
series of images from Cape Royal, and then headed back to his campsite, where he found clumps of shrubby
cliffrose enveloped in mist — an unexpected photo opportunity. Because the weather conditions were chang-ing
quickly, Dykinga wasted no time in finding a stand of fiery-red Indian paintbrush to anchor the foreground.
The warm tones created a perfect juxtaposition against the cool tones generated by the morning fog. To create
this image, which he shot on 4x5 transparency film, Dykinga used a 75 mm lens for its wide-angle properties.
That made the Indian paintbrush appear dominant in the frame. By composing the image this way, the viewer’s
eye goes first to the brilliance of the red blooms and then to the muted textures of the grasses and shrubs.
■ To order a copy of Images: Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon, visit www.arizonahighways.com/books.
North Rim, Grand Canyon | JACK DYKINGA
BRUCE D. TAUBERT
O N L I N E For more lodging in Arizona, visit www.arizonahighways.com/travel/lodging.asp.
Look for our book Arizona
Guide, available at book-stores
O N L I N E
For more photography
tips, visit www.arizona
F L A G S T A F F
10 j u l y 2 0 1 1
IT WAS THE DECADE OF GIANTS.
Names that would live on forever in
Arizona appeared on the scene in the 1950s:
Ernest W. McFarland, Barry Goldwater,
John J. Rhodes, and Stewart and Morris
Udall, to name a few. And then there were
the events that made headlines: the open-ing
of Sun City; the state’s raid on Short
Creek; General Electric’s move to metro-politan
Phoenix; and the opening of Kitt
Peak Observatory, southwest of Tucson.
As the state’s population exceeded a mil-lion
in 1960, Arizona also gained its first mile
of a major highway, when construction began
on the Black Canyon Freeway. That route
would eventually eliminate nearly 100 miles
from the trip between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
That same year, a developer named Del
Webb determined that the Arizona climate
was the perfect lure for retirees, and so
he built the original Sun City. Since then,
many other retirement communities have
opened in Arizona’s desert cities.
As the population grew, a massive job
market boomed along with it. General
Electric, Honeywell, IBM and Sperry fol-lowed
Motorola to the Phoenix area, and
in 1958, Kitt Peak National Observatory
began operations. At the time, the observa-tory
featured the largest concentration of
space-research facilities in the world.
Despite the growth, not all of the head-
In Arizona’s fifth decade of statehood, the population surpassed
the million mark, Del Webb opened Sun City, and a stream of
iconic politicians made their marks in Washington.
By JANA BOMMERSBACH
lines were positive. On July 26, 1953,
Governor Howard Pyle (a former
radio personality known as the “Voice
of Arizona”) authorized a raid on the
Northern Arizona polygamist com-munity
of Short Creek, calling it a
place “dedicated to the wicked theory
that every maturing girl child should
be forced into the bondage of multiple
wifehood with men of all ages. ...”
Although the Mormon church sup-ported
Pyle’s raid, the public and the
media reacted with revulsion to what
was the largest mass arrest of men
and women in American history. In
the end, 23 polygamist men received
a year’s probation each, and in 1960, Short Creek was renamed
The raid cost Pyle his job. In 1954, he was replaced by Ernest W.
McFarland, a lawyer and water specialist from Florence. McFar-land
had made a name for himself in 1940 when he shocked the
political world by defeating Henry Fountain Ashurst in a race for
the U.S. Senate. McFarland would ultimately become majority
leader, a position he held until Barry Goldwater defeated him in
1952. After leaving Congress, McFarland served two terms as Ari-zona
governor, and later, as a justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Goldwater was a young man whose political experi-ence
had been limited to serving on the Phoenix City Council. He
would serve Arizona in Congress for more than three decades and
become a political icon known as “Mr. Conservative.” The 1952 elec-tion
also sent a young Mesa attorney named John J. Rhodes to the
U.S. House. Not only would he spend 30 years representing Arizona,
but he would also become the Republican minor-ity
leader. Rhodes was affectionately known as
In addition to conservatives, Arizona also sent
a couple of bona fide liberals to Washington —
the Udall brothers. Stewart was first, serving
as an Arizona congressman until he was tapped
by President John F. Kennedy as Secretary of the
Interior, making him the first Arizonan to serve
in a president’s cabinet. His seat in Congress was
filled by his brother, Morris, who would become
one of the most beloved members of the House
and a national leader on environmental issues.
THEJOURNAL > centennial THEJOURNAL > centennial
EDITOR’S NOTE: In Febru-ary
2012, Arizona will
celebrate 100 years of
statehood, and Arizona
Highways will publish a
special Centennial issue.
Leading up to that mile-stone,
a 10-part history of the
state. This is Part 5.
ARIZONA: THEN & NOW
FOR DECADES, WELL-TO-DO TRAVELERS cooled their heels in the heart-shaped pool
(above) at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix. Flanked by palm trees and tucked in the
shadow of Camelback Mountain, the resort — built in 1929 — was originally the home of
Cunard Steamship Co. executive Delos Cooke. After millions of dollars in renovations, the
resort reopened in 1997 with 119 casitas and guestrooms. The hotel is a member of the His-toric
Hotels of America program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Members of the Arizona-Mexico
Commission, a regional trade organization,
stand in front of an Arizona Airways airplane
in Tucson in 1959. | ARIZONA STATE ARCHIVES
1 9 5 2 - 1 9 6 1
November 4, 1952
“Youth for Eisenhower
Club to Haul Voters.”
— The Arizona Republic
January 16, 1953
for Buff Hunt at Fort.”
— San Pedro Valley News
February 1, 1953
“State Ground Water
— The Arizona Daily Star
[The paper reported on the risk of Arizona
overdrawing its groundwater resources.]
September 15, 1955
“Oak Creek Airport to Open
— The Verde Independent
June 2, 1957
“Road Budget Sets Record:
State to Spend $48.7 Million.”
— The Arizona Republic
May 1, 1958
“Lynching? Nope, Just (Ugh!)
‘Rosie O’Meara.’ ”
— The Arizona Record
[The Globe paper reported that town
residents hung a dummy of Rose
O’Meara, the fictitious author of a
newspaper article calling Globe
a “ghost town.”]
November 2, 1960
“Builders Get Silo Briefing:
Prospective Bidders Told of
— Arizona Daily Star
IN THE NEWS
COURTESY OF ROYAL PALMS RESORT ARIZONA STATE ARCHIVES
• During the 1950s, the
average annual sal-ary
for an American
worker was $2,992.
• A loaf of bread cost
• Dr. Jonas Salk
invented the vaccine
for polio in 1955.
• In 1959, Alaska and
Hawaii became the
49th and 50th states,
• Women had a life
expectancy of 71.1
years, while men had
a life expectancy of
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 11
12 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 13
THE JOURNAL > centennial THEJOURNAL > centennial
Michael O’Haco’s first horse was
named Peanut, a gift from his Uncle
Lou. That’s what happens in ranch-ing
families — horses are given as
gifts, children grow up riding and,
if things work out, they take over
the family business. Such is the story
of the O’Haco Cattle Co. Though
O’Haco’s brother, Jim, runs the day-to-
day operations of the ranch —
Michael took a job with the BNSF
Railroad in 1995 — running cattle
remains a family affair. “Brothers,
sisters, kids and grandkids help work
the spring and fall roundups,” O’Haco
says. “I continue to stay involved.
It’s a way of life, a tough one, but I
wouldn’t have it any other way.” Scott
Baxter photographed O’Haco atop his
horse, Big John, with his border col-lie,
Zooey, at the
Co. (formerly the
Ranch), 35 miles
south of Winslow. To
read more of Michael
O’Haco’s reflections on ranch life,
visit our blog at http://arizonahigh
BY K ELLY K R AMER
PHOTOGR A PHS B Y S COTT B A XTER
EDITOR’S NOTE: “100 Years, 100 Ranchers”
has been designated an official Centennial
Legacy Project. Every month, we’ll be featur-ing
one of the ranchers. It’s part of our own
Centennial coverage, which will continue
through February 2012. For more informa-tion
about “100 Years, 100 Ranchers,” visit
14 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 15
THEJOURNAL > nature
PEARL’S PLACE CAFÉ IS where picky eaters go to shed their persnickety ways. A wide-ranging
menu means that everyone who consumes food can find a favorite. So, unless you’re scheduled to
prowl the catwalk in Milan, try this little eatery nestled in the heart of Prescott’s Whiskey Row.
