S: Visions of Arizona Jack M. Pal
FC: Visions of Arizona | Jack M. Pal
1: For numerous years we have traveled to Arizona to escape the Ontario winters. We enjoy the fabulous scenery and take advantage of all possible opportunities to hike through the deserts and mountains of this beautiful state. We have generally been blessed with ideal weather and migrate farther north when the weather heats up. We have made numerous friends over the years and are fortunate to have wonderful family there as well. Arizona has become much more than a travel destination...it has become kind of a second home. I have struggled to select a portfolio of photos which truly reflect our experiences and could have chosen hundreds more. I hope you enjoy looking at the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. I know I relive the experience that is Arizona every time I see the photos. Perhaps you too will be tempted to finally take that trip to Arizona. I dedicate this book to my loving wife, Pat, with whom I have shared these journeys without whom it would be just a trip. And of course, Thatcher, our Golden Retriever, has had a big impact on our enjoyment. Jack M. Pal December 2011 | Visions of Arizona | Front Cover - Coffee Pot Rock formation in Sedona
2: South Eastern Arizona | Roper State Park | January dawn looking North | What a wonderful place to relax...a natural spring hot tub! Even in January, it's a real treat. | This scenic park located just south of Safford in southeast Arizona is in a beautiful location surrounded by the sky island Pinaleño Mountains range, including Mount Graham.
3: Chiracahua National Monument | Chiricahua National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service located in the Chiracahua Mountains. It is famous for its extensive vertical rock formations. It preserves the remains of an immense volcanic eruption that shook the region some 27 million years ago. Called the Turkey Creek Caldera eruption, it eventually laid down two thousand feet of ash and pumice, highly siliceous in nature. This eventually hardened into rhyolite tuffs, and eroded into the natural features visible at the monument today.
4: Tombstone Arizona | Tombstone was founded in 1879. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boomtowns in the American Old West. In the '80s it was the largest silver production area in Arizona. The Earp brothers—Virgil, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren —all assumed roles as lawmen at one time or another, leading to ongoing conflicts with the outlaw Cowboys. The conflict escalated into a confrontation that turned into a shoot out, the now-famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. You can witness a re-enactment of this event on a daily basis.
5: Tucson Area | Catalina State Park | Catalina State Park is located adjacent to the Coronado National Forest in the western slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. To the east is Mount Lemmon, the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains at 9,157 feet. | Horse trail right behind our trailer | Romero Canyon trail
6: Sutherland Trail Just an amazing cactus garden | Mount Lemmon Early morning January snow above 3500 feet
7: Winter rainbow in our campsite
8: Mission San Xavier del Bac | Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles south of Tucson, on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. The Mission is also known as the "place where the water appears," as there were once natural springs in the area. | At the time of our visit, major renovations were ongoing and this was the only part of the mission that did not have a scaffolding. | Inside the mission
9: Tumacacori Mission | Tumacacori National Historical Park | Still Life | Tumacacori, approximately 50 miles south of Tucson,is the site of a Franciscan mission that was built in the late 18th century.
10: Biosphere 2 - Oracle | Biosphere 2 was originally built to be an artificial ecological system. Constructed between 1987 and 1991, it was used to explore the complex web of interactions within life systems in a structure that included five areas based on biomes and an agricultural area. Human living/working space was created to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology with the rest of nature. It also explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. It is a fascinating site to visit and the tours are done very professionally. It's amazing how people were able to live completely cut off from the "other world" for several years. | In 2007 the University of Arizona took over management of Biosphere 2, using the site as a laboratory to study climate change, among other things.
11: Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum | This is a "must visit" if you go to the Tucson area. Specializing in the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, the museum has more than 40,000 plants, representing 1300 species, in its botanical gardens. Here are just a few of them | Picacho Peak State Park | The park, approximately 4o miles NW of Tucson, is known for its unique geological significance, outstanding and varied desert growth, and historical importance. The unique shape has been used as a landmark by travelers since prehistoric times. The hike to the top is quite challenging and involves the use of cables and chains...but the view is awesome.
12: Phoenix area | Usery Mountain Regional Park - Mesa | Truly a desert garden, the park is set at the western end of the Superstition Mountains, adjacent to the Tonto National Forest and is part of the lower Sonoran Desert. It is one of eleven parks which make up the Maricopa County Parks. The campground at Usery continues to be our favourite of all the many other excellent camping facilities we visit. Among the most popular features for us are the wonderful hiking opportunities both in and near the park. | Pass mountain views These photos were taken right from our campsite at different times of the day. The park, however, is magical at any time.
