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Trip List by jkunze

Flagstaff: The Explorer's Guide to Monuments, Parks, and Nature

23 Apr 2012  Recent Anniversary in Arizona
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Week long anniversary trip. The hubby and I are very active and we like to EXPLORE as much as we can in an area.

  • 1. Montezuma Castle National Monument
    Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, Arizona

    1st stop was Montezuma Castle, about an hour south of Flagstaff. This is one of the best preserved American Indian cliff dwellings in the U.S. and is an excellent source of history on the prehistoric Sinagua people who lived in the region. This was fun to see once, but honestly, we were not too impressed. The actual dwellings were REALLY far away...so you had to use your imagination.

  • 2. Wupatki National Monument
    Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona

    Day 2 consisted of a 2-hour trip North. We ended up finding the Wupatki Ruins and the Wukoki Ruins. Situated in the shadow of Arizona's San Francisco Peaks, Wupatki National Monument was once home to prehistoric Anasazi and Sinagua farmers. By exploring the ruins, one could see how they survived by farming, hunting, gathering, and trading.

  • 3. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Flagstaff, Arizona

    In the early afternoon, we made our way back south to hit up Sunset Crater Volcano. At 900 years old, it is the youngest volcano on the Colorado plateau. We had a bird's-eye view of the Volcano from the back porch of our cabin, and we thought it would be pretty cool to explore! We were able to park the car and hike a mile-long, self-guided Lava Flow Trail around the entire Volcano! It was insane to see one half of the mountain still completely covered in ash - We walked along some fissures, and even sat in a "hornito." Overall, one of the coolest parts of the trip!

  • 4. Meteor Crater
    Meteor Crater, Flagstaff, Arizona

    Day 3 trip was "Out of this world!" We made our way east over to Meteor Crater, the "Best Preserved Meteorite Impact Site on Earth!" Formed 50,000 years ago, this crater is 550 feet deep, 2.4 miles in circumference, and almost one mile across. There is even a little science museum you can walk through in order to educate yourself. (It was SUPER windy at the top!)

  • 5. Petrified Forest National Park
    Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

    Since the museum and crater tour only took about an hour, we decided to keep travelling east, until we came to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. We ended up at the Petrified Forest National Park. Here, ladies and gentlemen, we had a little bit of fun! We even brought back some souvenirs for the mantle.

  • 6. Painted Desert
    Painted Desert, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

    We stopped at the Painted Desert Inn, where a friendly old couple were running the place, and learned a bit about the history of the place. The wind was so fierce that day that I felt like a tumbleweed crossing the desert! It was pretty cloudy, but even with the bright colors of the desert, there just wasn't a whole lot to see.

  • 7. Route 66
    Route 66, United States, North America

    On the way home, we decided to take a detour onto Route 66, where we found some awesome little restaurants and tourist shops. Woo-hoo...Get Your Kicks on Route 66!

  • 8. Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

    Day 5 - was the GRANDest of all. That's right folks, my first trip to the GRAND CANYON. I got to fully enjoy the breathtaking collection of colorful rock layers, hike a trail, observe the wildlife, follow a donkey, and immerse myself in the beauty and wonder that is Grand Canyon National Park.

  • 9. Flagstaff
    Flagstaff, Arizona