A diverse menu sometimes signals a lack of identity, but at Pearl’s, it just means the guy
in the kitchen is a bit of a mad scientist with a spatula. Mike Paper opened the doors in
March 2005 to the café that looks like a stylish Memphis blues club. Named
for Paper’s mother, the joint quickly gained a reputation for innovative spins
on comfort food, or “uptown down-home cooking,” as Paper calls it.
Everything is made from scratch at Pearl’s Place. If the roast turkey tastes especially
succulent, it’s because it’s carved right off the bird, one of 600 Paper roasts during the year.
Naturally, all that handy stock makes for gravy so luxurious it could be served in a snifter.
Scooping coleslaw and potato salad from a can might be easy, but easy isn’t what Paper’s
after. Fresh side dishes ranging from slaw to stewed tomatoes to collard greens receive as much
attention as the entrées. Chili aficionados will rejoice with three hearty options — onyx, blanco
and the toe-curling dynamite — or try a sampler of all three. The smoked jerked chicken wings
are wings for grownups, with a complex zing of interconnected spices. Those with lighter appe-tites
will appreciate the pita pizza selections, the Mediterranean plate or the crunchy salads.
Even the pure Angus burgers are just a blank canvas for Paper. He piles jalapeño bacon
Don’t Let the Name Fool You
If you’re a fan of Larry & Hy’s Bare Bones BBQ in Prescott,
it’s gone. The name, not the joint. The restaurant is still
there, serving the same array of comfort food, but it has
a new moniker, Pearl’s Place Café, which is a tribute to
chef/owner Mike Paper’s beloved mother.
By ROGER NAYLOR
and green chiles on one; gyro meat, feta
cheese and olives on another; and pulled
pork and barbecue sauce on a third.
Barbecue remains the house specialty, but
it comes with Paper’s creative stamp. Most pit
masters are dead set in their ways about what
constitutes the best ’cue. Paper applies differ-ent
homemade spice rubs to meats, and mixes
and matches wood accordingly. He uses hick-ory
mingled with mesquite to smoke brisket,
but apple wood for the chicken, which he
pulls like pork. Meats are served dry, and cus-tomers
choose from any of seven homemade
sauces, including Carolina Mustard, Dr. Pep-per’s
Sweet & Nice and Jamaican Sunset.
The St. Louis-style ribs are meatier than
babybacks and coated with a peppery crust.
Like all good smoked ribs, they have some
texture, allowing you to savor the qual-ity
of the meat at each softly tugging bite.
Splash on a sauce if you like. Or go nuts
and slather on three
or four. You think
Paper will mind? He’ll
probably come out of
the kitchen and take
Pearl’s Place Café is
located at 150 S.
in Prescott. For more
information, call 928-
541-0006 or visit www.
THEJOURNAL > dining
in the bird world, golden eagles are known
as “soaring specialists,” and with wing-spans
up to 7 feet and an average weight
around 13 pounds, they’re hard to miss as
they circle overhead.
Like other large raptors, golden eagles
use their extensive wingspans to catch rising
masses of warm air, which allows them to
glide for miles with minimal effort in search of
prey. Rabbits, marmots and ground squirrels
are among the golden eagles’ favorite meals,
but they’ve also been known to pick fights
with animals twice their size. Perhaps that’s
why they’re also known as “war birds” and
the “king of birds.” Nicknames notwithstand-ing,
golden eagles are master hunters, and
they use their speed to their advantage, flying
at nearly 200 mph when on the attack.
When they’re not hunting, golden eagles
can be found in their nests, which are
generally built in rocky crags or cliff faces.
Occasionally, they’ll build in trees or atop
telephone poles. Females lay one to four
eggs at a time, and both parents, which are
monogamous by nature, incubate their off-spring
during the 40- to 50-day gestational
period. On average, only one or two fledg-lings
survive their first three months.
As they mature, golden eagles turn dark
brown in color, with lighter golden-brown
plumage on their heads, necks and wing tips.
It’s easy to distinguish golden eagles from
immature bald eagles by looking at the birds’
legs. The legs of golden eagles are covered
with feathers, while bald eagles’ legs are bare.
These built-in leg warmers allow golden
eagles to stay put in the winter, rather than
migrating south like so many other birds. This
even applies to golden eagles living as far
north as Alaska.
Despite the birds’ grandeur, they haven’t
always been embraced by humans. Histori-cally,
ranchers have viewed golden eagles
with contempt, and decades ago, the birds
were hunted because of their reputation of
being bloodthirsty. In reality, golden eagles
have had very little impact on the livelihood
of livestock, and today, there are a variety of
laws to protect them, thus allowing these
soaring specialists to circle majestically
Goldens Rule Although bald eagles grace the tails side of the
American quarter, golden eagles are impressive, too. Known as “soaring
specialists,” these master hunters rarely lose a fight, and they can hit speeds
up to 200 mph when they’re on the attack. BY ALLISON OSWALT
I’m All Ears
Named for its large ears, the
mule deer is the largest deer
in Arizona, and it ranges from
the low deserts to high forests.
Adult bucks weigh in excess of
220 pounds, while does average
125 pounds. During the summer
months, a mule deer’s coat is a
reddish-brown, but by winter,
it’ll turn a bluish-gray.
O N L I N E For more dining in Arizona, visit www.arizonahighways.com/travel/dining.asp.
P R E S C O T T
16 j u l y 2 0 1 1
Route 66 Photo Workshop
OC TOB E R 1 4 - 1 6 PHOENI X , S E L IGMAN, A SHFOR K ,
WI L L IAMS AND F L AGS TA F F
Take a trip back in time along Historic Route 66 with Friends of Ari-zona
Highways. This workshop, led by Richard Maack, allows partici-pants
an opportunity to hone their photography skills while capturing
the quirky and kitschy locations along the iconic highway. Information:
888-790-7042 or www.friendsofazhighways.com
DAVID ELMS JR.
NOVEMB ER 1 1 S TAT EWI DE
America’s best idea just got better. This
month, the National Park Service cele-brates
Veteran’s Day with free admission
at participating parks and monuments.
Take advantage of this fee-free day at
more than 15 locations throughout Ari-zona,
including Chiricahua National Mon-ument,
Saguaro National Park and Walnut
Canyon National Monument. Information:
Northern Arizona Barbecue Festival
JULY 1 -3 W I L L I AMS
The Williams Main Street Association and the Special Olympics of
Arizona present a barbecue cook-off July 2 and amateur backyard
barbecue cook-off on July 3. Twenty-seven professional teams will
compete for $10,000 in prize money, and visitors can enjoy a beer
garden, street dances and a kids zone. Information: 928-635-2395 or
JULY 2 3 S EDONA
Get yourself in a cowboy state
of mind at the 7th Annual
National Day of the Cowboy
Celebration, which features
cowboy festivities and West-ern
entertainment, including a
cowboy parade, gunfights, live
Western music, Western art-ists,
and Western trades and
crafts demonstrations. Informa-tion:
928-204-2390 or www.
JULY 3 0 - 3 1 W I L LCOX
Nothing says summer like fresh peaches. Stop by Apple Annie’s
Orchard for the 14th Annual Peach Mania Festival, which features
an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Then, head out to the orchard
to hand-pick your own tree-ripened peaches and apples. Afterward,
enjoy peach ice cream, peach pie and a free craft festival. Information:
520-384-2084 or www.appleannies.com
JULY 9 VA I L
Harvest saguaro fruit, prepare and taste
saguaro products, and learn about the
saguaro, its natural history, importance
and uses to the Tohono O’odham people.
This educational event takes place at
Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and regis-tration
is required. Information: 520-647-
7121 or www.colossalcave.com
HELP US ...
HELP OUr StatE ParkS!
Like every other state in the country,
Arizona is dealing with a budget crisis.
As a state-owned publication, Arizona
Highways has felt the impact, and so have
our Arizona State Parks. In an effort to
weather the storm, we’re teaming up with
our park colleagues to help ensure that
Arizona, through the pages of our magazine
and the state’s 30 parks, remains open and
accessible to residents and visitors alike.
Here’s How You Can Help:
For every $24 subscription (1 year) to Arizona Highways,
we’ll donate $5 to the Arizona State Parks Foundation!
It’s easy, and it will make a difference.
