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Get Your Kicks on Route 66

by Gary Nelson

Nothing speaks more to the adventurous spirit of the 20th century in America than Route 66.  Millions of people used this legendary highway to make their way across the country in its heyday.  And even though this highway was overtaken by more modern freeways, its legend endures, especially in the Williams Arizona.  Williams is a city that respects history and works to preserve it.  It was the last city in America to be bypassed by Interstate 40.  And it’s the only place where you’ll find the old Route 66 still preserved.  And the Grand Canyon Railway is also a reminder of William’s fascinating past.

Williams is the quintessential Southwestern city.  You’ll find all manner of stores that sell Western outfitting and leather goods, décor, and specialty food.  And the dining reflects the spirit of Route 66 and the Old West as well.

But what really makes Williams an outstanding place to buy a home is it’s proximity to the Grand Canyon and other natural attractions. In just under an hour, you can be exploring one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It’s a mecca for explorers, artists, and photographers. And when you’re done exploring the canyon, you can take in the other attractions like the Route 66 Zipline and Kaibab National Forest.

There’s a lot of reasons why people love living in Williams. Visit the Williams Real Estate & Community Information page for more fun facts about this great little city that full of fun and history. 

Here are some outstanding homes for sale in Williams now!

Is Your Realtor Qualified? Part 3 of 4

by Gary Nelson

Find the Perfect Home in Flagstaff

by Gary Nelson

If you plan on buying a home in Northern Arizona, then no doubt you've already considered calling Flagstaff your home.  And with good reason! Flagstaff has so many things going for it.  It's a medium sized city with about 139,000 residents in the metro area, so it's not overcrowded.  Flagstaff is located near so many natural and man-made attractions.  Its location just south of the San Francisco Peaks adds to the stunning natural beauty of the area.  Flagstaff is an outdoor lover's dream come true.

When it comes to natural attractions in Flagstaff, you could explore them all for a lifetime. The greatest of these is, of course, the Grand Canyon.  We could just leave the list at that, but why should we? There's Wupatki National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and Barringer Crater to add to the list.  And you can also explore the 50 miles of trails in The Flagstaff Urban Trails System.  If you're into sports, don't worry, there's plenty of parks, disc golf courses, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, and more to keep you busy.

And let's not forget about the great shopping and dining waiting for you.  At the Flagstaff mall, you'll find all your favorite retailers.  Or for local vendors, you can go downtown to the Old Town Shops to find locally made items.  

Where you have tourists, you also have great food. Flagstaff boasts impressive culinary selections, such as Delhi Palace, the Horseman Lodge, Satchmo's BBQ, Fat Olives, and much more.

Hopefully, your curiosity is peaked about this amazing city.  You can learn more about living in Flagstaff in Flagstaff Real Estate & Community Information, where you can also search for the perfect home for sale.

Here's a few of the finest homes on the market right now in Flagstaff.

AZ Trail Section: Portion of 33

Distance: Approximately 8.1 Miles

Begin Point:  Schultz Creek Parking Area (35.244835, -111.661253)

End Point:  Sinclair Wash Duck Pond (35.183547, -111.631205) or Sam’s Club.

Highlights:  Rocky Ridge Trail, Buffalo Park, The Dale Shewalter Memorial, Switzer Mesa, Flagstaff Urban Trail System

Difficulty: Easy

This is a great, easy hike through the forests in and around Flagstaff!  You will start at a Forest Service parking area, located about ¼ mile north of the intersection of Schultz Pass Road and Mount Elden Lookout Road in rural northwest Flagstaff.  This parking area is extremely popular with the Flagstaff locals as it has access to about 6 trails that head off in 3 or 4 directions from there.  Parking spaces may be a bit limited, but you can head north or south a few hundred yards and be fine.  From the road intersection, proceed north on Schultz Pass Road.  Just after crossing the cattle guard will be a road to the right that leads to the parking area and the trailhead.

Today’s trail will head almost due east.  You will take the aptly named Rocky Ridge Trail which rises slowly in elevation and meanders along the south side of the Dry Lake Hills north of Flagstaff.  You will have great views of rural north Flagstaff off to the south and be surrounded by those tall Ponderosa Pines that make Flagstaff home.

After about the 2 mile point, you will cross Mount Elden Lookout Road.  This road accesses the top of Mount Elden which looms ahead and to your left.  At about 9300 feet in elevation, Mount Elden is a volcanic dome mountain.  It is essentially a giant volcano that burped up, but never erupted in the traditional sense, but lava flowed outward through vents.  Mount Elden is a very popular hiking and training destination and has 5 or 6 great hiking trails that are easily accessed from Flagstaff neighborhoods.  It also features fairly steep elevation changes and is popular for high altitude endurance training.

