2017 US Route 89 Calendar Cover

2017 Calendar: US Route 89 National Parks & Monuments

2017 calendar featuring photographs of the National Parks and Monuments along US Route 89 by James Cowlin

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Direction sign or US 89T

Getting to Page, Arizona, on US 89T

Since the Big Slump closed US 89 in northern Arizona in February 2013, I have received numerous requests for information about alternative roads. At first, a detour route was established between Flagstaff and Page, Arizona, that took travelers 50 miles out of their way adding at least an hour to the trip. A much shorter […]

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The Painted Desert Project

The last place you would expect to find street art is along US Route 89 on the Navajo Reservation. But there it is. You can’t miss it as you head north from Flagstaff. It’s on tanks and roadside jewelry stands. Big black and white photographs pasted up there for all to see. We first saw […]

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Tumacacori National Historical Park

Spanish Settlements in Southern Arizona

In this day of Google maps and GPS’s everywhere, it is hard to imagine how the world looked to the Spanish explorers when they arrived in the region we now call Arizona. Early explorers had mistakenly believed that California was an island and the territory between the Rio Grande and Colorado Rivers was a blank […]

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US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Catalina State Park

The Santa Catalina Mountains dominate the horizon as you approach Tucson from any direction. The tallest peak is Mount Lemon at over 9,100 feet, some 6,900 feet above the surrounding valley. The whole range covers 200 square miles and is one of the largest of the aptly named Sky Islands of southern Arizona. Historic US […]

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Lonely Dell Ranch, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, AZ

US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Lonely Dell Ranch

The first time I saw Lonely Dell Ranch at Lee’s Ferry was at the end of a five-day backpack through Paria Canyon. It was a welcome sight, a green oasis among the red rocks. My fellow hikers and I sat at picnic tables in the shade of tall cottonwoods eating lunch and recalling the highlights […]

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The first Navajo Bridge

US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Navajo Bridge

The most unusual, not to mention scary, assignment I had as an industrial photographer was working with an engineering firm inspecting Navajo Bridge. The bridge had been completed in 1929 and by the 1989 was showing its age. The inspection consisted of crawling around on the superstructure looking at every weld and bolt. My job […]

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US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: West Fork of Oak Creek

Towering above you as you hike up the West Fork of Oak Creek are red and white limestone and sandstone canyon walls. At your feet is the gentle burble of the creek surrounded by wildflowers. The descending notes of the Canyon Wren’s song echos against the rocks. It is no wonder that this is one […]

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US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Tumacácori National Historical Park

There are two ways to appreciate the mission church at Tumacácori—its historic significance and its architectural qualities. The long history of Tumacácori begins with Father Eusebio Francisco Kino who came to the the Santa Cruz River valley at the request of the O’odham people who lived there. He established a mission at Guevavi and a […]

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US Route 89 Roadside Attraction: Domingues-Escalante Historic Site

Talk about a road trip. On July 29, 1776, two Franciscan priests, a cartographer and eight men set out from Santa Fe to map an overland route to the missions in California. Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Silvestre Vélez de Escalante traveled through present day Colorado and into Utah. They arrived at Utah Lake near the […]

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