Slide Rock State Park near Sedona | Derek von Briesen
For more information and park-specific
promo codes, call 800-543-5432 or visit
Hopi Festival of
Arts & Culture
JULY 2- 3 F L AGS TA F F
The Museum of Northern
Arizona presents this
78th annual event, which
features Hopi masters
and emerging artists,
Hopi social dances and
traditional foods, as well
as the opportunity to walk
a nature trail and learn about
the Hopi values of humility,
cooperation, respect, and land
and Earth stewardship. Information:
928-774-5213 or www.musnaz.org
THEJOURNAL > things to do
18 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 19
It’s summer. The kids are out of school. It’s time to hit the road. Wherever you spend the day — Greer,
Grand Canyon, Sedona — think carefully about where you spend the night. There are plenty of places
that’ll leave a light on for you, but for something special, hit the hay at one of our favorite places.
BY KATHY MONTGOMERY ||| PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK LIPCZYNSKI
The entrance gate to
the historic Adobe
House in Yuma.
20 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 21
The Adobe House ||| Yuma
Built in 1938, the Adobe House is
one of the few adobe haciendas
still standing in Yuma. Owners
Kim and Kevin Wright retained
many of the home’s original
features: colored concrete floors,
rings for tying up horses and
a gentlemen’s smoking room
and bar. But the Wrights have
made the most of the grounds
— transforming their 2 acres-plus
into a tropical oasis with
outdoor seating areas, beehive
fireplaces and a waterfall. Ask
for the Nautilus Room, which
resembles a small beach condo.
All white and wicker with
sunny orange accents, the room
includes a well-equipped kitch-enette
with stove, microwave
and full-sized refrigerator.
Breakfast, served under the
shade of a palapa, will almost
make you believe you’ve landed
on a first-class island resort.
Information: 928-210-4777 or www.
Jenny Kent’s Bed & Breakfast ||| Yuma
Jenny Kent’s is austere, by B&B
standards. Breakfast is conti-nental.
The rooms contain few
amenities. And that makes sense
for a 1905-era schoolteacher’s
former home. But Jenny Kent’s
has its charms, including afford-ability
and proximity to historic
downtown Yuma. Befitting
a teacher’s home, every room
contains a writing desk, Wi-Fi
and a well-stocked bookcase.
The selection in one room
includes Virginia Woolf and
Jhumpa Lahiri, which earns it
a better grade than the chain
hotels in its price range. Informa-tion:
Heat Hotel ||| Lake Havasu City
Despite the name, everything
about Heat Hotel is ultracool,
from its clean lines and glass-and-
chrome interiors to the
recessed fiber-optic lighting. The
800-square-foot Inferno Suites
open onto the public boardwalk
at the foot of the London Bridge.
A jetted tub, placed at the center
of the bathroom, looks dramatic
under a spotlight as it fills from
the ceiling. The “party” shower
is large enough for a gathering
of your closest friends. Open the
floor-to-ceiling sliders to engage
the scene outside or watch the
muscle boats rumble through
the channel from air-condi-tioned
comfort. But don’t expect
R&R. The patio bar makes sleep
impossible until 2 a.m. Merci-fully,
checkout is at noon, and
the hotel-owned convenience
store stocks single-dose aspirin
packets. Information: 888-898-4328
n Arizona, with our vast public lands and wide-open spaces, the road trip is practically a birth-right.
That’s especially true in the summer, when the days are long and heat shimmers off the
rubberized asphalt like a mirage, promising adventure just around the next bend. You could
leave the state for your summer vacation, but why endure “enhanced” airport screening proce-dures,
exorbitant baggage fees, $5 Diet Cokes and 737s packed like sardines when Arizona offers
a world of diversity, all within a day’s drive? Whichever direction you head, there’s a lot to see,
and at the end of the day, you’re going to need a place to crash. We have a few suggestions.
Interiors have a bright look (below) at
the Adobe House in Yuma, while pot-ted
plants decorate outdoor areas
(right). The original swimming pool
behind the house (opposite page) has
been resurfaced, but is otherwise the
“Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
and be a friend to man.” — SAM WALTER FOSS
22 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 23
there, where Debi Zecchin was
“held up” by “train robber” Eric
Eikenberry. The robbery was
staged, but he did steal her
heart. A year later, Debi bought
the home that would become
the Firelight out of foreclosure.
Debi provided the vision; Eric, a
licensed contractor, supplied the
know-how. The results are gor-geous,
with soaring ceilings and
natural wood. The Tudor-style
B&B includes a billiards room
and a third-floor loft that’s been
converted into a game room,
with a Wii, an antique shuffle-board
table and a 1947 jukebox.
The Firelight’s name comes from
three wood-burning fireplaces,
located in the living room, the
dining room and the Yorkshire
Suite. The four remaining guest-rooms
have electric fireplace
heaters. The suite — as large and
comfortable as a small apart-ment
but with the amenities of
a five-star hotel — is well worth
the splurge. Only 18 and older
are welcome, so it’s no wonder
this B&B born of romance is
where couples come to rekindle
theirs. Information: 888-838-8218 or
Cherry Creek Lodge ||| Young
Cherry Creek Lodge, located on
a working cattle ranch, is a haven
for sportsmen and history buffs.
Built on land once owned by J.D.
Tewksbury of Pleasant Valley
War fame, the 7,000-acre prop-erty
is located at the site of one
of the grisliest episodes of the
famous feud between the Gra-hams
and the Tewksburys. But
these days, it’s the playground
of Michael and Sharon Lechter
and their guests. Michael is an
avid hunter and sportsman, and
has built a veritable amusement
park for like-minded enthusiasts,
including a 10-station outdoor
sporting clays course and a
10-station 3D archery course. For
less-sporting family members,
there’s a 3-acre fishing pond and
miles of beautiful country in the
adjacent Tonto National Forest
to explore on horseback or on
one of a fleet of off-road vehicles.
Information: 928-462-4029 or www.
Aravaipa Farms Bed & Breakfast |||
Aravaipa Farms feels remarkably
remote, considering its relatively
short distance from Phoenix
and Tucson. Located near the
entrance to the Aravaipa Canyon
Wilderness, Aravaipa Farms
offers few modern luxuries.
What it does offer is a funky,
rustic haven in a remarkable
natural setting. In this ripar-ian
paradise, Carol Steele has
created a comfortable, culinary
haven where an extensive fruit
orchard, organic garden and
henhouse help supply breakfast,
lunch and dinner. Breakfast,
stocked daily in each casita,
includes homemade granola,
orchard fruits, preserves made
on site and Carol’s award-winning
banana nut cake.
Lunch, packed as a sack lunch on
request, involves gourmet sand-wiches
and homemade cookies.
But the highlight is dinner,
served family style in the barn
dining room. Like everything
else here, entrées are rustic and
artful: grilled salmon or roast
chicken with preserved Meyer
lemon, for example, with des-serts
that incorporate orchard
fruits. It’s a delicious way to
experience Arizona in its natu-ral
state. Information: 520-357-6901
Heritage Inn ||| Snowflake
Once home to the sixth child of
Snowflake co-founder William
J. Flake, this historic bed and
breakfast celebrates the town’s
heritage. With its cheerful
brick exterior, spacious porch
and red-and-white bunting, the
Heritage Inn looks like a poster
for small-town America. Inside,
antiques and reproductions like
claw-foot tubs, gas stoves and
tall, four-poster beds recall the
late 19th century, when the town
was founded. Most of the 10
guestrooms are named for well-known
One of the most popular is the
honeymoon suite, located off
a lovely brick courtyard in the
old Granary building adjacent
to the indoor hot tub. For larger
groups, a three-bedroom cottage
with full kitchen is available.
There’s also a large banquet
hall above the antiques store
next door for weddings, family
reunions and other celebrations.
Information: 866-486-5947 or www.
Hidden Meadow Ranch ||| Greer
Located about 10 miles north of
Greer, Hidden Meadow Ranch
feels a little like summer camp
for grown-ups. Guests sleep
in cabins, eat in a dining hall
and choose from planned daily
Wallace Family Hogans ||| St. Michaels
Since 1999, travelers have been
making the pilgrimage to Mae
Wallace’s winter camp, nestled
among the junipers at Two
White Rocks. They come to
get a perspective on traditional
Navajo life as it’s lived in an
eight-sided log hogan without
the benefits of running water
or electricity. Now, the Wallace
family offers a more contempo-rary,
less remote option, with
a second hogan at the edge of
the family’s compound near
St. Michaels. The new hogan
features modern wood-frame
construction, a covered front
porch, electricity and Wi-Fi, but
retains the traditional central
wood stove, dirt floor and lack
of plumbing. The advantages at
this location include access to
dining in nearby Window Rock
and a higher elevation. The sur-rounding
forest is ponderosa
pine, grassy and strewn with
wildflowers in summer. A mid-
July morning was cool enough
to start a fire before breakfast,
which included still-warm
blue cornmeal Navajo tortillas.
