Have You Seen These Strange Things In Arizona?
If you think that Arizona is all desert and tumbleweeds, you’re wrong. The state boasts lush trees against red mountains and even snow in the north. But if you patiently drive down the long, lonely highways, you’ll encounter some unexpected sights.
Abandoned domes. A bridge to nowhere. A pumpkin filled with toxic chemicals. All of these and more can be found in Arizona if you know where to look. Here are the most unusual and fascinating sights throughout the state.
Next to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, you’ll find thousands of abandoned airplanes. The Boneyard, as it’s called, is the largest airplane dump in the world. Since World War II, it has stored military aircrafts such as B-29 Superfortresses and C-47 Skytrains.
The Boneyard’s official name has changed multiple times over the years. Today, it is known as the 309th Aerospace Maintenance Regeneration Group. Over 4,400 aircraft from NASA, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, and the Marines are stored there.
Ancient Rock Art
If you look in the right places, you’ll find several rock art pieces in Arizona. They’re not in shops or museums, but in their natural habitat. These drawings were carved by the ancients, and you may need a Navajo guide to find them.
One site is 20 miles from Sedona, in the Verde Valley. There, you’ll find petroglyphs made by the Sinagua people around 1150 AD. Twenty-five miles west of Tuscan, you’ll find 800-year-old drawings from the Hohokam people along Signal Hill Trail.
A Missile Silo
In Sahuarita, about 25 miles south of Tucson, you can visit a former ICBM missile site. It’s inside a museum called the Titan Missile Museum. If you descend underground, you’ll find the Titan II missile, which is 31 miles tall (103 feet).
Don’t worry, though–the silo deactivated in 1984. After the Cold War, most Titan II silos were demolished except for this one. The surviving Titan II has no fuel or missile inside of it so that you can view it safely.
A Teepee Motel
In the Pixar movie Cars, the characters visit the Cozy Cone Motel, with cone-shaped rooms. These were likely based on the Wigwam Village Motel #6. Resting along Route 66, the motel features enormous teepees that act as guest rooms.
Each teepee stands 21 feet tall and comes with a toilet, sink, and shower. Next to the teepees are vintage cars. Those don’t belong to anyone; they’re permanently scattered through the property as creative decorations.
A Volcanic Crater
Drive 25 miles north of Flagstaff, and you’ll find several cinder cones. One of those is SP Crater, an active volcano with a 4.5-mile lava flow. Although it’s on private property, the owners allow tourists to climb the 820-foot-tall crater and see the lava.
Volcanologists estimate that SP Crater is between 65,000 and 71,000 years old. Although this crater gets less attention than its neighbor, Sunset Crater, it’s still impressive and can easily be missed.