For Immediate Release
Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., May 2014 – Arizona is synonymous with the Grand Canyon.
And most people have heard of the beautiful red rock monoliths of Sedona, in the central part of the state.
But not as many people have heard of Jerome, the historic copper mining town perched on the top of a narrow ridge overlooking the Verde Valley. The picturesque town is filled with museums, antique stores as well as art and jewelry stores.
Even lesser known are some of the national monuments near Flagstaff that contain some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America.
“There’s a lot to see in Northern Arizona in addition to the Grand Canyon, particularly if you have an interest in Native American history and culture,” said JoAnn Mickelson, executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, which hosts GoCampingInArizona.com, the statewide travel planning website.
While many travelers zoom through Flagstaff on their way to the Grand Canyon, the city is home to one of the country’s oldest astronomical observatories, Lowell Observatory, as well as one of the nation’s best museums of Native American art and culture, Museum of Northern Arizona.
Flagstaff is also a jumping off point for day trips to see ancient petroglyphs, the ancient rock art of the Native Americans, as well as several unique attractions ranging from the Petrified Forest to Monument Valley, one of the most scenic locations in the American Southwest, to the Meteor Crater, the best preserved crater created by a meteorite in the world where NASA Astronauts have trained.
“Flagstaff is a logical base camp location for many excursions across Northern Arizona. But GoCampingInArizona.com has a search function that enables you to find campgrounds, RV parks and resorts in every area of the state,” Mickelson said.
Here’s a sampling of some of the more interesting attractions in Northern Arizona:
- Antelope Canyon: One of the most photographed slot canyons in the world, Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo land near Page, Ariz. and the Utah border. Several private tour companies offer guided hiking and photography tours into the canyon. Click on these links for more information about tours of Antelope Canyon and other scenic canyons in the area:
- Bearizona in Williams: This is a wild animal park that gives visitors a chance to drive through a 2-mile route with opportunities to see black bears, arctic wolves, gray wolves, bison, big horn sheep and mountain goats. The park also has a petting zoo and a bird of prey show.
- Canyon de Chelly National Monument: This is a very scenic canyon with cliff dwellings in near the New Mexico border, just over three hours northeast of Flagstaff. The park is jointly managed by the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service. Several guided tours are available.
- Deer Farm and Petting Zoo in Williams: This is a kid-friendly petting zoo with a variety of animals, including, deer, goats and pigs.
- Four Corners: This is the only place in the United States where four states meet at one point. At the Four Corners monument you can sit in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado at the same time. The monument is managed by the Navajo Nation.
- Homolovi State Park near Winslow: Located 58 miles east of Flagstaff, this park offers several special tours and seminars throughout the summer and early fall. The park’s archaeological sites include four major pueblos, numerous smaller structures ranging in size from one-room pit houses to a 1,200-room pueblo. The park also has panels of petroglyphs with depictions of kachina and clan symbols. A Hopi pottery talk is scheduled for June 14, July 12, Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, while petroglyph tours are slated for June 21, July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 20 and Oct. 18. The petroglyph tours last approximately three hours. A “Suvoyuki Day” is scheduled for Aug. 2 and will include corn roasting, a morning run, archaeological information and artist demonstrations.
- Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff: A national historic landmark, this is one of the oldest observatories in the United States. Research conducted at this observatory had led to several important discoveries, including the realization that the universe is expanding; the discovery by Lowell of the planet Pluto in 1930; the co-discovery of the rings of Uranus in 1977; the discovery of periodic variations in the brightness of Halley’s Comet; and the first detection of water in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.
- Meteor Crater: This is considered the best preserved meteorite impact site in the world. The crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and 550 feet deep. The park is about 30 minutes east of Flagstaff.
- Montezuma’s Castle National Monument: This park, situated about 54 miles south of Flagstaff, was designated as one of America’s first national monuments by President Theodore Roosevelt on Dec. 8, 1906. The “castle” is a multi-level, Native American cliff dwelling with 45 to 50 rooms. It is considered to be one of the best preserved cliff dwellings.
- Monument Valley: Located in northeast corner of the state near the border with Utah and New Mexico, Monument Valley is one of the most scenic areas in the Southwest and contains majestic red rock monoliths that are often used as backdrops for movies and commercials.
- Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff: This museum’s award-winning, permanent anthropology exhibit documents 12,000 years of Native American tribal life on the Colorado Plateau. The Hopi, Navajo and Zuni are among the tribes featured. The museum also has frequent, two-day festivals that feature the music, dance and artwork of Native American tribes. These include the 24th annual Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture, May 24 – 25; the 81st Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture, July 5 – 6; and the 65th Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture, Aug. 2 – 3.
- Petrified Forest National Park: While best known for its petrified, the park also has a significant collection of pre-Colombian Indian petroglyphs, which feature numerous human and animal forms. The park also has a 600- to 700-year-old Anasazi pueblo village containing over 100 rooms and kivas. Fossils have also been discovered in the park, which date back nearly 200 million years.
- Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument: This park, located roughly 30 minutes from Flagstaff, features a crater created the eruption of a volcano. Park attractions also include astronomy presentations courtesy of park staff and volunteers. Summer night sky events are scheduled for June 21 and July 19 and include constellation tours and telescope viewing.
- Walnut Canyon National Monument: This monument, located just 12 miles east of Flagstaff, has some of the best preserved Native American cliff dwellings in Arizona. It’s very highly rated by travelers on TripAdvisor.com, many of whom also offer words of caution about the trail. “The walk there is a bit scary, but definitely worth it,” writes one traveler. “Incredible vistas,” writes another, while another says it’s one of their favorite national monuments and a place they visit again and again.
- Wupatki National Monument: This park’s attractions include an ancient 100-room Native American “pueblo” with a community room and ballcourt. Archaeologists believe the settlement was occupied between 1120 and 1200.
For more information on places to visit in Northern Arizona as well as the latest trends involving RV parks, campgrounds and resorts in Arizona, please visit GoCampingInArizona.com.