Sacred Native American Lands Where You Can Learn About Native Heritage

The Southwest is known by many to be an enchanting oasis of landscapes, in fact, long before Arizona became a state, people were drawn to the land for its beautiful weather and stunning vistas. While their Southwest is rich in beauty, it is even richer in history. Tracing back at least 12,000 years ago, the first American Indians found this rugged region and decided to make roots. Currently, 22 distinct tribes – each with their own unique history and customs – dwell within Arizona’s borders. You can see the influence these tribes have had on our local history while visiting the ancient American Indian ruins around the state or at a history museum to hear stories from the first people to call Arizona home. Slightly larger than West Virginia, Navajo country stretches across a vast swath of land made up of parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Here is a list of sacred Native American lands where you can learn more about the rich native heritage – plan your trip with DETOURS Native America!

Window Rock

Window Rock is the administrative capital and administrative center of the Navajo Nation, deriving its name from the hole in the 200 foot high sandstone hill, thus the name Window Rock. Located about 27 miles northwest of Gallup, N.M., and about 6 miles southeast of Fort Defiance, Arizona, it is just across the New Mexico-Arizona state line, on the Arizona side, in Apache County. If you have time, make a trip to Window Rock, Ariz., and headquarters of the Navajo Nation Council Chamber, housed in a beautiful large hogan built in the 1930s. If the doors are unlocked, you can quietly slip inside, sit in the chairs against the wall and observe policymakers in action. Be sure to respect the native culture, we put together a list of things you need to know before visiting the Navajo Nation

Window Rock | Pinterest
Window Rock | TripAdvisor

Explore the Navajo Nation Museum, you will learn the Navajo history of the “Long Walk,” which led to the signing of the historic Treaty of 1868, and visit the Navajo Veterans Memorial Park where a statue of a Navajo code talker has been constructed. The Navajo Tribal Zoo opened in Window Rock in 1963 featuring reservation animals such as bear, coyotes, snake, elk, and the golden eagle. The Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park offers a wide variety of plants, animals, fishes, birds and insects native to the Four Corners area of the Navajo Nation such as elk, mule deer, Mexican gray wolf, black bear, cougar, golden eagle, bighorn sheep, lynx, Rio Grande wild turkey, raccoon, Canadian goose, and fox. The Navajo Nation Zoo is open Monday through Saturday and is free to the public.

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly National Monument preserves the distinct architecture, artifacts, and rock imagery of the Archaic people (2500-200 B.C.), the Basketmakers (200 B.C.-A.D. 750), the Pueblo (750-1300), the Hopi (1300-1600s), and the Navajo (1700-present). Archeological evidence suggests that people have lived in Canyon de Chelly for nearly 5,000 years. The original inhabitants were the Archaic people, who lived in seasonal campsites, conducted hunting and gathering expeditions, and did not build permanent homes. Their stories are understood through the remains of their campsites and the images they etched and painted on the canyon walls. By about 200 B.C., a fundamental shift occurred in the way people lived within the canyon. The Basketmakers started to sustain their community through farming, instead of by hunting and gathering. As their agricultural skills improved, their lives became more sedentary and they built communities of dispersed households with large granaries and rudimentary public structures. Canyons de Chelly and del Muerto, Arizona, constitute a center of unique importance in the study of the prehistoric peoples of the Southwest.

Canyon de Chelly | Edward S. Curtis

Millions of years of land uplifts and stream cutting created the colorful sheer cliff walls of Canyon de Chelly. Natural water sources and rich soil provided a variety of resources, including plants and animals that have sustained families for thousands of years. The Ancient Puebloans found the canyons an ideal place to plant crops and raise families. The first settlers built pit houses that were then replaced with more sophisticated homes as more families migrated to the area. More homes were built in alcoves to take advantage of the sunlight and natural protection. People thrived until the mid-1300’s when the Puebloans left the canyons to seek better farmlands. Canyon de Chelly National Monument was authorized in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover in large measure to preserve the important archeological resources that span more than 4,000 years of human occupation. The monument encompasses approximately 84,000 acres of lands located entirely on the Navajo Nation with roughly 40 families residing within the park boundaries. The National Park Service and the Navajo Nation share resources and continue to work in partnership to manage this special place. Last summer, we took some of our concierge friends on a tour to Canyon de Chelly, check out some of the photos from our trip. 

Canyon de Chelly | Spider Rock | Shutterstock

Monument Valley

The Navajo name for the area is Tse Bii’ Ndzisgaii, which means ‘valley of the rocks.’ Monument Valley’s isolated rock formations are eroded remains of their Rocky Mountain ancestors, formed by sandstone deposits and geologic uplift and then shaped by wind and water. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is located on the Navajo Nation – one of the largest American Indian tribes. This sandy preserve bathes the region between Arizona and Utah in rich red hues, adding to its reputation of having some of the most dramatic and mesmerizing light.

Monument Valley | Emporia State University

With the steady flow of settlers into Indian controlled land, Eastern newspapers published sensationalized stories of cruel native tribes committing massive massacres of hundreds of white travelers. Although some settlers lost their lives to American Indian attacks, this was not the norm; in fact, Native American tribes often helped settlers cross the Plains. Not only did the American Indians sell wild game and other supplies to travelers, but they acted as guides and messengers between wagon trains as well. Despite the friendly natures of the American Indians, settlers still feared the possibility of an attack. We strongly recommend taking a private tour of Monument Valley for the best western experience.

Monument Valley | Visit Utah

Hubbell Trading Post

The oldest continuously operating trading post on the Navajo Nation and the United States, Hubbell Trading Post is an important thread in the fabric of Navajo history. Established in 1876, this mercantile and others founded by John Lorenzo Hubbell came to be the lifeline of supplies for Navajos looking to re-establish themselves following the “Long Walk” of 1864. It was also a place for Navajos to meet and socialize in the days before the automobile. Hubbell’s has been serving Ganado selling groceries, grain, hardware, horse tack, coffee and Native American Art since 1878. John Lorenzo Hubbell purchased the trading post in 1878, ten years after Navajos were allowed to return to their homeland from their terrible exile at Bosque Redondo, Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.

