US Route 89 Roadside Diversion: Shrine of St. Joseph
No matter what your religious persuasion or non-persuasion, you will find the Shrine of St. Joseph in the Mountains worth a stop. The shrine is in Yarnell, Arizona, in the mountainous transition zone between the desert and the Colorado Plateau. Look for the small sign on the west side of the highway in the middle of town and follow Shrine Road about a half mile to the parking area.
The first thing that you see when you enter the garden is a life-size statue of Joseph holding a young Jesus. It is as if Joseph had just arrived home from working in his carpenter shop and scooped the child up in his arms when he ran to greet him.
From the entrance garden a trail leads up into the granite boulders and live oaks. For Christians the trail tells the story of the last day of Jesus life including five life-size statues and the twelve stations of the cross.
The sculptor is a Native American man, Felix Lucero, who also created a depiction of the Garden of Gethsemane in Tucson. The shrine was build and is maintained by a group of lay Catholics from Phoenix. It is open from dawn to dusk every day and there is no admission charge.
To learn more about visiting Yarnell, go to the Wickenburg to Prescott Road Trip Guide on the US Route 89 Appreciation Society website.
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