Arizona

The Arizona section houses 186 images on an Overview page and four section pages, including
the Grand Canyon, Assorted Arizona (Sedona, Williams, Lake Havasu, and Sinagua Sites), plus
Canyon de Chelly and Antelope Canyon pages from the Indian Lands and Anasazi Sites section.

This Overview page contains sample images and display composites linked to the section pages.

Click an image to open a larger version.
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Grand Canyon             Assorted Arizona
Canyon de Chelly        Antelope Canyon

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Arizona Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links:

Grand Canyon      Sedona, Williams and Lake Havasu

Canyon de Chelly & Arizona Sinagua Sites

Antelope Canyon    Antelope Canyon Fractal Composites

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Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is an immense gorge in the northern Arizona landscape.

The Grand Canyon exposes much of the early geology of the North American continent. Recent studies
have determined that the canyon was cut beginning about 17 million years ago, revealing rocks from the
1.8 billion year old Vishnu Schist at the bottom of the gorge to the 230 million year old Kaibab Limestone
on the rim. There is a gap in the gorge between the 525 million year old rocks and the 1.8 billion year old
Vishnu Schist on the floor of the canyon, where the Grand Canyon Supergroup rocks were eroded away.

Much of the rock in the Grand Canyon was deposited when the area was a shallow sea, with beaches and swamps.
The area was uplifted beginning about 65 million years ago at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. The uplift steepened
the gradient of the Colorado River and tributaries, increasing their speed and ability to cut through rock. Along with
the increased amount of water flowing during the Ice Ages, these conditions led to formation of the Grand Canyon.
About 5 million years ago, the Gulf of California opened and lowered the Colorado River’s base level, increasing
its speed and the rate of erosion. Between 5 and 1.2 million years ago, most of the canyon depth was eroded.

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Mather Point View at Sunrise 1367

The view to the west from Mather Point at sunrise. In the foreground right is Plateau Point, with the
trail crossing to the Rim at the edge of Granite Gorge. In the upper left center is Osiris Temple, and
at the upper right center is Isis Temple. Below and to the right of Isis Temple is Cheops Pyramid.

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Yavapai Point East View Grand Canyon 1174

A late afternoon view to the east from Yavapai Point, the next viewpoint west from Mather Point.

In the foreground is Cedar Ridge and the southwestern face of O’Neill Butte. At left center is
Sumner Butte, Brahma Temple and Zoroaster Temple. Walhalla Plateau is on the horizon, and
at center left is Ottoman Amphitheater. At center is Wotans Throne, Thor Temple, Angels Gate,
Hawkin’s Butte and Patti Butte. The distance across the canyon here is roughly 15-16 miles.

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Grandeur Point Storm Grand Canyon 1200 16x9

A late afternoon storm over Osiris Temple, Shiva Temple and Trinity Creek (at left) approaches
Battleship and Granite Gorge in the foreground. The lit formation in the right center is Isis Temple.

Grandeur Point is on the Rim Trail west of Yavapai Point, at the western base of the peninsula to the
east of Grand Canyon Village. This view is from the Rim Trail just east of the Grandeur Point promontory.

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Hopi House Grand Canyon 1450 16x9

Hopi House is a multi-story stone masonry structure shaped like a Hopi Pueblo, designed by architect and
interior designer Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and built in 1904-05 as a concession facility on the South Rim.
A part of the Grand Canyon Village, it stands opposite the El Tovar Hotel, also built in 1905. Colter designed
Hopi House as a sort of living museum, where Hopi artisans could live and produce arts and crafts on site.

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Lookout Studio at Sunrise 1720

Lookout Studio in the center of Grand Canyon Village, illuminated by magnificent golden light at sunrise.

Built into the canyon rim, the native stone structure (originally known as “the Lookout” appears to grow out
of the South Rim. The stone rubble and coursed stone resembles 12th century Ancestral Pueblo architecture,
and the roughly rectangular building has exposed vigas (log roof supports) typical in Southwestern architecture.
Mary Colter included a large number of windows in Lookout Studio, making it her most well-illuminated design.

