Craving Color?

We’ve finally made it through the summer!  Do we dare say 100 degree days are behind us?  Maybe we’ll whisper it just to be safe.  As expected, as the weather cools in the desert it’s also cooling in the high country.  This means color!  Fall leaves will soon be decorating the mountainsides with an array of oranges, golds, reds and browns.  Fall in the Arizona mountains is something you don’t want to miss!  In this article by azcentral.com you will find detailed information on areas all over the state that offer amazing opportunities to witness this beautiful time of year.  Keep in mind that depending on the region it could be early October to mid November before some of the leaves begin to turn.  The US Forest Service has provided a website that will give you all the information on when certain regions come alive and how quickly you need to start planning your trip.

Enjoy the cool season everyone!  This is why we live here!


There’s More to Arizona than Just Desert

When most people think of Arizona they think of dry deserts, temperatures that can match the surface of the sun, cactus and tumbleweeds. Although the southern part of this great state is desert, there are miles and miles of forest areas as well.  State Fact – Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in the world.  These tall majestic trees stretch from near Flagstaff, all along the Mogollon Rim and into the White Mountain region.  That’s right folks it’s the largest pine forest in the entire world…Arizona  is NOT just a desert!   With the unforgettable scenery, breathtaking views, historical landmarks and an abundance of wildlife, the Arizona mountains are a must see for anyone who loves the outdoors.

It’s going to be hot and humid in the Valley of the Sun again this weekend.  Yes, it’s September.  Yes, the weather should be cooling down.  And yes, we know you’re probably tired of the heat.  However, the fact remains, we’re not through it yet and there are still a few weeks left of summer temperatures.  Great news though…there’s still time to get up into the mountains to enjoy the fresh pine scented mountain air, beautiful scenery and cooler temps!  Take a drive up north into the pines.  Enjoy their beauty, listen to them sing as the wind blows through their needles and relax in their shade.   The great outdoors are calling your name this weekend!

Get Outta Town and Cool Off this Weekend!

We thought we’d showcase a little out of town hike for you in this week’s Friday post. Located near Williams, AZ this hike was originally posted by Arizona Highways Magazine online.  Treat yourself to a short scenic drive to the Arizona high country for cooler temperatures and enjoy some ancient scenery.

Keyhole Sink

Gray-black basalt cliffs surrounding three sides of Keyhole Sink guard a small forest glade in the Kaibab National Forest, west of Flagstaff. From the Oak Hill Snow Play Area parking lot, 4 miles west of the tiny town of Parks, cross Historic Route 66 to the Keyhole Sink trailhead. The trail, a 2-mile round trip, is rated as easy. Rocky in spots, it gently slopes down into a small box canyon, where a thousand years ago, ancient Indians carved petroglyphs into the volcanic canyon walls. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, the route makes a cool summer hike, and blue triangle markers nailed to trees guide cross-country skiers along the trail in the winter. The trail gradually descends to the bottom of a small draw covered with wild rosebushes and irises. Over thousands of years, the erosion of a lava flow created this keyhole-shaped canyon. The trail ends at a small pond at the base of the darkest basalt cliffs that stand 30 to 40 feet high. The size of the water hole depends on precipitation and can range from bone-dry to about 4 feet deep.

Keyhole Sink Waterfall


Trail Guide

Length: 2 miles, round-trip
Elevation: 7,000 feet
Difficulty: Easy
Directions: From Flagstaff, travel west on Interstate 40 to Exit 178, Parks Road. Leaving I-40, drive north .4 mile on Parks Road to Historic Route 66 and turn left, heading west for 4.2 miles. A brown sign on the right marks the Oak Hill Snow Play Area; the parking lot is on the left just past the sign. The trailhead starts across the highway from the parking lot.
Information: Kaibab National Forest, Williams Ranger District, 928-635-5600;www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai/recreation/trails.

Get out of the heat, soak up some fresh air and take a hike!

Get Away From the Heat This Weekend and Enjoy Some Fresh Mountain Air

Looking for a way to escape the heat this weekend?  A great way to cool off and explore some gorgeous areas of our beautiful state is to get out and take a hike!  Arizona has a reputation of being a desolate wasteland of cactus, rattlesnakes and temperatures that resemble that of the surface of the sun.  This is simply not the case – at least not the entire state anyway!  Fact – “Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world stretching from near Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains region.”