Information: 505-879-2457 or e-mail
El Tovar ||| Grand Canyon
The Santa Fe Railroad opened
this grande dame lodge of the
National Park Service in 1905.
One of the last holdouts of the
Fred Harvey Co., El Tovar was
considered one of the most
luxurious hotels west of the
Mississippi. Architect Charles
Whittlesey designed the exterior
in the style of a European chalet,
with a wrapped turret, jigsawn
balustrades and cedar shakes.
But the interior is pure American
hunting lodge, complete with
dark wood, massive fireplace
and trophy mounts. Most of the
hotel’s 78 rooms are small and
simply furnished. Few offer Rim
views. But they’re all mere steps
from the Seventh Natural Won-der.
Information: 888-297-2757 or
England House ||| Flagstaff
This historic bed and breakfast
is located on a quiet, residential
street within walking distance
of downtown Flagstaff. Hand-somely
constructed of Coconino
and Moenkopi sandstone in
1902, England House features
the original carriage house,
push-button light switches,
and Sears, Roebuck and Co.
pressed-tin ceilings. A velvet
couch, French antiques and
paintings hung from tasseled
ropes complete the feeling of
Old-World luxury, while shade-grown
coffee, organic vegetables
and chemical-free bacon add a
contemporary twist. England
House comes complete with a
murder mystery surrounding its
original owners, for whom the
place is named. A parlor scrap-book
recounts every scandalous
detail, which involves boozing,
strychnine and a suspected love
triangle. Information: 877-214-7350
Firelight Bed & Breakfast ||| Williams
Williams is best known as the
home base for the train to the
Grand Canyon, so it’s fitting that
the story of this B&B begins
At El Tovar hotel, the main lobby (left)
features log construction decorated
with mounted wildlife. A photograph
of famed designer Mary Jane Colter
hangs in a bedroom named after her
at El Tovar (above).
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Rancho de los Caballeros |||
This historic, family owned
property helped make Wick-enburg
the “dude ranch capital
of the world,” when people rou-tinely
stayed for weeks at a time.
Half guest ranch, half resort,
Rancho de los Caballeros still
maintains a stable of horses and
20,000 acres of pristine Sonoran
Desert. But it has adapted to
modern tastes with the addition
of an award-winning 18-hole
golf course, a spa and Jeep tours.
Accommodations range from the
original 300-square-foot guest-rooms
to lavish 750-square-foot
suites. The main lodge is kind
of ranch-meets-hacienda, with
flagstone floors, a copper fire-place
and peeled-aspen vigas.
Santa Fe artist Bruce Cooper
built the bar, registration desk
and valances, and inspired
the hand-carved furniture, all
painted in shades of raspberry,
tangerine, turquoise and gold.
A long-standing kids program
makes “los Cab” a natural for
families. Information: 928-684-5484
Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge |||
Little changes at Garland’s, least
of all the guests. Annual reserva-tions
are so coveted that people
have negotiated them in divorce
settlements. And it’s easy to see
why. Garland’s 10 acres form a
veritable bower of green, with
lush lawns dotted with fruit
trees and English-style gardens
spilling over with lavender and
lilies. Sixteen cabins are sim-ply
but elegantly constructed
of pine, stone and glass, with
porches offering views of Oak
Creek Canyon’s pine-studded
red-rock bluffs. But that’s only
one reason people come back
year after year. The other is the
food. In addition to breakfast
and afternoon tea, guests enjoy
leisurely, four-course dinners
that make good use of produce
from Garland’s own organic
gardens and orchards. There’s
still no television or cell phone
service, but concessions to the
modern world include Wi-Fi, a
yoga platform and a cabin that
has been converted into “the
world’s smallest spa.” And in
one of the few benefits of the
recession, more of those highly
coveted reservations are now
available. Information: 928-282-3343
activities like horseback-riding,
canoeing, woodworking and
archery. But, oh, what a camp!
The peeled-log cabins feature
stone fireplaces, pillow-top beds
and custom-made furnishings.
“Camp food” includes brown-butter
poached salmon and
achiote-marinated elk tender-loin.
The grounds complete the
setting with two trout ponds
and wildflower-strewn meadows
surrounded by stands of pon-derosa
pines, blue spruce and
firs. There are activities for kids,
too. An early dinner seating for
families means adults can enjoy
a candlelit meal in grown-up
fashion. And Hidden Meadow is
open year-round. Snowshoeing
or mountain-biking, life at the
Meadow feels like endless sum-mer.
Information: 866-333-4080 or
Verde River Rock House
Bed & Breakfast ||| Payson
This B&B, located just north of
Payson, is everything you could
want: attractive, comfortable
and situated on a supremely
beautiful spot along the banks
of the Verde River. River rock
and wood make the home feel
warm and inviting, with acres
of grass overlooking the lushly
forested riverbank. Innkeep-ers
Maggie and Steve Evans are
natural hosts and entertain only
one group of guests at a time.
Maggie is an excellent cook,
with a talent for homemade
breads and a preference for
organic, hormone-free meats and
produce. The guest quarters,
located below the main level,
feel spacious and private, with
a sitting area, private deck and
massage studio. It’s a good place
for porch-sitting, but those who
want more action can explore
the adjacent Tonto National
Forest on mountain bikes or an
ATV. Information: 928-472-4304 or
Hassayampa Inn ||| Prescott
With its iconic cupola, porte-cochere
and brick façade, this
historic, 67-room hotel is a
Prescott landmark. But the
Hassayampa’s real beauty lies
within. Gracious and elegant,
the well-preserved public areas
feature Art Deco-style etched
glass, hand-stenciled ceilings
and a carved mahogany bar. The
chandeliers and tile are original,
as is the 1927 hand-operated
elevator that is still in use. Being
historic, the rooms are small,
but the hotel’s location near “the
square” means you don’t have to
risk a DUI to prowl Prescott’s
Whiskey Row. For a more
refined dining experience, head
to the hotel’s Peacock Room.
Information: 800-322-1927 or www.
The Verde River Rock House Bed &
Breakfast, north of Payson, is built di-rectly
on a natural granite foundation
(below). The outside of the house is
covered in stone (right).
The main living area of the Verde
River Rock House showcases an
eclectic blend of antique furnishings
and mounted animals.
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El Rancho Merlita Bed & Breakfast
The name of this gracious B&B
reflects its history as cosmetics
pioneer Merle Norman’s Tucson
getaway. The property, which
was recently named one of the
“Top 10 Romantic Inns” in the
United States by iLoveInns.com,
preserves 3.5 acres of the origi-nal,
60-acre ranch, lush with
prickly pears and mesquite. A
low-slung 1950s-era brick ranch
house features a covered patio
that runs the length of the house
and overlooks an expansive
manicured lawn, saltwater
pool and stunning views of the
Catalina Mountains. Owner
Diana Osborne gave the house
a complete makeover, but pre-served
many original features,
including the rhyolite fireplace,
flagstone floors and carved
vigas. A sandstone pediment
over the front door retains the
matriarch’s signature. The large,
comfortable Merle Norman Suite
was once Norman’s quarters,
though a larger bathroom was
added and the dressing room
has been converted into a small
office that contains the his-and-hers
desk Norman shared with
her husband. Information: 888-218-
8418 or www.ranchomerlita.com
Azure Gate B&B ||| Tucson
Nature takes center stage at
this Catalina Foothills bed and
breakfast, situated on 5 acres
of lush Sonoran Desert. The
grounds are thick with old-growth
agave, prickly pear and
cholla cactus. Aided by a few
watering holes, that landscape
attracts all sorts of desert wild-life,
including an abundance
of quail, cottontails and jack-rabbits.
Javelinas are frequent
visitors, and a bobcat sometimes
makes the rounds. Poolside bird-feeders
create a morning floor
show as elaborate as the gourmet
breakfasts, which are delicious
and artfully prepared. To take
full advantage of the setting,
reserve the Catalina guesthouse.
