Although it is known as the Grand Canyon State, Arizona is abound with national treasures including the Red Rock State Park, the historic Route 66 and the Petrified Forest National Park. For one week, we were able to explore these gorgeous locations in the comfortable heat of an Arizona winter.
Dad and I started our journey in Sedona, a beautiful location where erosion of the unique Schnebly Hill Formation has allowed for vibrant red and orange layers to dot the green landscape. We hiked onto a naturally occurring landbridge, through a canyon, and around the plateau of the Sedona airport, clocking about 7 miles on average per day.
Sedona is known for it’s beauty and hikes as well as it’s art scene and sanctity; demonstrated by churches, temples and plenty of tours to lead you to a sedona vortex, a transformational energy center. Good food and beautiful views completed our balmy stay and we began the rest of the vacation with a roadtrip toward Flagstaff.
Once there we began to drive East along the historic Route 66. Old wooden telephone or electricity poles signify the Old Route 66, while a modern freeway functions as the highway now. Stops along the freeway take you back to old hotels, ghost towns (read about an apache death cave here) and small off shoots with few inhabitants. I felt a lot of “Cars” movie vibes and the car playlist quickly changed from modern tunes to the best of Chuck Berry.
In Winslow, Arizona we were extremely surprised by the most incredible lunch from our entire trip. The La Posada hotel has been around since 1929 and although restored, maintains as close to a historic feel as possible. Our waitress served us delicious soup, tamales and carnitas as trains rolled passed the windows and the miles and miles of desert were the only backdrop behind.
The trip to Arizona ended with views of INCREDIBLE naturally forming elements within the Petrified Forest National Park… a painted dessert, forests of petrified wood, and a spectacular sunset over the plains. It was a bit colder at this different altitude, but it kept the amount of tourists down and we had nearly every hike and sight to ourselves.
Overall, Arizona was filled with incredibly stunning views, which didn’t stop even while I was on the plane. (See Grand Canyon below). I thoroughly enjoyed not visiting the most touristy sights and left with a new appreciation of this special state.