Tag Archives: Things to Do

State Highway 366 to Riggs Lake Opens Today

Monika Ragland | Mt. Graham

Monika Ragland | Mt. Graham

A message from our friends at the Forest Service:

The unpaved portion of State Highway 366, also known as the Swift Trail which accesses the upper reaches of Mt. Graham, will open Tuesday, April 15.

The Safford Ranger District, Coronado National Forest will open all seasonally-closed camping areas on April 15. Twilight, Upper Arcadia, Arcadia, Round the Mountain, Noon Creek and Stockton Pass are usually open year round, weather permitting.

Drinking water will be available at Treasure Park and Columbine Corrals Memorial Day Weekend.

No campfire or smoking restrictions are in place at this time.  All forest visitors are urged to be extremely careful with fire, including cigarettes and other smoking materials.

While camping or picnicking, visitors are reminded to be “Bear Aware”.  As the weather warms, all animals on Mt. Graham become more active, including black bears. Some safety recommendations  include:

  • Keep camping and picnic areas clean at all times
  • Clean cooking utensils after meals
  • Stow food and garbage out of sight and smell range of wildlife
  • Wash hands and face, and change clothes before lights out

More information can be obtained by calling the Safford Ranger District at (928) 428-4150, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  For information on recreational opportunities on the Coronado National Forest, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/coronado/.

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Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a Subscription to Arizona Highways

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 8.31.32 AMSeptember 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.

For more information about Arizona’s wilderness areas, visit http://www.azwild.org. 

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Grasslands Fair at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge This Saturday

Photo courtesy of USFWS

Photo courtesy of USFWS

Looking for something to do with the whole family this weekend? Consider hitting up the free Grasslands Fair at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, November 16. Located at the old ranch house, which is now the refuge’s visitors  center, this event will be buzzing all day long.So, what exactly is shakin’? Visitors can view nature exhibits in the visitors center and watch outdoor (and up-close) demonstrations featuring live birds of prey, reptiles, amphibians, and the endangered masked bobwhite. There will also be live music by the Greg Morton Band, an award-winning bluegrass group, as well as lectures and tons of activities for the kids, including an art contest, archery lessons,and more. Adults can peruse the works of artisans and enjoy plenty of regionally inspired cuisine.

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/.

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Christmas Tree Permits Available Starting November 9

Last year's Xmas tree permit announcement

Last year’s Christmas tree permit call, plus a few good safety tips!

Our friends at the U.S Forest Service are once again allowing you to cut down your own Christmas tree starting November 9. There will be 5,975 Christmas tree permits available for purchase at participating Big 5 Sporting Goods stores, as well as 4,675 permits available at participating Forest Service offices. Remember, permits go fast, so don’t wait too long.

Participating Big 5 Sporting Goods Stores:
Avondale/Goodyear: 1623 North Dysart Road, 623-535-0384
Bullhead City: 1835 State Route 95, 928-763-0608
Chandler: 2050 North Arizona Avenue, 480-821-9226
Flagstaff: 2775 Woodlands Village Boulevard, 928-214-0590
Glendale: 5490 West Bell Road, 602-548-5794
Kingman: 3320 North Stockton Hill Road, 928-692-4944
Mesa: 2930 North Power Road, 480-854-1889
Mesa/Gilbert: 1244 South Gilbert Road, 480-507-0137
Paradise Valley: 4623 East Cactus Road, 602-953-0305
Payson: 220 East State Route 260, 928-474-2092
Phoenix/Bell Rd: 1919 West Bell Road, 602-863-1309
Phoenix/East: 3560 East Thomas Road, 602-955-9601
Phoenix/West: 7710 West Thomas Road, 623-848-4800
Prescott Valley: 6106 Highway 69, 928-759-0013
Show Low: 4441 South White Mountain, 928-537-5551
Scottsdale: 3330 Hayden Road, 480-941-4387
Thatcher: 2281 West U.S. Route 70 Suite C, 928-428-8760
Tucson: 5695 East Speedway Boulevard, 520-296-3326
Yuma: 505 Catalina Drive, 928-726-2884

Permits available at Big 5 Sporting Goods stores:
Apache-Sitgreaves: 3,700 permits, any tree species
Coconino: 250 permits, fir only
Kaibab: 900 permits, piñon and juniper
Prescott: 225 permits, any tree species
Tonto: 900 permits, any tree species (primarily piñon and juniper are available)

Permits available at Forest Service offices:
Apache-Sitgreaves: 3,000 permits, any tree species
Coconino: 350 permits, fir only
Kaibab: 1,100 permits, species vary by district
Prescott: 225 permits, any tree species

Rules for Christmas Tree Permits:

  • Each Christmas tree permit is $15 for a tree up to 10 feet tall.
  • One Christmas tree permit allowed per household—for personal use only.
  • Trees must be cut within designated cutting areas.
  • Trees may be cut until December 24.
  • No refunds on Christmas tree permits.

General information about the Christmas tree cutting program will also available on the Christmas tree permit hotline (928) 333-6267 and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/asnf.

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Check Out These Great Gift Ideas…


“In my mind, there was no golden era, just decades and decades of spectacular photography — one great shot after another.” — Robert Stieve

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

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.

camping guideArizona 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.

hiking guideArizona 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.

All three books are available at Costco and at the Arizona Highways store.

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U.S. Forest Service Encourages You to Participate in 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day

Alia Shaban Pedigo | Apache Sitgreaves National Forest

Alia Shaban Pedigo | Apache Sitgreaves National Forest

From our friends at the U.S. Forest Service:

The U.S. Forest Service is offering a fee-free day on September 28 in conjunction with the 20th Annual National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

“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.


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