by Bob Kabrhel
(Full Timer – anywhere)
Summer Solstice shadows at V-V
How to get there: OK, look at your map and find Az I-17. See where AZ rte 179 (the road to Sedona)intersects? Well, exit I-17 there but, at the bottom of the exit ramp, instead of taking Rte 179 (which goes west) take the 2 lane un-named road going East.
Drive 4 miles or so through interesting terrain, over one-lane bridges, past the Ranger Station sign, then slowly past the RV Park entrance on your left (and parking lot on your right) continuing 50 feet or so to a bridge over Beaver Creek. Stop on the bridge and look left (upstream) to get a glimpse of the most wonderful swimming hole youve seen in a long time.
You did wear your bathing suit under your clothes and bring old shoes didn’t you? And bring a picnic lunch? Hope so, because in an hour or so you’ll wish you had!.
But for now continue on the now gravel road for 100 yards or so and turn right at the first opportunity. Park and walk down to the small welcome center armed with your National Park Pass or purchase a Red Rock Pass which will allow you to park anywhere in the Red Rock National Monument Area for the day.
You will be directed to a most amazing Petroglyph site, a 1/4 mile easy hike. You do have a camera right? The docent is full of info – so engage him in conversation to enhance your experience.
It’s wondrous any time, but if you happen to be there on June 21st – the Summer Solstice – you will see the Indian Calandar shadows fall across the sheer vertical petroglyph laden rock face. A once a year treat! (See picture)
Now, backtrack to the Beaver Creek “swimmin” hole and enjoy! JUST DO IT! Take your noodles and float! Spend the other half of your day visiting Montezuma’s Well and Montezuma’s Castle which are at the next 2 exits south on I-17.
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