2012NE Arizona and NW New Mexico
mm = mileage marker.
odo = odometer reading.
Rosemary Santana Cooney, Patrick Louis Cooney
1st Day, Saturday, April 28, 2012
Fly out of Newark, NJ headed for Phoenix, AZ airport.
In Phoenix, AZ we rent a car and head out of the city on US Route 17 north toward Flagstaff, AZ.
The odometer reads 30,940.
around mm 247 -- there are lots of saguaro cactus on the hills. Thousands of them.
around 251 -- grassy plains around us.
At exit 253 we drive to see Sunset Point. This is a rest stop with great views over the open valley behind the rest area. We enjoyed the views.
mm 259 -- Agua Fria National Monument. This is the exit for Bloody Basin Road. The views from here are not particularly pretty. We are reminded that we are in Arizona when we see right-wing graffiti on the signs announcing the rules and regulations applying to this National Monument. We saw a Nazi swastika painted near one of the rules. There was also something about Obama: "Nobama".
Someone didn't like the sign: "No target shooting". More graffiti. Personally, if I visit a National Monument, I don't want people out shooting their pistols, shotguns, rifles and automatic weapons.
We take some pictures along a dirt road at Agua Fria but a sign says that the road is not recommended for passenger cars. We turn the car around and head out.
mm 265 -- we cross the Agua Fria River.
mm 281 -- pulled off the road for photos.
Odometer 31,029 (around mm 282). We take photos of the valley before us. This is the Verde Valley. It is home to Fort Verde (originally Camp Lincoln and then Camp Verde). US 17 is really busy with cars all over the highway. There are some white hills down by the valley.
We take exit 285 to go to Fort Verde State Historic Park. We follow Main Street to Hollamon Street. There is a good visitors' center with photos regarding the history of the place. This fort was used to help quell the local natives: the Yavapai and Apache tribes. General Crook was stationed here for a brief time and he used the place as his headquarters.
We walk on the grounds of the fort. There are no palisades here. They have remaining three original buildings:commanding officers' quarters, bachelor officers' quarters and the surgeon's house. The visitor center is also an original building from the fort.
And then there is the original parade ground. (The ground and plants are very parched.)
Now we head for Montezuma's Castle National Monument. At a K gas station, we turn right on the road. We drive the six miles to see the national monument.
The name of Montezuma is wrongly used here. Early Spanish explorers thought that the Aztec Emperor Montezuma in Mexico City held sway here in what is now Arizona. He did not.
At mm 041 we take a picture of a sign for the national monument. Turned right onto Montezuma Castle Road. There is a casino here at the intersection. It's a good landmark indicating you are on the right track.
Mm 042. We park the car. There is a visitors' center here. The place looks like a lovely park by the nearby river. We were walking down the path and got a bit of a shock. Looking up and to the right, we see a large complex of cliff dwellings built in an alcove half-way up the large cliff face. Of course, immediately you wonder how did they get up and down the cliff face. The ranger tells us that the inhabitants used a system of ladders to get up to the housing complex. We marveled at the accomplishments of the ancient peoples.
We walked the short way to the river and took a few photos. Only a few, because the vegetation inhibited getting a good photo of the river.
Not far by car is another piece of the Montezuma's Castle National Monument that is called Montezuma's Well. This is not a well at all, but a sinkhole. Underground water took away the soft sedimentary rock underneath the earth here and the heavier rocks fell into the newly created hole. It's a big sinkhole filled with water from springs below.
One of the sides of the sinkhole has lots of viewing points, while the other side is off-limits to visitors.
They have some markers telling the names of a few plants in the Montezuma area.: One-seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma); Engleman's Prickly Pear Cactus, Mormon Tea, Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina); Lamb's Quarters, Brittle bush; Saltbush (Atriplex canescens); Spanish dagger; Cliffrose (Cowania mexicana); Mahonia (Berberis haematocasrpa); Broom Snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), Winter-fat (Eurotia lanata); and Graythorn (Zizyphus obtusifolia).
In Flagstaff we stay at the Best Western Motel which is on the old Route 66. We just had dinner at Denny's. Just too exhausted to go to a fancier place. The food is basic and good.
