This page gives a brief description of the scenic sites and the animals around Arizona that are or will be
covered in our galleries.
Grand Canyon - This is one of the most well-known scenic sites in the world. What most people do not know,
however, is that the Canyon forms some very interesting evidence that calls into question some scientific
assumptions about the formation and age of the earth. One of the most fascinating of such facts is that there
are two layers made of the same material which have been dated by radiometric dating. One is located toward the
bottom of the canyon, while the other is located toward the top. The one on the bottom is dated as being younger
than the one on the top! East of the canyon is a lesser canyon.
Petrified Forest - The logs in this scenic location have been turned to stone, and broken up. In order for
the logs to be turned to stone, they must have been buried quickly. Had they been buried slowly, they would have
decayed before they had a chance to become petrified. There is a Native American ruin within the area, together
with several examples of petroglyph rocks, some of them quite famous.
Painted Desert - The sands of this beautiful location are predominantly red. The area is just north of the
The lovely Lockett Meadow and Schultz Pass are both located in the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff,
Arizona. Also located in the San Francisco Peaks is a ski resort.
Oak Creek Canyon is a beautiful verdant canyon that opens into the valley near Sedona, Arizona.
Sedona is a land of wonderful spires of red rock. The area is said to be the location of a source of vortexes
of energy. Thus, the area tends to draw some very interesting and artistic people. Tlaquepaque is a small
community of shops within Sedona. The name means "The Best of Everything" and the architecture is patterned after
the town of Guadalajara in Mexico.
Sunset Crater - This extinct volcano contains lava flows of both the pahoehoe and aa types. The crater itself
is a cinder cone with a decided reddish cast, hence, the name. The crater was active in the 11th century. Just
north of the crater is the Native American ruin of Wupatki.
Tuzigoot Ruins - These ruins, located near the Arizona town of Cottonwood, are Native American ruins.
Montezuma's Castle - This is a Native American cliff dwelling. Not far away is Montezuma's Well, which also
has Native American ruins.
Arcosanti is a small architectural community where students learn about the architecture of Paolo Soleri. The
apartments are constructed to let in sun in the winter but not the summer. Opening the apartments in the summer
allows natural cooling. The community maintains a small farm to grow grains. A number of the students are also
artists, and facilities for making pottery and other arts are located on the site. Money to support the community
is also raised by selling the famous Soleri windbells.
Picacho Peak - This lovely little mountain was the location of the westernmost battle of the American Civil
War. It is also the location of the famous, if intermittent, spring blooms of poppies.
The Santa Catalina Mountains, Tucson Mountains, Rincon Mountains, and Santa Rita Mountains are all located
near Tucson, Arizona. Mount Hopkins, site of some telescopes, is in the Santa Rita Mountains, near Elephant
Head. The famous Saguaro National Park, which contains columnar cactus made famous in the television show,
High Chaparral, is broken into two parts. The eastern part is located in the Rincon Mountains, and the western
part is located in the Tucson Mountains. The city of Tucson lies in between. There is a small ski resort located
in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Sabino Canyon is also part of that mountain range. Wasson Peak and Safford Peak
are in the Tucson Mountains. Wasson Peak is the tallest peak in the range, and I climbed it at the age of 52. A
couple of the photographs were taken from the summit. The Tortolita Mountains are north of the Tucson
Biosphere II is an artificial habitat located north of the Cataliina Mountains. The attempt was made to seal
off seven people for two years in this environment. The experiment failed, but the facility was then sold to
Columbia University, and remains a point of attraction. It has the largest greenhouse in the world, covering a
number of acres.
Silverbell is a small mining location that dates back to the western frontier. Silverbell Lake, on the other
hand, is located near Tucson. It is named after Silverbell Road, which is the highway going to Silverbell.
Kitt Peak is the home of a rather well-known solar telescope, as well as other telescopes. It is located in
the Quinlan Mountains, which also includes Baboquivari Peak, said to be the home of I'itoi, or Elder Brother, who
plays prominently in the creation myth of the Tohono O'odham, the Native Americans of southern Arizona.
Antelope Canyon is a better known slot canyon in northern Arizona. It was carved out of sandstone by the
rushing waters of the monsoon rains. Slot canyons are narrow at the top, and the sunlight coming through the small
openings at the top reflects off the faces of the sandstone, producing exquisite colors and shapes. The area
around northern Arizona and southern Utah is riddled with slot canyons. To visit Antelope Canyon, one must go with
a tour guide; the Native Americans who own it stopped people from going alone when several people were killed by a
flash flood because they were in the canyon during a rainstorm.
Among the animals featured in the galleries are included some rather interesting ones. Arizona is the home of
eight species of hummingbirds. The Gambel's Quail is a noted bird which forms families for the season. It is
common to see two parents and their brood crossing the road. They sleep in trees, but nest in bushes on the
ground. There are hundreds of other species of birds in the area. Among the animals, the bighorn sheep actually
seem to resemble goats. They are very agile in the mountains. Mule deer, squirrels, cottontail rabbits and
jackrabbits, bobcats, prairie dogs, pronghorn antelope, foxes, ocelots, and a number of kinds of lizards and
snakes are common. One must be careful traveling in northern Arizona because of the prevalence of elk who may
cross the road without warning. Javelina are actually collared peccaries said to be fierce when cornered or
protecting their young, but I have found them personally to be very gentle. However, they like to eat your
prized imported cactus and the seeds left for the wild birds when food is scarce! They will actually eat almost
anything, including your leftovers, if you let them.