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Arizona made a deal with the Department of the Interior to reopen Grand Canyon National Park for 7 days starting Saturday, October 12 through October 18. Visitors as well as Grand Canyon area business, tour operators, and park employees should be happy about the news, even if it could be only temporary.

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We published this on our site, theCanyon.com today:

Arizona made a deal with the Department of the Interior to reopen Grand Canyon National Park for 10 days starting Saturday, October 12 through October 18. Visitors as well as Grand Canyon area business, tour operators, and park employees should be happy about the news, even if it could be only temporary.

Read the full story on theCanyon.com »
Governor Jan Brewer Meme - I Don't Always Say "Thanks, Jan" But When I Do, It's Because She ReOpened The Grand Canyon

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All Rights Reserved - ArizTravel.com

All Rights Reserved – ArizTravel.com

UPDATED OCTOBER 3, 2013: Many updates are available in the comments. Please read the comments to stay abreast of the latest news.

We published this post on our website Sedona.net today.

It’s a good thing you can’t shut out the 360° views of the red rocks in Sedona. Visitors from all over the world alight in Arizona every day, but the government shutdown that began on Tuesday, October 1 is causing many to scramble to change their Arizona travel plans. It may be hard to know what businesses and services are still available during this unfortunate stall in federal government services, but one thing is fairly clear: Sedona is definitely open for business, so it is the PERFECT alternative to Grand Canyon National Park and the other national monuments and forests in the area. True, Sedona is located in the heart of Red Rock Country, a district of the Coconino National Forest, who’s offices are closed thanks to the nationwide shutdown. The closure has affected the National Forest’s developed campgrounds and picnic areas, several of which are located in Oak Creek Canyon, one of Sedona’s premier natural attractions. However, Sedona is graced with several state parks and native American heritage sites that remain open, and there are dozens of other commercial tours, indoor attractions and outdoor adventures to be had, making Sedona seem almost immune to the shutdown. Here is a list of alternative things to do, places to see, and accommodations likely to be available in Sedona without any effect from the federal standstill:

Things to Do in Sedona and the Verde Valley

  1. Red Rock State Park
  2. Slide Rock State Park
  3. Jeep tours with Pink Jeep or A Day in the West
  4. Hot air balloon tours with Red Rock Balloons
  5. Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale)
  6. Honanki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site
  7. Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
  8. Hiking and mountain biking trails
  9. Horseback riding with A Day in the West
  10. Wine tours with Sedona Wine Adventures
  11. Out of Africa Wildlife Park (they have a new white rhino you must see!)
  12. Sedona Art Center
  13. Hozho and Sedona Hillside galleries and shopping
  14. Uptown Sedona shops, restaurants and activities
  15. Photography workshops with Brent Jones
  16. ATV tours with Sedona ATV Adventures
  17. Kayaking down the Verde River with Sedona Adventure Tours
  18. Fly fishing on Oak Creek with Sedona Flyfishing Adventures
  19. Vortex hikes or a psychic experience with Greg Drambour, Kavitaa, Nirup, or Eos Yolanda
  20. Relaxing, restorative massage and therapy treatments with Uptown Massage, A Spa for You, or Authentic Ayurveda

Places to Stay

Under normal circumstances, it doesn’t make much sense to book your accommodations in Sedona based solely on the view from your guestroom; the red rock views are EVERYWHERE and you won’t want to stay on your suite’s balcony anyway. However, with the shutdown affecting many of the places Arizona visitors want to go to see great views, (such as the Grand Canyon, or Walnut Canyon National Monument) visitors will want to get as much out of their stay as possible. Here are a number of accommodations in Sedona that can get you close to the red rocks, and allow you to commune with nature in a way that no silly lawmaking stalemate can deny.