13: Wind Cave This is always our first hike at Usery...kind of a warm-up for more vigorous hikes later. In the left middle you can see the Usery Campground and if you look carefully, you can find our trailer. | Short lived desert storm What looks like a severe storm actually turns out to be simply an opportunity to see Pass Mountain in a different light. The wind cave is just to the left of arm of the saguaro
14: Flat Iron - Superstition Mountains | Our friends Wally Gammage and Louise Lever have shown us what real hiking is all about. This photo is at the official end of the Siphon Draw Hike. The rest of the trip to the top is a bushwack but well worth it. This is one of the more strenuous hikes in the area. Note Weaver's needle in the background. More on that later. | The view from the top | Approach from Lost Dutchman State Park
15: Tortilla Flat and the Apache Trail | Tortilla Flat is a small unincorporated community in far eastern Maricopa County, northeast of Apache Junction. It is the last surviving stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail. Tortilla Flat is presumed to be Arizona's smallest official "community" having a U.S. Post Office and voters' precinct. The town has a population of 6. It was originally a camping ground for the prospectors who searched for gold in the Superstition Mountains in the mid-to-late 19th century. For us it's a "must visit" every year. The trip there and beyond along the Apache Trail is one of the prettiest in the state and well known for its steep hair pin turns. | Today, primarily a restaurant and gift shop. Tortilla Flat provides a unique experience to visitors. The walls and ceiling are papered with dollar bills rumoured to have a value of over $100,000. The restaurant was rebuilt after a fire in the '80s | Motor cycles are an ever present phenomenon at TortillaFlat | The bar stools, here occupied by recreational bikers, are actually old saddles
16: Apache Trail Trip | View of Fish Creek from Apache Trail | Tonto National Monument | Just past the end of the Apache Train, the well-preserved cliff dwellings were occupied by the Salado culture during the 13th, 14th, and early 15th centuries. The view of Lake Roosevelt is breath taking.
17: The park consists of a 323-acre botanical collection that includes a wide range of habitats and a 1.5-mile main loop walking trail. Founded in 1925, the arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state. | Boyd Thompson Arboretum State Park
18: Family Barbecue at Usery Park | Dave | Rose | Shelley | Breyana | Angel and Thatcher
19: Boulder Canyon Trail | Starting at Canyon Lake Marina, the trail leads straight up the mountain to Frog Peak. The views from the summit are wonderful. You will take in the sparkling, deep blue waters of Canyon Lake, as well as great views of Weaver's Needle, Battleship Mountain, Geronimo Head, and LaBarge Canyon. | View down the canyon half way down the trail. One of the few days we had rain...but it still looks awesome! | Canyon Lake
20: Weaver's Needle | Fremont Saddle hike starting from Peralta Trailhead | Weaver's Needle is a 1,000-foot-high column of rock that forms a distinctive peak visible for many miles around. Located in the Superstition Mountains it was created when a thick layer of tuff (fused volcanic ash) was heavily eroded, creating the spire with a summit elevation of 4553 ft. It is set in a desert landscape of cactus and mesquite bush, with large Saguaro cacti particularly prominent. The peak was named after mountain man Pauline Weaver. Weaver's Needle has played a significant role in the stories of the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. The Needle's shadow reportedly indicates the location of a rich vein of gold, and many treasure hunters have searched for it. The hunt for gold around Weaver's Needle has been pursued by hundreds (possibly thousands) of people. | Here you see both the south view (the climb) and the north view (Weaver's Needle). This hike is also one of our favourites in the Superstitions.
21: Usery Mountain Park Sunset | Right from our campsite
22: Phoenix Zoo | The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest non-profit zoo in the United States. It was voted one of the nation's 5 top zoos for kids. Judging by Breyana's response, that is probably right.