Hubbell Trading Post | Vintage Legends of America

During the four years spent at Bosque Redondo, Navajos were introduced to many new items. Traders like Hubbell supplied those items once they returned home. Hubbell had an enduring influence on Navajo rug weaving and silversmithing, for he consistently demanded and promoted excellence in craftsmanship. He built a trading empire that included stage and freight lines as well as several trading posts. At various times, he and his two sons, together or separately, owned 24 trading posts, a wholesale house in Winslow, and other business and ranch properties. Beyond question, he was the foremost Navajo trader of his time.Hubbell family members operated the trading post until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1967. The trading post is still active, and operated by the non-profit organization, Western National Parks Association for the National Park Service. They continue the trading traditions the Hubbell family started. Explore this incredible landmark with DETOURS Native America

Hubbell Trading Post | Ron Safari Photography
Hubbell Trading Post | National Park Service

Are you interested in visiting some of these sacred sites? Send your inquiries directly to DETOURS Native America owner Donovan Hanley and let him help you create your own Native American itinerary! #detoursnativeamerica

 

Our Favorite Authors Inspired by the American West

There are so many incredible things to be inspired by in the American West, but the literature of the American West is a true hallmark of the genre. The American West is still a harsh land of the unknown where characters are forced to deal with a powerful, often hostile, landscape. In many cases this basic struggle is what drives the narrative or allows the characters to fully realize themselves. The particular realities of the American West environment is at the very core of what separates a Western from a New York novel. There are many authors who were inspired by the American West and went on to study and write about the wonder of the desert, but there are some who stand out among the rest. Here is a list of our favorite authors who were truly above and beyond inspired by the American West.

Louis L’Amour

 

Born in North Dakota in 1908, Louis L’Amour published several short stories, but it was his first Western novel, Hondo (1953), that gained him instant success. While L’Amour later wrote works in different genres, it was his many Westerns that gained him great popularity among readers. L’Amour died on June 10, 1988, in Los Angeles, California. Having written more than 100 books and 400 short stories, he remains one of the most prolific and popular authors in the world. Although L’Amour later wrote a non-fiction book about the frontier, and numerous film and television scripts, it was his many Westerns that gained him great popularity among a wide spectrum of readers. His most popular books include 1960’s Flint, 1963’s Catlow and 1968’s Down the Long Hills, along with the Sackett Family series, which was adapted for a television miniseries in 1979.

One day I was speeding along at the typewriter, and my daughter – who was a child at the time – asked me, ‘Daddy, why are you writing so fast?’ And I replied, ‘Because I want to see how the story turns out!’  – Louis L’Amour

Having written more than 100 books and 400 short stories, L’Amour remains one of the most prolific and popular authors in the world. There are more than 200 million copies of his books in print and more than 45 of his novels were adapted into Hollywood films. L’Amour defined the West for millions of his loyal readers, but Durango was partly defined by his larger-than-life presence, validation that the Old West remains a fixture in the heart of the San Juans. Many of his stories were made into films and John Wayne once made the dubious assertion that L’Amour was the most interesting man in the world. Love his work? Check out our Tombstone Day Tour for a day right out of your favorite L’Amour novel!

Karl May

Karl May is an adventure writer from the late nineteenth century whom most Americans have never heard of but whose stories of the American West are to this day better known to Germans than the works of Thomas Mann. Though May never visited the American West, he told everyone that he had, and he wore a necklace of bear teeth, as if in proof. All his life, he was a confabulator, even when it was of no benefit to him and his books have sold more than a hundred million copies. May’s most beloved characters are a noble Apache leader named Winnetou and his blood brother, Old Shatterhand, a German immigrant to the United States. The good friends feature in fifteen of May’s eighty-odd works and are central in a series of films from the nineteen-sixties which were so successful that they are said, with only some exaggeration, to have saved the West German film industry.  If you love the stories of Karl May, you’ll love our National Parks & Native Lands multi-day tour!

May wrote about the strong, silent man of the western plains and the Rocky Mountains. May’s stories are modern mythologies; the good man encounters evil men with whom he must struggle, good always prevailing in the end. His hero is a knight errant on a crusade against crime and wickedness. – Walther Ilmer

Tony Hillerman

 

Tony Hillerman was born in 1925, in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma. Although he was raised among the Pottawatomie and Seminole Indians and studied at an Indian boarding school, Tony Hillerman is not Native American. He attended Oklahoma State University (1943), the University of Oklahoma (B.A. 1946), and the University of New Mexico (M.A. 1966). He worked as a journalist in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico (1948-63), lived in Albuquerque, and taught journalism at the University of New Mexico (1976-85). He has written numerous mystery novels drawing on Native American culture, the most successful featuring Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. His many bestselling novels include Sacred ClownsCoyote Waits, and A Thief of Time.

I know what I write about seems exotic to a lot of people, but not for me. I pulled up to an old trading post and saw a few elderly Navajos sitting on a bench. I felt right at home. – Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman’s 18 mystery novels, set in the Navajo lands of south-west America, earned him first a cult following and later best-seller status. But for Hillerman, the greatest honor was being named in 1987 a special friend of the Dineh, this being the Navajo’s word for the people, or themselves. The strength of his books lies in their sympathy with the culture they detail. Hillerman’s stories often feature conflicts between the American legal system and traditional Navajo definitions of crimes or criminals. Concepts of tribal harmony often transcend the law, and the Navajo are often far more sensitive to moral weakness than the white society that surrounds them. “I’d like people to see the strength and dignity of a culture I admire,” said Hillerman, who was especially concerned in his later books with the “negative value” Navajo culture places on greed, or acquiring more of anything than you need. Interested in Native American culture like Mr. Hillerman? You’ll love our Navajo & Hopi Nations Tour!

Christine K. Bailey

While the American West of the past came to life in the pages of these classic Western novels, Arizona travel writer Christine K. Bailey is exploring the American West of today and helping others discover the West with books like the popular 100 Things to do in Phoenix Before You Die. When she moved from Chicago to Arizona, Christine had big dreams of roaming the world, but with her family life and full-time job as an event planner, she started out exploring her own backyard instead, and fell in love with the American West. Bailey has chronicled her modern explorations in numerous print and online publications, such as Arizona Highroads and AZ Wine Lifestyle Magazine, and written several books documenting her discoveries and helping fellow Southwest adventurers navigate the best attractions, food, experiences, and hidden gems of Arizona.