After crossing Mount Elden Lookout Road, you will meander southwest around the base of Mount Elden and eventually head almost due south into Flagstaff.  At about the 4.3 mile point of today’s hike, you will enter the north end (or back entrance) to Buffalo Park and are now inside Flagstaff city limits.  You are traversing what locals call McMillan Mesa and have moved from a Forest Service trail and are now in the Flagstaff Urban Trail System known commonly as the FUTS Trails. 

Buffalo Park is a City of Flagstaff walking and running park that is known for its sweeping views of the mountains and hills to the north.  It is located about mid-city in the north end of Flagstaff and is very well known to runners and walkers alike.

Buffalo Park started out as a wildlife park and old west town in the early 1960’s and was created by a committee of local business people with help from the City of Flagstaff.  Here is a great blog on the history of Buffalo Park:  https://suite.io/kevin-schindler/3a482ts

The park was the inspiration for the movie “Bless the Beasts and The Children” which came out in 1971: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bless_the_Beasts_and_Children_(film) which had a featured song of the same name performed by The Carpenters:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhR36gV6vW4

In the late 1960’s, several Buffalo escaped the park and were discovered grazing at Flagstaff’s Sechrist Elementary School, which caused quite a stir with the school kids, including myself!  I still remember the massive piles of Buffalo dung that lingered a few days. And I will never forget the then Principal of the school, Tony Gabeldon, trying to build up the courage to chase off the buffalo and failing.

By 1969, the park had closed and the animals had been sold to other attractions.  The park was basically deserted through the 1970’s and was mostly used by my friends and me to stage BB gun wars and weekly adventures.  I grew up within a mile or so of there and it was basically our side-yard growing up in Flagstaff, AZ.

On your hike south through Buffalo Park, pause near the entrance not only for water at the water fountain, but also to take the time to walk east and visit the memorial to Dale Shewalter, founder of the Arizona Trail.  It was Dale’s idea in 1985 to create a trail that spanned Arizona from north to south traversing the best that the state has to offer.  He passed away at the age of 59 in 2010 after a fight with cancer, and missed the final touches on the Arizona Trail, but knew it would be finished…and it is!

I was lucky enough to have actually known Dale Shewalter as he was good friends with my older brother, John Nelson of local Forest Service fame.  I have a hand carved walking stick that Dale gave me as a thank you for helping him move his father into a retirement community in Sedona.  Dale’s father made the walking stick and Dale finished it for me and carved my initial “G” at the top of it.  To this day I use it (although sparingly so that I never lose it) and it is my goal to be using that walking stick when I hike to both ends of the Arizona trail, Mexico and Utah.  Here is some info on Dale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Shewalter and also http://flagstaff.az.gov/index.aspx?NID=1860

After thinking on this great man a bit, head south and out the front entrance of Buffalo Park.  After about a half mile, you will take a magnificent bridge over Cedar Avenue in north Flagstaff.  This bridge was funded by Flagstaff voters and is another great tribute to the Arizona Trail and its founder.  From the bridge you will hike south on the FUTS trail through and around Switzer Mesa and will have great views of a lot of Flagstaff and it’s neighborhoods with hills and mountains mostly to the north.  At the south end of the mesa, you will drop down through Ponderosa Paine and Gambel Oak groves to Route 66 at mile point 7.1.  Pause for a moment as you wait for the crossing signal and wonder that this is truly Route 66, the Mother Road, and the heart of America.  You only get to cross it once on the Arizona Trail, and this is the spot!

As you head south across Route 66 and the railroad tracks almost immediately you will come to the Trails underpass underneath one of Flagstaff’s busiest intersections.  This is another big investment that the people of Flagstaff have made in the Arizona Trail!  Continue west on Butler Avenue for a block or 2, turn south on Babbitt Way and the end of today’s hike is near!   You will either stop at that Sam’s Club parking lot where your car is parked or will continue following the markers to the actual end for today, the pond of reclaimed water at Sinclair Wash in South Flagstaff.  Although treated to as high a quality as the City of Flagstaff can make it, it is treated effluent and the water behind you at any mini-mart or fast food restaurant will serve you much better!  

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

The Gary Nelson Group
Realty Executives of Flagsaff
15 E. Cherry Ave. Suite 101
Flagstaff AZ 86001
Direct: 928-225-3510
Office: 928-773-9300
Fax: 928-774-1102


 

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