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Powell Point Dana Butte Tower of Set 1762

A wide angle view from Powell Point, looking over Dana Butte in the foreground. In the far left distance
is the conical Tower of Ra protruding above a ridge. The arc at left center is the Tower of Set, with the
cone and capstone behind it of Osiris Temple. To the right of Osiris Temple is Shiva Temple. Across
Salt Creek at the right is Isis Temple, and traversing the image beyond Dana Butte is Granite Gorge.

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Havasupai Mule Deer Juvenile 1410

A young Mule Deer at sunrise in the Havasupai area, west of Grand Canyon National Park.

Mule Deer, or Black-tailed Deer are named for their large mule-like ears. The differences between
the Black-tailed Deer and White-tailed deer are the size of the ears, the color of their tails, and the
fact that Black-tailed Deer’s antlers are bifurcated (they fork as they grow rather than branching off
from the main stem). The antlers begin to grow immediately after mating season in the spring, just
after the old antlers are shed. The Mule Deer is also generally larger than the White-tailed Deer.

GrandCanyon


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Grand Canyon page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Arizona Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links:

Grand Canyon      Sedona, Williams and Lake Havasu

Canyon de Chelly & Arizona Sinagua Sites

Antelope Canyon    Antelope Canyon Fractal Composites

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Sedona

Sedona is located in the northern Verde Valley, south of Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, and to the north of
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot, the Sinagua Pueblo sites on the south and west edges of the Verde Valley,
shown further down on this page. Sedona is renowned for the stunning beauty of its Red Rock country, and is
almost as well-known for its popularity with the New Age Movement, which came to the Sedona area in 1987.

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Morning in Sedona Cathedral Rock X0202

Cathedral Rock, about 45 minutes after sunrise when the light evened out and hit the landscape.

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Cockscomb Butte Sedona AZ X0071

Two balloonists float by Cockscomb Butte just after sunrise on New Year’s Day.

The Cockscomb (locally known as Cockscomb Butte) is a popular hiking and climbing
location south of Sedona, and one of the last prominent features in Red Rock Country.

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Dusty Bunch Williams AZ 1787

The “Dusty Bunch” stands guard outside the Dusty Bunch Gallery and Gift Shop in Williams, Arizona.

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Montezuma Castle X0096

Montezuma Castle

The Sinagua people (the name means “without water”) built cliff dwellings in the Verde Valley near Prescott, AZ. The most spectacular of these is called Montezuma Castle. Neither a Castle nor having anything to do with Montezuma or the Aztec Empire, the structure was misnamed by European Americans who found the cliff dwelling in the 1860s. The Sinagua ‘high rise’ was built into a hollowed-out alcove in the limestone cliffs between 1100 and 1425 AD. Montezuma Castle is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America, primarily because of limited disturbance since it was abandoned (it was been protected by the Hopi).

It was seen in 1583 and 1598 by two Spanish expeditions which were looking for mining opportunities, and was later “discovered” by the miners in the 1860s, who gave it its colorful but inaccurate name because at the time, many people thought that the Southwest had been colonized by the Aztecs or Toltecs from the South. Montezuma Castle has been closed to the public since 1951 due to damage caused by tens of thousands of visitors.

Montezuma Castle is one of the finest examples of prehistoric  architecture in the Southwest, built into a hollowed-out alcove in the limestone cliffs. The five story dwelling contains over 20 rooms, and is thought to have housed 50 people. It overlooks the fertile fields which were irrigated by systems left in place by the previous Hohokam residents of the valley.

Montezuma Castle was one of the four original National Monuments designated by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

 

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Montezuma Castle X0089

The only way up into the cliff dwelling was via ladders or by climbing the cliff, which provided
the inhabitants with a natural defense against enemy tribes. The structure is a composite of
a rear section (the older of the two sections, three stories tall), and a front section which is
three stories tall, the third story of which is a single front room in front of the lowest central
room of the rear section. The total complex is five stories tall, with 21 rooms including the
three cavates (hollowed-out cave-rooms), plus a Plaza and a Parapet in the rear section.
 

