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Arizona

Coal Mine Canyon


Coal Mine Canyon lies on the Navajo Reservation about 15 miles south-east of Tuba City along route 264.

It is not marked and can not as such be seen from the road. The only visible landmarks are the windrose and watertank shown to the right. They and the canyon are located on the north-eastern side of the highway (i.e. left, if coming from Tuba City).Several dirt roads lead into the area and more than one may lead to the windmill.

Park off the main highway or find the right track and drive the 3-400 yards to the windmill. From here you walk another couple of 100 yards to the canyon.

Update: I have now heard, that the Navajo prefer not to have non-tribal vehicles on their land, so better leave the car at the highway.

The Navajo Tribe runs a picnic site here with several tables, but there is little else when it comes to facilities.

Free roaming cattle come here to drink water from the tank, so take care!

A trail is said to lead down into the canyon somewhere, and there may be a hint of it going across the bright 'foothills' in the center of the picture, but I did not see any trailhead.





Horseshoe Bend


Horseshoe Bend is located on Lake Powell Natl. Rec. Area a few miles south of Page along US-89. Here the Colorado River makes a set of narrow turns in its deep gorge.

More precisely, the turn-off is about 200 yards south of the 545 mile marker. A small brown sign on the west side of the highway (i.e. the right side if coming from Page) marks the turn-off, where a gravel road takes you to the parking area.  From there you walk about 700 yards to the overlook. The first part goes across and over a fairly large sand dune with soft sand. It can be a bit of a stiff walk.

And please mind your step, when you get to the overlook. The last step down is a bit tall. (No guardrails!)

Canyon de Chelly Natl. Monument.
This park is a little strange. It's a national monument and thus part of the National Parks Service. There is no entrance fee to the park, however. Possibly because it is 100% on Navajo land and the area plays an important part in the local folklore and even economy.

On the canyon floor for instance, you will notice orchards and fields with various crops. Some Navajo families have inherited the right to use the land down there. This includes operating tours. Other families are not allowed and do not gain anything from what is earned down there. This at least is what I understood from what a Navajo woman at the parks campground told me. She came there to get drinking water. (No camping fee, by the way. Donations are accepted)

The picture shows the view of Spider Rock, the lone dual column on the canyon floor. This is at the end of the official and paved road along the south rim

Salt River Canyon
This deep canyon is located on the border between Fort Apache and San Carlos Apache reservations between Globe and Show Low. The canyon can easily be visited, as US-60 / Az-77 will take you all the way down into it and up again. The route seems to be quite popular among bikers.

Kitt Peak National Observatory
The observatory is located on a mountain top roughly 50 miles west along Hwy. 86 from Downtown Tucson. Find Hwy. 386, it will take you right to the top.

View from Kitt Peak Observatory
Even if you are not in any way interested in astronomy, the view from up there is worth the detour! And it is much cooler up there than down in the low desert.

If into astronomy, you can walk around and visit many of the telescope buildings. You will not be allowed access to the telescopes, of course, but you will find many interesting displays.

When up there, however, please be quiet. Many of the astronomers are sleeping during daytime.



Route 66 from Kingman to Oatman
View from Sitgreaves Pass
Route 66 leaves I-40 at exit 44 south of Kingman. The road is rather narrow and is winding its way up to Sitgreaves Pass at 3562 feet. This is high desert area with plenty of vistas.

The little town of Oatman is an old mining town and it shows! Indeed, one may say this is pure kitsch with all the cur
Gunfight is eminent. Donkeys don't care!
rio shops etc, but you can still find some of the old atmosphere along the main street through town.

And you will almost certainly find some of the local inhabitants, too. The four legged ones I mean. These burros are descendants of the
You have carrots, you have company!
donkeys used in the old mines. Some of the shops sell small bags of carrots you can feed to the animals, but it is, of course, cheaper to buy in advance at, say, Safeway or Wal-Mart. And please note if some of the youngsters are marked. They may be problematic and should not be approached or fed. Some may try to steal from you anyway, and not just carrots! Anything that can be chewed on seems to be fair game.

You may also encounter a gunfight or two a day during the season! And see, if the donkeys care.


Cliffdwellers