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Arizona the canadian’s guide to

september 2011

Nowhere Else In America

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Desert Drives

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Play Hard

page 18

Cultural Traditions

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Relax & Recharge

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Ride ’Em Cowboy

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Natural Wonders


So many different landscapes found within the borders of one state

With a climate to be envied, golf is never out of season in Arizona

Active travellers may have a difficult time choosing from Arizona’s long menu of sports and adventure activities

Arizona’s 22 tribes still carry on many spiritual traditions of their ancestors

A gentle side speaks to everyone’s need to relax and recharge by indulging in a little culture or self-care

Wide-open spaces, ranching and mining history and a rich Western heritage of cowboy traditions

An extraordinary mix of desert landscapes, canyon lands and cool pine forests


Printed in Canada

Cover Photo Credit: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Text by: Josephine Matyas

Contents © 2011 by ACT Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved. ISBN 1207-1463

201-2080 Hartley Avenue Coquitlam, BC Canada V3K 6W5 Tel: (604) 699-9990 Fax: (604) 699-9993

23 Canadian Traveller

September 2011



Nowhere else in america

National Park Service

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Country

The majestic Grand Canyon – one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – draws millions of visitors to the state each year. Nothing really prepares a new visitor for their first look into this mighty gash in the Earth’s surface. Ponder the numbers: a 446-kilometre long gorge that plunges to a mile in depth; its rock walls are 1.7 billion years old. Daybreak and twilight are the best times to peer into the gorge – the rocks take on ever-shifting colours with the changing light. Grand Canyon country calls to those that love the outdoors. There are countless adventures (for all skill levels) on biking and hiking trails. The National Park Service offers wonderful interpretive programs to explain the geology, history and wildlife of the area. And, of course, there’s the raft trip of a lifetime – the iconic journey along the Colorado River, following in the footsteps of Major John Wesley Powell, leader of the 1869 expedition that charted the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.

Southern Arizona

The Sonoran Desert cutting along the southern part of the state is the arid landscape dotted with the giant saguaro cacti for which Arizona is so noted. There is beauty in the stillness of the desert landscape. Far from barren, the Sonoran is teeming with flora and fauna – a spectacular introduction to this part of the world is through the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Tucson is a city touched by the culture of the Tohono O’odham Indians and the history of its days as a Spanish colonial outpost. The city’s vibrant intersection of cultures appears in its food, music, language and heritage. Tucson is known for its upscale resorts, artists’ communities and adobe architecture. In the southeast, the Chiricahua Mountains are a fortress of eroded peaks, crags, spires, canyons and cliffs that were once a stronghold of the Apache. Not far away are the old mining towns of Bisbee, Willcox and Douglas, that have found new life as artists’ enclaves and resort stays. At one time, this was the land of the Wild West – towns like Tombstone keep this heritage alive.

nowhere else in america

Arizona. Rugged. Breathtakingly beautiful. A palette of colour. Nowhere else in America are so many different landscapes – desert, pine forests, snow-capped peaks, deep canyons, red mesas – found within the borders of one state. If there is a distinct Arizona style uniting all of these various different landscapes, it has something to do with superlatives. Visitors often come away at a loss for words.

Arizona’s West Coast

The mighty Colorado River forged and defines the state’s long water boundary with neighbouring Nevada and California. The reliable source of water has spun a long, green ribbon of cottonwood-willow forests, cattails and wetlands along the “West Coast.” Hiking trails through state parks and along the shoreline of Lake Havasu are wonderful ways to get in touch with nature. Another famous “ribbon” that crosses the West Coast is the old Route 66, “The Mother Road” that once carried Dust Bowl refugees westward past open desert and through small towns in search of a better life. Route 66 was etched into time by Nat King Cole’s famous hit tune and by John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath. The mighty Colorado widens into Lake Havasu, a popular spot for water sports of all kinds, fishing and – in Lake Havasu City – gambling at the many casino-resorts. As unlikely as it seems, Lake Havasu is home to the original 1824 London Bridge – a local business tycoon bought all 10,276 stones of the English landmark, transported them overseas and had it reassembled at the 44-hectare London Bridge Resort. Hotels, marinas and shopping have all sprung up alongside the relocated landmark. In the southwest part of the state, the community of Yuma lays claim to being the sunniest spot on Earth. Once a crossing point for gold rush hopefuls, today Yuma’s historic district is lined with quirky shops and interesting cafés.

Northern Arizona

The Four Corners region of Northern Arizona has been described as mystical, sacred and spiritual. To the Navajo and Hopi people who make this area their home, the Four Corners (where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah intersect) is all of these things.

Happy Birthday Arizona

lake havasu

In the year 2012, Arizona marks one century of history as a state. Celebratory festivals, special events and centennial projects will mark the 100th year of statehood.


Slated to open in 2012, the new Arizona Experience Museum will be a highly interactive, technology-driven museum showcasing Arizona’s past, present and future. A blend of galleries and exhibits will tell the story of the rich culture, diverse heritage and early entrepreneurship that built the state.

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Greater Phoenix CVB

nowhere else in america

valley of the sun It’s a region of canyons, curvaceous slot canyons, a high desert landscape speckled with red sandstone mesas and buttes, national monuments and protected sites, tiny communities that are specks on the map, the country’s largest tribal lands (the Navajo) and the country’s oldest (the Hopi mesa villages). This part of the state is often overlooked – one glance at a map and it seems that the distances are too far and the communities too few. But there is richness and spirituality in the land and the local culture that is found nowhere else in the state.

Northern Arizona is home to Monument Valley (instantly recognizable from countless westerns), the spiritual Canyon de Chelly where Navajo families still farm on the canyon floor, the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site with its display of world-class woven rugs, the Anasazi ruins at Navajo National Monument, the forbidding Painted Desert… all set against an almost otherworldly backdrop rich in reds, orange, purple and browns.

