Walnut Canyon National Monument.

First things first - IT’S INSANELY WINDY. You truly have no idea what’s about to hit you when you park, then walk to the front doors of the visiting center. It's not windy at all up there. However, as soon as you exit the doors to the outside area that begins the long descent down …

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Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park.

Located along Highway 89, approximately 2 miles south of the small town of Yarnell, Arizona, sits the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park. It’s a unique state park, dedicated as a memorial site to a mass tragedy. On June 30, 2013, 19 members of the 20-man Granite Mountain Hotshots died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. …

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The Grave of Big Nose Kate: A Wild West Icon.

Obviously not my photo 🤪 (from Google). As you can see, her nose was pretty average sized. Born Mary Katherine Horony, Big Nose Kate didn’t actually have a big nose. According to a nice older gentleman we met at her gravesite, she got that moniker from being a well-known gossiper who had her nose in …

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Phoenix Sonoran Preserve: It’s Hot.

Of all the preserves and parks in Phoenix, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve is by far the closest to my house. It’s super accessible and the only problem with getting to explore this vast preserve has been the scorching Phoenix summer heat (and working full time, but that’s a different story). I was able to get …

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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Ahhh, Monument Valley (MV). An immense land of beautiful, mesmerizing, untouched desert. A mecca for Southwest lovers and road-tripping aficionados. A magical place locked in time. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has earned every bit of its fame and reputation. For seven years I dreamed of visiting this world-renowned geographical wonder and I finally got …

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Four Corners National Monument.

With an official address in Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, the whole draw of the Four Corners National Monument is, of course, that it’s technically located in 4 states – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Furthermore, even though the official address is in Arizona, the entrance is actually located in New Mexico. It’s tucked back …

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McDowell Sonoran Conservancy: Tom’s Thumb Trail.

Located in the McDowell Mountains in the upper Sonoran Desert, right outside of Scottsdale, Arizona, sits the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy; an independent, nonprofit conservation. Created in 1991, it’s a massive area of around 30,580-acres, making it the largest urban preserve in the entire United States. The conservancy was birthed in 1990 by 13 preservationists and …

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The Palace Restaurant and Saloon: Step into a Wild West Time Machine.

Officially the oldest bar and business still operating within the state of Arizona, the Palace Restaurant and Saloon does everything in its power to firmly hold onto its Wild West roots. Obviously considered to be one of the most historic bars in the state, it was eventually put on the National Register of Historical Places. …

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Winslow, Arizona: “Standin’ on the Corner…”

A small, desert city (current population: 9,192) located in the Little Colorado Valley, Winslow’s main claim to fame is being mentioned in an Eagles song. It is quite isolated, located within Navajo County in northeastern Arizona, right off I-40. It’s around 57 miles east of Flagstaff, which is the closest large city in Arizona. The …

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Jerome, Arizona: “Too Strong to Die”.

Perched high within the Black Hills, inside the Prescott National Forest, sits a town famous among both ghost hunters and “Wild West” fanatics. These days it’s sparsely populated, with a population fluctuating between 444 and 500 permanent residents. Jerome was established in 1876 and was once the 4th largest city in the state of Arizona, …

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