Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.
People like to complain. About their jobs, their neighbors, their lot in life. People like to complain about Arizona, too. It's too hot, it's too dry, it's too this, it's too that. Admittedly, Arizona isn't perfect — no place is. Nevertheless, there's a lot that's right with Arizona, and we thought the world could use a reminder.
Without ranchers, Arizona's history would need to be rewritten. Whether they're running cattle or sheep, men like Sam Udall and Joe Hall (pictured) and their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have helped maintain a piece of the state's cowboy culture, as well as its ranching heritage. In this image, the men guide their horses up the Little Colorado River, near Eagar. Information:www.100years100ranchers.com
When snow melts, water runs, the ground softens and, eventually, new life emerges. It's the cycle of the seasons, the rebuilding of what Mother Nature has broken down.
Few things in nature are more heart wrenching than the aftermath of a forest fire. Just ask the folks in Flagstaff. Fortunately, Mother Nature has mastered the art of resurrection. On the North Rim Parkway, for example, aspens grow in droves where recent fires wiped out acres of spruce, firs and pines. It's comforting to see how quickly the aspens move in and shoot up when the sun isn't blocked by towering evergreens.
Information: Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center, 928-643-7298 or www.fs.fed.us/r3/kai
With the exception of the Grand Canyon, Arizona is typically associated with the stoic saguaro, which is the largest cactus in the United States. Despite its size, it's slow growing. In the first eight years of its life, saguaros reach heights of only an inch or so. As they begin to age, growth rates vary depending on climate, precipitation and location. An adult saguaro is generally considered to be about 125 years of age, at which point it can weigh 6 tons or more and be as tall as 50 feet. The average life span of a saguaro is 150-175 years; however, biologists believe that some plants can live more than 200 years. Information: Saguaro National Park, 520-733-5153 or www.nps.gov/sagu
Every January, while the world is gearing up for the Super Bowl, wildlife enthusiasts gather at Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in Sulfur Springs Valley to see a show that's equally remarkable: the daily ascension of up to 40,000 sandhill cranes. The exhibition is something to see, but it's also something to hear. The overwhelming cacophony of squawks when the birds take off at sunrise is unlike any other sound in nature. Information: Wings Over Willcox Birding & Nature Festival, 800-200-2272 or www.wingsoverwillcox.comHistory
When Father Francisco Eusebio Kino founded Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1692, he intended it as a place of worship, as well as a Southwestern hub for the spread of Catholicism. It was and it is. But the "White Dove of the Desert" is also one of Arizona's most historic places — one of many. There are more than 40 Arizona sties on the National Register of Historic Places, from San Xavier and Tumacacori to Old Oraibi and beyond. Information: Mission San Xavier del Bac, 520-294-2624 or www.sanxaviermission.orgLandmarks
There are landmarks all around Arizona, but none are as majestic as Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Designed by Mary Jane Colter and reaching a height of 70 feet, the Indian-inspired tower is situated in the perfect spot to capture views of the Painted Desert, the San Francisco Peaks and the Canyon in a single panorama. Information: Grand Canyon National Park, 928-638-7888 or www.nps.gov/grca
Although Fort Bowie was established as a U.S. military outpost less than 150 years ago, the surrounding desert environment has been unkind to its adobe walls. They’re crumbling, but through the safeguarding and maintenance of the fort by National Park Service employees, the National Historic Site remains open to people willing to hike the 3 miles to the monument to discover the details of the bitter conflict between the U.S. Cavalry and the Chiricahua Apaches. Information: Fort Bowie National Historic Site, 520-847-2500 or www.nps.gov/fobo
Vintage CoversArizona Highways covers have changed a lot over the years, from the first black-and-white image in 1925 to today’s full-color stunners. Explore their evolution in our gallery of vintage covers. ... [more]
Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]