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 / Travel & Outdoor
Arizona Highways Magazine

Arizona Highways Magazine March 2019

For more than 90 years, Arizona Highways has delighted readers with award winning journalism and photography, reflecting Arizona’s stature as one of the top vacation destinations around the globe. Every issue showcases the most amazing photography and valuable information you need to enjoy the unique and diverse travel destinations in and around the state.

United States
Arizona Department of Transportation
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4 min.
editor’s letter

Like a picture, which is said to be worth a thousand words, a single word can inspire a thousand stories. In our long history, no word, with the possible exception of “canyon,” has been the genesis for more prose, poetry and photography than “Navajoland.” It’s a wellspring that never runs dry. “Navajoland would be noteworthy if for no other reason than scenery,” Editor Raymond Carlson wrote in our August 1950 issue. “Here is a paradise for the traveler seeking beauty in distant places, willing to venture over untried roads, capable of enjoying the solitude and loneliness of a country both primitive and isolated. Here is a land that challenges the gypsy in a person, defies the glib, packaged details of the travelogue and timetable. The roads may be rough and rambunctious,…

2 min.

CAITLIN O’HARA Caitlin O’Hara says she got into photography to preserve family memories, but she got her start in photojournalism at the Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University. She moved to the Phoenix area from Indianapolis in 2015, and since then, she’s been making photographs around the state. This month, she photographed Roseann and Lester Littleman in Mystical Antelope Canyon (see Niyol kééhat’íidi, page 48), a slot canyon on the Littlemans’ homestead near Page. “I had never been to Antelope Canyon,” O’Hara says, “but I report from the Navajo Nation whenever I get the chance. It’s a beautiful place with wonderful people. Rose and Lester were so kind and shared stories and their time with me as they showed me their beautiful canyon. It was the treasure of a lifetime to…

3 min.

I’VE ENJOYED READING Arizona Highways for a long time. I’ve also spent many enchanted days traveling your highways and byways. I especially love dirt roads. Esther Henderson’s photograph of the road to Ruby on page 51 of the January 2019 issue just knocked me out. It’s so beautifully composed. I don’t drive anymore, but that photo makes me want to jump in the car and go. Richard Kennon, Merritt Island, Florida Many thanks for your terrific January 2019 issue [The 1950s: A Flashback From the Archive of Arizona Highways]. The photos brought back numerous wonderful memories. I well recall viewing construction progress of the television antenna (KPHO) atop the Westward Ho from Kenilworth school in 1949, then elbowing my way through crowds of people looking in shop windows at the magic of…

1 min.
the journal

Moment in the Sun The setting sun silhouettes Jessica Jenkins as she tackles Steve’s Arete, a rock-climbing route on Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains. This spot is near Windy Point, a vista along the Catalina Highway; the road leads from the Tucson area to Summerhaven, near the top of the mountain. For more information, call the Coronado National Forest’s Santa Catalina Ranger District at 520-749-8700 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/coronado. SONY ILCE-7RM2, 1/500 SEC, F/14, ISO 100, 31 MM LENS; PHOTOGRAPH BY BRADLEY SPENCE…

1 min.
sonoran desert toads

Whether or not Sonoran Desert toads (Incilius alvarius) are distant cousins of Jabba the Hutt is a matter of debate. But there’s no debating these amphibians’ place as the largest toad species native to Arizona: They can grow to more than 7.5 inches in length, and they’ve been described as eating “just about anything that moves and will fit into their mouths,” including mice and other amphibians. As their name implies, Sonoran Desert toads are found primarily in the desert areas that make up most of Arizona’s southern half, but they’ve been known to live at elevations up to 5,800 feet. Their skin toxins reportedly have hallucinogenic qualities and are strong enough to kill a dog. How those toxins would affect a Wookiee remains unknown. ADDITIONAL READING: To learn more about Arizona’s…

2 min.
black sphinx dates

In 1928, Roy Franklin discovered a seedling of a previously unknown variety of date palm growing in the front yard of a Phoenix home. Franklin didn’t know it at the time, but that palm was the start of a thriving business centered on Black Sphinx dates — the only type of date believed to have originated in Arizona. Franklin turned to Ellen Brophy, a philanthropist and member of a pioneering Phoenix family, to create what became the Sphinx Date Ranch. Acres of the newly discovered palms were planted on Brophy property in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood, and Ellen’s son, Frank Cullen Brophy, coined the name “Sphinx” — a nod to the fact that date palms originally were imported to Arizona from the Middle East. Black Sphinx dates are small, black and soft,…