Second to the Joshua Tree itself, the fascinating sculptures and gravity-defying piles of rocks are one of most prominent features of the landscape in Joshua Tree National Park. The land looks as if a giant moved rocks into piles, leaving vast swaths of land boulder-free with towering stacks of stones scattered about, many sculpted into artistic forms. Read More →

Many people have recommended Joshua Tree National Park to visit, so we drove here from Flagstaff. The 340 mile drive was the longest we have driven in a day in months. It was tiring but we made it to nearest campground just as the rangers were closing up. By this point in our trip we Read More →

After backpacking to the river and back, we stayed at Mather Campground in the park a little longer to regroup and see the last few sights we had yet to see. An entire village resides in the park, complete with grocery store and a branch of the state library, so we didn’t need to leave Read More →

The word Colorado is derived form the Spanish word for “reddish”, and was applied to the river that ran red-brown as it carried loads of sediment from eroding canyons along its route. Since the Glen Canyon Dam was erected to form Lake Powell, the river rarely runs its natural reddish-brown color and is usually clear Read More →

From the Petrified Forest National Park, we headed into Flagstaff for errand day, after which we planned to camp in Sedona. We arrived at Red Rock State Park only to learn that camping isn’t allowed there! We spent a couple hours walking on the trails at that park before heading off to nearby Cottonwood where Read More →

Over 200 million years ago, during the Late Triassic Epoch, the land that now forms Arizona was on the supercontinent Pangea near the equator, in a tropical climate. Huge conifers towered over a low-lying land cut by rivers and streams. As the trees died and fell, many were carried downstream by the rivers, rolling and Read More →

At the top of Wasson Peak in Saguaro National Park we met two local women also out for a hike. I asked them if they could identify the various mountains in the distance, and the more knowledgeable of the pair obliged by pointing out Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rincon Mountains, and the Santa Rita Mountains. Additionally, they Read More →

I was surprised when the ranger at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center recommended the “Prison Camp” campground for our stay in the Coronado National Forest. Despite the unappealing name, we headed there because of its location on the trail we planned to hike. An interpretive sign at the campground explains why the campground is called Read More →

After thoroughly enjoying (and educating) ourselves at Saguaro National Park East for three days, it was time to move to Tucson’s west side to see the mountains over there. On the drive away from our Ironwood National Monument home, we came across a ground squirrel enclave. We also spotted a coyote on the side of Read More →