Dramatic in Setting. Spanish-Mediterranean designed architecture grace this beautiful mountainside resort that overlooks everything yet nothing at all. Impeccable dining options, onsite championship golf, the refreshing Falls Water Village, rejuvenating spa services, and of course, all-suite accommodations, await you at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort.




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Greater Phoenix CVB

Valley of the Sun

arizona’s colourful heritage

The metropolitan area surrounding Phoenix is known collectively as the Valley of the Sun (including the communities of Tempe, Mesa and Scottsdale). Phoenix is a hub – for the arts, world-class museums, national sports teams and events, fivestar resorts and retreats, and dining par excellence. The valley

caught the attention of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most esteemed architect, who built his winter home there. It’s also home to the Heard Museum, with the country’s greatest archive of Native American artifacts. And shopping is not just a pastime in the valley – it’s almost an obsession fed by lifestyle malls, small boutiques and quirky shops to find that one-of-a-kind item. b

Rich in History. Arizona’s favorite oasis is surrounded by spectacular desert mountain vistas, all-suite accommodations, unique dining venues, relaxing spa treatments and acres of refreshing pools and water features at the renowned River Ranch. See for yourself why Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort remains the ‘famous for fun’ Phoenix destination getaway.

1-800-876-4683 27 Canadian Traveller

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Desert Drives

Scottsdale CVB

We-Ko-Pa Golf Club

From the mystical red rocks of Sedona down to the famed fairways in Phoenix’s Valley of the Sun, and on to the ponderosa pine lined greens at Williams, Arizona boasts more than 300 golf courses, each with its own unique terrain and challenges. With a climate to be envied – yes, year round play is the reality – golf is never out of season in Arizona.

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Page Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce

desert drives Lake Powell National Golf Course

Two-thirds of the courses are concentrated in the metropolitan Phoenix area (and many others near Tucson) but the more out-of-the-way parts of the state still boast endless sunshine and dropdead gorgeous scenery, along with the bonus of affordable play, special packages and getaways designed especially for golfers.



September 2011

Want to hit the ball at some top-notch tee off spots? Arizona has something to suit every skill level, budget and landscape preference.

Tucson & South

A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa stretches over

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200 hectares at the foot of the dramatic Tumacacori and Santa Rita Mountain Ranges.The resort’s three nine-hole championship courses were designed by renowned golf course architects Robert “Red” Lawrence and Ken Kavanaugh, and were featured in Kevin Costner’s movie Tin Cup. Practice facilities include a fulllength driving range, putting green, pitching hole and bunker for mastering sand shots.Tubac Golf Resort & Spa has been recognized by Conde Nast Johansens as one of two finalists for the prestigious 2011 Awards for Excellence as The Most Excellent Golf Resort.

Photo courtesy of the Desert Botanical Garden/Adam Rodriguez

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desert drives Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa

For decades, the Omni Tucson National Resort has been hosting prestigious PGA Tour events, played by the very best in the game. Selected as one of Golf Digest’s “75 Best Golf Resorts in North America” the 262-hectare desert resort overlooks the Santa Catalina foothills. As host course for the PGA Tour’s Chrysler Classic of Tucson and the Southern Arizona Open, the resort is home to two distinctly different 18-hole courses. The desert-style target course, designed by Tom Lehman, combines native desert vegetation with strategic fairway bunkering. The PGA pros rank the last hole as one of the most challenging finishing holes on the tour. Designed by world-renowned golf architect Tom Fazio, the award-winning Mountain and Canyon courses of The Lodge at Ventana Canyon are surrounded by lush Sonoran desert vegetation and spotted with towering saguaro cacti. The elevation changes and large rolling greens create exciting challenges for even the most

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experienced golfer. The onsite Ventana Canyon Golf Academy offers half-day and full-day instructional programs. The luxury JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa is surrounded by a forest of saguaro cacti in Tucson Mountain Park. The resort’s three nine-hole courses (Rattler, Coyote and Roadrunner) make up the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Facility along with a doubleloaded driving range, putting and chipping greens, clubhouse and top-quality golf shop with equipment rentals and lessons.

Phoenix – Valley of the Sun

Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort is a daily fee golf facility that consists of two 18-hole courses. In addition, there is a large practice facility and a full service clubhouse. Golfweek has recently ranked the Saguaro course as the number one public access course in Arizona. Within minutes of the Phoenix airport are three championship courses operated by two Native American communities, seamlessly blending the state’s most popular game with the natural desert surroundings. At the luxurious Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, the Whirlwind Golf Club covers 37 hectares of turfed area and 60 hectares of desert landscape of cottonwood, mesquite,

Life is Better when Shared

The Boulders Resort

This unique resort features Native American culture, championship golf, Aji Spa, and AAA Five-Diamond dining at Kai. Enjoy stunning views from every guestroom, four sparkling pools, a 111-foot waterslide and family-friendly activities and events. Enjoy horseback adventures and poolside movies.

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Greater Phoenix CVB

Desert drives tpc stadium course

saguaro and rolling terrain. The club’s two courses – Devil’s Claw and Cattail, both managed by world famous Troon Golf – feature gradual elevation changes, great bunker designs and multi-tiered greens developed to challenge golfers of all skill levels. The third course, in nearby Mesa – the new Toka Sticks (on the site of the former Williams Air Force Base Golf Course) – plays 6,700 yards from the back tees and features some terrific holes that will challenge even the best of players. The greens are some of the best in the valley. 
 Recently ranked “# 1 in the state” by Golfweek, the Talking Stick Golf Club (also managed by Troon Golf) has two uniquely different golf courses in a spectacular desert setting with vistas of the distant mountains. From links-style adventure through the grasslands to a traditional style of play on tree-lined fairways, there are options for golfers of all skill levels. The club offers the best practice facility in the valley, including a huge putting green and a driving range that is 150 yards wide and 360 yards long.


