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It's worth noting that the park's proximity to Mexico means the Border Patrol has set up several checkpoints on the highways leading to and from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. and permanent residents should carry immigration documents with them when visiting the area. Were he a real life character, National Park would be his undoing. Of the three parks mentioned here, this is the best known because of the unusual nature of its central attraction.
Yes, the Grand Canyon is impressive; there's a reason it's called grand.
so elsewhere in the park visitors must be escorted by park rangers or Navajo guides when visiting the canyon floor.
Ajo Mountain Drive, 21 miles of dirt and gravel road, is worth the price of a car wash. Just about every type of the park's flora is represented somewhere along the road. For the ambitious, the Bull Pasture trail, located about halfway through the drive, is a steep but rewarding trek to a plateau overlooking a large portion of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. Given the area's isolation, for anyone who hasn't planned to camp for the night, it's a natural urge to want to leave the park well before dark. Those people miss out. One of the best spectacles in the park is sunset at Alamo Canyon campground. When I say sunset, I don't mean to suggest that the show is watching the sun dip below the horizon. Instead, the extravaganza comes from watching the already ruddy slopes of the Ajo Mountains turn even more crimson as the sun dips lower and lower in the sky.
But just because Arizona bills itself "The Grand Canyon State" doesn't mean the nation's biggest ditch is the only national park in the state worth a visit.
Start at the Spider Rock overlook at the end of South Rim Drive. Here, Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon meet, allowing the eye to wander off into both.
The state's warm, arid climate means that winter and early spring are prime times to visit. In fact, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument offers ranger led programs only during those times, because the southern Arizona summer heat is likely to cook just about anyone else who ventures outside a vehicle with well tuned air conditioning. Don't think about the drive; instead, focus that energy on putting together a good picnic lunch and making some more room on the camera's memory chip. Also, this is one of those spots where binoculars make all the difference.
The northern edge of Arizona is filled with the crimson hued mesas and narrow, winding highways that provide a backdrop for Road Runner cartoons.
Each of these parks is a Lacoste Grey T Shirt
White House Overlook is the one place in the park where it's possible to descend to the bottom of the canyon, a steep, two hour minimum hike. Navajo still live within the canyon, Us Polo T Shirts Online Price
Pull out the binoculars at White House Overlook, where one of the pueblo buildings sports white plaster walls. This White House predates the one in Washington by several hundred years. A sign at the overlook notes the white house was famed throughout Navajo lands.
But look closer; given a hint of moisture in the spring, poppies will carefully sprout under the partial shade of a creosote bush. Palos verdes, named such because they look as if someone has painted them green all over, flamboyantly produce egg yolk colored blossoms.
At first glance, the land of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument seems to have all the quintessential qualities of Arizona: tall green cactuses with impressive posture; thorny brush; and rocks blasted by summer heat that would make Beelzebub grin.
There's plenty to see, from a forest of petrified wood to acres of rare cactuses resembling the columnar pipes of an organ. And for those yearning to see a "grand" canyon without the crowds, Canyon de Chelly is lesser known than its larger counterpart but still plenty impressive.
The eponymous cactus of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona are so named because the arms of the cactus reaching toward the sky resemble the pipes of a church organ. (Arizona Office of Tourism)
Logs turned to stone like this crimson colored piece are strewn about Arizona's National Park. (Arizona Office of Tourism)
The "canyon" is actually a network of canyons that several creeks have carved Fred Perry Black Hoodie into the red earth over the millennia.
Situated about midway between Yuma and Tucson, the park's remote location makes for a delicious kind of solitude.
After leaving the park, if you have more time, it's worth driving about 20 or so miles north of Chinle to see reddish landscape that resembles the surface of Mars.
The park shares more than 30 miles of its southern boundary with the Mexican border. In recent years, drug smuggling and immigrants illegally wandering across the border have prompted the National Park Service to shut down roads, effectively making two thirds of the park off limits.
Arizona's other national parks
The aforementioned picnic lunch? Bring it out at Sliding House Overlook. There are no picnic tables, but there are plenty of fairly flat areas on the sandstone to eat and take in spectacular views. Be very careful at this stop, especially if you have children in tow. There are some barriers delineating popular lookout points, but it's also possible for the brazen to stand at the very sloped edge of the 700 foot high canyon wall.
The stop is named for the Native American pueblo built on a sloping ledge in the canyon's far wall. Over time, gravity won out, and the slope is slowly claiming the structure.
Organ Pipe Cactus
Of course, there's the park's eponymous cactus, so named because the arms of the cactus reaching toward the sky resemble the pipes of a church organ. While many types of cactus have adapted to the hardscrabble style of life in the desert, the organ pipe is a bit wimpier. In most parts of Arizona, the winters are too cool for the fickle cactus, with the park being one of the few spots north of the Mexican border where it will agree to live. Even so, most organ pipes in the park can be found on southern facing hillsides.
It's obvious that movie studio animators in the 1940s liked Arizona as a vacation spot. Authentic Lacoste Polo Shirts Wholesale Philippines
Two main roads, one mainly in the north, one south, offer easy access to overlooks. Park rangers advise visitors to head along the North Rim Drive in the morning. However, it's the afternoon sun at spots along the South Rim Drive that really makes Canyon de Chelly dazzling.
morning's drive from the Grand Canyon area and worth the trip.
Still, there's plenty to see.
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