Accessed by a private driveway,
the 842-square-foot casita offers
privacy and a secluded patio
with unobstructed views of the
desert and the Santa Catalina
Mountains. Information: 800-558-
8157 or www.azuregate.com
Arizona Inn ||| Tucson
In a world where it seems the
only constant is change, the
Arizona Inn feels like an anchor
in time, gracious, steady and
unwavering. Opened in 1930, the
AAA Four-Diamond inn grew
out of a philanthropic endeavor
of Arizona’s first congress-woman,
Isabella Greenway. In
1927, Greenway founded the Ari-zona
Hut, a furniture-making
operation to employ disabled
veterans. When the stock
market crashed in 1929, the
At Tucson’s El Rancho Merlita Bed &
Breakfast, the main bedroom (above)
was once used as cosmetics queen Merle
Norman’s desert getaway. Guests can
lounge on an airy brick patio (opposite
page) at Rancho Merlita. At left, a light
fixture hangs over the main entrance.
“The atmosphere breathes rest
and comfort and the many
chambers seem full of welcomes.”
— HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
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Hut found itself with “enough
furniture to furnish an inn.” So
Greenway opened one. It has
remained in her family’s hands
ever since. Despite its pink and
blue exterior, the Arizona Inn
exudes Old-World charm. Its
14 meticulously groomed acres
include a badminton court and
British croquet lawn. Afternoon
tea is served in a formal library
featuring dark wood, a massive
fireplace and Chippendale
breakfront. The AAA Four-
Diamond restaurant is a proper,
white-tablecloth affair. On the
other hand, the piano bar feels
light and informal, with col-umns,
bamboo furniture and
a single potted palm reaching
skyward to a central skylight.
It’s the perfect setting for a runaway
life in need of a pause.
Information: 800-933-1093 or www.
Hacienda del Sol ||| Tucson
This lovely, historic property
was built in 1929 as a ranch
school for girls and was con-verted
into a guest ranch after
World War II. In its glory days,
John Wayne himself is said to
have stayed there. The Hacien-da’s
current owners completed
a major restoration of the adobe
structures and grounds in 1999.
Half guest ranch, half resort,
Hacienda del Sol now occupies
34 acres of pristine desert with
views of the Santa Catalina
Mountains. The grounds include
riding stables, a swimming pool
and a mix of 30 rooms, suites
and casitas nestled among
flower-filled courtyards that
are reminiscent of a Mexican
hacienda. The restaurant and
bar feature an eclectic wine list,
live music and alfresco dining.
Information: 800-728-6514 or www.
Casa de San Pedro ||| Hereford
Birders have long flocked to this
hacienda-style bed and breakfast
because of its enviable location
along the San Pedro River. The
interior courtyard is planted
with flowers intended to lure
hummingbirds and butterflies,
and it’s not uncommon to see
migrating birds stop in for a
bath in the central fountain.
Comfortable spots inside offer
views of outdoor feeders near
the pool and in the courtyard.
There’s also a pretty outdoor
space surrounded by sunflowers,
with a ramada and a half-dozen
feeders that teem with activity.
But the best birding spot is on
the river, just outside the prop-erty
gates. Laundry facilities are
a bonus in the case of extended
trips or unpredictable monsoons.
Information: 888-257-2050 or www.
The Joesler Room (opposite page), a
restaurant at Hacienda del Sol in
Tucson, is named after Josias Joesler,
one of the original builders of the guest
ranch. Two permanent residents of
Hereford’s Casa de San Pedro, Shadow
and Cody (above), share a moment in
the spacious hallway. A bird feeder
(right) at Casa de San Pedro attracts
“What is there more kindly than
the feeling between host and guest?”
30 j u l y 2 0 1 1
We first became enamored with Shane McDermott’s work while putting together our
December 2010 issue — his twilight shot of Chocolate Falls blew us all away. Turns
out, that photograph wasn’t a fluke. When we asked Shane for some images of the
San Francisco Peaks and the surrounding highlands, he blew us away all over again.
A PORTFOLIO BY SHANE McDERMOTT
www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 31
To order a print of this photograph, call 866-962-1191 or visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com.
32 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 33
PRECEDING PANEL: Shane McDermott photographed this Sunset Crater scene in the summer of 2010 just after the Schultz Fire. “As devas-tating
as the fire was, I knew it could offer a stunning visual, as well,” he says. “I captured this the first day they reopened the forest. Long after
the major burn had subsided, the peaks still smoldered. Coupled with the season’s first dynamic monsoon sky, this created a spectacular
and rare set of conditions.” ABOVE: Wildflowers bloomed briefly just east of Sunset Crater. “The combination of early morning light and cloud
structure provided these dramatic sunbeams, which for me were imperative in bringing this image together,” McDermott says. RIGHT: Mullein
plant: “This was an easy and magical capture — I just simply watched where I was walking. The magic lies in the seemingly impossible nature
of this beautiful little plant thriving in such a stark and inhospitable environment.”
A PORTFOLIO BY SHANE McDERMOTT
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
— HAL BORLAND
34 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 35
To order a print of this photograph, call 866-962-1191 or visit www.arizonahighwaysprints.com.
36 j u l y 2 0 1 1
PRECEDING PANEL: At Bonito Park, near Sunset Crater, in fall 2010, the hillside was awash in color. “I had this image in mind for at least
three years,” McDermott says. “I first visited the location in fall 2007. I was shocked at how many of these beauties had been lying dormant,
just waiting for the perfect conditions. This was the result.” ABOVE: Elk at Mormon Lake: “This image resulted from carefully studying the daily
habits and movements of the large local elk herd. Each evening near sunset, they started to migrate out of the lake to spend the night in the
nearby forests. This brought them within photographic range during the best light. It was just about being in the right place at the right time.”
RIGHT: A bright sunflower close-up was “an experiment that seemed to work well,” McDermott says. “The amazing detail, color and texture of
these large sunflowers have always intrigued me. A simple black cloth and a single flash unit allowed me to capture the essence of this beauty.”
A PORTFOLIO BY SHANE McDERMOTT
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PRECEDING PANEL: McDermott calls this image of Government Prairie “Monsoon Mosaic.” He says he was drawn to “the amazingly colorful
lichens, as well as the numerous strong diagonal lines and isolated trees. It was an opportunity to include different elements and lines of ten-sion
to capture the stillness and simplicity of this evening.” ABOVE: San Francisco Peaks: “This image came together with a failed attempt to
photograph the peaks at sunset,” McDermott says. “What attracted me to this composition were the endless rolling cinder hills and the single
dominant aspen tree. A very simple arrangement of less-than-spectacular elements all seemed to really come alive once the sky went off.”
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” — JOHN MUIR
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Where the San Juan River ends and Lake
Powell begins is hard to tell. The river
brings dark curls of silt that eventually
fall to the bottom and flow downstream
under the surface of the lake. The transi-tion
goes on for miles, sediment swirl-ing,
rising, falling. Soon, the surface of the
lake turns a bright emerald color, losing
I paddled down the San Juan in a solo,
inflatable kayak, gliding off the river and
onto the bright waters of Lake Powell. Few people ever see this
remote arm of the lake. It is too far upstream from any marina;
you must carry extra gas and should plan for some nights. There
used to be a full-service marina at Paiute Farms around where
the San Juan meets the lake, but that was before the National
Park Service grasped the complexities of a big, muddy desert
river flowing into still water, dumping all its sediment. That
marina was abandoned as mudflats grew around it, and in the
’90s was washed away by a flash flood.
Afternoon shadows fell across this body of water, half river,
half lake, and the sun finally set among sharp-edged buttes.
Cliffs of Wingate sandstone looked as if they were constructed
out of enormous red tackle boxes, their tips glowing in the last
sun. As a full moon rose, I set my small camp among tilted slabs
Many people come to Lake Powell to engage with another
world, one where nature is the predominant force, and where
humans are ultimately few. It is a rare clarity, a moment of
quiet. You feel different when you drop your sleeping bag on the
ground knowing there is no one else within shouting distance.
Sitting on your bag, fixing a small meal in a pot for yourself
is a satisfying, almost eerie pleasure. As crowded as parts of
Lake Powell sometimes get, its long, remote arms feel silent,
In the morning, I found there was still a river. It showed up
in places, the San Juan rising slowly from the depths, pushing
along a fresh current. The rubber hull of my kayak hummed
THE FLOW To the casual observer, the San
Juan River flows into Lake Powell
without a splash. To writer Craig
Childs, who recently kayaked that
remote stretch of the great lake,
the confluence is a whole different
story, one that’ll make you think,
I wish I could write like that.
BY CRAIG CHILDS
The day’s last light glances off sandstone pinnacles and cliffs of Fence
Canyon, a tributary of Lake Powell’s Escalante Canyon. | gary ladd
44 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 45
through floating tamarisk buds and horsetails drifting in long,
diligent lines. Little black grenades of piñon pinecones bobbed
by my side, sent down from somewhere far upstream. There are
times in late spring when this end of the lake is clogged with
debris, but I found surprisingly little, leaning out to grab float-ing
plastic water bottles or pieces of Styrofoam that I collected
in the floor of my kayak.