The eal Southwest /Tourism 14

MTCVB | Real-Mission| CT Canadian Traveller - Judy | International |August 2011 | 7.125 x 4.875 no bleed Arizona

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sedona Golf Resort

Sedona CVB

First class golf experiences are part of the facilities at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, home to some of Arizona’s best courses including the TPC Stadium Course (site of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open), the TPC Scottsdale Champions Course and Tom Fazio’s challenging links at the Grayhawk Raptor Course. The onsite Fairmont Leisure Services Team is like having your own personal golf concierge. The Boulders Resort in Scottsdale is home to two championship-level, Jay Morrish-designed courses, listed among the finest in the United States. The resort’s Golf Academy offers immersive, multi-day golf packages and one-on-one instruction. Guests at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale enjoy special privileges at both The Pinnacle and The Monument championship golf courses at Troon North Golf Club, the birthplace and flagship property of Troon Golf. In 2009, Golf Digest named the club among the top 75 best golf resorts in North America. The ball-flight simulator at the club’s Callaway Golf Performance Center provides instant


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desert drive Tucson CVB

desert golfing

feedback on every swing, allowing players to elevate their play using the same advanced technology used by the pros.

Central Arizona

There’s plenty of Western soul in sleepy

Wickenburg, a town of cowboys and ranches just 88 kilometres northwest of Phoenix. Golf Digest Magazine ranked the golf club at Rancho de Los Caballeros as one of the top five rated courses in the Phoenix area and one of the top 100 courses in the US. Set at the foot of the scenic Bradshaw Mountains, this

On Sale September 19th 2012 Wildcat Trail Program Finest Courses in Southern Arizona Free Golf & Discounts Lowest Prices Available

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lush Sonoran desert course offers beautiful driving ranges in rolling terrain, putting greens, and a short game practice area. Along the eastern edge of the White Mountains, the Alpine Golf & Country Club (elevation 2,500 metres) is the highest golf course in the Southwest. Constant breezes create the coolest summer golfing in the state. Alpine’s course fairways are surrounded by dense groves of aspen trees, blue spruce and ponderosa pines, and the majority of greens are small and fast. Designed by course architect Gary Panks, the 18 holes of the Sedona Golf Resort flow through a cedar-strewn valley between the area’s famed red rocks. The championship course receives a continuous four-star rating from Golf Digest. One of the most photographed holes in the western United States, the sweeping view of Cathedral Rock from the tenth hole is often heralded as the most breathtaking in all of Arizona golf.

Northern Arizona

Near Flagstaff, the Continental Country Club Golf Course is an interesting mix of narrow undulating tree-lined fairways and more open, meadow-like holes, with moderate to fast greens.The pros on staff teach all levels from individual to small group classes, as well as regular clinics. At the Lake Powell National Golf Course in Page, the 18-hole championship course sits atop a high mesa with stunning vistas of the Vermillion Cliffs, Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. The course includes full practice facilities with a driving range and two putting greens. Several hotels in the Lake Powell area offer popular “stay and play” packages. The air is cooler at Williams, one of the gateway towns to the Grand Canyon and

Tucson CVB

ventana canyon golf coursE

the home of the municipal Elephant Rocks Golf Course, one of the top courses in Northern Arizona. At 2,100 metres above sea level, Elephant Rocks is a perfect escape from the summertime heat of the valley. The 18-hole course winds through a forest of tall ponderosa pines and tree-lined fairways. In 2000, architect Gary Panks redesigned

the layout, adding nine holes to create championship play while still retaining the character of the original design.

Arizona’s West Coast

Designed by Arnold Palmer, Mesa del Sol Golf Club near Yuma features 18 championship holes of golf in a tranquil desert setting.

A recent renovation of the on course bunkers and upgrading in the clubhouse, the stunning desert setting, plus reasonable green fees make this one of the most picturesque and affordable golfing experiences in the Southwest. At Parker, Golf Digest calls the Emerald Canyon Golf Course – carved out of the landscape overlooking the Colorado River – as the “best bargain in Arizona” and “a fourstar rating.” In addition to the 18-hole par 72 championship course, there are two practice greens, a putting green, lighted driving range and full-service pro shop. Near Lake Havasu City, affordable play is found at The Courses at London Bridge Golf Club where memberships can range from unlimited golf to twilight golf to monthly passes on their two courses. Players have a view of the famous London Bridge (transplanted here in the late 1960s), Lake Havasu and the surrounding high desert. b

Looking for a holiday that has everything from A to Zed? Think Tempe First! With over 300 days of sunshine, take in everything Tempe has to offer—from endless outdoor activities including swimming, hiking, biking and boating to outstanding cuisine and fabulous shopping in the famous Mill Avenue District. For the destination that has it all and more, head south to warmer weather and enjoy a lively, energetic atmosphere that is uniquely Tempe.

Visit or call 800.283.6734 to heat up your next vacation.

37 Canadian Traveller

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rafting the colorado

play hard


Active travellers may have a difficult time choosing from Arizona’s long menu of sports and adventure activities. Add to that a dizzying choice of places to stay – from rustic ranches to luxury resorts to charming B&Bs – and it means they can give-it-their-all during the daytime, and tuck in softly at night.

