September 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a landmark law that helped protect some of America’s last great wild country and created 90 protected wilderness areas in Arizona. Now, you can help protect the state’s wilderness areas, too. With each new Arizona Highways subscription purchased using promo code M3WILDC, we’ll donate $5 to the Arizona Wilderness Coalition. To subscribe, visit http://www.arizonahighways.com.
Tag Archives: Things to Do
Directions from Tucson: Directions: From Tucson, go west on Ajo Way (State Route 86) for 15 miles to State Route 286. Turn left (south) on SR 286 and continue 38 miles to the refuge entrance, which is near Milepost 7.5.
For more information, call 520-823-4251, Ext. 116, or visit www.fws.gov/refuge/buenos_aires/.
The holidays are right around the corner — OK, not really, but everyone else seems to be getting into the spirit (and not the Halloween variety) — so, with that, why not start thinking about what you’ll be giving your favorite friends and family this gift-giving season?
Not to worry; we have three very good ideas below:
100 Greatest Photographs to Ever Appear inArizona Highways Magazine: From Navajo families and a Mohave girl to the splendor of the Grand Canyon and the grasslands of Southern Arizona, the 100 images that appear in these pages are the best to have ever been published in Arizona Highways, as chosen by Photo Editor Jeff Kida and Editor Robert Stieve. As Stieve writes, “In my mind, there was no golden era, just decades and decades of spectacular photography — one great shot after another.” This book celebrates those great shots, both old and new, and pays tribute to the men and women who made them.
Arizona Highways Camping Guide: From quiet, isolated high-mountain sites to low-desert locations, Arizona Highways Camping Guide features 100 of the best campgrounds in Arizona. The book, which includes Arizona Highways’ iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about locations, amenities, seasonal accessibility and fees is included with each listing.
Arizona Highways Hiking Guide: Fifty-two of the best day hikes in Arizona — one for each weekend of the year, organized by seasons. Robert Stieve, editor of Arizona Highways magazine and an experienced backwoods trekker, selected hikes ranging from easy walks in the woods to challenging journeys to Arizona’s highest peaks and deepest canyons — including the Grand Canyon. In-depth trail guides, descriptions, warnings and GPS coordinates are included with each hike, along with the magazine’s classic fine photography.
From our friends at the U.S. Forest Service:
“Today’s announcement is part of the USDA for all Seasons campaign, which seeks to educate the public on all the ways the department’s agencies programs help communities and their economies every day,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “America’s national forests and grasslands belong to all of us. These beautiful places have so much to offer, and we hope you’ll get outside and volunteer on National Public Lands Day to enjoy these places for yourself, while improving them for future visitors.”
The Forest Service offers six fee-free days in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, National Get Outdoors Day, National Public Lands Day and Veterans Day Weekend. Fees are waived generally for day use areas, such as picnic grounds, developed trailheads and destination visitor centers. Fees are not waived for concessionaire-operated facilities or for overnight use such as camping or recreation rentals. Contact your local national forest to learn if your destination requires a fee and if that fee is waived.
In 2012, about 175,000 volunteers worked at 2,206 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, making it the largest participation in the event’s history. Those volunteers collected an estimated 500 tons of trash and 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, planted 100,000 trees and other plants and built or maintained 1,500 miles of trails.
Additionally, almost 108,000 volunteers and service members contributed 4.3 million hours or nearly 2,400 person years on critical projects on national forests, grasslands and prairies. Their service was valued at close to $94 million.
Forest Service lands, which include 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, offer something for everyone, from the casual hiker to the thrill-seeking recreationist. There are also opportunities and programs for children, including the popular Discover the Forest and Junior Forest Ranger programs.
The closure of U.S. Route 89 south of Page has cut that town’s most direct link to the rest of the state, forcing visitors to take a 45-mile detour to reach the picturesque southern bank of Lake Powell. The closure has had a profound effect on Page businesses, many of which rely on tourism. Korey Seyler works at Colorado River Discovery, a river-rafting company. Seyler spoke with Arizona Highways about how his business and the town are coping with the closure.
If you’re looking for a great way to get out of the heat, head up to Page and raft Glen Canyon — or visit the town’s other businesses, which could really use your help right now. For more information on Colorado River Discovery, call 888-522-6644 or visit http://www.raftthecanyon.com.
Tell us about Colorado River Discovery.
We offer full-day and half-day trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. This area is incredibly scenic and beautiful, and it allows people to get on the river and see the canyon from a different perspective. We’ve been in business since 2007, and our owners have more than 70 combined years of experience on the river.
How has the closure affected your business, and what are you doing to mitigate those effects?
It’s had a large effect, not only from an operations standpoint but also in inconvenience to our guests. We used to take people down to Lee’s Ferry and bus them back to Page. Now, with the closure, the road trip from Lee’s Ferry back to Page takes three hours.
To avoid that much of a trip back, we now take rafters back upstream, through Horseshoe Bend. That allows people to experience Glen Canyon Dam, the petroglyphs and some of the other great views along the route. Unfortunately, we’ve also had quite a few cancellations because of the additional 45 minutes it takes to get up here.
Are other businesses in Page hurting?
Everyone is taking a hit. Page has seen tourism increases of 8 percent to 10 percent per year in recent years, and I would estimate this year has been about a 10 percent decline from last year.
Are you hearing a lot of complaints about the detour?
The biggest problem that we’ve seen with the detour is the use of technology to try to get here. Some people are blindly following their GPS or cellphones to try to get to Page, and they miss the detour. Then, once they reach the closure, it’s an even longer drive to Page because they have to double back.
What should people who haven’t visited Page know about the town?
I’ve been here for seven years now, but Page has been a hidden gem for a long time. There are an incredible number of activities here — Lake Powell, the Colorado River and the slot canyons, to name a few. Probably the most important of all of those is that Page is right in the middle of a “grand circle” of national parks — Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde and so on. You can use Page as a “hub” and be able to get to all those national parks fairly quickly.
The temporary route [Indian Route 20] will be open soon, and that will eliminate the extra drive time. The extra 45 minutes it takes to get here is worth it to be able to spend a night in Page. If you spend two days here, you’re going to see some incredible things.
For the latest updates on the status of U.S. 89, visit www.azdot.gov/US89.