This was one of the top stops of our vacation to Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. We climbed to the top of the highest peak one morning and arrived just as the sun came over the horizon. We were the only ones there and the views were just amazing. Worth all the effort. We also stayed at the campgrounds which were very well maintained and spaced beautifully.
A must stop when driving the Apache Trail. While the ruins themselves were a little lackluster compared to others in the area, the hike to the ruins is what makes this stop a must. You weave up a mountain side for about a mile through what looks like a well manicured cactus garden (but that's just good ol' Mother Nature at work). The variety of cacti and beauty of the specimens is phenomenal. During our drive, we could just get long distance glances of the plant life but this hike not only offered sweeping views, but the opportunity to get right up and look at everything. Loved it.
In addition to the historical interest, this is still an operating Trading Post. The rug room in the back is not to be missed. They have genuine Navajo rugs that have been weaved locally - some of the most beautiful and intricate designs I have seen. If you are wanting guaranteed authentic Navajo art of any kind, this is a must stop.
Not our most favorite park, but beautiful in it's own right. I think the major draw back is the distance that this park is from anything else. It's hard to get to. We have seen a lot of petrified wood in our travels, but none on this magnitude - it is literally a forest that has been petrified. While beautiful, scientifically interesting, and theologically moving - once you have seen some petrified wood, you've seen some petrified wood. Drive through and head on up to the Painted Desert to do some hiking - that is really where the beautiful terrain starts.
We have now been the Nellie Bly twice (about two years apart). If you are driving through the area within a 2 hour radius, make a detour!!!!! Not only is Jerome a charming little hippie town (re)built on the back of artists, but they also have delightful little pubs and burger joints. But back to Nellie Bly - the kaleidoscopes are unimaginable - I would try to describe them, but know I can't. They have everything ranging from a few dollars to $30K+. Some are tiny and can fit in your pocket and others probably weigh 800+ pounds and are 8 feet tall. It is truly like being able to touch, pick up, and play with anything you want in a contemporary art museum. We purchased one of the cheaper kaleidoscopes a few years ago and it is still our most prized souvenir we have ever picked up (and we have A LOT!). GO!
We had a great time here - it is expensive. $10/car to park and then $30/person for the Dam Tour. That being said, it was worth every penny. While my husband and I are embarrasingly interested in civil engineering projects, I think the average Joe would also greatly appreciate this spectacular feat of human engineering. The museum is not to be missed (if you don't want to do the tour and JUST want to do the museum, it's $10/person). The tour itself was about an hour, entertaining, informative, and really blows your mind for what we were able to do in 1920's with the limited engineering resources that we had. A must stop.
Oh what fun we had! We parked at the western most parking area (more scenic than the eastern) and hiked about 5-6 miles in a few hours. Very flay and easy to navigate. Be aware that there are NO trail systems, NO water, and NO facilities. It is truly a wilderness area. The geologic formations are out of this world and WILDLY different from 100 ft to 100 ft. You will see shields, badlands, volcanic flow, hoodoos, and all kinds of petrified trees. We had a great time.
We had a blast here! This is one of the most detailed fort restorations we have been to! It was completely rebuilt in the 1970's with intention of opening it as a National Park. Don't miss the introductory video. Every room has been recreated with an astonishing amount of detail. We stayed about 3 hours! Great history that ties in beautifully other National Parks in the area.
Marginally underwhelmed. The petroglyphs are more difficult to see than I was expecting. Also, the canyons are tucked into neighborhoods and you can see houses and neighborhoods from all the trails - it really takes a lot of the beauty and mystery away. Worth it only if you are in the area.
One of the most beautiful slot canyons we have been in. Make sure you take the slot canyon route and not the "easy loop." Both are very easy hikes, but the canyon route has SPECTACULAR canyon views. We really enjoyed our time here. My only complaint is that there is no water available at the trail head - make sure you fill up before you come.