  1. Boutique hotels like Sedona Reãl Inn, Las Posadas, El Portal, Sedona Rouge, Amara Resort, or Arroyo Pinion Hotel
  2. Brand-name hotels and resorts like Best Western Inn of Sedona, Best Western Arroyo Roble, Hilton Sedona Resort or L’Auberge de Sedona
  3. Bed & breakfasts like Moestly Wood, Creekside Inn, A Sunset Chateau, Canyon Villa, Adobe Village Graham, Adobe Grand Villas, Casa Sedona, Cozy Cactus, Sedona Views, Boots & Saddles, Sedona Dream Maker, Desert Rose, or The Lodge at Sedona
  4. Cabins along Oak Creek like Briar Patch Inn, Junipine Resort, Butterfly Garden Inn, and Canyon Wren
  5. Dispersed camping is allowed in Coconino National Forest, while the developed campgrounds are closed. Be sure to follow the National Forest Service’s posted guidelines for dispersed camping, outside of developed campgrounds. The guidelines are posted here.


Several campgrounds and fee sites, managed by Recreation Resource Management, the private company that contracts with the Forest Service, remain open:

  1. Crescent Moon/Red Rock Crossing
  2. Grasshopper Point
  3. West Fork/Call of the Canyon
  4. Manzanita
  5. Cave Springs
  6. Chavez Crossing
  7. Pine Flats, east and west
  8. Oak Creek Visitor Center
  9. Clear Creek
  10. Beaver Creek
  11. Honanki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site

What’s Closed?

There are a few Sedona area places you won’t be able to go in Sedona during the government shutdown.

  1. Palatki petroglyph and cliff dwelling site
  2. Banjo Bill Picnic Site
  3. Bootlegger Picnic Area
  4. Call Of The Canyon Picnic Site
  5. Encinoso Picnic Site
  6. Halfway Picnic Site
  7. Midgley Bridge Observation Site
  8. Stoneman Lake
  9. White Bridge Picnic Site

Are you curious about your particular travel itinerary? Got questions about where you can go or where to find accommodations? Did we miss one of your favorite Sedona activities or places? Leave your comments below.

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Is the government shutdown affecting your AZ travel plans? Come to Sedona! Sedona’s doors are open and businesses are ready to welcome travelers.

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Is the government shutdown affecting your AZ travel plans? Come to Sedona! Sedona’s doors are open and businesses are ready to welcome travelers.

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UPDATED OCT. 3, 2013: Many updates are available in the comments as well as in the post, as marked below.

We published this story on our website theCanyon.com today.

Grand Canyon National Park is closed during the Federal Government shutdown as of today, October 1, 2013. Here are the facts and some alternative travel plans if you need to make last-minute changes to your Arizona vacation.

During the shutdown:

  • Arizona’s 22 national parks and federal monuments, historical sites and recreation areas are affected by shutdown-caused closures.
  • People will be turned away at the gates to Grand Canyon National Park at the South and North Rims.
  • The daily run of the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to the South Rim is suspended. See http://www.xanterra.com/news/potential-government-shutdown for more details.
  • If you have questions about an existing reservation in one of the Grand Canyon Lodges on the South Rim, contact Xanterra Resorts at http://www.xanterra.com.
  • If you have questions about an existing reservation at the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim, contact Forever Resorts at http://www.grandcanyonlodgenorth.com.
  • Visitors already inside the Park have 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave.
  • Backcountry campers, hikers and river rafters may leave the park at their own pace.

If you need to make alternative travel arrangements, or you’re wondering what else to do instead of visiting the Grand Canyon during the shutdown, here is a list of 21 other beautiful, historic and culturally-rich places to check out as well as places to find nearby lodging. Think Arizona State Parks, native American tribal sites, commercial tours and hiking/mountain biking trails.

