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#1 ski3pin

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 03:11 PM

The Lady and I accepted an invitation to visit cousins wintering south of Tucson in early winter. This will be a little different trip for us as there will be no long hikes into the backcountry, our usual focus. The Lady is doing well but still in recovery and rehab mode.

 

So the question, things to see, places to visit, quiet overnight suggestions for - big picture only - between Las Vegas and Tucson for the trip there and back?

 

We are curious what your suggestions will be. Thank you.


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#2 billharr

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 03:37 PM

Just a few we have enjoyed along the way.  These do not require a lot of hiking. 

 

Saguaro National Park

 

Drive to the top of Mt Lemmon the view is worth the drive. First Mt peak named for a woman.

 

Casa Grande Ruins

 

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

 

EDIT:  Further south but we enjoyed Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

 

I would assume you have been to the Grand Canyon, like Yosemite lots of crowds but a must see. 


Edited by billharr, 01 November 2021 - 03:44 PM.

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#3 AWG_Pics

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 03:41 PM

Painted Rocks Petroglyph site and BLM campground. Nice widely spaced campsites and an astonishing number of petroglyphs that are just a few feet from a parking area, which is only a couple hundred yards from the campsites. Not heavily used.

 

https://www.google.c...3.0495987?hl=en


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#4 Stray Dog

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 03:50 PM

A bit out of the way perhaps but how about a night at La Posada?  (Winslow, not Tucson)

 

nuttin like it...

 

https://laposada.org/


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#5 JHanson

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 05:47 PM

As mentioned, do not miss the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, actually a world-class zoo and research center.

 

San Xavier Mission is well worth a stop and right off the freeway heading south from Tucson; however, check to see if it is open before you go. The community has been covid-closed for a year.


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#6 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 07:03 PM

Patagonia for fantastic birding, both the lake area and in town.  Maybe go over to the Chiricahua NM or Cochise’s stronghold.  Reservations needed at Patagonia Lake, but I think it’s worth it.


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#7 AWG_Pics

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 11:01 PM

We spent a night here a couple of years ago. Nice campsites and some short and medium trails. Very easy access off the Interstate.

 

https://www.google.c...3.8847105?hl=en


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#8 AWG_Pics

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Posted 01 November 2021 - 11:09 PM

Kartchner Caverns has a spectacular pair of caves, nice trails  and a nice campground. Best to get reservations for the caves and campground. The Ocotillo trail is about 4 plus miles and very interesting. Saw no one when we hiked it in late April.

 

 

https://www.google.c...0.3488848?hl=en


Edited by AWG_Pics, 01 November 2021 - 11:12 PM.

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#9 OutToLunch

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 06:22 AM

Chiricahuas east of Tucson are worth a visit.  There is boondocking along Pinery Creek just south of the monument.  If you are lucky in the Chirachahuas, you might see coatis.

 

There is a really sweet camping site at the Verde River Sheep Bridge in the Tonto NF.  Long drive in (36 miles) and the last three miles are pretty rough, which is good as it limits use.   Bloody Basin Road, just south of Cordes Junction on I17.  Takes you through Aqua Fria NM.

 

if you are into funky old mining/now artists towns, both Jerome and Bisbee are worth it.  Bisbee is south of Tucson and on the border.  Copper mining.  Jerome is south of Flagstaff.  Silver mining.  I prefer the back road from Williams to Jerome which takes you up the old rail bed.  Most people drive up the paved road from Clarksdale. 

 

if you are into astronomy, there is Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.  Lots of the boondocking sites closest to Flagstaff have been closed by the Forest Service in the last few years, but there are plenty of possibilities a little further out.  For museums, the Museum of Northern Arizona has a fine collection of native artifacts.  
 

On 180 between Valle and Flagstaff, there is Red Mountain.  Geologically interesting as it is a volcanic cinder cone with one side sheared off.  Short hike in.

 

East of Flagstaff is Wupatki/Sunset Crater.  Wupatki has a host of native ruins, while Sunset Crater has a host of volcanic features to explore. Also Walnut Canyon for Native ruins. 
 

The rim drive along the Mogollon Rim east of Clints Well offers nice views.  You can camp along the rim.


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#10 ski3pin

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 02:31 PM

A big thank you to all for your suggestions.

 

 

Just a few we have enjoyed along the way.  These do not require a lot of hiking. 

 

Saguaro National Park

 

Drive to the top of Mt Lemmon the view is worth the drive. First Mt peak named for a woman.

 

Casa Grande Ruins

 

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

 

EDIT:  Further south but we enjoyed Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

 

I would assume you have been to the Grand Canyon, like Yosemite lots of crowds but a must see. 

 

Bill, thanks! We know Organ Pipe from our previous visit and also the fantastic Sonora Desert Museum. Weather prohibited a trip up Mt. Lemmon last trip, perhaps this time. :) We're looking at the other suggestions.

 

Painted Rocks Petroglyph site and BLM campground. Nice widely spaced campsites and an astonishing number of petroglyphs that are just a few feet from a parking area, which is only a couple hundred yards from the campsites. Not heavily used.

 

https://www.google.c...3.0495987?hl=en

 

Thanks! Not heavily used and with rock art. :)

 

A bit out of the way perhaps but how about a night at La Posada?  (Winslow, not Tucson)

 

nuttin like it...

 

https://laposada.org/

 

What a great suggestion!

 

As mentioned, do not miss the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, actually a world-class zoo and research center.

 

San Xavier Mission is well worth a stop and right off the freeway heading south from Tucson; however, check to see if it is open before you go. The community has been covid-closed for a year.

 

Thanks for your additions. We've spent a long day at the museum and highly recommend visiting. I expect that San Xavier is on our cousin's itinerary for us, if it is open. We see it across the valley from their place.  :)


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