In downtown Winslow, near that famous corner, you’ll find the little Old Trails Museum, 212 Kinsley Ave. at Second St. (www.oldtrailsmuseum.org; tel. 928/289-5861), a focal point of community memory. Set in a former bank, complete with its original vault, the museum has exhibits on Route 66 and the Harvey Girls (who once worked in the nearby La Posada hotel). It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free.
For a nice change of pace, stop by the SNOWDRIFT Art Space, 120 W. Second St. (www.snowdriftart.com; tel. 928/289-8201), an art gallery/studio owned by artist Daniel Lutzick, who was one of the people who helped get the historic La Posada hotel up and running again. Call for a guided tour.
On the windswept plains northeast of Winslow, 1 1/4 miles north of I-40 at exit 257, Homolovi Ruins State Park (www.azstateparks.com; tel. 928/289-4106) preserves more than 300 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, several of which have been partially excavated, including a 1,400-room pueblo. The ruins represent a pueblo that was once among the most impressive in the Southwest, a peer of Wupatki and Walnut Canyon. There is a $7 entry fee per vehicle, payable at the visitor center. Be sure to arrive before 4pm to allow plenty of time to see the largest ruin, Homolovi II. If you’re there on the first Saturday of the month (except in August and December), come over after dark for a star-gazing party using the park’s big telescope.
Continuing north from the state park, you’ll find the little-known and little-visited Little Painted Desert County Park. It offers a sweeping, astonishing view of 660 acres of weathered Painted Desert sand hills below a steep rim, an unsuspected treasure that can only be seen from that tall cliff. To reach the park, continue north on Ariz. 87 from Homolovi Ruins State Park for another 12 miles. Look out for two ramadas on the left (there is a park entrance sign, but it’s too weathered to read). And once you leave the highway, watch out for potholes deep enough to swallow an RV.
Communing with the Spirits of the Past
Located on part of the old Hashknife Outfit, the largest ranch in the country during the late 19th century, Rock Art Ranch (tel. 928/386-5047 or 928/288-3260) is one of the finest ancient rock art sites in the state. The setting is absolutely enchanting, in narrow little Chevelon Canyon, which is almost invisible until you are right beside it. Pecked into the canyon’s walls are hundreds of Ancestral Puebloan petroglyphs, or rock art carvings, that span more than 8,000 years. Tours (reservations required) are available Monday through Saturday (call to get rate information and directions to the ranch). Also on the ranch are a museum of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts and a bunkhouse that dates from the Hashknife days. If you’re interested in petroglyphs, Rock Art Ranch should not be missed.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.