If you’re interested in following in Christine’s footsteps, join us on our Apache Trail Tour, which she recommends in 100 Things to Do in Phoenix Before You Die. And, if you’re interested in a more eclectic side of Phoenix, check out Christine’s newly-released book, Secret Phoenix: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, Christine’s collection of stories, travel tips, and must-see’s is sure to teach you something new and interesting about Arizona culture. Also, be sure to stop by Four Peaks in Tempe on September 6th from 5pm-7pm to meet Christine and snag your signed copy of Secret Phoenix!

Have a favorite book or author that you don’t see on our list? Share your favorite American West inspired authors below!

Best Places to See the Sunrise (or Set!) in the American West

There are many natural beauties in the American West, but very few compare to the lush incendiary colors that fill the sunsets and sunrises out west. Watching the night sky turn to early dawn with the sun just beginning to peak its head into the long stretches of desert and illuminate the cacti and creosote filled canyons with brushes of warm orange and yellow are breathtaking. Once the day is through and the dusk is near the sky fills with swirls of every color from purple, cotton candy pink, bright orange and robin’s egg blue. The sight of a sunrise or sunset in the American West is so dramatic and beautiful that it can almost fill up the senses with just one glance. Whether you’re planning a trip or are a local to the American West, here are a few of our favorite spots to soak in the awesome colors of the desert and experience the transformation that each sunrise and sunset brings out west.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

If you are visiting or reside in the greater Phoenix or Scottsdale area it is time you experience the great pleasure of touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.  Frank Lloyd Wright is the famous American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator who designed more than 1000 structures and completed 532 works.  Wright designed his structures to be in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Today, Taliesin West is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Whether dining al fresco as unsurpassed sunsets cede to the lights of Scottsdale twinkling in the Valley below or inside Wright’s dynamic Music Pavilion, you are sure to experience sensational displays of vivid desert sunrises and sunsets. Set on a 491-acre Sonoran Desert Preserve in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West offers breathtaking views, rich history and is sure to provide an unforgettable evening under the warm pink, blue and orange hues of the desert sky; especially if you book their sunset walking tour which allows you to watch the twinkling lights of Phoenix and Scottsdale set against the rich colors of the sunset sky.

Mt. Humphreys

Imagine viewing shades of rich purple with pink and peach highlights at one of the highest points in the country – this is what you are sure to experience when visiting Mt. Humphreys. With an elevation of 12,633 feet, Humphreys Peak is the highest natural point in the U.S. state of Arizona and is located within the Kachina Peaks Wilderness in the Coconino National Forest, about 11 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s the highest point in Arizona, and the hike to the summit is sure to result in sensational sunset and sunrise views, with views that stretch for 60 miles. On a clear day you can see all the way to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. The best time of year to go is the fall when the trees are changing, but you can hike all summer as well once the snow melts enough to see the trail – and you can enjoy the luscious colors of sunrise and sunset all year long.

Alpenglow makes Mt. Humphreys grey sierra granite apprear crimson long after sunset in the Joh Muir Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada.

San Francisco Peaks

The San Francisco Peaks are known for their warm gold hues painting the sky with soft peach undertones. You are sure to experience incredible sunrises and sunsets when you visit the San Francisco Peaks. Located just north of Flagstaff, Arizona on U.S. 180, the San Francisco Peaks soar to heights reaching 12,633 feet and serve as one of the most distinct geological features of the Colorado Plateau. Named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi by the Spanish Friars that settled the area in the 1620’s, these scenic mountains are known locally as simply the Peaks.

Today over a quarter of a million-people flock to the Peaks each year for hiking, skiing, camping, wildlife viewing and wilderness solitude. The Peaks tower so dramatically against the landscape of Flagstaff and surrounding area that they are even visible from the pueblo ruins at Wupatki National Monument, dozens of miles away and on a clear day, you can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon over eighty miles away.

Valley of Fire

Imagine visiting a place where the sunset sky is painted with colors as distinctive as the waves in the landscape and rock. Valley of Fire is located in the Mojave Desert approximately 58 miles Northeast of the Las Vegas Strip and is the oldest Nevada State Park and was dedicated in 1935.  Valley of Fire State Park covers an area of approximately 35,000 acres and was named for the magnificent red sandstone formations that were formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of the dinosaurs more than 150 million years ago.

These brilliant sandstone formations can appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. The stunning combinations of limestone, shale, and conglomerates stone mixed with the lush creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush sets the perfect stage for sunset gazing with a wide array of colors and sights to experience. Whether its viewing this stunning paradise at sunrise or sunset, you are guaranteed to see exquisite colors and sights at Valley of Fire.

Arch Rock – Valley of Fire State Park, NV

Grand Canyon

The only thing that tops viewing one of the natural wonders of the world, is seeing the beauty of sunrise or sunset in the Canyon. Visiting the Grand Canyon National Park is a shutterbug’s paradise. Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, when you watch the sun rise or set, you’re going to get the chance to capture some excellent scenery. Ideally, the best way to enjoy the chameleon-like splendor of the Grand Canyon is to watch the subtle changes that take place over the course of a day. To make the most of your time and see the magnificence of it all, try seeing the Canyon at sunrise or sunset.

When planning your sunrise viewing, you can expect to see the sun first touch the tops of the rocks and gradually travel down into the canyon- the morning light is fantastic for photography. Be sure to arrive at least a half-hour before sunrise so you can see the magic happen in its entirety. Seeing the sun set over the Grand Canyon is also a moving experience. Not only will you see every possible color you could ever expect to see in a sunset, but you will see the shadows creep up the canyon walls and see their lengthening shadows and deep orange glow of the setting sun against these walls. Watch the formations take on different colors and shapes with the angles of the sun. There is nothing more magical than experiencing the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon at sunrise or sunset.

Where’s your favorite place to capture the best sunrise or sunset views in the Southwest? Be sure to share below!

