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Arizona to Idaho
WHAT TO EXPECT

You'll see a sample of everything you think of when you hear of “the old southwest” along this
route -- cliff dwellings of early cultures; mining towns, now abandoned; and adobe remains
contrast with today’s ranches, large cities and sprawl.  This desert environment has constant
scenic highlights of mountains, canyons, cactus, sagebrush — you can’t help but wonder how
the early people survived.  

As you read this you may wish to trace the route on your road map.

    Note:   This route (Route D) connects Route I in Arizona to Route F in Idaho.  Routes G
    and H intersect this route in Utah and Arizona.  Each of these routes have a number of
    memorable destinations near Route D.  It is recommended that you check descriptions
    of these routes.

ARIZONA

From Casa Grande at the intersection of I-10 and I-8 you can
head northeast to
Roosevelt and visit…

Tonto National Monument (photo).  The adobe of this structure
has been so well protected by the overhanging rock that it is
possibly in the best condition of the many that are protected by
the US Park Service.  The adobe at most parks has deteriorated
and has had restoration work done — unlike Tonto.  You can walk
into the former dwelling.  Then north to...




Montezuma National Monument (photo).  You will consider this
one of the outstanding cliff dwellings you will see.  Just imagine
how the residents went about their day-to-day activities climbing
ladders and watching children to see that they remained away
from the edge.  You must stay on the paths and cannot enter the
cliff dwellings that seem to cling to a sheer cliff.  Going in a
northwest direction you will reach...  




Jerome, a former mining town,
now virtually abandoned.  The photo
shows homes along the edge  on the
pit.  Some homes have fallen in.  
Then onto...







Tuzigoot National Monument to see the remains of a 110 room
pueblo that was occupied for over 400 years before  being
abandoned in 1425.  This occupies the high ground, probably for
defense.  Nearby is...









Sedona.  What a unique area this is.  Towering red rocks and
more red rocks overwhelm the visitors.  You can drive for miles in
the area and view the many formations.  Nearby is…


    ADVISE:  This route intersects with Route H at I-40.  There
    are many interesting places just a few miles from
    Flagstaff.  Volcano cones, pueblos, cliff dwelling, etc.  
    (Worth checking. You will have to find the area towards the
    bottom of the page for Route H.)


From I-40, west of
Flagstaff in Williams, go north to

Grand Canyon National Park.  There is a path along the rim, or
you can take the shuttle to the many overlooks.  The best views
are early morning and late in the afternoon.  Hardy individuals,
younger than we, hike to the bottom of the canyon, a mile below
the south rim.  

Concessionaires provide mule trips to the bottom and others offer
rafting trips on the river.  These are popular and advance
reservations are required.  The wait is sometimes a year or so.  
Less physically demanding airplane/helicopter rides give a great
view from the air – and what an experience.  Generally, these can
be arranged when you arrive.  

Leaving the south rim you can head east on Route 64 and circle
around to the north rim.

Some people say the north rim gives the better view of the canyon
– to me the views from both the north and south rims are different
but have equal impact.  From the north rim you look across the
canyon and from some parts of the south rim you can clearly see
the Colorado River.  The north rim (altitude 8,000+ feet) is as
much as a couple of thousand feet above the south rim.  The
pictures that you see most often are taken from the south rim
where most tourists go.  

ADVISE: Remember you’re at a high altitude so consume plenty
of water and have sun protection.  Take it easy.

Going north from here to St. George, UT would be a new
experience for us.  We assume the road is narrow and twisty.  

Utah

The road intersects with our Route G which goes east to
Tennessee                                                        

Head north to
Beaver and west to…

Nevada


Great Basin National Park.  The highlight of this park is the arid
desert and the
Lehman Caves with its interesting and colorful
formations.  The Bristle cone pine forest is said to have trees
almost four thousand years old!  From here you can go west to…







Eureka.  You are now in the Great Basin and on US-50, called
the “loneliest highway in America”.  We’ve traveled ten to twenty
minutes with no car in sight.  The
Great Basin is beautiful in its
own way – it is flat with mountains in the distance, irrigated farms
contrast with the arid pasture land.  Eureka was a mining town
back in the 1870s and the center of the town reflects that the
population has dropped from over 10,000 to the present few
hundred.  Walk about and explore.  Then go north on Route-278
to I-80 and go east to Route 225 north to Route 226 and visit …










Tuscarora.  This is a “ghost town”.  The population is about 270
in an area topping 1,000 square miles.  There were ten thousand
miners here in the late 1800s.  You’ll see the remains of that time
including a cemetery with wooden boards marking the graves –
because it is very dry there is little decay so some are still intact
and can be read.  Return to I-80 and go east to …                







Elko.  This is a ranching center with casinos attracting a tourist
crowd.  The
Northeastern Nevada Museum is a portrayal of the
development of the area.   This is a scenic area that is worthy of
exploring — it is mountainous with a sparse population.   Go out
to
Jiggs and Lamoille to visit remote and scenic areas.





From Elko continue on I-80 to go north  US-93 to Idaho

Then connect to:  
Route F  Oregon to Colorado
Tonto National Monument
Cliff dwelling at Montezuma National Monument
Red rock dominates the views at Sedona
Homes cling to the edge of the mine pit - some have fallen
You don't have to look out for cars - there aren't many on this highway
Tuscarora has numerous remaining structures because of the arid conditions
Harsh arid conditions prevail at the Great Basin
Wow, what mountains
Travel Letters
Tuzigoot National Monument is approached from an arid flatland
Grand Canyon
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