Petrified Forest National Park: Ancient and Spectacular

The area is the only national park that includes a part of the historic U.S. Route 66. Welcome to the Petrified Forest National Park. The word “forest” may mislead visitors. The park is in a desert. And the word “petrified” — which can mean “afraid” — may scare visitors away. But fear not. “Petrified Forest” gets its name from the trees that have, over...

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Hualapai Mountain Park a great destination for hiking, cycling, picnicking and even camping

Hualapai Mountain Park is a 2,300-acre preserve located just outside of Kingman, Ariz. Often overlooked in favor of larger and better-known parks, it is a gem hidden in the pines with elevations ranging from 4,984 feet to 8,417 feet at Hualapai Peak. The park is named for the native Hualapai Indians. Their name comes from the landscape, meaning “Pine Tree Folk” or...

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New hiking trails at Buckeye, Arizona’s Skyline Regional Park

Attention hikers: Be on the lookout for new trails in the coming weeks. The Phoenix West Valley’s newest hiking destination is rolling out fresh dirt just in time for fall hiking season. As of the end of September, Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye will have added five new trails for a total of 17 miles of non-motorized routes. Since it opened in January, the...

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A Proposed Hiking Ban in Phoenix Draws Outrage

When the temperature hits the triple digits in Phoenix, AZ, hikers continue to hike. They snake their way up Camelback Mountain, which has a 2,680-foot summit with spectacular views of the city. They pack the picturesque mile-long trail up Piestewa Peak. They traverse the towering cactus dotting South Mountain Park. And some of them find themselves lost, parched, in...

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Phoenix proposes hiking ban during hot temperatures

Phoenix may close hiking trails in its more than 40,000 acres of desert preserves during intense heat that statewide already has claimed several lives this summer. Temperatures reaching 110 degrees would prompt the closure of city trails for people, through a policy under consideration this week. Dogs would be stopped from hiking when the mercury hits 100 degrees. The...

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SPEX launches a new concept in hiking in Sedona

Hikers in Sedona, Arizona have a new option when it comes to exploring their deep thoughts out on the trail. Sedona Philosophy Experience (SPEX) has officially launched and is busy helping its customers navigate not only the trails of Sedona, but also the mindful philosophical discussions that hiking so naturally stimulates. “We are delighted to bring philosophy out of...

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How state, national parks near border became safe for visitors again

Caution: “Smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area.” Visitors to state and national parks, monuments and memorials in Southern Arizona have undoubtedly seen these signs posted along popular hiking trails. The sites near the Mexico border are great spots to find hiking, bird watching and camping, but also provide the perfect place for undocumented...

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Thousands of Ancient Petroglyphs, ‘Dramatic’ Solar Calendar Reported in N. Arizona

Archaeologists exploring the remote mesas of northern Arizona have uncovered a trove of previously undocumented rock art, including more than 1,500 petroglyphs, and confirmed the presence a prehistoric solar calendar, which has been marking the seasons for more than 700 years with a striking “shadow dagger” that travels across its sandstone face. Researchers made these...

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AmeriCorps team discovers pleasure and peril building trails at Casa Grande Mountain

They’ve encountered scorpions, lizards and the perils of navigating around the abundant cacti that dot Arizona’s Casa Grande Mountain landscape, but a team of 11 AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps volunteers say they’re enjoying building a new trail in the city’s most popular hiking park. “Every time we take a break, we sit down and stare across the...

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Arizona hike: Y Bar is a strenuous challenge

Although tame in comparison to some other notoriously arduous Arizona hiking trails, Y Bar has several opportunities to pause for thought. The trail is steep, rocky and requires traversing of talus slopes and narrow, cliff-clinging turns with deep drop-offs. On days when it’s clear of obstacles, this challenging trail in the Mazatzal Wilderness is achievable by...

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Trekking Through the Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona

Aravaipa Canyon is extremely narrow—at many points, probably no more than a quarter of a mile from rim to rim—which means that to explore the canyon you often hike right through the stream bed. Traverse the entire twelve-mile length of the canyon and you’ll cross the creek at least forty times, sometimes in water that’s knee deep. Aravaipa Creek is a rarity in the...

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Aspen stands in Southwest suffering from fungal disease

Visitors marveling at the fall foliage in national forests might find that some of the aspen leaves are brown and blotchy or gone already. Spores released from leaves and twigs that were infected by a fungus last summer were carried to new leaves by splashing rain and wind this year. The result is that instead of presenting golden yellow colors, leaves in some aspen...

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Anatomy of a flash flood

Last week 20 people died in a wave of flash floods in southern Utah, eerily similar to a summer in Arizona 18 years ago. Of those who died, seven were in a narrow canyon in Zion National Park and another 13 were lost when their cars were swept away from around the town of Hilldale. The seven in Zion were geared up with helmets and ropes, not the most trained group, but...

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Favorite hiking trails on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim

The same elevation changes crowded into a small space that make Payson so diverse when it comes to scenery, plants and animals, also provide some of the most scenic and interesting hiking, biking and horseback riding trails in Arizona. For starters, the area boasts hundreds of miles of trails through the national forests, along streams, lakes and ridgelines. But that’s...

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National Forest fields 200,000 comments on Grand Canyon project

The Kaibab National Forest is sifting through more than 200,000 public comments that are mostly against an easement through the town of Tusayan that would help make a development near the Grand Canyon possible. Stilo Development Group USA wants to build homes, retail shops, hotels, and cultural centers in the area. The easement would allow utilities to be installed and...

