Wild Arizona: A Peek at the Four Peaks (and More)

Dave Anderson | Four Peaks

Dave Anderson | Four Peaks

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each afternoon in September, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we’re spotlighting three of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. For more information about any of the state’s wilderness areas, visit Wilderness.net, a collaboration between several wilderness-related organizations. The information here comes from that site and the wilderness areas’ managing agencies. Always contact the managing agency before visiting a wilderness to learn about any restrictions that may be in effect. To see our entire Wild Arizona series, click here

Four Peaks Wilderness
Visible from the Phoenix area, the namesake peaks of this wilderness rise from desert foothills. One of the densest black-bear populations in Arizona lives here, along with ringtails, skunks, coyotes and rattlesnakes. Lightning storms occur frequently during monsoon season, and snow accumulates in winter. The wilderness features a 40-mile network of trails.

Location: Northeast of Phoenix
Established: 1984
Size: 61,074 acres
Managed by: U.S. Forest Service
Contact: Mesa Ranger District, 480-610-3300 or www.fs.usda.gov/tonto

Hell’s Canyon Wilderness
Whoever named this canyon must have visited during the summer, but during other months, rock-climbing, hiking and camping are popular here. This wilderness includes a portion of the Hieroglyphic Mountains, named (incorrectly) for petroglyphs found in the area.

Location: Northwest of Phoenix
Established: 1990
Size: 9,951 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Hassayampa Field Office, 623-580-5500 or www.blm.gov/az

Kanab Creek Wilderness
Kanab Creek is one of the major tributaries of the Colorado River, and it forms a large canyon system on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Trails here are minimally maintained, but most hikers access the wilderness from the east. Spring and fall are the best times of year to visit.

Location: North of Grand Canyon National Park
Established: 1984
Size: 70,460 acres
Managed by: U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
Contact: North Kaibab Ranger District, 928-643-7395 or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab; Arizona Strip Field Office, 435-688-3200 or www.blm.gov/az

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A Friday Fotos FAQ

John Morey Photography | Kachina Peaks Wilderness

John Morey Photography | Kachina Peaks Wilderness

Many of our fans participate in Friday Fotos every week. But we’ve picked up a lot of new fans recently, so we wanted to answer some of the frequently asked questions about this fun activity. We hope you’ll join in!

Q: What is Friday Fotos?
A: Friday Fotos is a collection of photos submitted by Arizona Highways readers and fans. The submissions are based around a theme, which is different from week to week. A selection of submissions is posted every Friday to the Arizona Highways blog.

Q: How do I find out what the theme is?
A: Every Wednesday morning (or thereabouts), we post the theme on our Facebook page. To make sure you’re always up to date, make sure you Like our page.

Q: Why didn’t I see this week’s theme post?
A: Facebook can be unpredictable about what posts it chooses to display in your News Feed. To be safe, check in with our page on Wednesday to be sure you’ve seen the post about the theme.

Q: Hey, didn’t you have this week’s theme (or a similar theme) recently?
A: We try to mix up the themes as much as we can, but some (such as monsoon storms) are very popular, so we might not wait too long before doing another week of those themes.

Q: How do I submit my photos?
A: You can submit photos by posting them to our Facebook page. Post them to the page itself, not as comments on the post announcing the theme. Photos posted as comments will not be considered for inclusion in the Friday Fotos gallery.

Q: What are the other requirements for submitted photos?
A: There is a limit of two submissions per person, per week. With each photo you submit, please include where in Arizona the photo was made. It’s also a good idea to mention that your photo is a Friday Fotos submission; we get a lot of posts to our page, so that helps us know that you actually wanted your photo included in the gallery.

Q: I don’t use Facebook. Isn’t there another way to submit photos?
A: Sorry, but we only accept submissions through our Facebook page. We encourage those who are apprehensive about Facebook to become familiar with the site’s security and privacy settings to ensure that their personal information is safeguarded.

Q: What is the deadline for submissions?
A: The deadline is 7 p.m. Arizona time Thursday.

Q: How are the photos for the gallery chosen?
A: We generally look for a good mix of photographers, places, styles and photo types (landscape, macro, wildlife, etc.). And we rely on our fans, too: If a photo is garnering a lot of Likes and/or comments, we take that into account. We try to include at least 60 photos in each week’s gallery.

Q: What happens to the photos after I submit them?
A: They continue to live on our Facebook page (and, if they were selected, in the Friday Fotos gallery on the blog). And we sometimes reuse fan-submitted photos (with proper credit, of course) in future blog posts.