Best Places to Cool Off This Summer

Lake Powell | Utah Watersports

Summer in the Southwest for many means sweltering triple-degree temperatures, cranking down the air conditioning and literally sweating throughout the next several months. While most Southwest natives or visitors remain indoors, there are several amazing spots to escape the heat and enjoy gorgeous scenery at the same time. If you’re burning up this summer and in search of creative ways to cool down, discover the Southwest’s cooler side with these four destinations.

Bryce Canyon | Tour with DETOURS
Bryce Canyon | Tour with DETOURS

Bryce Canyon

While Bryce Canyon’s high desert is an all-consuming visual oasis where water is precious, there are numerous ways to cool down with plenty of spots to enjoy your favorite water activities. From world class fishing in high alpine lakes to waterfalls and white-water rapids, Bryce Canyon has a little of bit of something for everyone. Refresh your spirit at Inspiration Point where you get to see the complete view of Bryce Amphitheater elevated at 8,000 ft. high. Explore Mossy Cave Trail, which is a hidden spot that features a waterfall found in the park. Discover the colors, shapes and incredible hoodoo views at Bryce Canyon National Park. This full day tour of Bryce Canyon includes views of the Virgin River Gorge, the Grand Staircase National Monument, the magical hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, and a made-to- order lunch.

Bryce Canyon hoodoos | Day tour with DETOURS
Bryce Canyon hoodoos | Day tour with DETOURS

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon draws in over five million tourists each year and is one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World.” While this magnanimous site may not seem like the ideal place to cool off in the heat of summer, temperatures in the Grand Canyon are typically 25-30°F cooler than in Phoenix and there are a plethora of ways to wind down and beat the heat. Hidden within a 35-mile radius, under control of the local Havasupai tribe, lies the stunning crystal blue waters of Havasupai Falls. Experience the stunning views from the North and South Rims and soak in the cool breeze as you stare into the depths of the Canyon. Explore the famous 30-mile section of road that winds east along the rim of the canyon, showcasing the best rim views and history along the way. You’ll forget all about the heat of summer once you plan your escape to the stunning Grand Canyon.

Hoover Dam Tours with DETOURS
Hoover Dam Tours with DETOURS

Lake Mead & Hoover Dam

Craving a place with year-round activities including boating, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and scuba diving? Lake Mead National Recreation Area is 40 minutes southeast of Las Vegas and offers a myriad of water recreation opportunities. Formed by the Hoover Dam, which is one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States. Five marinas offer access to Lake Mead (and Lake Mohave formed by Davis Dam, below Hoover), with plenty of year-round water activities to ensure you leave the heat behind you and cool off with new adventures on the open water.

Lake Powell | Utah Watersports
Lake Powell | Utah Watersports

Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge

It’s hard to say whether Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is better known for its waters or for its spectacular red rock shoreline and canyons. Either way, you will definitely find a way to beat the summer heat here. Enjoy everything from boating, to swimming, to fishing and backcountry hiking. Enjoy a guided boat trip to Rainbow Bridge, tour Glen Canyon Dam, rent a houseboat or just relax and enjoy the scenery. Surrounded by miles of inhospitable desert, water shimmers in the sun. The towering sandstone walls of Glen Canyon cradle this vast reservoir, the second largest man-made lake in the country behind Lake Mead. This incredible body of jewel colored water stretches for 186 miles from northern Arizona into Utah.

Lake Powell has 1,960 miles of shoreline, more than the entire West Coast of the continental United States. The lake’s main body extends though Glen Canyon and has filled 96 side canyons, which means countless nooks and crannies to be explored by boat. Enjoy cruising 50 miles of unique Lake Powell shoreline to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the largest known natural bridges in the world. The bridge extends 290′ into the sky and 275′ across Bridge Canyon. Beat the heat and cool off with the power of wind and water in this remarkable landscape.

Where To Find An Energy Vortex In Sedona

Boynton Canyon | Wandering Rock

Sedona is known for many incredible things, from historic breathtaking red rocks to world renowned southwestern art. Sedona is also known for being a spiritual center point that welcomes all, within that spiritual openness there are four famous energy vortexes. At this point you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a vortex? Energy vortexes are said to strengthen the inner being of anyone who is near one – or even as far as a quarter mile away. The energy from a vortex is said to be similar to the energy found in each individual’s core energy center, which is why many people who visit Sedona’s historic sites can feel the vortex energy. Sedona vortexes are natural geomagnetic points that create a swirling energy center radiating from the earth’s surface. Many people have reported feeling inspired by these beneficial spiritual energy sources, which are also said to facilitate balance, prayer, healing, and intuitiveness. People come from far and wide to experience this unique energy.

Sedona Vortex Map | The Call of Sedona

Vortexes are said to strengthen either the feminine side, the masculine side, or sometimes a balance of the two. The feminine side strengthens characteristics like kindness, compassion, and patience. The masculine side strengthens traits including reasoning, decisiveness, and self-confidence. A good balance will strengthen honesty, openness, intimacy and commitment. Sedona has four main energy vortexes. Some are off the beaten path and require a hike – though not a strenuous one – to reach. The four main vortexes in Sedona are the Airport Mesa Vortex, Boynton Canyon Vortex, Bell Rock Vortex & Cathedral Rock Vortex. Whether you’re planning a new trip to Sedona or looking to add some new adventures to your scheduled visit, you can experience these vortexes with Detours by adding the “Touch the Earth” vortex jeep tour to your Sedona day tour.

Boynton Canyon | Wandering Rock

Boynton Canyon Vortex

The Boynton Canyon vortex is located about 8 miles west of the Sedona “Y”. This energy vortex is said to strengthen spiritual balance and the energy from the vortex is claimed to twist many of the Juniper trees in the area. The Boynton Canyon Vortex can be accessed from Boynton Canyon Trail, from here, follow signs for the Vista Trail. Follow the red trail markers and you will soon arrive at a 30-foot-high hill where the energy is the strongest. The Vista Trail is another beautiful trail offering sweeping views of the valley and red rocks all around. This vortex is said to facilitate a balance between the masculine and feminine side, or yin+yang balance.