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument

The labyrinth called Canyon de Chelly (pronounced d’SHAY) comprises several canyons that include Canyon de Chelly, Monument Canyon and Canyon del Muerto. At the mouth of the canyons near the tribal town of Chinle, in northeastern Arizona, the rock walls are only 30 feet high. Deeper in, the bright red sandstone bluffs rise dramatically to stand more than a thousand...

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Hiking Arizona’s Havasupai Trail round trip isn’t easy, but the payoff is worth the pain

Framed by pitch-black canyon walls rising monumentally on either side of the rushing, rain-swollen Havasu Creek, the night sky bursts with snow-white stars and Milky Way swirls. It is the last night of a grueling three-day Havasupai Trail round trip to the waterfalls in northern Arizona’s Havasu Canyon, an offshoot of the Grand Canyon. The hike offers bliss by way of...

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Tap into Sedona’s ‘energy’ with hikes, memorable dining

Sedona has often been proclaimed the “most beautiful place in America.” The natural beauty of the tiny town — halfway between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon — nearly escapes description. But, if you put a list together, surely picturesque canyons, rivers, red rock formations met by crimson-colored earth and azure skies paint the splendor of Sedona. Add to that “painting”...

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Jewell ‘profoundly’ disappointed by land exchange at sacred Native American sites

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell criticized a last-minute addition to a major defense policy bill that would hand 2,400 acres of land in Arizona to an Australian mining corporation. The land, part of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona, sits atop one of the nation’s largest copper deposits. It would be given to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, the London-...

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Bright Angel Point Trail, Grand Canyon National Park

Located on the very southern tip of the Kaibab Plateau, and the prime vista location for the North Rim of Grand Canyon, Bright Angel Point offers a bird’s-eye view of the meeting of Roaring Springs Canyon and Transept Canyon at the Bright Angel Fault. It is 4/10 mile from Grand Canyon Lodge to the point on a paved trail that offers several overlooks along the way....

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North Kaibab Trail on North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon doesn’t get nearly the traffic as its more touristy neighbor to the south. For one thing, it is a lot more remote. The North Kaibab Trail is the most difficult of the three trails that dissect the canyon, but it also holds the most varied ecosystem. Somewhat surprisingly, it is forested. With fir and aspen and scrub oak, along with...

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Another 1,300-Year-Old Village Discovered in Arizona

Archaeologists have uncovered a second ancient village in Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park that is 1,300 years old. The latest basket-maker village dates between 200 A.D. and 700 A.D., based on the types of pottery found, according to Bill Reitze, the park’s archaeologist. It was discovered this summer, following the first discovery last year of...

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After 11 years, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument reopens

The “most dangerous national park” has been largely closed to the public for the last 11 years. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, on the southern Arizona border, once saw a steady flow of immigrants – and drug runners – from Mexico. On Aug. 9, 2002, ranger Kris Eggle was shot and killed while chasing a cartel hit squad, prompting park officials to close nearly 70...

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Grand Canyon to limit rim-to-rim hiking-group size

Grand Canyon National Park is trying to fight overcrowding and the accumulation of clothing, food and even human waste along trails by requiring permits for organized groups and limiting them to 30 people. Starting Sept. 15, 2014, any group taking organized, rim-to-rim or extended day-hiking and running trips in the inner Canyon will have to pay $175 for a permit....

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Parking Meters at Hiking Trailheads?

The Phoenix Parks Board meets next week to discuss a proposal to install parking meters in the parking areas of the city’s most popular hiking trailheads. The idea of “fee-based parking” was approved by the Parks Board in 2010 but never implemented. Now, with a looming city budget deficit, the idea is being revived to bring in extra revenue. Deputy...

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Prescott, AZ 7th annual hiking spree starts Sept. 6 at Highlands Center

This year’s Hiking Spree enthusiasts will start their morning at the Highlands Center at 9:00 AM, September 6th with a free presentation by Sam Frank, Central Arizona Director for the Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC), in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. “This presentation will include inspiring photos, history of the AWC, take-home maps, and a...

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Arizona Man Busted For Organizing 300-Hiker Rim-to-Rim Crossing Of Grand Canyon National Park

Three-hundred hikers. Well, not quite 300, but almost, according to Grand Canyon National Park rangers. And they all descended on the park last October 19 in a bid to hike from the North Rim to the South Rim. In one day. Behind the hike-in was Scott Beck, a Phoenix man who tried to convince rangers that even though he chartered five buses, and even though he told the...

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National Park Service calls development plans a threat to Grand Canyon

At the rim of the Grand Canyon, busloads of Chinese tourists jostled on a recent day with twentysomething backpackers and an Amish family with rambunctious boys in suspenders and straw hats, all eager for a prime viewing spot. They gazed out on a dizzying sight of receding canyons and sheer rock walls, with the Colorado River cutting though the canyon floor a mile down....

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It’s a Woman’s World: Hiking the Grand Canyon Heaven, Hell and Hilarious Fun

By Deb Dorshorst for Scene At my 40th birthday party, my college friend posed an intriguing proposition: Would I hike with her to the bottom of the Grand Canyon? She was going with her 62-year-old mother and her lady friends. I pictured some middle-aged or older women slowly meandering down a flat desert trail, with plenty of wide-open paths and pit toilets stationed...

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Marana, Oro Valley partner for hiking challenge

The towns of Oro Valley and Marana in Arizona are teaming up to host the third annual Move Across 2 Ranges hiking challenge. Open to those of all ages and abilities, the event takes place in the Tortolitas and Santa Catalinas. Hike lengths range from five to 21.5 miles. The event goes from 6:30 a.m. to noon March 1. There is a post-event party called Managed the Move...

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