We had stayed here the previous year when we went around the Grand Canyon area. We also will come back here to stay at the Flagstaff Best Western on the sixth day of our trip.US 17 Sunset Point Scenic View US 17 Agua Fria National Monument US 17 Verde Fault and Verde Valley Fort Verde State Historical Park Montezuma Castle National Monument Montezuma Well
Second day, Sunday, April 29, 2012.
The odometer reads 31,107.
Stop for gas at Fry's. Then we make a stop for bottled water from Fry's Food and Drug store.
We take photos along Route 66 in Flagstaff. We go under a railway overpass and see a big sign on a store saying simply: GUNS.
At La Plaza Vieja we see a giant mural of a dairy cow at at a milking station. We run into a quite a number of fast food places: the usual ones.
Then we head out on US 40 east headed to Chinle, AZ.
We stop at Walnut Canyon National Monument. It is off US 40 heading east and is not far from Flagstaff. Unfortunately for us, we arrived too early. We turned around and drove back to US 40 east.
Mm 220. We are headed to the meteor crater. The land is flat and wide open with mountains only in the distance.
Exit 233. We exit for the crater. I expected to see a small and simple visitors' center and a big hole in the ground. So I was surprised when I saw a whole complex of buildings at the crater. They have a museum, a nice gift shop and Subway sandwiches. The museum is a good one with lots of astounding facts about the meteor and the hole.
That's one big hole in the ground alright. They have an illustration showing the relative of the hole with the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State building and the Stature of Liberty inside the crater. That's impressive!
We get back on US 40 east again.
Exit 239 is for Meteor City Road and trading post. We got off the higway to take a look at the trading post, but it was closed and didn't look all that impressive, at least from the road.
We get off at exit 252 for Winslow, AZ. We wanted to see Route 66 heading through Winslow. The town has been made famous by The Eagles song Standin on A Corner. The town has seen better days. There are a lot of adobe houses. We took a photo of Calvary Chapel and St. Joseph's Church in this Catholic community.
There is a nice mural on North Warren Street. At the intersection of West Second Street and North Kingsley Avenue there is the famous La Posada Resort and hotel. This is one of the Fred Harvey inns, famous for their Harvey Girls. The young women stayed at the hotels while they worked for the Harvey company, known for establishing hotels near the railway stations.
The Brown Mug eating place is across from the resort.
At exit 269, we get a photo advertising the Jackrabbit Trading Post along US 40 and then drive on Route 66 for a closer view. The shop was closed.
Back on US 40 east we stop at theexit 280 which is the isolated Geronimo Trading Post. It's a big trading post and we bought a few things there.
In Holbrook we took a few pictures on Route 66. I saw the Plainsman eating place which was here in the heyday of Route 66.
Took pictures of the Wigwam Motel. The rooms are made to resemble Indian tepees. From the sign I read, it seems that they have now made the little complex a park. There are a number of old cars parked by the tepees.
We get off at Exit 311 for the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest. We stop at the visitor's center and the Fred Harvey gift shop. We buy a few things, including books. Then we get back into the car and start following the road to see the different overlooks and viewing places.
Rosemary found the names of various rock features in the publication Guide to Geologic Features at Petrified Forest National Park by John V. Bezy and Arthur S. Trevena published as part of Arizona Geological Survey Down-to-Earth 10.
We pass lots of Chinle formation rocks. These are my wife's favorite formations. They have layers of colors. We couldn't believe it when we first walked upreally close to find out what the Chinle formations look like. They look like thousands of beads of mud all stuck together and hardened into rock. They certainly don't resemble anything we had ever seen living on the east coast of the USA. The red layers are created by the presence of iron in the mud mixture. Black comes from the presence of coal. Manganese is responsible for the purple color.
The first stop was Tiponi Point with lots of Chinle formation hills. The second stop was around the bend at Tawa point. At Kachina Point we find the adobe Painted Desert Inn. The inn was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
We stopped at other stops such as Chinle Point, Pintado Point, Nizhoni Point and Whipple Point. The latter point has a lot of Chinle formation rocks which are very beautiful. We don't go all the way to cover all the stops. At Blue Mesa we turn around. I don't see any truly blue mesa. We head back. Want to mention also, that there were hills of chocolate colored rocks. One of the little formations looked like a little chocolate cake compared to the larger hills in the area.