Much farther downstream, 80 miles or so, more popular
parts of the lake actually look like a lake: an expanse of water
stretched out, pushing the land away, surface latticed with
speedboat wakes. In these upper reaches, however, the lake
more closely resembles a river. Water pinches between bold
canyon walls. It is more canyon than reservoir, and rarely does
a boat venture this far.
I once rode a speedboat up the meandering, snake-like pas-sages
of the Escalante River across the lake 60 miles from here.
It was a calm, cool morning as I lay
across the bow, my face gliding over a
glassy surface. Sky and cliff reflected
in the water, shadows cold as we
moved slowly, matching the canyon’s
bends. Though the Escalante River
was buried far below, turned into
sunken turbidity currents and flow-ing
channels of mud you never see,
the river was not entirely gone. It left
evidence of itself: the winding mark
of its passage, a canyon tunneled out
of the desert and now leveled off with
reservoir water. For hours we followed its course, rounding
into lesser tributaries, my hand reaching down, fingers glanc-ing
through the water.
I have a friend named Katie Lee who thinks this reservoir
an abomination. In her 90s, she still cries about what was
drowned here in 1963, when old Glen Canyon went under.
Many people from that time have told me what a sensual and
magical place this was, glens carved back into sandstone where
springs fed gardens of desert columbine flowers and maiden-hair
ferns, rivers flowing free. But I was not born until after the
dam went in. This lake has been here since the beginning of
my memory, a piece of my childhood in Arizona. When I first
saw it, I did not know about any dam, or the old Glen buried
below. I saw an impossible, mesmerizing landscape of water
set to giant landscapes of rounded sandstone that looked like
kneaded bread dough.
Far up the arms of Lake Powell was my first exposure to
canyon country. I was with my dad in the mid-1970s. I was in
third grade. Like so many others, we came by houseboat. We
brought extra gas and planned for some nights, heading far up
the San Juan Arm. I was a Sonoran Desert boy back then, and
would have remained that way if I had not seen this place at
such a tender age. It is the severity I remember, the enchant-ing
ghostliness of this landscape. It is like something out of a
dream. Make Dr. Seuss God and he’d give us a desert like this.
I saw an
Seen from Alstrom Point, Gunsight Butte is greeted by the early morning
sun as it reflects off Padre Bay. | derek von briesen
46 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 47
What kid wouldn’t fall for it? And with water you could
cannonball into, I was hooked.
Oddly enough, we saw the northern lights on that trip.
That is what sealed the place for me. It was one of those
rare southern flares when the sky over sandstone lit a wild,
burning pink. There were thunderstorms in the canyons
that night, gusts of wind stirred with a spooky stillness. My
memories of the time are only elemental. No faces, no days
of the week. Slickrock looms in my imagination, auspicious
and wild. This is why I return, why I brought a kayak down
from the San Juan into the very country where I fell in love
as a child.
Boulders fallen to shore were lapped with bright arcs of
light reflected off the lake, and I pulled in close to watch
them as I paddled by. Slow water gathered in side canyons,
where I nosed my kayak, exploring short distances into
grand, red-rock amphitheaters. I shouted up to hear my echo.
I think of Lake Powell in terms of upstream and down-stream.
It is not entirely a lake in my mind. It remains driven
by rivers. With about 2,000 miles of shoreline threaded into
solid stone, the place is not the wide, bladder-like shape you
see with most lakes and artificial reservoirs. It is mostly arms
and fingers, the shape of the rivers that make it: the San Juan,
Escalante, Dirty Devil and Colorado. Even normally dry side
canyons break away for miles, branching like lightning.
Wind kicked up in the afternoon, sprinting across the
water and sending up waves. Ugh, wind. Paddling became
a chore, at times impossible just to hold my ground, face
sprayed with mist and chop. Though I prefer the grace of
paddling, there were times I gladly would have traded
for an Evinrude to get me through this canyon. The wind
slowed me, sent me into shelters where I tied off, taking a
break by scrambling up through boulders into the high,
warm walls of the old Glen. Here, the San Juan reached into
Navajo sandstone, a sweet, curvaceous rock that makes up
the voluptuous bulk of Glen Canyon. Cliffs bear more curves
than straight lines, side canyons leaning back into alcoves
as rounded as band shells. After an hour or so of exploring,
I returned to my kayak, crammed my hat down tight, and
started paddling, grinning into the wind, my teeth bone-dry.
There is little solace out here for people who prefer vaca-tions
in piney woods. The austerity of Lake Powell, espe-cially
in its more remote quarters, can be overwhelming.
But this is why I come, not just to appreciate the beauty of
nature, but to be literally stricken by it. Even quarter-filled
with water, Lake Powell is still inescapably desert. It is a
bony, surreal landscape that burns the eye.
In the evening, the wind died down and I paddled in the
last light, taking advantage of the relative calm. Entering the
narrows below Zahn Bay, canyon walls came in close. I set a
camp on a higher ledge, listening to the lake gulp and smack
against rock while canyon tree frogs called and echoed from
a spring on the other side of the canyon.
Morning light clipped the rims, sending a rich glow
toward the lake where I packed up gear and hit the water.
As I started into my day with languid strokes across smooth
water, I heard the distant roar of an outboard. The sound
echoed, faded, and grew as the boat neared. It sped around
the corner towing a wakeboarder who was doing tricks,
somersaults in the air.
I had known this would happen, that any moment I would
encounter the outside world, and I had prepared myself to
give a surly response to whatever exhaust-belching vehicle
came by. But I could not.
The boat slowed as its occupants gave me a wave. Even
the wakeboarder stopped his tricks and lifted his hand as
I waved in return. With puzzled stares, we watched each
other pass. I was surprised to feel an affinity for them. They,
too, had woken early to enjoy the solitude of this secluded
arm. They had boated miles upstream before the day’s wind
came on, cutting the mirror of Lake Powell. They were here
for the same reason I was. Granted, they came by different
means, trailing an acrobat on a board, a circus of the sublime.
I was an oddity myself, bearded soloist paddling a pumped-up
inflatable, the rubber floor of my boat cluttered with
skimmed garbage and interesting pieces of driftwood picked
up along the way. It seems you can’t be anything but weird
on Lake Powell, plying ribbons of water between mushroom-shaped
bulges of rick. These long, crazy arms at least give us
a venue, a place where we can get off the map and bask in the
strangeness of this eroded landscape.
I was glad to be in a kayak, though, and not racing with
an engine. How you move matters. Speed changes your rela-tionship
with a place. It took a few minutes for the roar to
fade into a drone, and then vanish altogether. For another
15 minutes, waves slapped and suckled against the cliffs, the
boat’s wake slowly playing out.
Instead of making downstream miles in the calm of
morning, as I should have, I paddled from one niche of a side
canyon to the next. I explored dripping springs, tying off
below one and climbing up to a slick sheet of water emerging
from bare rock. Small blue columbines swarmed around the
spring among nests of maidenhair ferns. There, I drank from
the old Glen Canyon. The water tasted clean, fresh out of the
earth, a gift of the San Juan Arm.
In the early 1990s, the San Juan River deposited heavy silt over a small
waterfall into a lower Lake Powell. Since then, rising and falling lake
levels have alternately hidden and revealed the falls. | gary ladd
A shallow pool of water fosters algae in an unnamed tributary of the
Escalante Arm of Lake Powell. | gary ladd
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BY RUTH RUDNER ∞ ILLUSTRATIONS BY DUGALD STERMER
It’s been more than a dozen years since Mexican gray wolves
were reintroduced to their native habitat in Eastern Arizona.
The captive-breeding program has been half successful at best,
but that doesn’t deter nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts
from hitting the trail in the hopes of catching a glimpse
of the evasive endangered species.
50 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 51
ear Wallow Wilderness is Rim
Pack territory, and the presence of
that pack, a small pack of Mexican
gray wolves, is a kind of miracle.
Native to Arizona and among
the most endangered mammals
in North America, the Mexican
gray wolf was extirpated from the
United States by the 1940s. Decades
later, between 1977 and 1980, the
species was resurrected out of near
extinction when the last five wolves anybody could find were
captured in Mexico. The journey of this small gray wolf has
not been easy. Three of the five survivors were taken to the
Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, to begin a cap-tive-
breeding program. The other two died. In 1998, the first 11
captive wolves were released into the Apache National Forest.
