, 2023-05-12 08:03:58,
Long summer days are the perfect time to ramble around this remarkable state looking for fun. In Arizona, we have a little bit of everything.
Cool off in the mountains. Explore a shady slot canyon. Camp and fish at a picturesque lake. Enjoy an adventure at a big family playground. Attend a colorful festival or a thrilling street race. You can even hang out with celebrities in a Wild West town.
So think about how you’d like to spend these languid days and then just aim your vehicle accordingly. Here are a few ideas to help start your summer off right.
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Mogollon Rim: Camp and catch a fish at Willow Springs Lake
The 150-acre lake, ringed by pine, oak and fir trees, is stocked regularly with trout from spring through fall. The 7,600-foot elevation provides a welcome relief from desert heat.
If you’d like to drop a line, an Arizona fishing license is required. The upper ends of the two long coves of the lake are good spots to try for rainbow and brown trout. The lake also supports a population of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Boats are limited to 10 horsepower and a paved ramp provides easy access.
Sinkhole Campground is within walking distance of the water. With 26 sites, it includes tent camping, picnic tables and vault toilets for $20 per night. The Canyon Point Campground (113 sites, 32 with electricity) is 5 miles away. It includes picnic tables, showers, flush toilets and drinking water. $28 for nonelectric sites, $33 for electric. There are some first come, first served sites at both campgrounds. Make reservations by calling 877-444-6777 or at www.recreation.gov.
Details: From Payson, drive east on State Route 260 for about 30 miles to the signed turnoff at Forest Road 149. 928-333-6280, www.fs.usda.gov/asnf.
Vermilion Cliffs: Hike a wavy slot canyon at Buckskin Gulch
Start from the Wire Pass Trailhead and you’ll squeeze through one short but sweet slot canyon to reach the mother of all slot canyons, Buckskin Gulch.
Buckskin is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the United States. Wavy sandstone walls stretch for 16 miles across the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area spilling into Utah. Overnight permits must be booked well in advance but there are no limits on day hikers. Purchase online or at the trailhead.
You’ll hike a dry streambed for nearly a mile before entering the tight confines of Wire Pass, with water-smoothed walls spiraling upward. There’s a…
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