Blog Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Parker Dam

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The Parker Dam may not seem like much to the average onlooker, but the dam is greater than it seems. While most of the dam is not visible to those on the ground, it is said to be the deepest in the world. The majority of it just happens to sit below water.

The dam is located on the border between Arizona and California. The dam was build between 1938 and 1938 by the Bureau of Reclamation. It was created to bring both power and drinking water to Southern California. It is 320 feet (98 meters) high and 856 feet (261 meters) long. It separates Lake Havasu from the Colorado River.

Visitors can camp near the dam at one of the two public campground that are located along the Colorado River.

Read more about the dam’s history here at the webiste.

London Bridge

Arizona has its own piece of London. Located in Lake Havasu City is the London Bridge.

The bridge formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England until it was dismantledi n 1967.

The Arizona bridge, as it stands now, is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, which was brought by Robert P. McCulloch from London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City. The bridge was completed in 1971 and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City.

The bridge’s relocation was the basis of a 1985 made-for-television movie Bridge Across Time, also known as Arizona Ripper or Terror at London Bridge. In the film, a series of murders in Lake Havasu is attributed to the spirit of Jack the Ripper, whose soul is transported to the united States in one of the stones of the bridge.

So, the next time you’re yearning for a trip to London (but can’t exactly afford the great vacation), maybe plan a trip to Lake Havasu City instead. Then you can pretend you’ve escaped to the prestigious city while remaining right in  the desert oasis that is Arizona.

Meteor Crater

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With rumors going around about the possibility of traveling to Mars, people are now more than ever excited about taking a vacation from earth. The meteor crater in Winslow, AZ offers just that.

Winslow’s Meteor Crater is the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact site. This crater is the result of a collision between a piece of an asteroid travelling at 26,000 miles per hour and Earth approximately 50,00 years ago.

The crater is nearly one mile across, 2.4 miles in circumference and more than 550 feet deep.

The crater came to the attention of scientists following its discovery by European settlers in the 19th century. It’s been dubbed the Canyon Diablo Crater.

There are outdoor observation trails, air-conditioned indoor viewing, a wide screen movie theater and an interactive discovery center at the modern Visitor Center located on the crater rim.

It is said that, in the ‘60s, astronauts used this crater to prepare for the moon landing. So, those wishing to venture to Mars might follow in our famed astronauts’ footsteps (from afar, at least. Leave the true traversing of the crater to your dreams).

Learn more about Winslow’s Meteor Crater by visiting their fun website here.

Grand Canyon Railway

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The Grand Canyon Railway offers visitors a unique way to experience the Grand Canyon.

The train runs from Williams, AZ to the South Rim (a 65 mile trip). There will be a layover at the Grand Canyon, visitors are encouraged to tour the depot, which was constructed in 1910, as well as the nearby area for entertaining lunch spots.

The Old West is revitalized through this railway as actors dressed as bandits stage a mock train robbery during the return trip from the Grand Canyon to Williams.

During the winter season, the line runs The Polar Express from Williams to the “North Pole,” which is a station that is about 17 miles north of town.

Cottonwood Historic Road

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A scenic stretch of State Route 89A — the Jerome-Clarkdale-Cottonwood Historic Road — overlooks the Verde River Valley, exposing spectacular views of the Mogollon Rim and Colorado Plateau. As travelers approach from Prescott on State 89A, a steep drop followed by a final hill pitches right onto Main Street in the heart of Jerome and the start of the historic road designated in May 1992.

The once-roaring mining community became a ghost town and then transformed into today’s thriving art community, all while clinging precariously to the side of Cleopatra Hill. Buildings balance cautiously, clutching the steep grade. Retaining walls and flat pads hold some structures in place, while others hang on at seemingly impossible angles. Headlines in the February 5, 1903, issue of the New York Sun read, “This Jerome is a Bad One — The Arizona Copper Camp Now the Wickedest Town.”