Rosemary was really pleased at seeing the many beautiful examples of the Chinle formation in the Painted Desert. The desert here was a highpoint of the trip for my wife. (Oh, we also saw petrified logs too, but we were mainly focused on the colors of the Painted Desert.)
We drive on to Chambers, AZ. There we pick up Route 191 north. We are headed for Chinle and the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced da shay).
We drive north to Ganado. There the road turns left and we pass the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. We chose to skip it, although I did want to see it. Oh, well, we just kept saying you can't see everything. After a short drive Rt. 191 north makes a left turn and heads toward Chinle.
The road passes Beautiful Valley Overlook. It keeps on going until we hit Chinle. The town looks mostly filled with Navajo people. To me a lot of them look Hispanic. By and large I thought them a handsome people.
We stay at the Best Western in Chinle. We went over to the Holiday Inn to eat at Garcia's Restaurant. The service and food were very good. They have quite a few Mexican dishes there. I got three cheese enchiladas with green sauce and they were very tasty.Route 66 Views in Flagstaff Meteor Crater Route 66 in Winslow Views Along US 40 and Route 66 Painted Desert I in Petrified Forest NP Painted Desert II in Petrified Forest NP
Third Day, Monday, April 30, 2012.
Canyon de Chelly. We get up early, have breakfast at the Junction Restaurant and head out to see the Canyon de Chelly. From the visitors' center the Canyon of the Dead heads out northeast and the Canyon de Chelly heads out southeasterly. They recommend heading outfirst to visit the Canyon de los Muertos. As they suggested we went to the last point on the northeasterly drive.
That last point is called Massacre Cave. There was a small skirmish here between Spanish soldiers and Navajo. The women, old men and children tried to hide in an alcove (not really a cave), but the Spanish wanted to kill them and they did so. An old woman seeing what the Spanish were doing to her people, leaped at one of the soldiers and carried herself and the soldier to their deaths at the bottom of the canyon.
At the overlook you have great views of a beautiful canyon. You can see a house down at the bottom where a Navajo family probably lives. The valley bottom is very green. At the time we saw a little part of the stream in the middle of the canyon floor, it looked like a silver ribbon on the ground floor.
As we were walking back to our car, a vendornames J. John) had set up his wares and started talking to us. Rosemary bought a turquoise necklace that really stood out for $35 dollars and a stone painting for $15 dollars. (And somehow the necklace just disappeared, never to be found by us. Ah, such is life.) Little did we know that this would be the first Navajo vendor of many vendors we would see here and elsewhere.
We visited the Mummy Cave. There are some great views from here. The third and last overlook for the Canyon of the Dead was Antelope Cave. On the road there Rosemary stopped to take some pictures offree range cattle feeding along the side of the road. Looking down into the valley below we saw some cliff dwellings at the bottom of very high blocks of rock.
Near the dwellings, there were various cliff drawings. A fellow visitor pointed out to us the clear image of an antelope drawn on the rocks to the left of the cliff dwellings. There is supposed to be a black antelope there too, but we couldn't find it. (We didn't have our binoculars with us.)
Now we switched over to the Canyon de Chelly. We drove to the end of that road to see a very often photographed towering spire known as Spider Rock. Beautiful views. A busload of kids from an elementary school were there and along the path we went through the middle of the children. We couldn't keep right because so many of the children wanted to hang on the railing. They were probably all Native Americans, Navajo and maybe some others. They were too interested in each other than to pay any attention to us. They just seemed to look like any group of school children in the USA.
Great views of Spider Rock from this point.
There were seven stopping points on this side and we visited four of them. The three others were Face Rock, White House overlook and Junction Overlook.
At Junction Overlook I kept wondering how this is a spot where there is a junction of the streams from the Canyons of the Dead and de Chelly. A Navajo fellow came over and asked if we needed any help? I told him I can't see the junction. It looked like the two streams just ran into each other. He explained that the junction point is blocked from view by the huge rock near the junction of the streams. The stream from the Canyon of the Dead comes out from the left, runs behind the rock and flows into the stream of the Canyon de Chelly. Then the two streams are united into one and head to the right, away from our point of view. He asked where we were from and we told him close to New York City. This made him very happy because he said his dream was to go to Manhattan and see the canyons of the city. His name is Darren Charley and he asked to send him a postcard from New York City. So wesent him a photo book of New York City and several photos of himself. He told us he had not had his picture taken in many years. We bought a rock painting of Spider Rock from him. We also bought a small water carrier from Haynes.
