Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona is a region in Arizona, a state of the United States of America. It is most famous for the Grand Canyon but includes a wide range of other destinations that are notable for their scenery and diversity.

Cities

Tree growing in lava fields, Sunset Crater
Pueblo ruins, Wupatki

Other destinations

Understand

For purposes of this article, North (Arizona) is taken to be everything in the state north of Interstate highway 40 (following the historic Route 66), west of (and including) Winslow and east of Kingman. The region also extends southward along I-17 from Flagstaff toward Phoenix, to include attractions within 20 miles or so of the highway north of Greater Phoenix. This definition is arbitrary, as region definitions for this state vary.

This is a geographically diverse area that contains not only the famous Grand Canyon but also some mountainous country near Flagstaff and lesser canyon/mesa terrain to the east and west. Part of Navajo Nation falls within this region. There are a number of national parks and monuments here, many of them either clustered around Flagstaff or within Navajo Nation. Flagstaff makes a good base of operations from which to explore these attractions, most of which do not feature lodging themselves.

The northernmost part of this region is separated from the rest of it by the Grand Canyon and is known as the "Arizona Strip" - no relation to the "Strip" in Las Vegas, although that city isn't far away as the crow flies. Getting to the Arizona Strip from elsewhere in northern Arizona can be tricky owing to the obvious logistical difficulties imposed by the Canyon, and as a result, it has acquired a cultural identity that in many regards has more to do with southern Utah than with the rest of Arizona. First settled by Mormon pioneers, the area features several areas of interest such as Pipe Spring National Monument, a onetime Mormon outpost, and Colorado City, a polygamist community on the Arizona-Utah border.

Talk

English in the state of Arizona represents a blend of North Midland and South Midland dialects without clear regional differences. Although English is the primary language of Arizona, many primary and secondary Spanish speakers are prevalent due to the state's proximity to Mexico. Much of the regional language and place-names are directly influenced by Spanish and the local Native American languages. With the possible exception of the Navajo word hogan (earthand-timber dwelling), the linguistic influence of Arizona's Yuma, Papago(Tohono O'odham), Pima(Akimel O'odham), Hiaki (Yaqui), Apache, Navajo(Dine), and Hopi tribes is strongly limited to place-names, including Arizona itself, Yuma, Havasu, Tucson, and Oraibi.

Get in

There is commuter air service to Flagstaff, connecting to the major airport at Phoenix. Air service to the airport at the Grand Canyon has existed in the past. One can also reach the region via train; the Southwest Chief, Amtrak's main line through the southwestern United States, runs east-west through the region, with a major and well-centralized stop in Flagstaff as well as smaller stations in Winslow, Williams and Kingman. Primary access, however, is by road. Historic Route 66 follows the route of I-40 along this region's southern edge, with points of interest along the way and reasonably good roads leading north and south. I-17 connects Flagstaff and Phoenix (and can be a complete zoo on the weekends as Phoenicians get out of town). Access from the north is distinctly limited by the daunting terrain of the Grand Canyon, but US highway 89 enters from Utah at Page and eventually connects to I-40 near Flagstaff.

Drink

Flagstaff and Sedona are the only towns in this region large enough to have significant nightlife. Visitors to the region should note that alcoholic beverages are prohibited within Navajo Nation.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, December 14, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.