Arizona was the 48th and last of the contiguous states admitted to the United States. Arizona is noted for its desert climate, exceptionally hot summers, and mild winters, but the high country in the north features pine forests and mountain ranges with cooler weather than the lower deserts. The largest stand in the world of Ponderosa pine trees is contained in Arizona. The Mogollon Rim, a 2,000-foot escarpment, cuts across the central section of the state and marks the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The Grand Canyon is a colorful, steep-sided gorge, carved by the Colorado River, in northern Arizona. The canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is largely contained in the Grand Canyon National Park — one of the first national parks in the U.S. The Internet Brothers enjoyed a week in Arizona in June 2007. Go directly to the Arizona Photo Gallery.
Located in the Hualapai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon West is approximately 120 miles east of Las Vegas, NV, and 72 miles northwest of Kingman, AZ. Available attractions include the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the Indian Village with authentic Native American dwellings, The Hualapai Market, and The Hualapai Ranch, a western town with horseback and wagon rides. Grand Canyon West is the only location throughout the Grand Canyon where visitors can access the river and water recreation activities at the bottom of the canyon via helicopter tours.
Within the Indian Reservation you can take one-day whitewater raft trips in the Grand Canyon. Begin early in the morning with a ride to Diamond Creek. Launch into the water in your raft and immediately encounter your first set of rapids — a taste of what lies downstream. Pull over on the south side of the canyon to begin a moderate hike to Travertine Falls. Return to the river where the water disappears from the horizon below the towering canyon walls, dropping into a caldera, a boulder-choked chute of solid white water! After about five hours on the river, enjoy a helicopter ride out of the canyon to the rim above.
In this alternative canyon that is Grand Canyon West, the helicopters can dip deeply because they've been excused from federal restrictions that keep flights in the national park above the rim. The boats and rafts float more frequently too. The Hualapai being a sovereign nation helps a lot with federal red tape. Anyway, the helicopters come right to the riverside to pick you up at the end of the raft trip. The view from the air is stupendous.
The perspective is different in Oak Creek Canyon. The main road runs through the canyon, and your experience is mainly looking up at the natural wonders as opposed to Grand Canyon where most people look down from the rim. Due to the high elevation, Oak Creek Canyon's bottom is well watered and predominantly wooded. It is a primary escape spot for Arizona's desert dwellers during the summer. Oak Creek Canyon offers great scenic hiking, fishing, and access to wilderness areas — a remarkably beautiful region in Arizona's diverse geology.
Sedona, AZ is the gateway to spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in Oak Creek Canyon and the surrounding Red Rock Country of Arizona's Mogollon Rim. The town also offers world-class resorts, shopping, arts and crafts. The collection of Sedona's impressive, natural endowments also includes the 1.8 million-acre Coconino National Forest, which essentially engulfs this city and encompasses seven intriguing wilderness areas. Indigenous flora includes the agave parryi or century plant. Century plants bloom only once in their life. The blooming spike is so large and grows so fast that it saps all the resources of the plant, which then dies, leaving a tall wooden seed stalk.
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