24: The opportunity to meet 100 working artists, visit their studios, find out how and why they do what they do and participate in their creative processes is something that you simply won't find anywhere else. Visitors can meet the artists and watch them working in the full spectrum of art media: oil, watercolor, pastels, sculpture and assemblages to glass, ceramics, stone, furniture, jewelry and more. Works range from realistic to impressionistic, western realism to contemporary, landscapes to still life. The event is held January through March annually. | Celebration of Fine Art - Scottsdale
25: White Tank Mountain Regional Park | This is the largest regional park in Maricopa county. The bulk of the White Tank Mountains range is located within the park's boundaries. The park is best known for an extensive network of hiking trails. Nearly 26 miles of hiking trails wind through the terrain in the park. Infrequent heavy rains cause flash floodwaters to plunge through the canyons and pour onto the plain. These torrential flows, pouring down chutes and dropping off ledges, have scoured out a series of depressions, or tanks, in the white granite rock below, thus giving the mountains their name. | Ford canyon trail, the longest in the park, takes you to the White Tanks. | Some sunlight creeps into an otherwise rainy and foggy day.
26: Western Arizona | Alamo Lake State Park | The park is located in western Arizona about 38 miles north of Wenden. Owing to its remoteness and lack of paved access roads, the park is often considered one of the "best kept secrets" of the state park system. | The park features camping facilities and attracts wildlife enthusiasts, as it is home to numerous wildlife species including the bald eagle. The lake impounds runoff from the Bill Williams River, an intermittent tributary of the Colorado River. It is a haven for fishermen.
27: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument | Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a U.S. National Monument and UNESCO biosphere reserve located in extreme southern Arizona. The park is the only place in the United States where the Organ Pipe Cactus grows wild. Along with Organ Pipe, many other types of cacti, as well as other desert flora native to the Yuma Desert section of the Sonoran Desert region, grow here. | Ajo Federated Church in Ajo, just north of Organ Pipe Cactus | There have been border skirmishes mainly relating to drug smuggling resulting in the death of a park ranger. Post 9-11-2001 access to the 50 mile drive has been closed because of the construction of a major security fence along the Mexican border. | Classic Organ Pipe cactus | The Saguaros grow particularly tall here. Note that it takes 75 years to sprout arms.
28: Buckskin Mountain State Park | Located on the Colorado River approximately 15 miles north of Parker, the park commands one of the finest views along the Colorado River and of the Buckskin Mountains. This picturesque park provides scenic respite, mountain hikes and a desert escape. | The park as seen from both the Arizona and California side of the Colorado River. | Thatcher enjoying a game of river fetch. | Our good friends John and Sue Young of Kincardine who we first met in Buckskin.
29: Crack in the Mountain Trail | ,This trail, located in Sarah's Park, Lake Havasu City is affectionately known as Sarah's Crack by the locals. It follows a series of washes towards the lake suddenly coming upon a slot canyon only several feet wide in some places...hence the name. | the entrance | the dry-fall slide | the exit
30: the reward at the end of the hike
31: Lake Havasu City | Best known for its London bridge, the city has been described by some as Death Valley on a lake due to the high summer temperatures. The bridge, the second most visited tourist attraction in Arizona, behind only the Grand Canyon, crosses a 930 ft long man-made canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thompson Bay. It was bought from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled, and the marked stones were shipped and reassembled. It opened in 1971. | Views from Lake Havasu City peninsula
32: Colorado River -White Rock Wash Hike | This hike takes you down a wash, through a slot canyon ultimately to an amazing river access with beach. A short scrabble up the rocks followed by a ladder climb leads you to the Arizona Hot Springs suitable for soaking. Unfortunately when I stripped down for a soak I stumbled upon a couple who were soaking in an amorous fashion
33: Colorado River - Liberty Bell Hike | This hike, whose trailhead is unfortunately no longer marked after the reconstruction of US 93 leading to Hoover Dam, takes you past the Liberty Bell rock formation to one of the best views of the Colorado river in western Arizona. One of the views is of the new Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge bypassing the Hoover Dam opened October 2010
34: Hoover Dam | The dam was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt. Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, and is located near Boulder City, Nevada, about 25 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. | Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. Heavily traveled U.S. 93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
35: Chloride | Chloride, approximately 50 miles south of Hoover Dam, is a onetime silver mining camp and is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state. In the 1960s the community was briefly a counterculture magnet for hippies. | In order to integrate into the Chloride community of today appears to require the following: a) a hobby bordering on fetish consisting of collecting and displaying junk b) a fondness for loud, big and vicious dogs and c) a total disinterest in maintaining a clean town with desirable services
36: Red Rock Country | Sedona | Sedona is named after Sedona Arabelle Miller Schnebly (1877–1950), the wife of the city's first postmaster, who was celebrated for her hospitality and industriousness. It has become our favourite destination in Arizona and the first trip into town always take our breath away. Without a doubt, Sedona's main attraction is its stunning array of red sandstone formations, the Red Rocks of Sedona. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The Red Rocks form a breathtaking backdrop for everything from spiritual pursuits to the hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. It has been a real challenge to select photos which not only reflect the beauty of the area but also remind us of the wonderful hikes we have taken here over the years. | Cathedral Rock from Red Rock Crossing
37: This easy in-town trail takes you to the base of Coffee Pot Rock, a well-known Sedona landmark. This view is from the Teacup Trail.