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Play hard arizona

Hiking & Climbing



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Arizona is a paradise for mountain Page 1 climbers. Just steps from Phoenix, the Seven Summits Challenge attracts experienced climbers who try to scale the area’s seven peaks all within a twoday period. Other popular rock climbing sites are the Superstition Mountains, Mount Lemmon and Jack’s Canyon. In the northern part of the state, a land of dramatic red buttes, spires and deep canyons define the high desert of the Four Corners region. Grand Canyon has hiking choices like no other – multiday, rim-to-rim hikes into the canyon are a popular challenge for the very experienced, but there are plenty of shorter hikes for regular folks. The best hiking trails in curvaceous slot canyons, at Antelope Canyon and Canyon X, are masterpieces of eddying and twisting red sandstone, carved by the forces of wind and water. Stepping out onto the SkyWalk at Eagle Point is a surreal experience – the glass bridge jutting out over the Grand Canyon is suspended 1,200 metres above the Colorado River. It’s a great starting point before heading out onto one of the area’s many trails on terra firma.


Warning: experiencing the majestic landforms of Arizona from above will electrify even the most experienced thrill seeker, and may be addictive. Nothing can prepare you for seeing the Grand Canyon from the seat of a


We’d love to tell you where to go.

helicopter. Flights begin over ponderosa pine forest and then drop over the South Rim revealing spectacular birdseye views. Operators also offers tours from Scottsdale/Phoenix that fly over the Sonoran Desert, the red rocks of Sedona, as well as the Grand Canyon. There’s always peace and solitude in soaring quietly and slowly above the wide-open desert, whether skydiving, gliding or riding in an ultralite plane. Floating serenely in the basket of a hot air balloon is another “once-in-alifetime” experience. SkyVenture Arizona (located between Phoenix and Tucson) simulates skydiving at their state-of-the-art indoor skydiving wind tunnel. Guests can master various flying and aerobatic skills without ever having to jump out of an airplane or use a parachute.

By Bicycle

The South Rim of the Grand Canyon has now added bicycle rentals. Choose from self-guided routes along the greenway trail system or guided tours. And bicyclists can cover a lot more ground by utilizing the park’s bus system, which can carry up to three bikes per bus. With a vast number of rugged and challenging trails, Arizona’s terrain is the perfect match for mountain bikes. In the south, the vast Sonoran Desert and the Santa Catalina Mountains are criss-crossed with mountain biking trails. South Mountain Park in Phoenix has mapped out 82 kilometres of trails from beginner level to expert. The ski

Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon


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lift at Sunrise Park Resort in the heart of the White Mountains is outfitted with special bike carriers to shuttle equipment to the top of Sunrise Mountain. In the Verde River basin area, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park is zigzagged with 80 kilometres of multi-use trails. In Sedona, marked trails offer spectacular views of the area’s beautiful red sandstone formations. Tucson has been named one of the country’s most bicycle-friendly cities. The city’s network of bike paths and special events like the Tour de Tucson earned it the accolade from Bicycling Magazine.

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Guided tours along marked trails reveal the awesome beauty of the world-famous Kartchner Caverns in the southern part of the state. And, Colossal Cave Mountain Park near Tucson offers guided walking tours into the world of cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites and helictites.

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Water lovers might not think of the Grand Canyon State as a destination of lakes and rivers, but they’d be missing out on some of the best boating and rafting in the Southwest. The vivid blue waters of Lake Powell, encircled by red and orange cliff walls, are especially popular for houseboating vacations. The Navajo Nation owned and operated Antelope Marina offers custom houseboat rentals – from luxury craft to a DIY rental to fit any budget.


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Sedona CVB

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Metropolitan Tucson CVB

Play hard arizona Sonoran Desert With over 600 kilometres of shoreline, boating, parasailing and fishing are very popular on Lake Havasu along the region known as Arizona’s West Coast. Rafting Arizona’s rivers can be the adventure of a lifetime, and a wonderful way to spot wildlife. Outfitters throughout the state offer half-day to multi-day adventures down waterways including the Salt River Canyon, Verde River and the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Forever Resorts

Where the sun shines.

Motor Sports

The thrill of the open road takes on a new meaning when you’re travelling on two wheels – especially in Arizona’s near-perfect riding weather. Twisty backroads and a kaleidoscope of scenery make it the destination for those embracing the motorcycle lifestyle. Local tour operators offer dozens of guided tours for bikers (lasting from three days to two weeks) covering areas like Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Route 66 and the White Mountains. As well, riders can sign on to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime event, the Arizona Centennial Ride planned for February 2012. It’s perfectly acceptable to “put the pedal to the metal” at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler. Half-day to four-day courses for beginners to experienced racers teach participants to drive like track professionals.



September 2011

Scottsdale CVB

Forever Resorts is an authorized Concessioner of the USDA Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Department of Interior to serve the public in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Antelope Point Marina is owned and operated by Antelope Point Holdings L.L.C., an authorized Concessioner of the National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Arizona is home to some of the finest ski resorts in the Southwest. At Sunrise Park Resort, near Show Low, skiers and snowboarders from beginner to expert can swoosh down 65 ski runs spread over three peaks. The resort also offers wintertime sleigh rides, tubing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, sledding, cross-country trails and ski rentals and lessons. Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff is one of the oldest continuously operated ski resorts in the US.


A new concept aimed squarely at men has come to Parker, on the Colorado River along Arizona’s West Coast. ManCation Nation provides a package of extreme sports – like wakeboarding, sky skiing, water skiing, wake surfing, tubing and parasailing – exotic weapons, off-roading, fishing and golf. b

Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

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Winter sports

Canadian Traveller 42

Distinctively Different

See why TripAdvisor readers ranked this stylishly remodeled hotel as one of Scottsdale’s top three. Spacious suites feature the Gainey Suite Dreams Bed, elegant marble baths and new LCD flat-screen TVs with 36 Hi-Def channels, plus free WiFi throughout the property. Each day guests enjoy a complimentary full hot breakfast buffet and evening reception with hot & cold appetizers, beer, wine & soft drinks. Check out the lush, oasislike courtyard, pool and fitness center. Next door, explore great boutiques and restaurants, play Scottsdale’s best golf courses or pamper yourself at The Spa–Gainey Village. 7300 E. Gainey Suites Dr. Scottsdale, AZ 800-970-4666 480-922-6969

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cultural traditions A cultural cornerstone for many Native Americans is the intimate bond they share with the land. Traditionally, all things – people, animals, birds, plants, the sun, rain – are sacred and interconnected. The people of Arizona’s 22 tribes still carry on many spiritual traditions of their ancestors. And these traditions are important to the people of these tribes. Respect that Arizona’s reservations and pueblos are sovereign nations with their own customs and tribal laws. Always travel with an open mind, a sense of respect and adventure.

