Monday, March 15, 2010

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon is Arizona's first designated Scenic Highway. Rand-McNally rates it as one of the most beautiful drives in America. We would certainly agree. The above photo I took as we started the drive. I wish you could see how far up this is. In the center of the picture is a water falls that looked like it just shoots out of the rocks.
I took this picture out side of Sliding Rock State Park. We did not pay the entrance fee to go in because of time limits. The colors of the rocks were beautiful with the snow melt and the rocks were wet and the sun shining on them.
The sky is so blue out here in the west. And at night it is amazing how many stars you can see.
At the top the elevation is 6ooo ft. They had lots of snow this year and there was still some covering the ground at places and several feet along the roads that had been plowed. This is in the parking lot at the summit.
The overlook at the top was beautiful. It was cool up there but the sun felt warm.
Another area overlooking the canyon and down into the valley.

This is the road we drove up on. Note the three levels of road that wind around the mountain as it rises. At the top in the parking lot there were several stands of Native people selling crafts and jewelry. I bought two handmade necklaces.
More columns of rocks.
Wish this color showed better.
More beauty.The road as it winds through the mountains.
Black and red rocks.
This is Midgley Bridge that was built over the canyon. I was standing at the pathway that goes to the look out over the canyon. Boy---was it far down!
This is a distant view of the bridge.
Coming back to where we started we again saw lots of red rock.

In the morning when we started the sun was at the wrong angle for the colors so we back tracked on Loop Road again on the way home. This time the sun was right for pictures--as if I hadn't taken enough already!
Loop Road has lots of good scenery but for about one mile it is dirt road. Not always so smooth either but well worth the beauty.

When we arrived here at Verde Valley two weeks ago most everything was brown but in the short time we have been here there is lots of greening taking place.
This was one of the most beautiful driving days we had. Thanks to all our friends who recommended this drive to us. Sure am glad we didn't miss this one.

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