38: Dead Horse Ranch State Park - Cottonwood | Approximately 20 miles from Sedona, Dead Horse, with its ponds and flowing Verde River is a calm oasis and is one of our favourite campgrounds. | One three fishing and recreational lagoons with a view of Mingus Mountain | Sunday afternoon paddle | View of Jerome and Mingus Mountain from our campsite | A red cardinal is waiting for us to fill the feeder
39: Historic Jerome | A mining town named Jerome was established in 1883. Local merchant and rancher William Munds (after whom the Munds Wagon Trail was named, see later) was the first mayor. The nearby Verde Mine, produced over 1 billion dollars in copper, gold and silver over the next 70 years. Jerome, proclaimed to be "the wickedest town in the West" became a notorious hotbed of prostitution, gambling, and vice. Today Jerome is a tourist destination, with many abandoned and refurbished buildings from its boom town days. Jerome is known as an art destination, with more than 30 galleries and working studios. A must visit every year. | A reminder of a wilder past | Jerome Ghost Town historical site | Aging hippies adding some colour
40: Munds Wagon Trail - Sedona | Once the main highway between Sedona and Flagstaff, Munds hasn't been passable to wagons for many decades. Today it's a gradual uphill climb (4 mile one way) for hikers frequently passing close to a creek bed with interesting plant life, and taking you to two major rock formations: Cow Pies (a popular vortex spot) and The Carousel. The view from The Carousel is one of the best in the area. | The Pink Jeep tours are probably the best way to see the Red Rock area up close and personal if you have little time. Fortunately, we have the time to take the hikes on foot and don't have to eat the red dust or damage our spine on the bouncy ride. | Small stream half way to the top.
41: The Carousel is a wonderful end point and a great place for lunch. | At the end of the Munds Wagon Trail you can join the Schnebly Hill Trail which continues on to the top of Schnebly Hill and beyond. The reward is an even better panoramic view of Sedona and Oak Creek Valley.
42: Bear Mountain Trail - Sedona | Bear Mountain provides fantastic red rock views. Climbing from about 4500 feet at the parking trailhead, there is a natural stopping place at elevation 5500 feet. The total elevation gain to the top is some 1800 feet. From the top of Bear Mountain you can see the San Francisco peaks in Flagstaff. On the day we were there, the peaks were mainly obscured by clouds. | view from the top (6,300 feet). | half way up | the start Bear Mountain is actually behind the peak you see here ...and significantly higher.
43: Such an interesting rock formation in the second leg of the hike | The descent
44: Broken Arrow Trail - Sedona | This is a fairly easy hike through some awesome red rock scenery. About half way, there is major sinkhole known as Devil's Dining Room (about 90 ft deep) formed when the water eroded the limestone ceiling. Just past there is a small side trail that leads to Submarine Rock which provides a good view over the valley. The main trail ends at Chicken Point which you have to share with all the Pink Jeep tourists as well as mountain bikers. It can be quite windy on the point...perhaps one of the reasons for the name. Some locals attribute its name to the reluctance (and rightly so) of drivers to drive their jeeps around the center rock of the point. | Chicken Point and Submarine Rock are favourite mountain bike challenges. | Chicken Point from Little Horse Trail | The ever present Pink Jeep | My brother, Theo, enjoying the hike as part of his annual visit with us.
45: Tlaquepaque Village - Sedona | With the look of a faux-Mexican market place, this Tlaaquepaque is the ultimate shopping and dining experience in downtown Sedona. The boutiques and galleries are well worth the visit. | The original name taken from a town in Mexico was Tlacopan, a heavy-duty Nahuatl word meaning “Men who make clay utensils with their hands,” derived from Tlalic-pac, “Over clay hills.” Clay is still being molded into a variety of beautiful collectibles and sold here today.
