Our two and a half hour drive from Roosevelt Lake to Winslow, Arizona was beautiful. There was a really interesting town called Payson that we passed through and I’d like to revisit some time – when it’s not blanketed with snow!
I was expecting our stay in Winslow to be a peaceful break in activities. I had no idea there would be so much to do in the area. Although we did have a bit of a time finding some of it.
Starting with our campground. We drove by it three times before figuring out where to turn in to Mc Hood campground. It was a nice enough area and they were doing some type of pumping on the little lake.
The adjoining river looked like the perfect place for kayaking.Unfortunately, we didn’t take it out on the first day and then the weather never cooperated until it was time to leave.
Our first full day we drove into town to – what else – stand on the corner!
We poked around the shops and found a flier with directions to Grand Falls and we decided to go there the next day. Between Winslow and Flagstaff, the directions were rather vague. (they are much better when going there from Flagstaff). We couldn’t find the turn so I asked at a gas station and was told to turn on the road past the Chevy billboard. Yep, about 15 miles down the road there it was! But totally worth the long drive out. We happened on it at the perfect time – I guess the water flows like this only every five or six years.
We were able to view it from above, then hike down to the base to get wet and muddy. It was an awesome experience.
Tom had done some research on the area and found a couple of obscure ghost towns. One was Apache Death Cave right off Interstate 40 . It has a very interesting history, and was a Route 66 draw at some point, but I don’t think you can get to it any longer (legally anyhow).
It was right by the ruins of Two-Guns – a pre-Route 66 attraction that had eventually became a roadside zoo. You could still see the chicken wire from the cages.
We had a good time walking around the old buildings and driving across the old bridge.
Tom also found another ghost town north of I40, but it was harder to get to. Down a long dirt road and across some train tracks except a train was parked there so we missed it. Not too much to see anyway, but it had an interesting story (here).
While searching for the old town – it was another place hard to find – we went along the RR tracks and found this amazing train bridge across the diablo canyon:We thought about trying to walk out onto it – despite the “you are under surveillance” signs – but we chickened out. It would’ve been a heck of a view from the middle!
One thing in the area I didn’t want to miss in the area of Winslow was Meteor Crater. I had visited once on a road trip with my kids, but Tom had never been. We got there in time for the tour (which I believe has been added since I was there so very long ago) and we got to walk out on the rim of the canyon with a guide.
At one point on the tour, I asked what the shiny things were inside the crater and it turns out they were the wings from a plane crash. For some reason I’ll never understand, they wanted to dispose of the fuselage so other pilots wouldn’t be tempted to try the tricky fly-by that ended in disaster. And – even odder to me – they disposed of it by sending it down the 200 foot mining shaft at the floor of the crater. Makes you wonder what future archeologists will theorize when they find that someday!
With all there was to do in the area, we were kept busy, but it was all interesting and fun. Just remember, if you find yourself in Winslow, there is a lot more to do than just stand on the corner! We didn’t leave anything out – including the fancy hotel in town:
Now we’re headed to Utah along the very scenic highway through Tuba and the Navajo Nation to stay at Gooseneck State Park.
Peace & Love, Joy
Wow, we were just here and missed so much of this. I had no idea that campground was there (we stayed at the state park), nor the waterfalls or ghost towns. So cool. It’s incredible how much “stuff” there is to be found in all these various places. Since I’m sure we’ll be back on I-40 at some point, it looks like we’ll have plenty to keep us busy! Safe travels!
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Thanks! My MO is to usually find really cool stuff to do on the day that we’re due to leave – so I was happy we checked this area out while we were still there! We must be heading in opposite directions – I’m using your blog on Colorado Springs area for reference.