  1. Grand Canyon West (Peach Springs)
  2. Havasupai (Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls) (Havasupai Hilltop)
  3. Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park (Four Corners Area)
  4. Palatki/Honanki Heritage Sites (Sedona)
  5. Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale)
  6. Bearizona (Williams)
  7. East Clear Creek
  8. Lowell Observatory (Flagstaff)
  9. The Arboretum (Flagstaff)
  10. Painted Desert (Flagstaff)
  11. Meteor Crater (Flagstaff)
  12. Horseshoe Bend (Page)
  13. Homolovi State Park (Winslow)
  14. Hiking and Mountain Biking on the White Mountains Trail System (White Mountains)
  15. Arizona Wine Country (Page Springs/Cornville)
  16. Red Rock State Park (Sedona)
  17. Slide Rock State Park (Sedona)
  18. Grasshopper Point (Sedona)
  19. Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Cottonwood)
  20. Jerome State Historic Park (Jerome)
  21. Oatman-Gold Road (Oatman)
  22. Edited to add: Out of Africa Wildlife Park (Camp Verde)
  23. Edited to add: Highlands Center (Prescott)

      • Sites operated by Recreation Resource Management
          • Ashurst Lake
          • Bonito
          • Canyon Vista
          • Dairy Springs
          • Lake Mary Day Use Area
          • Lakeview
          • Lockett Meadow
          • O’Leary Group
          • Pinegrove
          • Crescent Moon/Red Rock Crossing
          • Grasshopper Point
          • West Fork/Call of the Canyon
          • Manzanita
          • Cave Springs
          • Chavez Crossing
          • Pine Flats, east and west
          • Oak Creek Visitor Center
          • Clear Creek
          • Beaver Creek

If you already have lodging reservations secured outside of the National Park, we urge you to keep them. Cancelled reservations not only may be hard to rebook elsewhere as visitors scramble to rearrange their plans, but they also deeply hurt the tourism-driven economy in northern Arizona. From Kingman to Sedona, Tusayan to Williams, Flagstaff to Page, these central and northern Arizona cities are all smart locations from which to launch the above suggested day trips, and you won’t have to hassle with rebooking a portion of your vacation plans.

If you’ve booked an impending reservation on one of the commercial tours in the park, such as the Grand Canyon Railway or south rim bus tours, please try to reschedule it versus canceling, or look for another commercial tour. For example, Grand Canyon Railway ticket holders may want to check out the Pumpkin Patch tour or Polar Express — two GCR specialty tours that are still up and running despite the park closure — or perhaps opt for the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale. Those taking a van tour to the South Rim may want to call their tour provider to see if a similar tour is available to Grand Canyon West (home of the Skywalk) or to the Indian Country sites, where you can enjoy Navajo and Hopi history.

Got questions about the government shutdown, or want to know where else you can visit? Leave your questions in the comments!

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13 Spookiest Hotels and Tourist Sights in Arizona

13 Spookiest Hotels and Tourist Sights in Arizona (Image is for illustrative purposes only.)

Are you an amateur ghost hunter? Thrill seeker? Fan of the Wild Wild West and its legendary cowboys, gunfighters, miners and the “soiled angels” that entertained them? Then make your plans to visit some of Arizona’s most haunted and storied spots to see if you experience similar paranormal phenomena reported by other tourists: clunking noises, disembodied voices, sudden gusts of cold air, a feeling of being watched, objects moving on their own, lights flickering, radios and TVs turning on and off, apparition sightings, suspicious objects appearing in photographs, or even being pinched by a rascally wraith! Do you dare spend the night in a haunted hotel, or tour a notorious former saloon, brothel or opium den? We’ve chosen an unlucky 13 of the spookiest haunts in Arizona to get you started.