46: West Fork Trail - Upper Oak Creek Canyon | The West Fork is probably the most popular trail in the Coconino National Forest. The gentle walk through the woods along the pleasant little stream that ripples along the canyon floor and the dizzying cliffs that tower above it are several good reasons to enjoy it. Being at a significantly higher elevation than Sedona, this hike is a good one to take when the temperature gets a bit warm for Sedona hikes.
47: Boynton and Long Canyon Trails - Sedona | Just north of the downtown, each of these two hikes takes you into spectacular canyons with great Red Rock views. | Start of the Long Canyon Tail just past the golf course | A short distance into the Boynton Canyon Trail | The reward of a magnificent vista at the end of the Boynton Canyon Trail.
48: Brins Mesa and Soldier's Pass Trails - Sedona | Amazing Rock formations form this vista | Continue on beyond the Mesa and you end up on Soldier's Pass and a some time source of water
49: Miscellaneous Trails - Sedona Area | View from Doe Mountain | Sedona from the Airport Mesa | Courthouse Butte from Templeton Trail | Devil's Bridge | Montezuma Castle National Monument near Camp Verde
50: Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park | These two parks, located on the Mogollon Rim in North Central Arizona are connected. Although providing strikingly different views: one of badlands and the other of petrified logs, both are spectacular for the range of colours displayed.
51: The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory covering 27,425 square miles, occupying all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah, and western New Mexico. It is the largest land area assigned primarily to a Native American jurisdiction within the United States. | Navajo Nation | Window Rock is the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. | Window Rock | Many Navajo soldiers are recognized in history for their role as Code Talkers, whereby they used the Navajo language to create a code that was never broken by the enemy. Historians credit the Navajo Code Talkers for helping to win World War II. This monument is a tribute to all the Navajo soldiers who participated in the war.
52: Canyon de Chelly National Monument | The Monument preserves ruins of the early indigenous tribes that lived in the area, including the Anasazi and Navajo. The monument encompasses the floors and rims of the three major canyons: de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument. Access to the canyon floor is restricted, and visitors are allowed to travel in the canyons only when accompanied by a park ranger or an authorized Navajo guide. The only exception to this rule is the White House Ruin Trail. | The White House Ruin is accessible by an absolutely spectacular trail (1.5 mile one way) leading from the top of the canyon walls; a drop of over 600 feet. | Valley floor as seen from the North Rim
53: The distinctive geologic feature known as Spider Rock, as seen from the South Rim Drive, takes in a view where the Canyon walls fall off more than 1,000 feet, just across from a slender, 800-foot-high monolith called Spider Rock. There, in Navajo belief, lives Spider Woman, the master of another kind of web entirely, who taught humans the art of weaving. Upon looking at Spider Rock, you'd believe that only a spider could. in fact. negotiate its heights, although it's said that humans have scaled it. | Canyon de Chelly sustains a living community of Navajo people, who are connected to a landscape of great historical and spiritual significance. Canyon de Chelly is unique among National Park service units, as it is comprised entirely of Navajo Tribal Trust Land that remains home to the canyon community.
54: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park | Sheltered view of the buttes | The female hogan is a rounded, permanent structure used as the family home for the Navajo people. These eight-sided houses are made of wood and covered in mud, with the door always facing east to welcome the sun each morning. Currently, hogans are rarely used for the home, but are maintained for ceremonial uses and to meet visitors in a traditional Dine environment. For those who practice the Navajo religion, the hogan is considered sacred. Ceremonies, such as healing ceremonies or the kinaaldá, will take place inside a hogan even today. Pat is having a traditional native hair treatment here. | Monument Valley was created as material eroded from the ancestral Rocky Mountains, and was deposited and cemented into sandstone. The formations you see in the valley were left over after the forces of erosion worked their magic on the sandstone. At first glance the land is a dusty, dry, barren desert. Human occupation in the valley today is severely limited, but archaeologists have recorded numerous ancient Puebloan sites and ruins.