Jerome started as a mining camp, nothing more than a settlement of tents. But the surrounding hills were full of copper, and soon a lawyer named Eugene Jerome invested $200,000 in a mining operation to extract it. His claim would eventually make Jerome one of the largest towns in Arizona. He also hired a surveyor to lay out the twisted town of Jerome, a namesake he insisted upon although he never visited there.

But Eugene Jerome wasn’t the first to discover the abundance of minerals in the Black Hills. Indian tribes in the region were well aware of the riches beneath the mountains long before the Europeans and Spanish entered the area. Somewhere around the year AD 1125, the Sinagua Indians appeared in the Verde Valley, a lush forested land with a dependable water source in the rushing green-blue of the Verde River. They lived a prosperous life, trading with tribes more than 100 miles away and farming the rich valley. Around the year AD 1400, the Sinagua people inexplicably began to migrate from the region. By the year AD 1450, they had disappeared, but left behind a dwelling now called Tuzigoot, an Apache word for “crooked water.”

The 110-room, two-story ruin perches atop a hill between the towns of Cottonwood and Clarkdale. The Sinagua Indians knew of the minerals in the hills and used them to trade for other necessities and pleasures of life, like copper bells and pottery more elaborate than their own brown clay and volcanic ash pieces. Occasionally they used azurite, a mined copper carbonate with a deep-blue hue, to paint their pottery. The museum at Tuzigoot National Monument displays some of their jewelry.

After the Sinagua people disappeared from the area, Spanish explorers stumbled across the land following tales of gold-laden cities and mines with rich veins of colored ore. Many years later, the first American prospectors came, soon to uncover and exploit the multitude of riches buried deep in the Black Hills. On a search for gold in 1583, Spanish explorer Antonio de Espejo and his companions traveled through the desert surrounding Jerome and the Black Hills. Greeted by the Indians of the region who gladly showed the explorers their own mining efforts in the hills, the Spaniards had their hearts set on gold. When they realized the Indians were mining mainly copper, they decided to move on, but claimed the land in the name of Spain. They were unaware of the great fortunes that lay waiting just below their feet — copper mostly, but also silver, gold and zinc.

In 1598, Marcos Farfan, also a Spanish explorer, crossed the area looking for gold. He, too, claimed the mines for the Spanish crown, but the rough mountains deterred him. The small amount of gold mixed in with the copper, he believed, was not worth the great effort to remove it. After these two explorations, it would be almost 300 years of only scattered visits from the Spaniards and Anglos before the mad rush for riches brought the miners that would change the area forever.

American settlers arrived in the Verde Valley in 1865, wandering in from the Prescott Valley area. Small-scale mines attempted to extract the precious metals from the mountains, but the difficult desert terrain and rocky mountainsides made excavation uneconomical. Finally a group of prospectors, including future Territorial Governor Frederick A.Tritle, acquired an interest in some of the claims. The work was hard and hot, and the men made $80,000 before transporting the ore became too expensive to continue.

Enter Eugene Jerome, a New York moneyman looking for an easy buck. His investment gave the first breath of life to the United Verde Copper Co. and the twisted face-lift of rickety buildings and zigzag roads that adorn Cleopatra Hill. Jerome owned it all — the mining operation and the town — but in 1888 he sold it to William Andrews Clark, a US senator from Montana and a copper mogul who knew exactly what it would take to profit from the mines in Jerome, and he had the capital to make it happen. Fires deep in the mines forced the company to begin open-pit mining, and the old smelter that sat on top of the mines had to be removed. Clark started construction on a new smelter in 1910 just down the road from Jerome, and then in 1914 built a town around it named Clarkdale. Clarkdale’s historic district is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the first successfully planned company towns. Clark also financed a narrow-gauge railroad line to connect to the Santa Fe railroad, forging the final link to the outside world.

