Celebrate 100 years the National Parks Service with FREE entrance days to all the National Parks in Arizona April 16 through April 24, 2016. Learn the history and mystery of these historic locations and you might find a spirit or two during your journey! So grab your camera, pack some snacks, and load up your vehicle. It’s time for a FREE haunted road trip!
So many places to see! And many of us have been fortunate to make a stop at some of these locations during “The Amazing Cemetery Crawl” throughout the years. This writer selected a few of the more popular locations explored.
Canyon De Chelly
People have lived in these canyons for nearly 5,000 years. Visitors claim they can hear the sounds of Indian warfare throughout “Massacre Cave” – a grisly remnant of the real-life Navajo slaughter that took place there. Learn the legend of Spider Rock. One of Spider woman’s functions is to enforce obedience in children. They are told that if they do not behave, Spider Woman will carry them away to be eaten. The top of Spider Rock is supposed to be white because of the bones of children.
Casa Grande Ruins
Now you can explore the mystery of the network of communities and irrigation canals at this Ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community. The “Great House” is preserved at Casa Grande Ruins. Voices from the past are often heard on a quiet day. Shadowy figures seem to be still living and working among the ruins.
National Historic Site
A great day hike, Fort Bowie honors the bitter conflict between Chiricahua Apaches and the U.S. military. It is a lasting monument to the bravery and endurance of U.S. soldiers paving the way for of the western frontier. Stop at the Fort Bowie Cemetery along the trail where ghost lights have been seen late at night. Rangers talk of hearing horse hooves of the Calvary horses riding along the trail on a quiet day.
National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, AZ/UT
Grand Canyon, AZ
There are too many ghost stories about the Grand Canyon to mention here! Your best bet is to pick up a copy of Debe Branning’s book “Grand Canyon Ghost Stories—Spooky Tales about Grand Canyon National Park” (Riverbend Publishing) and you will learn about at least 35 of the most haunted places in the Grand Canyon area. Pick up a copy on Amazon.com today or contact Debe Branning for an autographed copy.
National Historic Site
Hubbell Trading Post
Just the sound of the old squeaky wooden floor will remind you that it is the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation and the American Southwest. The park emits historic energy in every corner. Hike up the side of a mountain and stop at the tiny family cemetery and enjoy the view.
National Historic Trail
Juan Bautista de Anza
Begins in Nogales, AZ
National Recreational Area
Mojave Desert AZ/NV
Camp Verde, AZ
Gaze through the windows of the past into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The 20 room high-rise apartment is nestled into a towering limestone cliff. It tells a story of survival and the legacy of the Sinagua culture. Where did the people who once lived here go? Are their spirits still residing in the cliffs?
Black Mesa, AZ
National Historic Trail
AZ CA CO NV NM UT
Organ Pipe Cactus
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
More than 13,000 years of human history and culture are represented at Petrified Forest National Park. From prehistoric peoples to the Civilian Conservation Corps, from early explorers to Route 66 motorists, the park has many stories to tell. Hoodoos are natural stone towers at Devil’s Playground, one of the Off the Beaten Path routes featuring the back country of the park. The legends say: If you steal a piece of petrified rock from the forest you will have continuous bad luck—until you return it. Are you brave enough to take that challenge?
Sunset Crater Volcano
National Historical Park
The place of refuge is more than adobe, plaster, and wood. These historic ruins evoke tales of life and land transformed by cultures meeting and mixing. Father Kino’s 1691 landmark visit to an O’odham village when he established Mission Tumacácori was just one event among many. Walk to the back of the mission and visit the spirited old cemetery near the chapel.
Look for the desert hilltop ancient pueblo. Imaging scanning the desert landscape for the arrival of early traders. From the rooftop of the Tuzigoot pueblo it is easy to imagine. Imagine what life was like as you walk in the footsteps of those spirits who came before us.
Your will find Wupatiki nestled between the Painted Desert and ponderosa highlands of northern Arizona. There are many ancient pueblos of red-rock outcroppings across miles of prairie. If you linger and listen, earth and artifacts whisper their stories to you. Be sure and learn the secret of the mysterious blowhole found at the Wupatki Pueblo.
You better get started now! You have lots of historic highway to cover! Give a friend a call and they might want to come along for the adventure!
Get more information on hours and alerts from the National Park Services