55: Eye of the Sun is a cave arch eroded in DeChelly sandstone deep in the back country of Monument Valley. Note the person below for scale. The formation is quite interesting (the base of the arch is about 80 feet up), but the real prizes are the petroglyphs on the surrounding rocks. | Right Mitten The names for two of these buttes, Right and Left Mitten, are quite appropriate. Look for the thumb placement. Obviously the "person" wearing the mitten is facing you.
56: Dawn from the Goulding camp ground | Dusk in the Valley | A large part of Monument Valley is actually in Utah.
57: Navajo National Monument, south of Kayenta, preserves three of the most intact cliff dwellings of the ancestral puebloan people. The Navajo people who live here today call these ancient ones Anasazi. The monument is high on the Shonto plateau, overlooking the Tsegi Canyon system in the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona. | These buildings were constructed and occupied between A.D. 1250 and 1300 by people who farmed the plateaus and bottom lands of the canyons in the area. | Navajo National Monument | Canyon Rim Trail to the overview of the Betatakin Ruins | Built by the Kayenta Anasazi, Wupatki, just north of Flagstaff, was first inhabited around 500 AD. By 1182, about 85 to 100 people lived here and by 1225, the site was permanently abandoned. The Wupatki Ruin, "Tall House" in the Hopi language is believed to be the area's tallest and largest structure for its time period. It is built around a natural rock outcropping. | Wupatki National Monument
58: A long time ago, herds of pronghorn antelope roamed freely in Antelope Canyon, which explains the canyon's English name. the canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone,primarily due to flash flooding. | Upper Antelope Canyon
59: The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse' bighanilini, which means "the place where water runs through rocks." The canyon walls rise 120 feet above the streambed. The sunlight filtering down the curved sandstone walls makes magical, constantly changing patterns and shadows in many subtle shades of colour. This "sand fall" was created by the guide who threw up a handful of sand. Although this made for a great photo it was ultimately the ruin of my camera
60: Lee's Ferry - Colorado River | Grand Canyon National Park | Grand Canyon National Park, the 15th national park in the United States was established in 1919. The creation of the park was an early success of the environmental conservation movement. In 1979, UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over a mile. Nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock. | Lee's Ferry is about 7.5 miles southwest of the town of Page, and is considered the official beginning of Grand Canyon National Park. The ferry was closed in 1928 when the Navajo Bridge over Marble Canyon was built 5 miles to the south. It is the principal starting point for rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.
61: Grand Canyon Village and the South Rim | Mule rides down the canyon is a neat way to go. Select from one day and two day trips. Entirely safe: the mules really know what they are doing. Make sure you get your reservations well in advance; unfortunately we did not and could only get photos instead. | Bright Angel Trail in winter after a snow storm from Maricopa point. There was a lot of slipping and sliding on the trail by hikers who did not wear crampons for the hike...scary!! | The Grand Canyon South Rim attracts over 5 million visitors annually. It provides some of the most spectacular vistas anywhere in the world. Hiking on the Rim Trail is a good way to see many of the breath taking views. The campgrounds are very well appointed. However, as we found out during a winter blizzard, the water services can freeze up. | Bright Angel Trail | Bright Angel Trail is one of the two trails that goes down below the Rim to the canyon floor and Phantom Ranch across the Colorado River. This trail was "officially" created in the 1891 by miners. They followed and improved an old Havasupai Indian trail. The hike one-way is approximately 8 miles and involves a descent of over 5,000 feet.
62: The Battleship, inner gorge and view east from Hopi Point near sunset
63: Battleship up closer and several minutes later | Looking west towards Battleship and beyond from Yavapai Point
64: Cope Butte, the inner gorge and Hermit Rapids from Mohave Point | Post sunset blues from Hopi Point
65: View from Maricopa Point | View towards Mather's Point. The "golden hours" truly are the best times for enjoying the views and getting the best photos. Note the person at the top obviously enjoying the vista.
66: Views from the Kaibab Trail | This trail is the steeper of the two trails that go to the canyon floor but provides more spectacular vistas earlier in the hike. Since we had only time for a day hike, this was the trail of choice...and we were not disappointed.
67: Thanks for taking the time to explore my "Visions of Arizona". Just making this book brought back so many fond memories of our times in this simply wonderful state. We plan to go back many more times. Maybe through these photos I have encouraged you to consider a trip to Arizona in your future travel plans. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Jack M. Pal | Back Cover - Kaibab trail looking East