Connect Through Festivals

Sacred Lands

Visitors can discover the roots of a nation in the timeless landscape and abundance of Native American heritage, customs and traditions throughout Arizona. The northeast corner of the state, known as the Four Corners,

Photos AOT

Visiting tribal lands and witnessing a cultural festival is a way to experience a rich tapestry of Native American ceremony, art, cuisine and custom. Each spring, Hopi katsina doll carvers gather to show and sell their unique creations at the Heard Museum’s Hopi Katsina Doll Marketplace.The Museum also hosts the World Championship of Hoop Dancing, a

unique sport filled with dazzling performances. Every December the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Indian Market features Native American artists – just in time for a little holiday shopping! Summertime in Flagstaff marks the annual Navajo Rug Auction, an excellent opportunity to learn about Native American art.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument



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is home to the Navajo Nation, and the largest tribal lands in North America. Many of the sacred, mystical sites have been well preserved as national monuments and historical sites. Three ancient cliff dwellings at Navajo National Monument are still intact today. Park staff lead guided tours or there are selfguided educational trails that identify flora and fauna and their significance to the Navajo and Hopi cultures. Described as “the most sacred place on Earth,” the majestic Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a stunning landscape of precipitous gorges, towering red rock spires, fertile farmland and ancestral Pueblo ruins. Roads and short hiking trails line the rims, but the only way to explore the canyon bottom is on a Navajo-led tour. One of the most recognizable sights in the world, the dreamlike landscape of red sandstone spires, buttes and mesas of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park straddles Arizona’s border with Utah.The historic Goulding’s Trading Post contains a lodge, gift shop and small museum with highlights from the many westerns filmed

in the area. Navajo guides provide fascinating jeep tours into the backcountry; otherwise visitors must stay to the bumpy 30-kilometre loop road. At the edge of Lake Powell is the world’s largest known natural bridge, the Rainbow Bridge, a span of sandstone symbolizing rainfall and fertility to the Navajo.There are two hiking trails and guided tours available. The five, blue-green waterfalls of the Havasupai Tribal lands can only be accessed by hike, horseback or helicopter. The reward is a camping or lodge stay well off the beaten track! The Hopi Cultural Center in Second Mesa explains the spiritual ways of the Hopi people, one of the continent’s oldest civilizations.The small villages on the three mesas of Hopiland have breathtaking views over the lower desert, and hold colourful events like Katsina dances. Many sacred ceremonies are closed to the public, so it is best to check first and to follow respectful decorum at all times.The new Moenkopi Legacy Inn is the first hotel built on Hopi tribal land in half a century.The hotel offers guided tours to the Hopi villages. Just north of Phoenix, in the Verde Valley, Montezuma Castle National Monument is a 20-room prehistoric cliff dwelling, once home to the Sinagua Indians.The structure is considered the harbinger of the pueblo-style architecture now seen across the Southwest. Living on the flatlands of the Sonoran Desert near Tucson, the Tohono O’odham – known as the “Desert People” – are renowned for their basketry skills. Third largest in the US, the Tohono O’odham Tribal Lands are lined by mountain peaks sacred to the culture.

Take A Chance

Arizona’s tribal-run, upscale gaming operations across the state now include 18 casinos with slot machines, gaming tables, cards and bingo halls. In addition to gambling, many casino-resorts showcase top-notch live entertainment and stage shows with dining options from casual poolside bars to five-star cuisine featuring top national chefs. The 15-storey Talking Stick casino-resort east of Scottsdale features almost 500 deluxe rooms and suites, luxurious spa as well as a martini and cigar bar. Desert Diamond Casinos in Tucson are open seven days a week for slots, keno, bingo and table games. The Blue Water Resort and Casino in Parker has non-stop casino action with 475 slot machines, blackjack, poker and bingo. b

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The Grand Canyon State’s gentle side speaks to everyone’s need to relax and recharge by indulging in a little culture or self-care. A wide choice of ranch stays, luxurious spas and well-serviced resorts make great destinations for weddings, honeymoons, romantic getaways, reunions and retreats. And there’s a real culture charge on the music and museum scene that will keep visitors energized.



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Love Is In The Air

There are few spots in the world that can match Arizona’s wide variety of romantic backdrops – perfect for a wedding or honeymoon. From red rocks to picturesque mountain ranges and rustic guest ranches to lavish resorts – all under more than 300 days of sunshine a year – Arizona is an easy wedding destination to sell. At sunset, the red rocks of Sedona glow a spectacular crimson. With near-perfect weather, there are endless possibilities for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. Nature lovers can say their vows under the “wedding tree” at Red Rock State Park. The Grand Canyon’s magnificent Shoshone Point overlooking the South Rim is an unbeatable backdrop for wedding photos. Garden lovers would be happy among the wildflowers of Lockett Meadow at the base of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. A ceremony barefoot among the grapevines of a vineyard may be just the ticket for a pair of gastronomes. The romance of Western history is never far away in atmosphere-steeped towns like Tombstone and Bisbee. In Tombstone, couples can exchange their vows under the sweet-scented canopy of the world’s largest Lady Banks rose tree. The Victorian-style bed and breakfast inns and gourmet restaurants of Bisbee are part of the old mining town’s renaissance as an artists’ enclave. In some of the smaller, historic communities like Prescott and Jerome, territorial-era churches still have the original stained glass windows and wood plank floors. In Arizona, even the cities are known for jaw-dropping settings, quaint bed & breakfasts and luxury resorts. In Phoenix, the Sonoran Desert and the drama of peaks like Camelback Mountain are home to high-end properties like The Boulders or the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Both use the ancient desert landscape to create romantic settings for both ceremony and reception. In Tucson, Spanish and Mexican heritage is reflected in the many charming adobe hotels and upscale guest resorts.