I wanted to see the Rim Pack — to hear them, at least — to
find a sign of them. Few things are as powerful in wild coun-try
as the presence of wolves. Yellowstone, where I worked
as a guide and where wolf restoration has been successful,
became more pristine for me, more whole, once the wolves
were back. An ecosystem restored feels different from one
with species missing. I’ve seen Mexican gray wolves in zoos.
I wanted to see them in their native habitat.
My husband, David Muench, and I entered Bear Wallow
via the Reno Lookout Trail, descending about 3 miles to its
junction with the Cienega Trail. Huge blown-down trees lay
across the trail, the result of violent wind in an earlier year.
Some fallen trees bridged high enough that we could crawl
under them. For others, we were able to slither on our bellies
or, by removing our packs, wriggle through on our backs.
Some we climbed over, jumping down the far side. A grouse
sitting on nine eggs — her nest lodged between the trunk and
a limb of the tree we had just climbed over — flew up with
sudden pounding wing-beats and frightened squawking.
We stopped for lunch on the north fork of Bear Wallow
Creek. Running in little riffles and falls, the creek formed a
perfect small pool just above us. Along the banks, yellow flow-ers
interrupted the forest shade, the stillness of the pool, the
white of dancing water, the gray of boulders. We ate cheese
and apples and dates.
Wanting to photograph the gorge, David took off after
lunch while I moved a little farther downstream. Leaning
against a comfortable rock, I sat on soft earth in a gentle place
at the creek’s edge. When David was gone awhile, I imagined
it quiet enough for wolves to emerge. I crawled under and over all
those trees to be near you, I thought. Now come to the creek to drink.
Bear Wallow Wilderness is part of the Blue Range Wolf
Recovery Area, 4.4 million acres ranging across Arizona’s
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests and New Mexico’s Gila
National Forest. It’s twice the size of Yellowstone, and about
half the area is roadless. It’s home to elk, deer, javelinas, prong-horns,
bighorn sheep. This is good country for wolves, and left
to themselves, they would thrive, easily reaching the numbers
projected in 1998 of more than 100 by 2006. Instead, there
They have not been left to themselves. For all the excite-ment
many of us feel about the restoration of this long-missing
component of the ecosystem, there are people in the region,
primarily cattle ranchers, who aren’t comfortable with the
idea of wolves.
Ridding the country of predator animals is nothing new
in America’s history. For a long time, we looked at animals as
“good” or “bad.” We did not understand, as we do today, that
the health of the ecosystem requires all the elements — prey
animals and predators — with which it evolved. Without
their predators, animals like deer and elk increase so ram-pantly
they eat themselves out of food, ultimately dying of
starvation. And hunting pressure is not enough. Without
predators, prey animals lose their natural wariness. There is
a reason for every native component of a landscape. Whether
we understand it or not, nature does.
Ironically, for family ranchers struggling to make a living
from cattle, there are potential economic benefits from having
wolves in the area. Hosting guests who are eager to see or hear
wolves has proved a boon. One Arizona rancher who does this
is Wilma Jenkins at the Double Circle Ranch in Clifton. Jen-kins
believes that wolves belong in the area as much as well-managed
cattle do. Beaver Creek Guest Ranch, in the heart
of the recovery area, does weekly presentations on wolves.
I was not thinking about the politics of wolves as I sat
by Bear Wallow Creek. I just thought about their presence,
believing with all my heart that if I was alone long enough,
quiet long enough, one would come to the stream to drink.
I believe this every time I hike within the recovery area. It
has not yet happened.
But other people have seen them. Wolf advocate Jean
Ossorio frequently camps in the recovery area. Armed with
weekly telemetry reports from the Arizona Game and Fish
Department that show where signals have been picked up
from radio-collared wolves, she is occasionally rewarded by
the sight of wolves or wolf tracks.
I met Jean last December in the Williams Valley, the day
after a heavy snowfall. A
week before Christmas, she
and Michael Robinson — a
conservation advocate for the
Center for Biological Diversity
in Tucson — and I were the
only people in the valley. On
that silent, raw-edged morn-ing,
we found fresh tracks of the Hawk’s Nest Pack along
snow-covered Forest Road 88B. Walking downhill under a
snow sky, we followed multiple sets of tracks, several wolves
moving alongside one another, occasionally stepping in the
same track, crisscrossing into the woods to the east, the
meadow to the west. Elk tracks came up from the meadow,
heading into the woods, oddly crossed at one point, like skis
above a mantel. In the course of the day, we watched elk at the
edges of forest, elk weaving among the trees.
One set of wolf tracks moved straight ahead until, nearing
a road reflector, it veered in toward the reflector, where the
wolf marked its territory, then veered back to its straight track.
The Hawk’s Nest Pack, one of the most successful packs,
has stayed away from livestock, but has, nonetheless, met with
violence. Both the alpha male and a second male were found
shot in the summer of 2010 — 2010 was a lethal summer. The
alpha male of the San Mateo Pack was also killed, while the
alpha male of the Paradise Pack disappeared.
Dave Parsons, a wildlife biologist who managed the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service wolf recovery program from 1990 to
1999, calls the Mexican gray wolf “the most unique subspecies
of wolf.” Living farther south than other wolves, isolated by
glaciations, it has a long history of adapting to its environ-ment.
Yet now, with a fast-approaching limit to how many
generations can be captive-bred before losing the genes for
wildness, is its long genetic history to be sacrificed?
The more generations produced in captivity, the more genes
for wildness are lost. Not getting wolves out of captive facili-ties
squanders opportunities to get those nearest their wild
heritage into wilderness. Currently, 307 wolves live in cap-tive
facilities across the U.S. and Mexico, two of them at the
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson. Last January, two
wolves captured as pups in 2007 were released into the wild.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release a new pack
this summer, although, as of this writing, more analysis was
necessary to make certain the release area was appropriate.
In December 2010, Michael Robinson and I hiked a little of
the Blue Range Primitive Area, about 8 miles east of the Blue
River, that could be considered appropriate. Crossing healthy
grass matted down from snow the day before, we saw it as
available food for elk, a more hopeful landscape than the over-grazed
terrain we had walked a day earlier on the Gila, look-ing
for signs of the San Mateo Pack. According to Michael,
about 550,000 roadless acres in the Blue Range Primitive Area
and adjoining roadless areas are without resident wolves.
In the gray cold of the winter afternoon, Jean, Michael and
I walked to the planned Green Fire Overlook, a short distance
from the junction of forest roads 26 and 24. There, in Bluestem
Pack territory, we stood atop rock cliffs, looking north to cliffs
on the far side of the Black River. The dark stream wound
its narrow, swift way through the canyon far below. A hun-dred
and one years ago, from the north rim, Aldo Leopold, the
father of conservationism, shot a wolf at the edge of the river.
In the process, he changed forever everything about how we
look at land.
It is to that shot we owe the possibility of Mexican gray
wolf restoration. Watching “a fierce green fire dying” in the
wolf’s eyes, Leopold wrote, he understood how all things in
nature are connected. Without the wolf, the deer’s numbers
increase until it eats away the mountain. With no vegeta-tion
holding the mountain together, storms cause mudslides,
streams become silted, deer starve, a wildland is destroyed. To
keep the mountain, Leopold said, we need the wolf.
David and I left Bear Wallow Wilderness via the Cienega
Trail, a trail with as many blow-downs as the Reno Lookout
Trail. It was almost dark when we reached the trailhead. Two
hunters, stopping at the trailhead by chance, gave us a ride
back to our truck. We camped nearby. We did not see wolves.
But I have been in your country, Rim Pack, I thought, and I am
The health of the ecosystem
requires all the elements —
prey animals and predators
— with which it evolved.
52 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 53
it might seem optimistic, but
pack a beach towel before
heading out on Forest Road 618.
After 6 miles on State Route
260, the slender gravel strand
curves into the scrub hills east
of Camp Verde with a tangle of
creosote, barberry and yucca
covering the slopes. Shade in
this landscape is a myth. The
only plants rising above shoul-der
level are stunted junipers
and crucifixion thorns. Water
seems unlikely, but have faith.
Just past the 2-mile mark
after turning on FR 618, a rut-ted
road (Forest Road 215)
bears right. This leads to Bull
Pen Ranch and West Clear
Creek Wilderness, a lush ripar-ian
oasis. Soaring cliffs tower
above the fast-tumbling creek.