We take local roads to go into New Mexico. We stayed at Comfort Suites in Gallup, New Mexico on US 40. This spot is a little east of Gallup. I wanted to go into Gallup to take some photos, but thought it best to skip the town.Canyon de Chelley NP - Massacre & Mummy Cave Overlooks
Canyon de Chelley NP - Antelope House Overlook & Chinle Wash
Canyon de Chelley NP - South Rim Overlooks
Fourth Day, Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
The odometer says 31,546 miles.
We drive to the town of Thoreau on US 40.
We figure that Chaco is about 63 miles away (but that proved to be way too low of a number).
From Thoreau we we take Route 371 north headed to Chaco. Now there's a problem. There are three different routes mentioned. The fastest way is to take Route 9, and then switch to a rough road up to the Chaco complex. The guide books said that the road was very rough and sometimes impassable. So Rosemary didn't want to risk it. And anyway, we never saw a sign for Chaco or for Rt. 9. (So we were forced to go up all the way to Farmingtion, NM and then turn back down to Chaco from there.)
At odo 576 we see lots of red rocks.
At odo 578 we see even more red rocks.
At odo 580 (near mm 6), we see red rocks on both sides of the road.
At mm 07 there is a narrow valley.
At mm 09 we get a view of a mountain chain ahead.
A sign tells us that Crown Point is 15 miles ahead.
At odometer 31,588 we are going into a pass. The rocks here a yellowish white. This following area is mostly rocks of a yellowish white rocks.
At mm 16 the road goes through more yellowish white rocks.
From mm 19 the area is very opened up.
At mm 24 is Crown Point.
At mm 27 the area is wide open space.
Rt. 371 goes up and down, up and down until it reaches the horizon.
Near mm 34, a sign says that Farmington is 66 miles away.
At mm 42 I notice that there are very few cars using Rt. 371.
We also notice that many of the highway signs have been painted over by some mischief makers making it difficult to know where you are at any given tilme.
At mm 48 there is a sign saying that this is the San Juan County Line.
At mm 53 we reach Lake Valley.
At mm 55 is the La Vida Mission.
At mm 62 we see mushroom-like caps on many of the rock formations. We see a sign saying 1/4 of a mile to Bisti. The route will be 7500.
At mm 63 a sign says that the access point for Bisti Wilderness Area is 7 miles ahead.The maps we had were not very helpful,
At mm 65 a sign says there will be rough road conditions for the next 21 miles.
We turn right onto the gravel road.After we got back, Rosemary checked the web and think the gravel road was Rt 7293. Rosemary takes photos of mushroom cap rock formations. We realize that this is the Chinle formation out here. It's a bit shocking that the beautiful Chinle formation is here mostly gray and black. Logically, it makes sense that a Chinle formation can be of many bright colors or with drab ones. It just depends on what elements are found in the mud mixture.
The rock formations are still attractive looking. It's just never occurred to us that Chinle formation was not always colorful.
The gravel road passes by a trailhead in the wilderness area. There is one car parked there. We see two people start out on a hike. I see that the road seems just to disappear among the mushroom-like formations. I continue following the road in the car and pass through the Chinle formation ridge and get behind it.
I hoped the road would just keep on going and going, but we had to stop because of a sign saying "Street Closed" in front of a wire fence. My wife comments: "They don't really want you going here." Here being the Bisti wilderness.
At odo 31,650 we are back out of Bisti.
We see our second prairie dog.
At odo 31,680 we are 100 miles north of Thoreau.
At mm 102 we can see Farmington in the valley below. From mm 102 the road makes a big descent into the town. Getting into the town, we now take Rt. 64 east to Bloomfield, on the eastern side of Farmington.
At odo 31,698 we reach Bloomfield. We make a right turn onto Rt. 550 south heading toward Chaco. We reach Rt. 7900 at odo 31,737. now we have to drive 21 miles to get to Chaco. The road travels through wide open spaces. The last ten miles orso of the road is dirt and gravel. This makes the going rough and we can hear the gravel striking the car as it moves along.