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Ranches & Retreats

With so many different landscapes – from deserts to canyons to forested mountains – there’s something for everyone’s dream holiday, from girlfriend getaways to family bonding time. There’s no more authentic Western experience than on a ranch stay. Immerse yourself as much as you’d like – from 47 Canadian Traveller

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relax & recharge musical instrument museum

riding the trails to hanging out at night to count the stars in the Western sky. Ranch stays are family-friendly and fun girlfriend (or guy) getaways. Properties like Rancho de los Caballeros (Wickenburg) and Tanque Verde Ranch (Tucson) are members of The Dude Ranchers’ Association. New Age meets Old West at the eco-friendly Sunglow Ranch near the Chiricahua Mountains where yoga, cooking, writing and photography workshops can be part of the vacation.

Sedona’s worldwide reputation as a spiritual energy centre means no shortage of places to rejuvenate and reenergize. The Mii amo spa at Enchantment Resort was ranked the world’s best destination spa by Travel & Leisure. Their focus is on all-inclusive spa retreat journeys including meals and two spa treatments daily. The Amara Resort and the Hilton Sedona Resort are two other Sedona properties that offer renewing spa experiences and upscale accommodations.

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The multi-layered heritage of Native American and Hispanic cultures has left a strong mark on the musical traditions of Arizona. At one time performance theatre was huge – many of the grand halls have been transformed into modern facilities now home to groups like the Phoenix Metropolitan Opera (Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix) and the Fox Tucson Theatre. Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum, the world’s first museum of ethnic, folk and tribal musical instruments from around the globe, has now become an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Guests can listen to a multimedia collection of more than 12,000 world instruments – the sounds of various instruments are played through wireless headsets as you move from display to display. Rich musical heritage comes alive at many exhibits and festivals: • Fiesta del Tlaquepaque in Sedona celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month (September) • Mexican Day of the Dead is commemorated in Tucson and at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff (October) • Music in the Garden Fall Concert Series brings the musical spirit of the Southwest to life at The Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix

Museum Tales

What better way to understand the Native American culture of ceremony, artistry, symbolism and deep traditions than with a visit to one of the state’s many museums? In Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona’s enormous collection is a treasure trove of knowledge on tribal history, traditional weaving, pottery, katsinas and jewelry, as well as the geology and biology of the Colorado Plateau. The Explore Navajo Interactive Museum near Tuba City in the Four Corners region approximates the journey Navajo take through life. The

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museum is divided into four quadrants, a number with special significance to the Navajo. The Heard Museum in Phoenix’s arts district showcases the cultural heritage of Native peoples – it’s a must-see introduction to the founding heritage and art of the Southwest. Indoor and outdoor galleries show innovative programs, festivals, music, dance and world-class Native American fine art. The Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix sits at the 1,500-year-old ruins of a prehistoric Hohokam village. Visitors can walk the ruin trails, see an excavated ball court and view reproductions of Hohokam homes.

The influence of the state’s earliest Native residents is reflected in Arizona’s love for designs that integrate function with the surrounding environment. Some of America’s pre-eminent architects – Frank Lloyd Wright, Mary Jane Coulter – made the Arizona desert their homes, drawn by the inspiration of the landscape and the ancient cultures. Frequently called “the greatest American architect of all time,” Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, Taliesin West, at the foot of the McDowell

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Mountains is now headquarters of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Tours allow the public to experience Wright’s craftsmanship and learn about the famous architect’s philosophies and theories of design. Wright influenced the architecture of Phoenix and Scottsdale, leaving his mark on several buildings in the valley area. Along historic Route 66, in Winslow, an architectural treasure described as “the last great railroad hotel” has been rated by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the best places in the world to stay. With its sustainable desert gardens and awardwinning Turquoise Room restaurant, La Posada is the hacienda-style masterpiece of famed American architect Mary Jane Colter. Colter’s design touch also shaped several of the National Park Service landmark hotels and structures along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Considered a work of art, the luminous Mission San Xavier del Bac (“White Dove of the Desert”) is one of the country’s finest examples of Spanish Colonial architecture. A National Historic Landmark, it’s distinctive for its two-metre thick walls of adobe brick and interior decorations of paintings, statuary and murals.

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At Tubac, home of the first Spanish settlement in Arizona, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park preserves the ruins of the original presidio and a territorial schoolhouse. Close by are the ruins of three Spanish colonial missions at the Tumacácori National Historic Park.

A Cultural Renaissance

Many visitors come to Arizona in search of colourful Navajo rugs, intricate jewelry, woven baskets and carved Hopi katsina dolls. Part of the fun is the opportunity to buy from the artisan or tribe member at an historic trading post or roadside stand. The Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado is a National Historic Site and the oldest

navajo jewelry

trading post in the Navajo Nation. It’s also a good spot for the serious collector to purchase high quality Navajo rugs, Pueblo katsina dolls, pottery and paintings in an historic location. Just 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon, the sandstone and log Cameron Trading Post offers a variety of Native American and Southwest art from handmade originals to more contemporary dreamcatchers and flutes. The Hopi Mesas north of Winslow and Flagstaff are known for brightly-painted katsina dolls representing the sacred spirits, coiled baskets and fine pottery. Galleries and museum gift shops in Tucson, Flagstaff, Sedona and Phoenix showcase original works – a good bet is the Heard Museum gift shop. b

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Loops 101 and 202 along the edge of Tempe Town Lake




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Taliesin west

Greater Phoenix CVB tempemarketplace

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Arizona is a land of wide-open spaces, ranching and mining history and a rich Western heritage of cowboy traditions. The rough ’n’ tumble landscape attracted those hardy individuals seeking fortunes in the new frontier. Peppered across the state are remnants of mining camps and ghost towns, stagecoach stops, ranches, historic railway lines, trail riding operations and dude ranches from basic to luxurious.