Boynton Canyon | Wandering Through Time & Space

 

 

Bell Rock Vortex

Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most known Vortex Meditation sites. It is an Upflow area (also referred to as Electric or Masculine) that is best for serenity and solving problems from a higher spiritual perspective. For decades seekers from around the world have used Bell Rock for contemplative reflection and inspiration. Bell Rock is claimed to be a powerful vortex, in an area of many vortices. Bell Rock is located off of Route 179 between Sedona and Oak Creek. The distinct shape makes it an easy one to spot. The energy at this vortex is very strong and is said to strengthen all three parts – the masculine side, feminine side, and balance.

Airport Mesa Vortex

The Airport Vortex can be accessed from Airport Road. A trail leads to the saddle between the hills and at the top of these hills, you can see breathtaking views of Sedona. Go later in the evening and take in the gorgeous sunset and the twinkling city lights. The Airport Vortex is said to strengthen the masculine side. Airport Mesa Vortex is an Upflow area (also called Electric or Masculine) that helps your spirit soar for a higher perspective or greater oneness and serenity. It is also the one of the few places in Sedona where you can get enjoy a 360 degree panorama of the entire town.

Airport Mesa Vortex | YouTube
Cathedral Rock Vortex Hiking Sedona | Spirit Quest

Cathedral Rock Vortex

The Cathedral Rock Vortex can be accessed by either hiking or climbing. The strongest energy of this vortex is said to be felt as you walk east along the creek towards Cathedral Rock. Marvel at the stunning, vibrant red rocks as you meander along the cool and calming creek. The energy at this vortex is said to strengthen the feminine side. Cathedral Rock is predominantly an Upflow Vortex (especially the 1st half of the trail) which allows a great platform for soaring and feeling inspired for greater oneness and serenity. The flat area halfway up also has wonderful views of Sedona and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The top saddles between the spire is one of Sedona’s best Combination Vortex (sometimes called Electromagnetic) areas that allow you to do more advanced spiritual skills and deeper forms of meditation.

Cathedral Rock Vortex | Verde Valley

Our expert tour guides recommend a guided day tour to Sedona from your Phoenix/Scottsdale hotel for the most. Upgrade your day with a Pink Jeep Touch the Earth Vortex tour to visit all four energy vortexes. There are plenty of things to do in Sedona but if a metaphysical Southwest experience is what you’re looking for, visiting an energy vortex is a must on your travel bucket list! Comment below with your vortex story.

Pink Jeep Touch the Earth Tour | Pink Jeep

Southwest Museums Even Locals Don’t Know About

The Southwest is filled to the sunshine soaked brim with visual attractions, landmarks, museums and so much more. There is literally so much to enjoy across the states that many visitors and locals can easily overlook some of the Southwest’s most precious hidden gems. To ensure you and your friends never fall into that category we have comprised a list of the most interesting Southwest museums that even most locals don’t know are located in their neck of the woods.

Mystery Castle | Phoenix

Built in the 1930s by a father who thought he had just a short time to live, the Mystery Castle was built on the slopes of South Mountain overlooking the panoramic views across the Phoenix skyline as a final gift to his daughter. Those that visit will discover an amazing feat by a reclusive man that had no construction skill, but possessed a strange creative vision. In 1929, Boyce Gulley left his Seattle office to see a doctor and never returned home to his wife and daughter who was only four years old. Diagnosed with tuberculosis and given a short time to live, Gulley simply disappeared and would never see them again.

Remembering the sand castles, he built with his young daughter, Mary Lou on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, Gulley set out to build her a castle that would last forever. He mysteriously re-appeared three years later in Phoenix where the dry climate was assumed to extend the life of tuberculosis patients. He purchased a piece of land on the slopes of South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona that would become the permanent home of Mary Lou’s castle. He was able to complete the castle he had promised his daughter. Through a lawyer, Gulley’s wife and daughter were noticed of his passing in 1945 along with reasons for his disappearing. Mary Lou and her mother inherited the castle and made it their home later that year.

MOB Museum | Las Vegas

It’s hard to believe that less than 30 years ago hotels in Vegas were still run by the mob and now visitors can learn all about the sordid past of Las Vegas at the Mob Museum located in the heart of downtown Vegas on Stewart Avenue. The $42-million museum features interactive exhibits and more than 1,000 iconic artifacts that teach visitors all about the most notorious gangsters in Vegas, the history of the mafia and how organized crime impacted the rest of America and the world. Designed by the same team that created the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C, the mob museum depicts an all-encompassing view of mobsters from their rise to prominence in Vegas to how law enforcement initiatives led to their demise.

Not only do guests get to learn about the history of the mob, but they get a chance to do so while standing in one of the places where some of those events occurred. Apart from the legal measures taken against organized crime, the museum offers plenty of exhibits that focus on the mobsters. The most valuable artifact in the museum is the brick wall from Chicago’s Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. There are also exhibits that showcase items that belonged to Al Capone, Charlie Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin Siegel, Sam Giancana, Frank Rosenthal, Mickey Cohen and Tony Spilotro, among others. The museum doesn’t omit any details, including the gory ones. Some of the exhibits feature weapons and graphic photos of deceased mob members found at crime scenes. There’s a swanky theater room where you can take a seat in one of the plush booths and see clips from all your favorite gangster movies that portray a more romanticized version of life as a mobster.

Museum of the West | Scottsdale

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West celebrates the art, history, culture and unique stories of the 19 states comprising the American West. The contemporary, 43,000-square- foot building is an architectural gem that meets the highest standards for sustainability and conservation of natural resources. In addition to the hundreds of works of art featured in its galleries, visitors will enjoy the interactive exhibits, beautiful outdoor sculpture courtyard and museum store. Special performances, programs and events in the theater/auditorium tell the stories of the American West—both past and present—through the eyes of its diverse peoples. The rotating exhibitions feature Western art, rare historic artifacts and cultural treasures on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutions. The museum is located in the arts district of downtown Scottsdale, “The West’s Most Western Town,” within easy walking distance of numerous art galleries and restaurants.