This means there are endless trails throughout these forests just waiting for you to discover.  Whether you only have time for a short day trip or you stay the night and camp, escaping to the high country is the perfect way to enjoy your time during an Arizona summer.  Grab your hiking boots, get the kids and the dog, pack a lunch and head for the hills! Enjoy your weekend away from it all and soak up some fresh mountain air!

Phoenix Fathers – Celebrating with Dad this Weekend

As we hope you are all aware, this Sunday, June 15th is Father’s Day.  If you’re still tossing around ideas on how to show Dad how much you appreciate him maybe we can help you narrow it down a bit…

FORE! – Does Dad like to hit the links?  This time of year is perfect for great rates and plenty of tee times to choose from at many of Phoenix’s finest golf courses.  Make sure to get out there early though before the temperature starts rising!

Peanuts & Crackerjacks – The Arizona Diamondbacks are playing at home this Monday, June 16th against the Milwaukee Brewers. Take Dad out to a ballgame for some good old fashioned bonding over baseball.  Don’t forget to bring your mitts and let’s play some ball!

Grill Master – Show Dad your appreciation by grilling him something for a change.  Let Dad relax by the pool or watch the game on TV and throw some steaks on the grill.  Make sure he knows you owe your grill mastering techniques all to him!

Brunch – Treat your father to a nice brunch at one of several fabulous restaurants in the Phoenix area.  If you’re looking to give him a special day out then follow this link to find many restaurants toasting Dad on his special day.

Road Warriors – I don’t know about your dad, but mine has always loved a good road trip.  Whether you choose to go for the weekend or just the day, Arizona has a multitude of fantastic destinations to choose from.  Take a drive up to Prescott, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Tucson or anywhere in-between – just get on the road and go!  Make sure you have a full tank of gas, a variety of music on your playlist and good road snacks for the journey.  Hop on the road and see where it leads you.  Some of the best trips are the one’s you don’t really plan out.  Just make sure you remember how to get back in time for work on Monday!

However you choose to celebrate Dad this weekend we hope you and your families have a wonderful and very happy Father’s Day!

Explore Arizona this Weekend

If you’re looking to get out of town this holiday weekend but haven’t decided where to go yet, we’ve got a few of Arizona’s top destinations for you to set out and explore:

1.  Grand Canyon National Park – whether you’ve seen it before or it’s still on your bucket list, every time you visit the Grand Canyon you are sure to see something new and memorable.  It is always an amazing place to visit and once you’ve witnessed it’s glory it is clear to understand why it has been listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.  Whether you go for the day and gaze out over the rim, hike in and explore or raft the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon will never disappoint and will leave lasting memories for years and years to come.  Visit Grand Canyon National Park for more information.
Grand Canyon

2. SedoSedonana and the Verde Valley – Towering red rocks, eclectic towns and miles of vineyards.  That’s right, you heard me…vineyards in Arizona!  The Verde Valley is home to a variety of culture, picturesque views and outdoor adventures.  From Sedona’s red rocks to Jerome‘s ghost town history you won’t have a dull moment exploring this part of Arizona.  Conveniently located less than 2 hours from Phoenix this day trip worthy destination is sure to delight all walks of life.  If you visit don’t forget to squeeze in a little wine tasting, AZ wines are mighty tasty!

3.  Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park – One of the most photographed areas in the world.  Located inside the Navajo Nation this area spans the border of Arizona and Utah.  Home to unforgettable sandstone towers that can reach up to 1,000 feet high and crimson colored mesas, this surreal landscape is mesmerizing.  Located just 4 hours northeast of Flagstaff.  See Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation‘s website for additional details.
Monument Valley

4.  Chiricahua National Monument – You don’t want to miss the natural beauty of this southern ArChiricahuaizona destination.  Located just 2 hours from Bisbee, AZ is the “Wonderland of Rocks”  known as one of the National Park Service’s secret treasures.  This unique park offers endless views of astounding rock formations also known as “Hoodoos”.  The area offers an 8 mile paved scenic drive and 17 miles of hiking trails.  Also stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about the flora, fauna, and ancient history of this amazing part of the state.

5.  Flagstaff – Escape the heat by visiting Flagstaff, AZ.  Just 2 short hours north of Phoenix this mountainous destination is loaded with things to do for the whole family.  Whether your interests lead you outdoors or into town, this modern day old west pioneer town has it all.  Hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, dining, theater, arts, you name it…they’ve got it!  Visit Flagstaff’s website for all of the details to plan your trip!

No matter what your plans are for this upcoming 3 day weekend we hope you have a safe and happy one!