When the mine pumped profits into Clark’s pockets and attracted miners looking for work, the entrepreneurs came also. Bars, brothels, hotels, saloons and boarding houses all popped up, and Jerome became the bad, brawling, billion-dollar mining town that endured many mining deaths, smallpox and scarlet fever epidemics, and a series of devastating fires that ravaged the mountainside buildings between 1897 and 1899. But Jerome survived. The town incorporated in early 1899 and established the Jerome Volunteer Fire Department as well as a building code advising construction with brick and stone to help prevent further fires.

By the 1920s, Jerome had a population of about 15,000 and was the largest copper-producing area in Arizona, but production slowed with the Great Depression of the 1930s. The mine came into the hands of the Phelps Dodge Corp., which still owns it. During the 1930s Phelps Dodge used dynamite blasts in the open pits to go deeper for ore, and in the process made Jerome a “moving” community — literally. Shifting earth caused by the great blasts made parts of the town crack and slide. One large blast caused an entire downtown block to slide one level down the mountain, and resulted — to some amusement — in the relocation of the town jail, which slid a full block from its original site.

The increased demand for copper during World War II revived the mine for a while, but in 1953 the mine closed after more than 70 years of production. Approximately $800 million in copper had been taken from the veins of the mighty mountains. With the closing came the inevitable death of the town as a mining center as miners dispersed across the Southwest looking for work. The 50 to 100 diehards who remained began promoting Jerome as a ghost town, and in 1967 the US government declared Jerome a National Historic Landmark.

Despite the ravaging fires that destroyed much of Jerome in the late 1890s, many of the original buildings still stand and many more have been restored. The spicy flavor of a wild mining environment still permeates the town. Today, known primarily as a tourist attraction and art community, Jerome greets approximately a quarter of a million visitors a year. Leaving Jerome, the first 6 miles of the drive to Cottonwood drop steeply and offer awe-inspiring views of the Mogollon Rim and the Verde Valley. Surrounded by mesas and buttes to the north, and jagged mountains in every other direction, Cottonwood got its name from the cottonwood trees that grow along the Verde River, which runs right through the town.

Cottonwood began as a camping place for travelers headed for Oak Creek and Camp Verde, and was a main crossing place on the Verde River. The first Anglos to settle here were soon followed by soldiers from nearby Fort Whipple, who were sent to protect ranchers in the Verde Valley. The fertile land soon attracted other ranchers and farmers, and a small farming community sprung up.

Today, Cottonwood has a population of about 5,900. A quaint area known locally as Old Town is officially Cottonwood Commercial Historic District. Walking tours are offered as are self-guided tours of the Verde River riparian area. At the end of the Jerome-Clarkdale-Cottonwood Historic Road southeast of Cottonwood, the next leg of the journey starts toward Sedona — the Dry Creek Scenic Road.

Article courtesy of Arizona Scenic Roads.

Granite Creek Vineyards

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Take a break from your daily duties by taking a peaceful vacation to the Granite Creek Vineyards in Chino Valley, a family owned & operated vineyard and winery.

The vineyards are surrounded by rugged granite peaks and high elevation rolling prairie. The vines surrounding the area truly bring everything together. The Chino Valley Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery.

The vines bask in the intense sunshine, with hot days and cool nights that last late into the fall. This provides the perfect ripening conditions. Organically farmed granite soil and pure well water help develop the truly delicious fruit.

This vineyard is the first farm in Arizona to be Certified Organic. Granite Creek Vineyards is one of only a handful of wineries in the United States that makes Certified Organic Wines without any added sulfates.

See this and more at the Granite Creek Vineyards website by clicking here.

Sedona Vortexes

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Every city and town has a unique feeling and energy to it. Step into some and you feel right at home, others may not feel like the place for you. Sedona’s energy might be the most unique of any city or town out there, though. The energy, which is largely the product of its vortexes, truly empowers you.

There are four main energy vortexes in Sedona: The Airport vortex, Red rock Crossing/ Cathedral Rock Vortex, Boynton Canyon Vortex and Bell rock Vortex. Each vortex strengthens a unique part of those who traverse its grounds.