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Yuma CVB

Ride ‘em cowboy yuma territorial prison state historic park

Towns like Prescott, Bisbee and Jerome still maintain the territorial feel, giving a glimpse into life for the Western frontiersmen who settled the area in the early 1900s. Many of these small towns had their roots in the mining rush that opened up the West. Get a first hand look on a mining train deep into the tunnels on the Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee. In Tombstone – site of the Gunfight at the OK Corral – visitors can stroll along wooden sidewalks and soak up the atmosphere of one of Arizona’s oldest Western towns. The new Virgil’s Corner B&B has opened on the former homesite of famed Tombstone police chief, Virgil Earp. Earp is best known as the brother of Wyatt Earp, a lawman who went down in history as the toughest and deadliest gunman of his day. At Estrella Mountain Regional Park riders can don chaps, boots and a cowboy hat and experience the Sonoran Desert cowboy style on the back of a gentle trail horse. Ranches and trail ride operations can be found across the state. Visitors can experience a horse of a different kind – the “steel horse” of the steam engine railroad that first brought pioneers to Arizona in the late 1800s. The new Pivot Point Interpretive Plaza in Yuma features a restored 1907 Baldwin steam locomotive and the magic of a little 21st century technology to tell the story of how the West was opened up when the railway came through. Two other vintage railways in the state have become popular tourist attractions. The Grand Canyon Railway operates between Williams and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The historic rail line has been shuttling visitors to see the Grand Canyon



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since 1901. The fully restored rail cars of the Verde Canyon Railroad (near Sedona) make the voyage from the old mining town of Clarkdale to the Perkinsville ghost ranch, travelling a scenic route once used by the copper industry. Each February, the town of Wickenburg celebrates Gold Rush Days, a celebration of the area’s rich Wild West heritage. Festivities include a shoot-out on Frontier Street, and a rodeo that attracts cowboys from across the country. The annual Wyatt Earp Days in the town of Tombstone (“The Town Too Tough to Die”) feature a re-enactment competition of the famous shoot-out at the OK Corral. Locals dress in Old West fashion of the 1880s and there are stagecoach rides, a chili cook-off, and mock gunfights. Mix a little Hollywood with the Old West feel at Old Tucson Studios, an entertainment venue and working film shoot location voted “Best Western Movie Set” by True West magazine. The studio is a re-creation of a Western town, complete with rustic storefronts. Visitors can see saloon musicals, gunfights and stunt shows, Old West dramas, head out on a trail ride or try their hand at panning for gold. For something completely different, every year the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott draws dozens of performers who bring their cowboy poetry and music to the stage to share the culture of the American cowboy. Rodeos are a long-held tradition in Arizona – once a way for cowboys to showcase their skills, today rodeo has achieved the status of an Metropolitan Tucson CVB

Capturing That Wild West feeling


international sport, with competitions being held across the state. Prescott Frontier Days – the World’s Oldest Rodeo – is a centuryold Arizona tradition. The Navajo Nation Fair Rodeo in Window Rock is an important part of Native American tribal culture and includes bull riding, team roping and steer wrestling competitions.

Ranch stays

There is no better way to enjoy a true western experience than to stay at one of Arizona’s many guest ranches. The area around Wickenburg has several ranches that open their doors – and gates – to visitors looking for a little desert solitude and relaxation, a romantic getaway, a family reunion, or a trail riding vacation. The Apache Spirit Ranch, on the site of a former working ranch just east of Tombstone, brings together the atmosphere of the old west and the luxuries of a contemporary resort. Themed accommodations, romantic campfires and spectacular sunsets are all part of the Old West experience. Rancho de los Caballeros honours the skilful riding and gracious living style of the



September 2011

in private casitas decorated in vintage style, dine at The Grill, the resort’s award-winning restaurant, and saddle up for trail rides, including moonlight rides and daytime trips to explore the desert terrain.

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Spanish caballeros. Many guests come for the rugged trail rides (8,000 hectares of lush open range, 100 saddle horses and seasoned wranglers) but the resort also has an awardwinning golf course and spa. The smaller Flying E Ranch has been a dude and working cattle ranch since 1946, offering a more home-like atmosphere to ranch living, wrangler guided trial rides, chuck wagon feeds and hay wagon trips. One of the oldest ranches in southern Arizona is Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Today, the ranch has moved a bit upscale from its authentic ranching roots – guests stay

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The riches that lay beneath the ground were the magnets for many who came to explore the region. The displays at the Arizona Historical Society trace history from the Spanish conquistadors to statehood. Displays include recreations of underground mine tunnels and 18th-century Spanish silver artifacts. To the east of Phoenix, the rugged spires of the Superstition Mountains are home to Lost Dutchman State Park, named after a fabled lost gold mine, which, according to legend is rich in gold ore. Hiking trails are a popular way to explore the park. At Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park visit a slice of Western history at the Arizona Territory’s first prison. Now a museum, the building houses photographs and colourful exhibits of the 3,069 prisoners who, a century ago, lived within the prison walls. b

National Parks Service

natural wonders An extraordinary mix of desert landscapes, canyon lands, cool pine forests and the power of the Colorado River create a range of ecozones‌ and a generous sampling of ecoadventures and green travel opportunities. No other region in North America offers the broad spectrum of life zones found in Arizona. It is all connected by the Arizona Trail, a nationally designated, 1,300-kilometre scenic route linking the state’s mountains, deserts, canyons and forests from north to south.

