Arizona National Parks & Recreation Areas 0

Here is a free listing of some of the local Arizona National Parks & Recreation Areas in and around Sedona and Northern Arizona.

Canyon de Chelly

At the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves are ruins of Indian villages built between AD 350 and 1300. Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the chance to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest basketmakers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here.

 

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is more than a great chasm carved over millennia through the rocks of the Colorado Plateau. It is more than an awe-inspiring view. It is more than a pleasuring ground for those who explore the roads, hike the trails, or float the currents of the turbulent Colorado River.

 

Montezuma Castle

Montezuma Castle Nestled into a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley stands one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling served as a “high-rise apartment building” for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. Early settlers to the area assumed that the imposing structure was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born.

 

Montezuma Well

Montezuma’s Well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. Montezuma’s Well is 368 feet (112 m) across and 55 feet (12 m) deep; it sits at an elevation of 3,618 feet (1,112 m).

 

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest is a surprising land of scenic wonders and fascinating science. The park is located in northeast Arizona and features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. Also included in the park’s 93,533 acres are the multi-hued badlands of the Chinle Formation known as the Painted Desert, historic structures, archeological sites and displays of 225 million-year-old fossils.

 

Sunset Crater

People must have been warned by tremors and earthquakes before red-hot rocks exploded from the ground and rained down on their pit houses and farmland. Perhaps some stayed to watch as their homes and farmland were buried under slow-moving lava flows. Most fled, taking their possessions with them.

 

Tuzigoot

Tuzigoot is an ancient village or pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. The first buildings were built around A.D. 1000. The Sinagua were agriculturalists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles. The people left the area around 1400. The site is currently comprised of 42 acres.

 

 Walnut Canyon

Hike down into Walnut Canyon and walk in the footsteps of the people that lived here over 900 years ago. Under limestone overhangs, the Sinagua built their homes. These single story structures, cliff dwellings, were occupied from about 1100 to 1250. Look down into the canyon and imagine the creek running through. Visualize a woman hiking up from the bottom with a pot of water on her back.

 

Wutpatki

WupatkiFor its time and place, there was no other pueblo like Wupatki. Less than 800 years ago, it was the tallest, largest, and perhaps the richest and most influential pueblo around. It was home to 85-100 people, and several thousand more lived within a day’s walk. And it was built in one of the lowest, warmest, and driest places on the Colorado Plateau. What compelled people to build here?

 

 

Arizona’s State Parks

Dead Horse Ranch

Despite its distinctive name, Dead Horse Ranch is situated amidst an abundance of life along the Verde River. A six-mile reach of the river is known as the Verde River Greenway. Its unique ecosystem, the Cottonwood / Willow riparian gallery forest, is one of less than 20 such riparian zones in the world. Life along the river changes with the seasons, giving visitors a glimpse of the numerous species of raptors, neotropical migrants, resident songbirds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

Fool Hollow Lake

Imagine camping among 100-foot pine trees beside a quiet lake watching majestic great blue herons at a cool 6,300 feet in elevation. Year-round camping, fishing, picnicking, boating and wildlife viewing opportunities make Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area a very popular place. This 800-acre, cool, country recreation area with a 150-acre lake offers history, too.

Fort Verde State Historic Park

Fort Verde State Historic Park is the best preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. Spanning from 1865 through 1890 Camp Lincoln, Camp Verde and finally Fort Verde were home to officers, doctors, families, enlisted men, and scouts. Fort Verde was the primary base for General George Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers.

Homlovi Ruins

In the high grassland of 14th century northern Arizona, an ancient people found a home along the Little Colorado River. These people, the Hisat’sinom (known to archaeologists as the Anasazi), paused in their migrations to till the rich flood plain and sandy slopes before continuing north to join people already living on the mesas, people who are today known as the Hopi.

 Jerome

Jerome’s modern history began in 1876 when three prospectors staked claims on rich copper deposits. They sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company in 1883. The resultant mining camp of board and canvas shacks was named in honor of Eugene Jerome, the venture’s principal backer. Hopes for the enterprise ran high, but the costs of operating, especially for transportation, outstripped profits, and the company folded in less than two years.

Lyman Lake

Created as an irrigation reservoir by damming the Little Colorado River, this 1,200-acre park encompasses the shoreline of a 1,500-acre reservoir at an elevation of 6,000 feet. It is fed by snowmelt from the slopes of Mount Baldy and Escudilla Mountain, the second and third highest mountains in Arizona. Water is channeled into this river valley from a 790-square-mile watershed extending into New Mexico.

Red Rock State Park

The Red Rock State Park property was acquired by the Arizona State Parks Board in 1986 and the park was opened to the public in 1991. The park’s 286 acres were originally part of the Smoke Trail Ranch, owned by Jack and Helen Frye. Arizona’s famous Oak Creek meanders through this scenic park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat, the land-based ecosystem closely associated with Oak Creek, provides the setting and the opportunity for Red Rock State Park to offer a center for environmental education.

Riordan Mansion

Timothy and Michael Riordan were prominent pioneer Flagstaff businessmen who developed a successful logging business, the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company. Moreover, the two brothers were known for their contributions which were essential to the development of the social and economic structure of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona. Tim and Mike married the Metz sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth. The women were cousins of the Babbitt brothers, another influential Flagstaff family. Tim and Caroline had two daughters; Mike and Elizabeth had six children. The two close-knit families built a large mansion comprised of two separate homes connected by a common area known as the billiard room.

Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historical apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910. Due to his pioneering innovation, he succeeded where others failed by establishing a unique irrigation system still in use by the park today. This allowed Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912, beginning the pattern of agricultural development that has dominated the site since that time. Pendley also grew garden produce and kept some livestock.

 

 

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