I found my passion for petroglyphs while gazing at the walls of Chevelon Canyon within Rock Art Ranch southeast of Winslow, Arizona. Full of amazing ancient drawings etched into sandstone, this canyon is an archaeological treasure trove that allows for the exploration of artifacts and is a must see.
While there, shake the hand of the true blue cowboy cattle rancher, Brantley Baird who runs the ranch, and even grew up there. Each summer, Baird’s Rock Art Ranch hosts 60 students from University of Arizona, working to complete their doctorates in Archaeology. These students help discover relics as they investigate the area. Make it a point to book an appointment to see the enchanting Chevelon Canyon, and the museum caliber collection of Rock Art Ranch’s American Indian artifacts.
En route from Rock Art Ranch to Walnut Canyon in Flagstaff, I stopped for a bite at Winslow’s Turquoise Room at La Posada Hotel and Gardens. Admiring wall upon wall adorned with original works of art, it’s easy to mistake the gorgeous hotel for a museum, but don’t leave without tasting the signature Chile Cream Soup, or the Piki Bread, served with Hopi Hummus.
Meanwhile, the La Posada Trading Post, provides a solution for the suddenly inspired artful eye and begs me to start a collection of my own. This artist-owned enclave attracts an interesting population of inventive people. If you enjoy art and meeting the visionaries who create it, make it a point to stop and have a look around.
Toward the end of my canyon escapades, I walked down Walnut Canyon’s 185 stairs and stepped into the lives lived by those before us. Like one of the Ancient Puebloan peoples, I ducked from the winds blowing through Walnut Canyon. I ran to and from each cliff dwelling along the Island Trail, imagining I was shopping for a cliff dwelling condo to claim as my own. Surprised by the protection and warmth the dwellings provided, my choice wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Each place provided spectacular views of a striking canyon covered in a forest of Ponderosa Pines. I highly recommend the adventure.
A Grand Canyon State resident for 10 years, Kara Woroniec loves any excuse to get active among canyon country.