Stand at one of Sedona’s four main vortexes and the energy will flow into and through you. You may find that you feel more confident, more empathetic, or more at peace depending on the vortex you step into. Each vortex helps with a specific energy.

Travel Tip: Don’t be closed off to the workings of the vortex, the more sensitive you are during your vortex excursion, the better the experience.

Red Rock Scenic Byway

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Winding through the evergreen pinion-covered Coconino National Forest, this byway, designated as Arizona’s first “All-American Road,” gives way to several scenic views.

Along the byway is a diverse ecosystem where people can bask in the glory of the buttes, cliffs, desert expanses and canyons.

This landscape has inspired and shaped people for over 10,000 years.

Travelers are encouraged to enjoy the scenery, go picnicking, hiking, biking, wildlife watching, and take photos along the way.

The Sterling Canyon Spur leads to two of the most spectacular rock formations in the area. Devil’s Bridge and Vultee Arch are each just a short hike off the road. The Boynton Canyon Spur leads to a trail into an area described as one of Sedona’s new age vortexes. The Loy Butte spur will put travelers in the middle of some of the area’s more sweeping vistas. The Sycamore Canyon Spur takes travelers past  Robber’s Roost, where horse thieves once hid their contraband and to Sycamore Pass, the gateway to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness.

Jerome Grand Hotel

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Jerome, Arizona, was once a copper mining camp. It saw as many as 10,000 residents. But, during the Great Depression, ore deposits were exhausted and mines were shut down. The population dwindled quickly and was made up of less than 100 people by the 1950s.

The city now resides as a National Historic Landmark. Within it, at one mile high stands the Jerome Grand Hotel. As guests walk through the hallways of this historic hotel, they’ll not only get a glimpse into the Jerome past but also have the chance to experience something paranormal.

The hotel is said to be haunted. This is because, before it was the Jerome Grand Hotel, it was the United Verde hospital. Guests of the hotel have said to have heard coughing, labored breathing and even voices coming from their empty rooms. Some have even reported light anomalies and the television sets turning themselves on with no explanation.

Those who wish to stay at the Jerome Hotel can choose the hotel’s ghost-hunting package. In this package, guests are invited to help with the hotel’s ongoing investigation of the supernatural and paranormal activities. The hotel provides ghost hunters with an MET meter, IR thermometer and digital camera to help the hotel document the spirits, orbs, ghost sightings and haunted happenings.

Clarkdale Copper Museum

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Just as Arizona is known as the “copper state,” it stands to reason that there should be a copper museum. While North America in itself is the largest copper producer in the world, Arizona sits on top amongst the states in being at the heart of copper production.

Most times when one encounters a museum – especially devoted to a natural resource – one would envision displays of pieces of the resource in its natural form, in small and large exhibits. However, this building of unique metal history shows through the Ages what man has done with the metal – “art of the average Joe” is what it could be deemed.  Out of the seven primary natural metals, copper was discovered in 9000 B.C. and its first use was in the form of weapons. Going from there, people constructed various items out of copper as well, to include kitchen and shop tools, and architecture.

The exhibits reveal copper art and collections for study, which were created by coppersmiths, soldier artists and braziers; many of whom were masters in their trade.  In addition, copper artifacts with an emphasis on American and European works-of-art from the 16th to the 21st century are all on display in this multi-room facility.

The Copper Art Museum is a new museum with roots that can be traced back to 1919, where an antique shop was located in Northern Minnesota.  In the early 1960’s copper wares were collected throughout Europe and later sold in the U.S.A. at on-the-road shows throughout the Midwest during the 1970’s.  The 1980’s – 90’s saw an increase in purchases and sales of copper artifacts from Europe and the U.S.A.

In the early 2000’s the collection was so large that plans of a museum came to life and a location was sought.  Later Clarkdale, Arizona was chosen as the site for a museum of copper art showcasing Arizona’s most precious treasure.