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Archive for December, 2010

By: Julio Moreno (Sedona “Red Rock Pass” $5 ).
Simple “how to” [get there] quick walk though:
Driving is the only real choice unless you get expensive tours from flagstaff. Map it out using the map below. You head north on the 17 freeway if from Phoenix, and South if from Flagstaff. If you life far, fly into either Phoenix, or Flagstaff.
MAP:
Story:
Sedona: Is a city next to many smaller parks known for their Red Rock formations. If you like hiking, this one has plenty of options (dozens), from really easy to really hard. Just head to Sedona, no planning needed and as soon as you enter, you will see a “visitors center” or something similar, depending on your entry point (north, south). You need to stop anyways to get a “Red Rock Pass” as you can’t park anywhere and hike without one. The people are so friendly to give you tons of maps, and options of hikes to do for free. They will also work with you if you want to camp, stay for more days, or anything. If you like other things such as mountain biking or ATVing, check out the “Other options” link below:
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Skeezy Tip #1: Some hikes which are sold as “super good” cost an extra $10 for parking. You could always check where it is, and say you made a wrong turn to get out. Then park anywhere along the highway where its not prohibited as its already covered by your “Red Rock Pass”.
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Skeezy Tip #2: Sedona is famous for its abundance of big red rock formations. With that said, sunlight will be a problem, since you generally hike in the canyon of these formations. Try to go as early as possible to get your money’s worth, because even in the summer, it will “get dark” early.

River along the West Fork Trail

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ATVing and Mountain Biking:
Red Rock Pass Info
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By: Julio Moreno (Entrance: $15)
 

Center of the Meteor Crater, taken from the Observation Deck

 

Simple “how to” [get there] quick walk though:
Drive from where ever you are to an exit on the 40 freeway between Winslow and Flagstaff, Arizona. There are dozens of signs, and the exit is “Meteor Crater Road” so you cant miss it. If you are coming from far away, fly into Flagstaff and rent a car at the airport. Then follow this map.
Map:
Story:
Meteor Crater: This is, as the site claims, the best preserved meteor crater on the planet. A meteor hit this spot 50,000 years ago, before humans even existed in Arizona. The site itself is privately owned and has been very well taken care of for tourists. They have however, gone a bit overboard with the “Meteor Crater Experience” full with movie, museum and an enormous gift store to commemorate your visit to the crater. While its quite breath taking, it only takes 1 hour tops to take it all in and take pictures, so plan to do other things in Arizona.

Probably the only time you will have this choice to make.

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By: Julio Moreno (Entrance to the Park: $25;  Camping: $20/night)
The crack goes to the Colorado River

View from "Angel" Hike.

Simple “how to” [get there] quick walk though:

Drive from where ever you are to the intersection of the 89 and 67 highways in Northern Arizona (Point A on the map below). Fix the google map below accordingly. Switch to the 67 South, and drive for 43 miles. You will cross the Kaibab Forest before you reach the canyon. There is only one road so you can’t get lost.
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Skeezy Tip: Any other form of transportation is out of the question. If you live really far away, you can fly into St. George, Utah (the closest large city) and rent a car to drive to the canyon. This is by far the most economical way to do it.
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Map:
Story:
The Grand Canyon: Was formed over millions of years and is carved out by the Colorado River. Is quite the sight to see with amazing landscape, and hikes for all levels. Most people do the simple hikes towards the top which are 1/2 a mile to a mile. However, if you go to the information office in the north rim, the rangers can give you maps, and hike options. Unless you are planning for a multi-day hike, there is no need to make plans. If you want to camp, you might want to make reservations as its popular.
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Skeezy Tip #1: If you go off season (after Oct, during the winter) and don’t mind the cold, there is no one charging at the entrance of the Canyon [went Dec 2005], avoiding the $25 as it is officially CLOSED. You could probably camp for free too as no one is there (minus a ranger who told me it was ok to come in). You might also see lots of cool snow as you enter the Kaibab Forest. You might see 1-2 cars as opposed to hundreds in the Summer but bring chains just to be on the safe side. While closed, there were 2 other cars there (with the canyon essentially to myself) which, although I was unprepared for the snow, was better than having crowds of yelling kids when I returned 2 years later.
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Skeezy Tip #2: If you love the outdoors, you could get admission to all National parks for $80 [2010 figures]. If youre not sure, a ranger told me to save all my reciepts and once I accumulate close to $80 (most parks are $20-$25), just pay the difference for the year pass! Ask as you are buying the first one if this is still possible when you go.
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Lodging:
1) Camping, $20,
2) Village of Many Nations: $70 and up depending on season.
Sleep in either a Tipi or a Navajo Hogan and get a Native American experience. While this is actually a tad too commercialized,and a bit guided towards children, the place IS run by Native Americans. They old different events such as teaching you how to throw tomahawks, teaching you about their ancient sacred medicine circle, and have a performance at night. When I went, it was a flute performance by the former Chief of the Paiute Tribe. They also sometimes have other Native American guests. Everything except the tomahawk throwing is included. This is also about 3 miles from the entrance of Zion National Park, but a good 2 hours from the Grand Canyon.

Traditional Navajo Hogan. It is actually a lot roomier than it seems.

You need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Former Chief of the Paiute Tribe, and one of only 8 people who can still speak the language.

Map to Village of Nations:

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Hikes:

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