The lower reaches of the can-yon
shelter deep pools, perfect
for swimming, wading and
fishing. It’s 3 miles to Bull Pen
Ranch, and FR 215 requires a
high-clearance ride, but don’t
worry if your only option is a
sedan — more opportunities to
get wet lie ahead.
FR 618 ambles upward just
enough to change the vegeta-tion.
Junipers and piñon pines
cluster along the roadway.
Amid forested hills and flattop
mesas, an occasional glimpse of
Sedona’s sandstone formations
cracks the skyline. Scattered
buildings dot the rough
meadows. This is ranch coun-try,
dating back more than a
century. Of course, pioneer
settlers weren’t the first to
appreciate the possibilities of
desert grasslands laced with
At 11.3 miles, you’ll find the
largest known petroglyph site
in the Verde Valley. Located
along the banks of Wet Beaver
Creek, V-Bar-V Heritage Site
protects a staggering array of
rock art that was created by
the Sinaguan people sometime
between the years 900 and
1300. Archaeologists believe
the panels of chiseled symbols
function as a solar calendar.
Just past V-Bar-V, the road
bends left and pavement
begins. Cross Wet Beaver
Creek on a one-lane bridge that
dips beneath a leafy canopy of
cottonwoods, sycamores and
willows. There’s a campground
and a picnic area nearby, and
the creek will likely be frothy
with youngsters — an awe-some
kid-sized pool sits right
off the road.
For desert dwellers, swim-ming
holes hold a special magic
— a perfect escape when the
mercury punches through the
top of the thermometer. Air-conditioning
might keep us
alive, but water and shade set
Beyond the campground is
the parking area for the Bell
Trail, which parallels Wet
Beaver Creek. A network of
pathways leads to the water
in prime spots, but the big
Kahuna of swimming holes
lurks 3 miles from the trail-head.
Just upstream from
where the trail crosses the
creek, deep water carves an
exquisite 70-foot-long channel
between narrow sandstone
walls. Known as “The Crack,” a
triangle of rock positioned over
the sweet spot makes a dandy
diving platform, but more fear-less
souls just heave themselves
in from atop the 25-foot-high
Once you’re dried off (thank
goodness for the beach towel),
hop back in the car and follow
FR 618 for 2 miles to Interstate
17. Or, continue straight ahead
into Sedona. There are a lot
more swimming holes along
Forest Road 618
can cool off in
Creek (right) or
visit the exten-sive
at the V-Bar-V
618 In July, any
road that leads to
a swimming hole
ranks as a scenic
drive. This one just
happens to be
BY ROGER NAYLOR
PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY LINDAHL
Note: Mileages are approximate.
LENGTH: 14 miles one way
DIRECTIONS: From Interstate 17 (Exit 287) in Camp
Verde, drive southeast on State Route 260 for 6 miles
to Forest Road 618, and continue north to I-17.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: None
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: Red Rock Ranger District, 928-282-
4119 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino. The V-Bar-V
Heritage Site is open Friday through Monday, from
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Red Rock Pass is required. For
more information, call 928-282-3854.
Travelers in Arizona can visit www.az511.gov or
dial 511 to get information
on road closures, construction,
delays, weather and more.
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, visit www.
O N L I N E For more scenic drives in Arizona, visit www.arizonahighways.com/outdoors/drives.asp.
To Sedona To Flagstaff
S T A R T H E R E
C O C O N I N O
N A T I O N A L F O R E S T
W E T B E A V E R
W I L D E R N E S S
W E S T C L E A R C R E E K
W I L D E R N E S S
Wet Beaver Creek
West Clear Creek
T R A I L H E A D
54 j u l y 2 0 1 1 www. a r i z o n a h i g h w a y s . c o m 55
month OF THE
“the North and the South.” Mention that to most Ameri-cans
and they’ll start rattling off names like Gettysburg,
Fredericksburg … and maybe even Ken Burns. In Arizona,
the North and the South are two rims of the Grand Canyon,
and they’re very different. Especially the hikes. On the
South Rim, the trails are usually crowded — think South
Kaibab and Bright Angel. On the North, they’re not. If you
prefer the latter, head for the Uncle Jim Trail.
Located a few miles north of the Grand Canyon Lodge
on the North Rim, this trail is named for “Uncle Jim”
Owens, a game warden who reportedly killed more than
500 mountain lions in an attempt to strengthen the area’s
deer population. But the plan backfired. Without any
predators, the deer population exploded and, as a result,
thousands of deer died of starvation. Today, things are
somewhat back to normal, and this trail is a good way to
see it for yourself.
Like other trails on the North Rim, Uncle Jim winds
through a mix of ponderosa pines, white firs, Douglas
firs, blue spruce and quaking aspens, as well as ferns and
grasses and pine needles. The first mile of the trail paral-lels
the Ken Patrick Trail, so don’t be confused. As you get
rolling, check out the views of Roaring Springs Canyon
to your right. They’re incredible. After about 20 minutes,
you’ll come to a point where the two trails split. Stay to the
right for Uncle Jim, which begins with a gentle downhill
run toward a lush drainage below. Deer must love this spot.
From there, the trail heads up the other side of the small
drainage, climbing about 200 feet, and continues to another
intersection on your right. This is where the Uncle Jim loop
begins. The route to the right is hard to find, but if you
miss it, don’t worry. You’ll still be on the trail. You’ll just be
doing the loop in a clockwise rotation. Either way is OK.
Keeping left (clockwise) you’ll start catching glimpses
of the Grand Canyon ahead. But even before you see it,
you’ll sense it. There’s something about the terrain that
says, “Something big is about to happen.” And it does. Not
far from that first glimpse, the Canyon comes into full
view. Like every other perspective, this one is magnificent.
Fortunately, the trail skirts the rim for most of the rest of
the way to Uncle Jim Point, the apex of the loop.
You’ll know you’re there when you see the hitching
post, which is used for the mule trains that are so popular
in this national park. The point itself is a little tricky to
find, but when you do, you’re going to be amazed. Great
views are typical on the North Rim, but the views from
Uncle Jim Point are beyond words. From where you’ll be
standing, you’ll be able to see Roaring Springs Canyon
below and the San Francisco Peaks in the distance. And,
if you look under your feet, literally, you’ll see fossils that
began their timeline more than 250 million years ago,
when the point was at the bottom of a warm inland sea.
Get comfortable and enjoy the views.
Although you’ll have to finish the loop
before it gets dark, Uncle Jim Point is a
great place to sit and contemplate the
merits of the two rims. They’re both
special, but, as you’ll see, the North
wins easily when it comes to solitude.
RIGHT: Hikers on
the Uncle Jim
Trail are treated
to startling views
of the steep, sheer
walls of Roaring
The hike is 5 miles
UNCLE JIM TRAIL There are
many reasons to visit the North
Rim, including this trail, which
offers a little solitude with its
BY ROBERT STIEVE
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID ELMS JR.
O N L I N E For more hikes in Arizona, visit www.arizonahighways.com/outdoors/hiking.asp.
READING: For more
hikes, pick up a
copy of our newest
book, Arizona High-ways
which features 52
of the state’s best
trails — one for
each weekend of
the year, sorted by
seasons. To order
a copy, visit www.
LENGTH: 5 miles round-trip
ELEVATION: 8,269 to 8,427 feet
DIRECTIONS: From the Grand Canyon Lodge on the
North Rim, drive north for 2 miles to the signed
right turn for the North Kaibab Trailhead. Uncle Jim
shares a trailhead with the Ken Patrick Trail and a
parking area with the North Kaibab Trail.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: None
DOGS ALLOWED: No
HORSES ALLOWED: No
USGS MAP: Bright Angel Point
INFORMATION: Backcountry Office, Grand Canyon
National Park, 928-638-7875 or www.nps.gov/grca
• 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.
trail guide F
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 Creek
Roaring Springs Canyon
To Jacob Lake
T R A I L H E A D
56 j u l y 2 0 1 1
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,
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will be chosen in a random drawing of qualified entries. Entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. Only the winner will be
notified. The correct answer will be posted in our September issue and online at www.arizonahighways.com beginning August 15.
BY KELLY KRAMER
Industry reigns at this
which features a
lined with the artwork
of Michael Maglich.
This bola tie, which was
created by Maglich
and pays tribute to the
history and culture of
the state, is one of 59
that are mounted on
along the walkway.
Maglich installed the
bola tie and its iron
brethren in 1996.
May 2011 Answer: San
Carlos High School.
our winner, Dana
Smith of Monroeville,
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