Finally, we arrive at the visitors' center. The odometer reads 31,758 we take a picture of the sign for Chaco. Then it's 2.5 miles more up to the visitors' center. We learned subsequently that the name Chaco Culture National Historical Park had been officially changed to Chaco Culture in2006. The information on Chaco masonry comes from Chaco: a Cultural Legacy by Michael Strutin published by Western National Parks Association in 1994.
The road is a loop where you stop at different numbered parking areas. The best part is the large housing complex. The path takes the visitors up to and in and around the ruins. The walk was very enjoyable.
We stayed at Best Western in Bloomfield.Route 371 Before Bisti Wilderness
Bisti Wilderness - A Palette of Colors
Chaco Culture I
Chaco Culture II
Fifth Day, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The odometer reads 31,829. We got up early and headed to the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, NM, which is close to
Bloomfield. There were three related settlements in this area: Mesa Verde, Aztec and
Chaco. At this Aztec Ruins we look as the West Ruin. At stop number 3, we see
the greenstone decoration going along the wall, in an otherwise plain adobe
wall. The place was built between 1110 and 1130. At stop five we see the remains of was once a tri-wall structure that is in a
circular shape. The centerpiece held the Kiva (place for religious observances).
The door wells are really low and even I had to bend my head low to avoid
running into the doorframe. The next stop is the Central Plaza. It was a rather large public square. At
stop 14 there were large, T-shaped doorways that opened onto the plaza. The highlight of the place was the kiva at stop number 15. Almost all of the
kivas we have seen have not been much of anything, but the kiva here is huge.
And it looks very impressive inside the kiva. The people could sit around on
benches put up against the circular wall. There was a place for a fire and there
were two large vaults there too. At stop 21 there were the remains an arc of single room apartments. And at
stop 22 we saw more examples of the use of greenstone in the walls. We drive via Route 64 to the town of Shiprock in New Mexico. Route 491/666
south takes us close to the huge isolated rock formation that can be seen for
miles around the area. We get closer to it and took some photos. The rock is
located in a huge open field. Drove back to the town of Shiprock and head
Fifth Day, Wednesday, May 2, 2012.
The odometer reads 31,829.
We got up early and headed to the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, NM, which is close to Bloomfield.
There were three related settlements in this area: Mesa Verde, Aztec and Chaco. At this Aztec Ruins we look as the West Ruin. At stop number 3, we see the greenstone decoration going along the wall, in an otherwise plain adobe wall.
The place was built between 1110 and 1130.
At stop five we see the remains of was once a tri-wall structure that is in a circular shape. The centerpiece held the Kiva (place for religious observances).
The door wells are really low and even I had to bend my head low to avoid running into the doorframe.
The next stop is the Central Plaza. It was a rather large public square. At stop 14 there were large, T-shaped doorways that opened onto the plaza.
The highlight of the place was the kiva at stop number 15. Almost all of the kivas we have seen have not been much of anything, but the kiva here is huge. And it looks very impressive inside the kiva. The people could sit around on benches put up against the circular wall. There was a place for a fire and there were two large vaults there too.
At stop 21 there were the remains an arc of single room apartments. And at stop 22 we saw more examples of the use of greenstone in the walls.
We drive via Route 64 to the town of Shiprock in New Mexico. Route 491/666 south takes us close to the huge isolated rock formation that can be seen for miles around the area. We get closer to it and took some photos. The rock is located in a huge open field.
Drove back to the town of Shiprock and head
We head to Teec Nos Pos, AZ to pick up Route 160 heading northeast to the Four Corners Monument. We were here at the monument some years ago, but the place was closed for repairs. But this time the monument is open.
A lot of people come here to have their photo taken where one can have their two hands and two feet in four different states: Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. We sat down on the benches to eat our fry bread (which tasted very good). We watched as people had their pictures taken. Quite a few of the young guys put funny expressions on their faces. Others just sit down on the point where four states meet to have their photo taken.
There was a really cute Navajo daughter at a fry bread stand and I asked her if we could take her photo for $10 dollars. She was a bit shy about it so we told her to go ask her mother if it's alright, but she just decided to pose for us. Afterwards she ran to her mother to show her the $10 dollars. Mother came to the back door of the stand and smiled as both my wife and I said that she has such a cute daughter. Mom just smiled with a wide grin on her face.