Tuzigoot

The Sinagua people who farmed the Verde Valley 20 miles northwest of Montezuma Castle
built a multi-story Pueblo atop a limestone spine near the Verde River. Tuzigoot is Apache for
‘Crooked Water’, referring to the oxbow of Peck’s Lake, a cutoff meander of the Verde River.
The two to three story pueblo had 110 rooms, the first of which was built in about 1000 AD.

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Tuzigoot Sinagua Pueblo X0210
(822 KB)

The North Central rooms of Tuzigoot overlooked by the Citadel (tower room).

200 pottery vessels were recovered from the ruins, which were excavated
between 1933 and 1934 by Louis Caywood and Edward Spicer from the
University of Arizona with funding from the CWA and WPA, two federal
work projects during the Great Depression. The pottery was similar to
Jeddito black-on-yellow from the Hopi Pueblo IV period, and it was
reassembled over a two year period and called Tuzigoot Ware.
Many pieces and other artifacts are displayed in the museum.

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Tuzigoot Sinagua Pueblo X0220
(765 KB)

The most dramatic angle of the Southern rooms at Tuzigoot from atop the Citadel (tower room).

The Sinagua left Tuzigoot in about 1400 AD. Several Hopi clans trace their ancestry to the
Southern Sinagua from the Verde Valley, and believe they left the valley for religious reasons.

AssortedArizona


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Assorted Arizona page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Arizona Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links:

Grand Canyon      Sedona, Williams and Lake Havasu

Canyon de Chelly & Arizona Sinagua Sites

Antelope Canyon    Antelope Canyon Fractal Composites

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Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona has long been a home to the Navajo people.

The Navajo (Dine, pronounced “Dineh”) are Athabaskan people who originally migrated from Alaska
and Northwestern Canada after the Paleo-Indian ancestors passed across the Bering Land Bridge
from Eastern Siberia during the last Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago. The Dine (Navajo) and the
Indeh (Apache) were tribes of hunter-gatherers when they entered the Southwest before 1400.
The Navajo learned farming from the Pueblo people, and while some continued their raiding
and hunter-gatherer lifestyle as did the Apache tribes, many began farming in the canyons
of the Southwest. The Tewa words “Nava” (cultivated field) and “Hu” (canyon mouth) were
used by Pueblo people to describe the Dine to the Spanish, who then named them the
“Apache de Navaju”. One of the earliest canyons occupied and farmed by the Navajo
was Canyon de Chelly (or “Tseyi”, Navajo for “inside the rock”), and it is still a part of
the Navajo Nation. It contains Anasazi ruins (Navajo word meaning “ancient ones” or
“enemy ancestors”), including White House Ruins and several others shown below.

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Canyon de Chelly First Ruins X9996
(583 KB)

The Kayenta Anasazi constructed a number of cliff dwellings and structures on the canyon floor
between the 11th and 13th centuries. The First Ruins are aptly named because they are the first
ruins encountered in the canyon, and they were the first ruins studied in 1882 by Cosmos Mindeleff
who directed the team from the Bureau of American Ethnology who excavated and studied the ruins.
First Ruins has 22 rooms and a Kiva situated on a narrow ledge perched high above the canyon floor.

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Canyon de Chelly White House Overlook X10008

Canyon de Chelly from the South Rim White House Overlook.

In the center against the canyon wall are White House Ruins.
De Chelly is pronounced “de Shay”. The name is derived from
the Spanish pronunciation of Tseyi, Navajo (Dine) for “canyon”.

The Anasazi who lived in the canyon were descended from Early Basketmaker cultures who
had lived in pithouses and farmed in the canyon. The Anasazi built a number of cliff dwellings
in the canyon and pueblos on the canyon floor. After they disappeared around 1300, the Hopi
farmed in the canyon, leaving for their mesas after the harvest. Navajo arrived in about 1700.

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Canyon de Chelly White House Ruins X10034

The site of White House Ruins was occupied for over a thousand years.
Two Basketmaker II era (1500 BC to 500 AD) pithouses are under the ruins.
Tree-ring dates indicate that much of the early construction occurred between
1060 and 1087 AD, with some additional construction between 1219 and 1276.
The later Pueblo III era masonry was of lesser quality than earlier core-and-veneer
masonry of the Pueblo II period. Ceramics recovered from White House Ruins
showed wide variation, and dated from as early as 825 AD. There were also
Navajo artifacts recovered, including ritual artifacts and a sacrificial figurine
which indicating that the site was used later for Hopi and Navajo rituals.
The upper ruin was constructed in the 1080s at about the same time
as upper parts of the lower ruin, and occupied through the 1200s.