Q: Will I be paid for my photo?
A: No. By submitting the photo to us, you grant us electronic rights to the photo. No financial consideration will be paid for publication on our blog or website. If you don’t agree with this policy, we recommend you not submit a photo. We always include photo credits, and we also encourage submitters to add watermarks to their photos to ensure someone doesn’t pass someone else’s work off as their own.

Q: How can I see previous Friday Fotos galleries?
A: Go to our blog and search for “Friday Fotos.”

Any other questions? Please let us know!

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Wild Arizona: Plenty of Animals (and Not Many People)

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge | Courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each afternoon in September, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we’re spotlighting three of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. For more information about any of the state’s wilderness areas, visit Wilderness.net, a collaboration between several wilderness-related organizations. The information here comes from that site and the wilderness areas’ managing agencies. Always contact the managing agency before visiting a wilderness to learn about any restrictions that may be in effect. To see our entire Wild Arizona series, click here

Cabeza Prieta Wilderness
At 803,418 acres, this wilderness is the largest in Arizona. It includes almost all of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and its terrain includes Sonoran Desert valleys, rugged mountains, sand dunes and lava flows. On most days, the only man-made sound you might here is a military airplane overhead.

Location: West of Tucson
Established: 1990
Size: 803,418 acres
Managed by: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contact: 520-387-6483 or www.fws.gov/refuge/Cabeza_Prieta

Apache Creek Wilderness
Junipers, piñon pines, granite boulders and ponderosas define the scenery here. The wilderness includes about 5 miles of trails and is a habitat for mountain lions and numerous bird species.

Location: Between Seligman and Prescott
Established: 1984
Size: 5,666 acres
Managed by: U.S. Forest Service
Contact: Chino Valley Ranger District, 928-777-2200 or www.fs.usda.gov/prescott

Gibraltar Mountain Wilderness
The mountain for which this wilderness is named rises only 1,568 above sea level. You might catch a glimpse of desert bighorn sheep here, and plants such as creosote, chollas, barrel cactuses and paloverdes are plentiful here. You likely won’t see any other people — this wilderness doesn’t get many human visitors.

Location: East of Parker
Established: 1990
Size: 18,790 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Lake Havasu Field Office, 928-505-1200 or www.blm.gov/az

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ASU Gammage Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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More than 50 years ago, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright walked the Arizona State University campus in Tempe with then-ASU President Grady Gammage. At the time, Gammage was looking for a way to make ASU a cultural center for the Phoenix area. Wright, meanwhile, had recently designed an opera house for Iraq’s King Faisal II, but the king had been assassinated before the building could be constructed, and Wright was looking for a new use for the design.

At one point, Wright put down his cane and said he had found the place where he would build a building with outstretched arms that said, “Welcome to ASU.”

That building became Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, which begins its 50th-anniversary season this month. Neither Gammage nor Wright lived to see the building completed, but Colleen Jennings-Roggensack says both would be proud of how the building (since rebranded as ASU Gammage) has evolved.

“What’s happened in the last 50 years is exactly what they thought would happen,” says Jennings-Roggensack, who has been ASU Gammage’s executive director since 1991. “It’s become the leading cultural center in the Southwest and the leading Broadway touring house in the country.”

Interestingly, she adds, Wright once said that all of his buildings should fall down after 50 years. But thanks to Gammage’s continuing evolution, it’s remained relevant and become an important part of the identity of ASU and the Phoenix area. That’s even more remarkable when you consider that the venue receives no financial support from the university.

Jennings-Roggensack helped bring Broadway shows to Gammage; the first time The Phantom of the Opera came there, it sold out in seven minutes. That change required extensive renovations to the Gammage stage, as well as the addition of ramp systems and accessible seating for disabled patrons. A national study showed that Broadway shows at Gammage pump $50 million into the local economy each year, Jennings-Roggensack says.

Gammage has been a place for political theater, too: A 2004 presidential debate between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry was held there. Before that, in 1998, 30 sitting U.S. senators and former first lady Nancy Reagan came to Gammage for the funeral of Arizona’s Sen. Barry Goldwater. And President Bill Clinton first gave his “Bridge to the Future” speech from one of Gammage’s trademark arms.