We purchased several small items being offered by the Navajo vendors.
From Four Corners we drove the long distance to the Navajo town of Kayenta. From Teec No Pos to Kayentaon Route 160t was a total of around 76 miles.
At odo 32,013 we reached the Hampton Inn in Kayenta. We had stayed in Kayenta when we visited Monument Valley on an earlier vacation trip. We stayed at the Holiday Inn, but that motel has been put under new management and no longer carries that name.
We ate at a Navajo restaurant by the name of Blue Cup. It's a bit like a diner. The food was good and the service was also good.Aztec Ruins National Monument
Driving to Four Corners
Four Corners Monument
Sixth Day, Thursday, May 3, 20012 We get up early again. Rosemary takes pictures of the little town. We are
going to drive the 21 miles to the Navajo National Monument
Sixth Day, Thursday, May 3, 20012
We get up early again. Rosemary takes pictures of the little town. We are going to drive the 21 miles to the Navajo National Monumenton Route 160. We turn north on Route 564. As we near the visitors' center I start having feelings of de ja vu. I felt I had seen the first overlook and then the arrangement of the visitors' center reminded me of a place like this. Rosemary was having similar feelings. Then she looked at the trail and description and realized that we had been here before with her brother Ceferino in 2008 on our trip to Southern Utah..
I wrote in the journal: "Navajo National Monument. Been here before. What a lark! That's funny. "
So we return to Route 160 and start heading for Tuba City. Along the way, near Tonalea (aka Red Lake) we stopped to take photos of what are known as Elephant Feet. They are two isolated stone pinnacles close to each other.
We see the San Francisco Peaks some 19 miles away from Flagstaff.
At odo 32,104 we reach Tuba City, still in Navajo territory. Most of the inhabitants are Native Americans. We stop at a museum devoted to the Navajo. Next door is a large trading post. We look at some of the museum's posters outside and also see a sign about a Navajo Code talkers Museum that is inside the trading post. We took some pictures on the main street.
We went into the trading post. We got a few things. Did not see any sign of the Codetalker Museum.
We are headed to Coal Mine Canyon.
We leave Tuba City and cross over Rt. 160 to get to Rt.264. We stop for some photos of the Moenkopi Wash. There is a pretty valley here.
The position of the Coal Mine Canyon is not indicated by any signs. It was lucky that the Wikipedia writer about the Canyon gave such a good description of what to look for between mile markers 336 and 337 on thenorthern side of the road. He mentions a 2 storey residence that looks new. The little park with five picnic tables is located behind a little complex of a windmill and three structures, one of which waters the cattle, sheep and horses in the area. So the secret is to go around behind the windmill.
It really looks as if there is nothing there at all. It's all just flat land. But when you get behind the windmill you realize that there is a huge canyon-like complex below the surface of the surrounding land. Rosemary just loves the colors available to see in the complex of canyons. There are lots of interesting color combinations in the rocks.
The picnic tables are fully exposed to the sun since there are no trees around the area.
From the coal mine we drive southback to Rt 160 and then take Rt. 89 to Cameron and the Cameron Trading Post. We were here on another trip and knew the trading post was a good one. Bought a few things. Rosemary took photos of the bridge over the Little Colorado River.
After that we headed back to Flagstaff to the Best Western motel. This was our third stay at thisparticular Best Western motel. Kayenta - Route 160
Route 160 from Kayenta to Route 564
Tuba City Views on Main Street
Route 264 Moenkopi Wash
Coal Mine Canyon off of Route 264
Seventh Day, Friday, May 4, 20012. Last time we were in Flagstaff, we were too early to go see the Walnut Canyon
National Monument a little east of Flagstaff. So we returned to the place a
little later in the morning. The overlook of this area is very impressive. There used to be
Seventh Day, Friday, May 4, 20012.
Last time we were in Flagstaff, we were too early to go see the Walnut Canyon National Monument a little east of Flagstaff. So we returned to the place a little later in the morning.
The overlook of this area is very impressive. There used to bewater at the bottom of the valley below, but two dams, one constructed in 1904 and the other in 1941, redirected the water elsewhere. (Of course, there are occasional floods in the canyon.)