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Canyon de Chelly
Upper White House Ruins X10015c M

(1500 x 1290, 657 KB)

Detail of the Upper White House Ruins and petroglyphs.
Note the 1800s graffiti scratched into the upper structure.

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Canyon de Chelly
Lower White House Ruins X10016c M

(1500 x 1290, 665 KB)

Detail of the Lower White House Ruins and petroglyphs.
Note the core-and-veneer masonry and tapering walls.

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Canyon de Chelly Sliding House Overlook X10037

A view West of Canyon de Chelly from Sliding House Overlook on the South Rim.

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Canyon de Chelly Spider Rock X10067

Spider Rock

Spider Rock is sort of an unofficial icon of Canyon de Chelly. The monolithic red sandstone formation was eroded by wind and rain over the course of 230 million years.

Spider Rock is a sandstone spire rising 800 feet over the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly, Monument Canyon and Bat Canyon. The name refers both to the entire formation and to the larger spire at left.

Spider Rock is the home of Spider Woman, associated with emergence of life on Earth. She taught the early Navajo their survival skills, and also taught them the art of weaving. Her husband Spider Man created the first loom, and Dine men still create looms today.

The larger spire is the lair of Spider Grandmother, or Spider Woman. In legends of the Dine, she created the universe by throwing a dew-covered web into the sky. She also taught the Dine how to weave baskets, and when Speaking Rock, the lower spire, reports misbehaving children to Spider Woman, she catches and eats them. Be afraid...

Dine legend says that bleached rocks atop Spider Woman’s spire are the bones of these children. Be very afraid...

Spider Rock has been used in many films, and in television commercials with cars sitting atop Grandmother’s spire.

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Canyon de Chelly Spider Rock X10062

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Canyon de Chelly Spider Rock Ruins X10056c

Located on a precarious outcropping above the base of the Speaking Rock spire of Spider Rock are ruins of an Anasazi cliff dwelling. On the rock shelf at right is the ruin of a Kiva, a circular ceremonial structure.

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Click the Display Composite above to visit the Canyon de Chelly page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Arizona Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links:

Grand Canyon      Sedona, Williams and Lake Havasu

Canyon de Chelly & Arizona Sinagua Sites

Antelope Canyon    Antelope Canyon Fractal Composites

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Upper Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is located on the Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park a few miles south of Page, Arizona
near the Utah border. This page details Upper Antelope Canyon (the Navajo (Dine) name is Tse-Bighanilini,
which means “the place where water runs through rocks”). Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, a narrow cleft
in the Navajo Sandstone carved by flash floods which eroded the rock into a winding maze, which in some
spots is so narrow that both sides can be touched at once. The erosion has created spectacular flowing
patterns and formations in the rock, and in places the sun can pierce the narrow opening at the top of
the canyon, producing beams of light (most often in the summer, when the sun is high in the sky).

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Antelope Canyon X2455

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Antelope Canyon X2456

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Antelope Canyon X2470

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Antelope Canyon X2472

Antelope_Canyon_X2492


Antelope Canyon X2492

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Antelope Canyon XXXL

A 1227 x 1250 version of the XXXL Composite (8566 x 8725).

The lower section of this image is a Fractal Composite.
The image below is one of 10 of the 23 Fractal Composites
which I have created from images of Upper Antelope Canyon.

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Antelope Canyon Bears and Fractal Wolf X2531 M

A 1500 x 1225 version of the XXL Composite (5698 x 4415).

AntelopeCanyon


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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Arizona Collection where a Gallery can be selected.

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Direct Links:

Grand Canyon      Sedona, Williams and Lake Havasu

Canyon de Chelly & Arizona Sinagua Sites

Antelope Canyon    Antelope Canyon Fractal Composites

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Southwest


Click the Display Composite above to return to the Southwest Section Index page.

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