Jennings-Roggensack also includes a less famous event among her favorite Gammage moments. At a Camp Broadway event in the venue’s lobby, she met a young girl who told her that her grandfather, who also was attending the event, had been one of the building’s construction workers. “I went over and met him,” she says, “and he said that he was one of the workers, but he had never been inside Gammage. I took them into the house and had them sit down, and I had their granddaughter get up on stage. She sang The Star-Spangled Banner. And we cried.”

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, ASU Gammage is hosting three residency projects:

  • A developmental workshop on BASETRACK, a multimedia performance based on the real worlds of modern-day Marines and their families;
  • Another developmental workshop on Lemon Andersen’s ToasT, a new play about Willie Green, a.k.a. “Dolomite”; and
  • A residency by Aaron Landsman, an actor, writer and director who has performed around the world.

There’s plenty more to say about ASU Gammage, but it’s a venue that you really should experience for yourself. For information about upcoming shows and other events, call 480-965-3434 or visit www.asugammage.com.

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Wild Arizona: Peaks, Vistas and Wildlife-Watching

Doug Koepsel | Kachina Peaks Wilderness

Doug Koepsel | Kachina Peaks Wilderness

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each afternoon in September, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we’re spotlighting three of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. For more information about any of the state’s wilderness areas, visit Wilderness.net, a collaboration between several wilderness-related organizations. The information here comes from that site and the wilderness areas’ managing agencies. Always contact the managing agency before visiting a wilderness to learn about any restrictions that may be in effect. To see our entire Wild Arizona series, click here

Kachina Peaks Wilderness
This wilderness may be the most well-known such area in Arizona. It includes Humphreys Peak, which at more than 12,600 feet is the state’s highest point. Atop Humphreys and its neighboring peaks is the only tundra region in Arizona. The Kachina Peaks are sacred to several Native American tribes.

Location: North of Flagstaff
Established: 1984
Size: 18,616 acres
Managed by: U.S. Forest Service
Contact: Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino

Fishhooks Wilderness
This wilderness borders San Carlos Apache Tribe land and is seldom visited, but it features grand vistas and pleasant hiking opportunities in riparian areas. Be advised that crossing onto tribal land requires a special permit.

Location: Northwest of Safford
Established: 1990
Size: 10,500 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Safford Field Office, 928-348-4400 or www.blm.gov/az

Dos Cabezas Mountains Wilderness
Government Peak (7,587 feet) is the highest point in this wilderness, which features seasonal waterfalls and several springs that are ideal wildlife-watching destinations. White-tailed deer, mule deer, mountain lions and bald eagles are plentiful here, and endangered peregrine falcons also frequent the area.

Location: East of Willcox
Established: 1990
Size: 11,700 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Safford Field Office, 928-348-4400 or www.blm.gov/az

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Wild Arizona: Catch ‘The Wave’ (and More)

Jeremy Jordan‎ | The Wave

Jeremy Jordan‎ | The Wave

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each afternoon in September, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we’re spotlighting three of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. For more information about any of the state’s wilderness areas, visit Wilderness.net, a collaboration between several wilderness-related organizations. The information here comes from that site and the wilderness areas’ managing agencies. Always contact the managing agency before visiting a wilderness to learn about any restrictions that may be in effect. To see our entire Wild Arizona series, click here

Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
One of the most photographed wildernesses in Arizona (or anywhere), this area includes “The Wave,” a geologic formation visited by only a handful of people per day. Paria Canyon, meanwhile, is one of the world’s best backpacking destinations. Check weather forecasts before entering the canyon, as flash floods are possible.

Location: West of Page
Established: 1984
Size: 110,732 acres (Arizona and Utah)
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, 435-688-3200 or www.blm.gov/az

Mount Logan Wilderness
You’ll have to head to the seldom-visited Arizona Strip to see this wilderness, which features dormant volcanoes and a natural amphitheater known as Hell’s Hole. A half-mile maintained hiking trail leads to a view of Hell’s Hole. Backpackers and hunters are among the few people who visit.

Location: West of Grand Canyon National Park
Established: 1984
Size: 14,650 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Arizona Strip Field Office, 435-688-3200 or www.blm.gov/az

Salome Wilderness
Salome Canyon runs almost the entire length of this wilderness, and you may find traces of the Salado Indians, who lived here long ago. It’s freezing in the winter and scorching in the summer, but in between, it’s ideal for hiking.

Location: Northeast of Phoenix
Established: 1984
Size: 18,531 acres
Managed by: U.S. Forest Service
Contact: Pleasant Valley Ranger District, 928-462-4300 or www.fs.usda.gov/tonto

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