Tovrea | Phoenix

Tovrea Castle was born out of the vision of Italian Alessio Carraro, who came to Phoenix in 1928 with a dream to build a resort hotel castle surrounded by an exotic cactus garden and a subdivision of deluxe homes. While Carraro’s dream of a hotel-resort never came to be, he did build the castle. It was purchased by stockyard mogul E.A. Tovrea in 1931, and the unique home became a historic Arizona icon in the city of Phoenix. The building was a thing of beauty, based on Italian architecture and tiered like a wedding cake. However, perhaps because of the stench from the nearby Tovrea meatpacking stockyards, or because of the Great Depression, it never opened.

 

Carraro sold his castle and its 42 acres to Edward Ambrose Tovrea, magnate of the stockyards, who transformed the massive hotel into a private residence. Tovrea died after less than a year living in the castle, and is memorialized by a giant steel pyramid on the property. His widow Della lived there until her death in 1969. Over the years Tovrea Castle developed an air of mystery. As Phoenix grew outward and the land surrounding the castle developed into a metropolitan area, the isolated mansion and its acres of desert attracted a lot of attention. After Della’s death, the land was purchased by the City of Phoenix. The structure was restored, its cactus garden replanted, and the grounds were opened for tours.

Amerind | Benson

The Amerind Foundation was founded in 1937 by William Shirley Fulton (1880-1964) as a private, nonprofit archaeological research institution. Throughout the 1920s Fulton regularly traveled west from his New England home, heading into the southwestern mountains, canyons, and plateau country to explore for archaeological ruins and expand his Native American collections. Prior to 1985 the Museum was open to the public by appointment only, and for good reason: the entire collection was stored on open shelving in the museum galleries, in direct sunlight, subject to severe swings in temperature and humidity, and within easy reach of visitors touring the galleries. In 1985, most of the collections were moved into permanent storage where light, temperature, and humidity could be more closely monitored and controlled, and the museum galleries were filled with interpretive exhibitions and opened to the walk-in public. Today, Amerind Museum exhibitions tell the story of America’s first peoples from Alaska to South America and from the last Ice Age to the present. Amerind’s Fulton-Hayden Memorial Art Gallery features works on western themes by such artists as Carl Oscar Borg, William Leigh, Frederic Remington, and Andy Tsihnahjinnie, and one room in the Art Gallery is reserved for the presentation of contemporary Native American art.

 

 

Amargosa Opera House | California

In the middle of Death Valley, known as one of the harshest and most extreme environments on earth, stands the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. The Amargosa, whose name stems from the Spanish word for “bitter” (amargo), is located in a town called Death Valley Junction, which has a population of less than twenty, with zero restaurants and zero gas stations. Most visitors and residents would agree that the only thing going in Death Valley Junction today is the white-washed, sunbaked, and reportedly haunted Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. The Amargosa’s story is two-fold. Not only does it have a haunted reputation, but it has a fascinating history as a beacon of artistic freedom and spirit. Both the opera house and the hotel were constructed in the 1920s by the Pacific Borax Mining company, who built the town to accommodate its mine workers.

Since the late 1960’s however, the property has been owned by Ms. Marta Becket, a brilliantly talented, free-spirited artist and dancer, who gave up life in the big city to blaze her own trail of artistic expression in the desert. Ms. Becket was a dancer from New York City who stumbled upon the Amargosa after getting a flat tire while on a road trip with her husband; it was an incident that would change the course of her life forever. According to Marta, she peered into the run-down opera house through a small opening in the door, and she “saw the second the half” of her life. So, she bought the place, and breathed new life into Death Valley Junction, restoring the opera house for performances, and painting murals on all the walls. She has been performing at the opera house ever since, and still does today, despite being eighty-something years of age. Marta Becket’s spirit and the Amargosa are inextricably intertwined. There is no doubt that she will remain with the Amargosa for as long as it still stands, and perhaps longer, as evidenced in this mural she painted in the hotel lobby, which depicts her spirit dancing and flittering around the ruins of the property!

Miniature Museum | Tucson

The Miniature Museum was created from the imagination and dedication of Founders, Patricia and Walter Arnell. Pat’s fondness for miniatures began in the 1930’s, when as a young girl, she received her first miniatures, which was a set of Strombecker wooden dollhouse furniture. It wasn’t until the Arnell’s moved to Tucson in 1979 that Pat began collecting in large quantities. The Arnell’s became very active in the miniature community becoming recognized members and supporters of important organizations such as NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) and IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artisans). The collection grew and the Arnell’s dreamed of a way to share it with more people. They envisioned an interactive space where the entertaining and educational aspects of the collection could be enjoyed by everyone- a place that would be enchanting, magical and provide a rich sensory experience.

The concept of “the mini time machine” was born out of the notion that a visitor would be seemingly transported to different eras by the stories and history of the pieces in the collection. The design and building of the museum was a huge collaborative effort. Swaim Associates Architects in Tucson, Arizona was chosen as the architect for the project. The exhibit design was carried out by Claro Creative Studios, a team of designers, gadgeteers and entertainment enthusiasts based out of Glendale, California. Construction of the project spanned nearly two years. The museum is dedicated to all who participate in the world of miniatures through education, creation or enjoyment.

John Wesley Powell’s Grand Canyon Exploration

“We are now ready to start on our way down the Great Unknown. Our boats, tied to a common stake, chafe each other as they are tossed by the fretful river… What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not… With some eagerness and some anxiety and some misgiving we enter the canyon below and are carried away by the swift water through walls which rise from its very edge.” – John Wesley Powell| The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons| 1895

The notion that Powell and his party had met an unfortunate end during their 1869 expedition did not strain the imagination. They had undertaken what is now considered one of America’s great adventure stories. The mighty Colorado River’s course had been a mystery even to Native Americans of the region, a blank space on the best maps available. Powell’s expeditions in 1869 and 1871-72 revealed the Colorado’s secrets, as well as some of the most remarkable terrain,including the magnificent Grand Canyon. It was a brutally hot day on August 13, 1869, when John Wesley Powell and his nine-man crew reached what he called the foot of the Grand Canyon. At this spot where the Little Colorado River flowed into the Colorado and the towering rock walls radiated the desert sun like a convection oven, the explorers entered a world unlike anything they or any other European-Americans had ever seen.