1. The Copper Queen Hotel – Bisbee 7. Casey Moore’s Oyster House – Tempe
2. Hotel Monte Vista – Flagstaff 8. Birdcage Theater – Tombstone
3. Noftsger Hill Bed & Breakfast – Globe 9. Buford House Bed & Breakfast – Tombstone
4. The Grand Hotel – Jerome 10. Nellie Cashman’s Restaurant – Tombstone
5. Hotel San Carlos – Phoenix 11. Big Nose Kate’s Saloon – Tombstone
6. Hotel Vendome – Prescott 12. Hotel Congress – Tucson
13. Red Garter Bed & Bakery – Williams

A Few Arizona Ghost Stories

The Copper Queen Hotel is one of the most frequently ghost-hunted places in Arizona because of the numerous and frequent reports of paranormal activity from its guests and employees. Completed in 1902, the Copper Queen Hotel is reportedly haunted by three entities: first, a tall older gentleman with long hair and a beard, wearing a black cape and a tophat; second, a “lady of the evening” named Julia Lowell who, heartbroken by a client who did not return her love, took her own life and is said to appear as a bright white spoke and often whispers to male guests; last, the mischievous spirit of a young boy who drowned in the San Pedro River, who playfully moves objects, giggles and is sometimes heard crying. The Copper Queen Hotel has a very active 3rd floor, with reports of ghostly singing and laughter, windows and doors that open and close on their own, doorknobs jiggling, stomping sounds, and wafts of fine cigar smoke.

Tombstone on the whole is a hotbed of paranormal activity. Between Nellie Cashman’s, the Birdcage Theater, Big Nose Kate’s Saloon and Buford House Bed & Breakfast — plus other reported haunts that were some of Tombstone’s numerous saloons, bordellos and restaurants &mdash this infamous town, which was the largest and fastest-growing settlement in the Arizona Territory between San Francisco and St. Louis with its estimated 15,000 residents in the late 1800s, was the home of some of the Wild West’s most legendary cowboys, outlaws, prospectors, and the “filles de joie”. Today, the reported spirits of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons and the McLaurys, plus other Tombstone personalities, have been reportedly seen, felt and photographed in numerous locations around town. Visitors can stay overnight in haunted inns like Buford House, and tour the town’s streets and sights, watching and listening for mysteriously moving objects, sudden gusts of cold air, disembodied sounds of raucous behavior pouring out of closed-up buildings at night, and ghostly footsteps walking behind you on the plank-board sidewalks.

Like Tombstone, Jerome has a reputation for being a host to a high level of other-worldly activity. The Grand Hotel (a former hospital), the Connor Hotel and Ghost City Inn have all been reported as being haunted by spirits of Jerome’s miners and reputed “soiled doves” that occupied the town’s red light district, plus the women and children that perished from accidents, disease, childbirth and fever over the former ghost-town’s ~70 year heyday. Visitors to Jerome have often reported sounds of coughing and wheezing seemingly coming from nowhere and no one. Flickering lights have been cited many times, with no explanation as to the cause. Disembodied groaning, footsteps and voices, as well as objects that move from one location to another when your back is turned, have caused some guests of Jerome’s hotels to check out early or seek other accommodations.

What do you think? What are the spookiest, most haunted (open to the public) places YOU’VE experienced in Arizona; did we leave your favorite off our list? Tell us about your paranormal encounters in the comments.

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October is well-regarded as a perfect wedding month, especially in destinations like Sedona. We’ve lined up some of our favorite Arizona wedding venues, whether you’re planning an elopement or quickly approaching wedding date this fall, or next spring, summer, or the year after.

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October is well-regarded as a perfect wedding month, especially in destinations like Sedona. We’ve lined up some of our favorite Arizona wedding venues, whether you’re planning an elopement or quickly approaching wedding date this fall, or next spring, summer, or the year after.

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Sedona.net is all new! The longest-running Sedona, Arizona visitor site – which began in 1997 – received a whole new look on September 3, 2013. More than a new look, the revamped Sedona.net features straight-talk help for planning a Sedona visit. It’s now easier than ever to discover where to stay, what to do, where to eat and how to get here. We’ve left behind the flowery descriptions of Sedona; YOU know why you want to visit, you don’t need highfalutin descriptions of the red rocks to convince to come to Sedona. In their place is real-life, straightforward advice, answers and recommendations for vacationing in Sedona for any visitor. You’ll find recommendations on hotels and things to do based on your travel profile, time of year, budget, transportation and more.

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