Western Arizona

Oatman. If it was good enough for Clark Gable and Carole Lombard on their honeymoon, Oatman should be good enough for you, although it's been 73 years since the Hollywood couple spent their honeymoon night in the allegedly haunted Oatman Hotel. Oatman's other attraction is its wild burros, which beg for food like large puppies. They're cute but pushy. (928) 768-6222, http://www.oatmangoldroad.org

Old Route 66, Oatman to Kingman. The other reason to come to Oatman: It's where you'll start a winding drive to Kingman on Old Route 66, past the ghost town of Goldroad and up to Sitgreaves Pass at 3,500 feet. Just before the pass, there's an excellent vista looking west toward Oatman with a small collection of gravestone markers. It's gravel, so if you slip and start sliding, you could be joining those dearly departed. CH


FOR THE RECORD:
Arizona sights: An article in the Feb. 12 Travel section about 100 things to see and do in Arizona referred to the pies at Pizzeria Bianco as "deep dish." The pizzas there are thin crust. —



Kingman. Cowboy and character actor Andy Devine isn't a native of Kingman — he was born in Flagstaff — but Kingman claims him, named a major thoroughfare for him and has a room dedicated to him at the Mohave County Museum. Of special note is a telegram signed by a fellow actor from California: "Nancy joins me in wishing you the happiest birthday ever.... Sincerely, Ronald Reagan Governor of California." 400 W. Beale St., Kingman; (928) 753-3195, http://www.mohavemuseum.org. Admission $5. CH

London Bridge, Lake Havasu. If the Grand Canyon is the granddaddy of Arizona attractions, London Bridge is the prince. The span, which traces its royal roots to 1831 England, was purchased in 1971 for $2.4 million, but it cost more than $4 million to ship. A look at this big, blocky bridge is unaffecting, but when you walk across, you have to wonder in whose footsteps you're following — Charles Dickens? Jack the Ripper? Queen Victoria? (928) 855-5655, http://www.golakehavasu.com CH

Arizona 95. The drive south from Lake Havasu to Quartzsite is surprising. There you are in the middle of the desert and suddenly, there's Cattail Cove State Park, a 2,000-acre park with five dozen campsites, a sapphire blue ribbon courtesy of the Colorado River, a boat ramp and a beach. Never mind the sign that tells you to watch out for snakes and scorpions. A little farther along 95, you reach the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge, complete with cottonwoods and cattail stands, a 6,105-acre riparian oasis. Cattail Cove, (520) 586-2283, http://www.azstateparks.com/Parks/CACO/index.html. Bill Williams, (925) 667-4144, http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/billwill.html. CH

Quartzsite. You know you've reached RV heaven when you see the sign for an RV proctologist. Yes, Quartzsite has a huge RV show (and is RV central for snowbirds), but it's mostly for shoppers, if you like the idea of hundreds of vendors in tents and out of doors. There are gems and minerals (and big shows focused on those) and hundreds of swap meet vendors. They say if you can't find it in Quartzsite, it can't be found. The town, population about 3,700, hosts 1.5 million visitors a year who arrive in November and December. Many stay, leaving about March 1. (928) 927-9321, http://www.ci.quartzsite.az.us. CH

Hi Jolly, Quartzsite. Here's a story straight out of Hollywood: The U.S. Army decides to try camels instead of horses in the desert. Alas, the camels don't speak English, and the soldiers don't speak Arabic. Enter a Greek/Syrian fellow named Hadji Ali, also known as Philip Tedro, but ultimately known as Hi Jolly. He wrangles the beasts for this experiment, which ends after the camels can't adapt to the rocky, cactus-needle-laden desert floor. (Some say the Army didn't give it enough time.) Hi Jolly eventually dies in Quartzsite, where a monument is built to him; it's on the National Register. His grave in Quartzsite is the most obvious in the recently rededicated cemetery; it's the only one with a camel atop it. (928) 927-9321, http://www.ci.quartzsite.az.us CH

Castle Dome Mines Museum. About 40 miles from Yuma is the Castle Dome Mines Museum, a love letter to the rough-and-tumble mining region. More than 30 buildings (lots of bars, as was customary), clustered together, tell the story of the 3,000 or so people who once dug out a living from the earth. Today, closed-off mine shafts dot the countryside. Many of them held the detritus of daily life and, when opened, were like little time capsules. It's in the middle of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, up a road that will give your car's suspension — and yours — a good workout. Open mid-October to April, by appointment other times. (928) 920-3062, http://www.castledomemuseum.com. Admission $10. Take Arizona 95 to Mile post 55 and turn toward Castle Dome.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. Elena Estrada's lover messed around, but when she was angry, she apparently didn't: She sliced open his chest, yanked out his heart and threw the bloody innards on him. That's how she ended up in Yuma Territorial Prison, at the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers. This prison, re-created and restored from the 1876 structures, was open for 33 years, saw about 3,000 prisoners (Estrada was one of only 29 women) and was either the "country club on the Colorado" or a hellhole. Judging from the tiny cells where six bunks are clustered, I'd vote for the latter. The characters who passed through here, whether prisoners or superintendents or their wives, speak volumes about the Old West. 1 Prison Hill Road, Yuma; (928) 783-4771, http://www.azstateparks.com/Parks/YUTE/index.html. Admission $5. CH

Northern and eastern Arizona

Lower Antelope Canyon. Not for the passive walker, the canyon is an interactive experience that you climb and squeeze your way through. At its steepest points, visitors can continue only with the aid of metal stairs. Because it is part of the Antelope Canyon-Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, access is by tour only. Tours start at $20, plus $6 admission. http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm /antelopecanyon.htm. JL

Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano national monuments. Legend has it that 19th century explorer John Wesley Powell gave the crater its name because he thought its rim resembled a sunset. Just up the road from Sunset Crater is Wupatki National Monument, with picturesque scenery and pueblo ruins. You can tour the pueblo grounds, including the ball court and community room. Volcano National Monument, (928) 526-0502, http://www.nps.gov/sucr/. Wupatki National Monument, (928) 679-2365, http://www.nps.gov/wupa. The $5 fee is good for admission to both monuments. Children younger than 16 are free. Open year-round. JL

Petrified Forest National Park. The park has first-rate scenery, and much of it can be appreciated up close. Driving the 28-mile road that leads past most of the park's sights takes at least an hour, not taking into account stops. The Blue Mesa Trail carries you into the bowels of the Painted Desert's badlands, an alien-like landscape strewn with kaleidoscopic petrified wood. Admission is $10 per vehicle. (928) 524-6228, http://www.nps.gov/pefo. JL

Canyon de Chelly National Monument. As nearly as spectacular as the Grand Canyon 200 miles to the west, but far less crowded. (928) 674-5500, http://www.nps.gov/cach. Visitor center open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. JJ

Totsonii Ranch organizes half-day, full-day and overnight trips — by horseback — into Canyon de Chelly. (928) 551-0109, http://www.totsoniiranch.com. Tours from $50 with a two-person minimum. JJ

Explore Navajo Interactive Museum. About three hours west of Canyon de Chelly, with a variety of exhibits on Navajo history and culture. 10 N. Main St., Tuba City; (928) 640-0684, http://www.explorenavajo.com. JJ