Historians have described Powell as a heroic frontiersman driven by the exploration of the unknown, or alternatively, as a horrific leader whose men refused to recognize his authority. Either way, he was obsessed with personal ambition and a love of the outdoors. Born in Mount Morris, New York, in 1834, Powell’s rural upbringing was one of constant moves as his parents, both English immigrants, struggled to maintain small farms. Young Wesley was a voracious reader who would borrow any book he could get his hands on, immersing himself in learning about science, natural history and literature. Although he was expected by his father to join the Methodist ministry, Powell had found his own form of religion in the wild. He often wandered from home on excursions into the fields and woods, collecting everything from fossils to flowers. Powell was also an adventurer from an early age. At 21, he walked across the state of Wisconsin. The next year, he rowed the entire Mississippi River and later made trips down the Ohio and Illinois Rivers. After a brief stint as a school teacher, Powell’s views against slavery pushed him to enlist in the Union Army, where he quickly advanced to artillery captain. Six months into his service, his right arm was blown off by a mine ball at the Battle of Shiloh. By all accounts, the wound had little effect on his life. After recovering from an amputation below the elbow, he returned to the battlefield to serve three more years and was promoted to the rank of major.

In 1869, very little of the Colorado River drainage had been explored and, at the age of 35, Powell was determined to complete the first scientific survey of the region. A Civil War hero who was bored with his college teaching job in the Midwest, “Powell wanted to make a name for himself as a Western explorer, and the Colorado River basin was the best place to do that,” according to historian and Powell biographer Donald Worster. Six decades after the expedition of Lewis and Clark, Powell would pick up where they left off, venturing into the last big blank spot on the map and captivating the nation. Some three centuries earlier, soldiers with conquistador Francisco Coronado had peered over the edge of Grand Canyon and deemed it impassable, and since that time European immigrants had stayed away from a place that was viewed as inhospitable. The only way to penetrate the wilderness was by boat but, until Powell, no one was willing to take on such a perilous challenge with little promise of reward. Not only would the 1869 expedition eventually go down in history as the last great land exploration in the United States, it was Powell’s eloquent descriptions that would introduce the Grand Canyon to the world. After Powell’s adventure was widely publicized in newspapers and magazines with accompanying spectacular images, Grand Canyon suddenly became viewed as a world-class natural wonder, a place to be visited rather than avoided. Yet, the trip was no cake walk, and Powell would only wax poetic in hindsight. As he and his crew entered Grand Canyon that day in August, some 700 river miles from where they had pushed off at Green River, Wyoming, the expedition would soon devolve into mutiny– and not all of the men would live to tell about it.

The expedition’s route traveled through the Utah canyons of the Colorado River, which Powell described in his published diary as having “wonderful features—carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decide to call it Glen Canyon.”

One man quit after the first month, and another three left at Separation Canyon in the third. This was just two days before the group reached the mouth of the Virgin River on August 30, after traversing almost 930 miles. Powell retraced part of the 1869 route in 1871–1872 with another expedition that traveled the Colorado River from Green River, Wyoming to Kanab Creek in the Grand Canyon. This trip resulted in photographs an accurate map and various papers. In planning this expedition, he employed the services of Jacob Hamblin, a Mormon missionary in southern Utah and northern Arizona, who had cultivated excellent relationships with Native Americans. Before setting out, Powell used Hamblin as a negotiator to ensure the safety of his expedition from local Indian groups. In the 1870s, Powell became the man of the decade. He traveled the country giving speeches and eventually founded and then directed the United States Geological Survey. He went on to promote protection and appreciation of the Grand Canyon landscape and Southwest native cultures with evangelical zeal in much the same way his father had preached the Bible. “The Canyon is a book of revelations in the rock- leaved Bible of geology,” he wrote. “All around me are interesting records, and I can read as I run.”

Why You Should Visit Tombstone During Wyatt Earp Days

Tombstone, Arizona elicits many images and historic icons, but none possess as strong a connection as the infamous Wyatt Earp. The soft-spoken with nerves of steel man who survived countless gunfights due to his extraordinary patience and resolute manner. Wyatt Earp is the best known of all the frontier lawman of the American West. In addition to being the famous lawman of Dodge City and Tombstone, he was also a buffalo hunter, a miner, card dealer, stagecoach driver, saloon owner, and much more throughout the years.

Wyatt Earp spent most of his years traveling and living in the deserts of the Southwest with his four brothers Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren, as well as his wife Josie. His lifelong passion for mining, gambling and sports led him from one boomtown to another across the span of the western frontier and into the 20th century.

Tombstone | Addoway

The southeast Arizona community owes a great deal to its former lawman and continues to pay tribute to him during its annual Wyatt Earp Days celebration. In addition to exploring the great historic city of Tombstone, see the “Old Wild West” come alive with a weekend honoring Tombstone’s most notable and legendary lawman Wyatt Earp.

Tombstone Gun Fights | YouTube

The Annual Wyatt Earp Days celebration is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend from Saturday, May 27th through Monday, May 29th on Historic Allen Street. Enjoy the festival honoring the Wild Wild West’s famous lawman with activities featuring gunfights, public hanging, saloon girls, dancing, live music and more. Gunfights and skits in the street, chili cook-off, hangings, street entertainment, look alike contests, and a 1880’s fashion show. Grab your partners in crime and plan your weekend trip to Tombstone to honor the great Wyatt Earp!

Tombstone | YouTube

Fun Day Trips That Mom Will Love

Searching for the perfect way to celebrate that amazing woman you call Mom? Why not plan a special day trip getaway in the heart of the Southwest that will let her feel how much you care about her? Escape the city this Mother’s Day and venture to one of the destinations below to unwind surrounded by nature, incredible sights and delicious food. Fresh air and natural southwest scenery can provide a relaxing change of pace, perfect for Mother’s Day weekend. Here are some fantastic spots that are absolutely perfect for a day trip from Phoenix or Las Vegas with Mom this Mother’s Day – or any time you want to celebrate her.