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Arizona is known for its canyons – more than five million people come to Grand Canyon National Park each year, making it one of the most visited natural attractions in the world. The new Trail of Time is a 4.65-km geologic interpretive trail along the South Rim – each metre of the trail represents one million years in geologic history. Adventuresome hikers can head off the beaten path, walking rim-to-rim through the mile-deep gorge. Local guides lead hikes through the hauntingly beautiful, red sandstone slot canyons of Antelope Canyon and Canyon X, where the power of water has sculpted the dramatic curved walls. At sunrise and sunset the canyon walls glow a warm red. The spellbinding Sonoran Desert sprawls across much of southern Arizona and it’s here you find that iconic sentinel of the desert, the multi-armed, saguaro cactus. The best introduction to the desert ecosystem is at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo, botanical garden and natural history museum near Tucson. In the nearby Catalina Foothills, the elegant Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch is a Tucson landmark, recognized by National Geographic as a geotourism destination. After a day of eco-exploration, guests can relax in The Grill, the ranch’s award-winning

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restaurant named “Tucson’s Most Romantic Dining.” A landscape of dramatic red buttes, spires and deep canyons define the high desert of the Four Corners region (where the northeast part of the state intersects with New Mexico, Colorado and Utah). Popular activities include rafting the Colorado River



September 2011

through Grand Canyon or exploring the ruins of ancient communities at Canyon de Chelley or Wupatki National Monument. Nature shows her true colours watching the colours shift on the surrealistic landscape of The Painted Desert, and exploring the world’s largest and best preserved collection of petrified wood at Petrified Forest National

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Park where the stories of climate and geological forces are told in the logs captured as colourful crystal patterns of petrified wood. Skirting the sagebrush-studded border between Arizona and Utah, Monument Valley’s dreamlike landscape of red spires, buttes and mesas is explored by driving or hiking the loop road. Near the south border of the Four Corners region, two natural disasters have left their mark: Meteor Crater (two kilometres wide and 60 storeys deep) is the spot where a meteorite crashed into the Earth; and Sunset Crater National Monument is an eerie landscape of deep cinders and lava flows, left behind when an ancient volcano blew its top a millennium ago. There’s a spiritual beauty to the startling red rock spires and buttes of Sedona. New Age gurus claim that the spectacular

Scottsdale CVB

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sandstone formations contain intersections of high energy called vortexes. Sedona Trail Finder is an interactive database of more than 100 Sedona-area trails with the ability to match each hiker’s ability to the perfect trail choice. The evenings can be a chance to recharge and luxuriate: Grand Canyon, Sedona, Page and Lake Powell all offer a range of hotels (from the historic El Tovar National Park lodge on the canyon rim, to the AAA four-diamond Adobe Grand Villas in Sedona where fresh baked bread is prepared in your villa upon arrival). The Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn claims “the world’s largest, deepest, darkest motel room.” Sixty-one metres below the surface, the new Grand Cavern Suite is entirely devoid of any natural light or sound.

If Yuma, Arizona is your winter home, then Silver Care is for you! Silver Care is a free comprehensive program of health-related benefits including exclusive activities, educational programs, a newsletter and discounts for people age 55 and older.

The Skies Above

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As the last light fades from the sky, stillness descends over the desert, and the heavens are filled with twinkling stars – it’s hard to beat the show put on by the moon and the constellations. Blessed with temperate weather and clear night skies, the state is an astronomer’s dream, and home to a wide variety of observatories, night-time astronomy programs and events to bewitch everyone from stargazing newbies to seasoned skywatchers. The new San Pedro Valley Observatory in Benson offers a high-quality,

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Metropolitan Tucson CVB

natural cardinal in the desert educational astronomy experience with three brand-new telescopes. At the Kitt Peak National Observatory southwest of Tucson, the collection of 26 telescopes includes the world’s largest solar telescope. Guided tours and nightly observing programs provide a great chance to view planets and distant galaxies.

In the clear mountain air above Flagstaff, the historic Lowell Observatory houses the 13-inch Pluto Discovery Telescope, used in the discovery of the distant dwarf planet. In 2011, the new seven-storey Discovery Channel Telescope will start operations. Solar viewing, portable planetarium shows, telescopes and guided tours are all part of

the educational programming. Skygazers who don’t want to stray beyond the city limits can visit the Dorrance Planetarium at the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix. The facility is one of only five in the world to use NanoSeam dome technology, for an immersive experience. Observing the show in the night sky has become a popular activity at resorts that are offering special weekend stays with an astronomy theme. Sunglow Ranch, The Boulders Resort, Camelback Inn, Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale and JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort can all make arrangements for stargazing experiences.

On A Birdwatch?

With a temperate climate and a wide diversity of ecozones, Arizona is a bonanza for birders looking to check new species off their list (in fact, birding is southern Arizona’s number one activity). In the desert, pine forests, arid plateaus and remote canyons, hundreds of species of birds pass through a green corridor as they migrate from northern nesting grounds to southern wintering climes. Birding hotspots like Ramsey Canyon Preserve, the Huachuca Mountains, Verde Valley and Sedona attract serious birders who return year after year. This year, two areas of the state received Global Impor tant Bird Area designations by BirdLife International, an alliance of conservation organizations and the leading authority on the status of birds and their habitats. The Chiricahua Mountains in the southeast corner of the state and Anderson Mesa, southeast of Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest, were identified as impor tant habitats of globally threatened bird species. b



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September 2011 Arizona Destination Guide  

Arizona. Rugged. Breathtakingl y beautiful. A palette of colour. Nowhere elsein America are so many different landscapes – desert , pine for...