Travels this year took a wide and lengthy detour with a stay in Arizona. While there, we visited the second biggest tourist attraction in Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon.
About 10 million years ago the ancestral canyon formed along the Oak Creek Fault Line. The canyon alternately filled with gravel and lava but eventually the modern canyon was formed by erosion from Oak Creek. When you visit, you are visiting something very ancient as well as beautiful.This canyon is beautiful with vista-type views in places, trees and rock formations. Oak Creek is a tributary of the Verde River, still flows at the bottom of the canyon and is one of very few perennial streams in Northern Arizona’s high desert country.
Our first stop was at the vista view turn off designed just for viewing the canyon. Pictures don’t do it justice!
Here it is zoomed in.
Here, too, are Native American vendors with their handmade jewelry and more displayed on tables under canopies. The canopies help protect from the sun and heat, although in this high country it is cooler. We didn’t get any photos of them this day but we did pick up a pretty bracelet for a friend. The jewelry is quality made with quality silver and semi-precious stones and very beautiful.
As you travel down the canyon from the north (Flagstaff), there are camping areas and day spots to pull into. You can walk the creek or even fish if you have a license.
Lower are the many unique rock formations that lead into Sedona. Here are a few of them.
This wasn’t our first visit to Oak Creek Canyon and we never tire of the ride and views. If you get to Arizona near I-17, this drive is best seen driving north to south and is not to be missed!