(Downtown Sedona Red Rocks | BodyBlissFactory)

Sedona

Whisk your Mom away to the land of red rock, epic scenery and art. Enjoy the spindly towers, grand buttes and flat-topped mesas carved in crimson sandstone. Sedona is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places in Arizona, and one of the most scenic cities in the Southwest. Though Sedona was founded in the 19th century, the discovery of energy ‘vortexes’ here in the 1980s turned this once modest settlement into a bustling New Age destination. Enjoy a stroll down main street in town with your Mom and enjoy art galleries, gourmet restaurants and top-end resorts on a Sedona day trip from Phoenix. Looking for something more rugged? Add-on a Pink Jeep tour for a Mother’s Day adventure she won’t forget. Continue falling in love with Sedona and celebrating Mom while you immerse your senses in views of the famous Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Cathedral Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Submarine Rock. Every moment spent on this tour is guaranteed to make you appreciate your special bond with Mom and the tranquility of Sedona.

(Sedona Yoga | Sedona Soul Revival)
Sedona-Chapel-of-the-Holy-Cross
(Sedona | Gateway to Sedona)
(Sedona | Panaramio)
(Tubac | Pinterest)

Tubac

Art galleries, vineyards and more await you and your Mom in Tubac, Arizona. Originally established in 1752 as a Spanish presidio (the remains of which are open for guided tours) but today, artists are a more likely sight in this town than a military garrison would be. Enjoy the warm sunshine and explore over 80 unique stores and galleries in the gorgeous walkable village. Tubac is often referred to as an artist colony since the architecture and art colors spill out into the streets, often in the form of larger-than-life handcrafted metal flowers or blown-glass sculptures spinning in the wind. Pop into a shop for Turkish rugs, hand-painted silk scarves, and live-edge mesquite tables.

Multiple festivals throughout the year celebrate Tubac’s artisans. Delicious creativity can also be found in the city’s restaurants, where menu items are as equally innovative as they are flavorful. Treat Mom to some extra special gifts this year and take some of the artistic magic home with you, whether its local hand crafted kitchen gadgets or gourmet goods from local shops. Interested in golf? Work up an appetite with a round of golf at the Tubac Golf Resort, the course played in the 1996 Kevin Costner movie Tin Cup. Inquire about a private tour to Tubac from the Phoenix area for Mother’s Day weekend.

(Tubac | Golf Advisor)

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Whisk Mom away to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state of Arizona. Boyce Thompson Arboretum was originally founded in 1924 as a desert plant research facility and living museum, the Arboretum is located in the Sonoran Desert on 392 acres along Queen Creek and beneath the towering volcanic remnant, Picketpost Mountain. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is on U.S. Highway 60, about an hour east of Phoenix and 3 miles west of Superior, Arizona.

(Boyce Thompson Arboretum | Garry Wilmore)
(Boyce Thompson Arboretum | Jet Planes & Coffee)

The Arboretum has a visitor center, gift shop, research offices, greenhouses, a demonstration garden, picnic area, and a looping 1.5-mile primary trail that leads visitors through various exhibits and natural areas. The exhibits include a cactus garden, palm and eucalyptus groves, an Australian exhibit, South American exhibit, aloe garden and an herb garden. There are also side trails such as the Chihuahuan Trail, Curandero Trail, and High Trail. Make lasting memories with Mom when you both enjoy a wonderful day together viewing and experiencing natural Sonoran beauty charms.

 

Valley of Fire

Dedicated in 1935, Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest state park. It is located only 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The rough floor and jagged walls of the park contain brilliant formations of eroded sandstone and sand dunes more than 150 million years old. These features, which are the centerpiece of the park’s attractions, often appear to be on fire when reflecting the sun’s rays. Valley of Fire is dominated by creosote bush, burro bush, and brittlebush. Cactus species such as beaver tail and cholla are also abundant.

(Valley of Fire | Thousand Wonders)
(Valley of Fire | eTravelTips)

The springtime blooms with desert marigold, indigo bush, and desert mallow. This makes the park look especially spectacular in the spring – perfect for Mother’s Day. Swing by the Visitor Center and enjoy exhibits of geology, ecology, prehistory and history of the park and the nearby region. It is strongly recommended that each visitor make this an early stop after entering the park as the visitor center is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. and the rest of the park closes at sunset. Make sure you snap plenty of photos together to commemorate this special Mother’s Day trip!

Snow Canyon

Enjoy a little iconic Hollywood history in the desert with Mom this Mother’s Day and make the day trip to discover the majestic beauty of Snow Canyon State Park together! Located just nine miles north of St. George along highway 18, Snow Canyon is notorious for its unique geological features. Snow Canyon State Park is comprised of volcanic cones, sand dunes, deep red sandstone cliffs, and twisted layers of rock. The scenery is so spectacular it has been the backdrop for Hollywood movies including The Electric Horseman and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! Located in the 62,000 acre Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, established to protect the federally listed desert tortoise and its habitat, the park offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. Enjoy hiking, nature studies, wildlife viewing, photography, camping, and ranger talk programs. There are more than 38 miles of hiking trails, a three-mile paved walking/biking trail, and over 15 miles of equestrian trails. Plenty of ways to make lasting memories with Mom this Mother’s Day. Our guides suggest a private tour to Snow Canyon for a trip Mom will remember!

(Snow Canyon | Visit St. George)
(Snow Canyon | Oculus Media)
(Mount Charleston | Pinterest)

Mount Charleston

Explore the highest mountain in both the Spring Mountains and Clark County Nevada this Mother’s Day. Located about 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas within the Mount Charleston Wilderness, Mount Charleston is located within the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Mount Charleston is a year-round getaway for Las Vegas’s residents and visitors, with a number of hiking trails and a modest ski area. The mountain, which is snow-capped more than half the year, can be seen from parts of the Las Vegas Strip when looking toward the west. The village of Mount Charleston lies at its base to the east. Mount Charleston boasts nearly 200 camp sites and over 150 picnic areas, some of which are RV-accessible. Swing by the iconic Mount Charleston Lodge for lunch with Mom and toast to the special adventure and the special woman in your life.

(Mount Charleston | Summit Post)

How will you be celebrating Mother’s Day this year? Comment below and let us know!