The rock layers of the canyon include: a layer of Kaibab limestone; a clay layer; and Coconino sandstone.
There are two trails here. The Rim Trail starts at the visitors' center and goes along the rim of the Canyon for a short ways. 350 feet below is the bottom of the canyon.
There are quite a few plant species in bloom. We especially enjoyed this because there were many signs discussing the various plants species along the trail.
The other trail, the Island Trial, starts from the back of the visitors' center. This is a bit of a strenuous trail because you have to go down many steps to descend deepter into the Canyon and then return up the steps again. This trail takes the walker to the alcove cliff-dwelling ruins found here.
For those of you interested in plant species, here is a small list of some of the plants.
Aster, Hairy False Golden (Heterotheca villosa)
Barberry, Fremont (Berberia fremontii)
Beebalm, Mintleaf (Monarda menthaefoloia)
Box Elder (Acer negundo)
Buckwheat, Baker's Wild (Eroigonum bakeri)
Buckwheat, Sulphur-flower (Erigonum umbellatum)
Cactus, Prickly Pear
Cactus, Tulip Prickly Pear (Opuntia phaecantha)
Cliffrose (Purshia stansburiana)
Desert-thorn, Pale (Lycium pallidum)
Dogwood, Red Stem (Cornus stolonifera)
Elderberry, Blue (Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea)
Elderberry, Blueberry (Sambucus glauca)
Fernbush (Chamaebatiaria millefolium)
Grape, Canyon (Vitis arizonia)
Grass, Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
Groundsel (Senecio multilobatus)
Hoptree, Narrowleaf (Ptelea angustifolia)
Juniper, Rocky Mountain
Larkspur, Nutall's (Delphinium nelsonii)
Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii)
Locoweed, Spotted (Astragalus lentiginosus)
Locust, Mexican (Robinia neomexicana)
Mallow, Orange Desert (Sphaeralcea parviflora)
Mormon Tea (Ephedra viridis)
Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus)
Oak,Gambel (Quercus gambelii)
Paintbfrush, Devil's (Castilleja chromosa)
Penstemon, Scarlet (Penstemon barbatus)
Penstemon, Toadflax (Penstemon linarioides)
Pericome, Tailed (Pericoma caudata)
Pine, Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa)
Pine Tree, Two-needle Pinyon (Pinus edulus)
Rabbitbrush, Golden (Cheysothammus nauseosus)
Rockmat (Petrophylum caespitosum) -- some type of club moss
Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleome serrulata)
Rose (Rosa fendleri)
Sumac, Skunkbush (Rhus trilobata)
Sunflower, Prairie (Helianthus petiolaris)
Thistle, Wheeler's (Cirsium wheeleri)
Thlapsi montanum -- no common name
Valerian, Gray Arizona (Valeriana arizonica)
Walnut, Arizona (Juglans major)
Wax Durrant (Ribes cereum)
White Geranium (Geranum richardsonii)
Yarrow, Common (Achellea millefolium)
Yucca, Banana (Yucca baccata)
From the Flagstaff area, we now head to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. There are lots of Saguaro cacti around the New River area.
The Desert Botanical Garden is a great botanical garden. You get a real orientation to the desert flowers.
There are lots of prairie dogs in the garden.
The day was very hot. It's good that the garden has a lot of water fountains stationed around the trails. Otherwise we could not have stayed for such a long time.
Brief List of Plants:
Cactus, Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)
Cactus, Teddy Bear (Cylindropuntia bigelovii)
Chocolate Flower (Perlandiera lyrata)
Creosote Bush (Larrea tridentata)
Damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana)
Globemallow (Calliandra californica)
Honeysuckle, Mexican (Justicia spicigera)
Lupine, Wild Blue (Lupinus perennis)
Marigold, Desert (Baileya multiradiata)
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)
Palo Verde, Blue (Cercidium floridum)
Yucca, Red (Hesperaloe parviflora).
Stayed the night at the Airport Best Western.
In all we drove around 1,500 miles in seven days.Walnut Canyon National Monument
Desert Botanical Garden
In the interest of being fair to the two states, I chose a balance of pictures. But truthfully, I should have included more painted desert and coal mine canyon.My Favorites
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