Arizona traveling along route 77 takes you through awe-inspiring Navajo County

Cedar Canyon in Navajo County, AZ

Our recent Arizona travels brought us to towering sandstone peaks, untouched Ponderosa pines,  and vast canyons that indulged your spirit.  Grab some adventure and enjoy these photos of Navajo County in Arizona.

SR 77 (state route 77) is an Arizona highway that stretches north from Holbrook to the south junction of I-10 (interstate 10).

We ventured north on SR 77 towards Snowflake, AZ enabling us to enjoy the dazzling sites of Navajo County.

Navajo County in Arizona
our dogs love exploring the area

Navajo County is in northeastern Arizona.  The climate varies due to the diversity of the geographic area.  You will experience normal winter weather and delightful summers in  The White Mountains.  On the other hand, the lower desert areas are warm with little or no snow.

Navajo County in Arizona
Salt River Canyon in Navajo County, AZ

Indian reservation land makes up approximately 66 percent of Navajo County, Arizona.  The 2 main areas are divided by the Mogollon Rim.  North of the Rim is dry and desert like.   On the south side of the Mogollon Rim you will experience mountains and forests overflowing with pine and pinon juniper trees.  According to  http://www.landsofarizona.com/County-Data-For-Navajo-County-Arizona – Navajo County has the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in all of North America.

Cedar Canyon in Navajo County, AZ
Cedar Canyon in Navajo County, AZ

Cedar Canyon Valley is in Long Tom Canyon, Navajo County, Arizona.  Cedar Canyon is one of our regular stops when heading south on route 77 towards Tucson.  This trip the dogs were with us; therefore, we had to be careful they did not wonder too close to the edge of the canyon.

White Mountains
The White Mountains in Arizona

It is common for people to think of a vast, open desert when describing Arizona.  Surprisingly,  Arizona is a state of extremes when it comes to geography.  In the southeast, where we live, one can experience some of the hottest temperatures in the world.  A few hours drive north in the White Mountains of Navajo County, you will experience a true winter with significant snowfall.

Mogollon Rim
Ponderosa Pines view from the Mogollon Rim

When looking at a map of Arizona you will see a jagged ink line making its way across the state.  This giant escarpment of volcanic and sedimentary rock is called the Mogollon Rim, pronounced,  “muggy own“.

Full of beauty and mystery, the Mogollon Rim is surrounded by history that formed from erosion and movements in the earth.  When visiting Arizona it is worth a trip through Navajo County to experience the spectacular white cliffs of the uppermost sandstone stratum of the Mogollon Rim.  These windblown white vertical cliffs are 280 million years old, the Permian Period,  and 350 feet thick.  The thickest on earth.

Mogollon Rim
The Mogollon Rim in Arizona
Mogollon Rim
Pine Trees along the Mogollon Rim

In Navajo County you will also find The Petrified Forest National Park.  Fossil lovers will be thrilled to study the fallen trees that are dated to the late Triassic period, 225 million years ago.  

Petrified Tree
Petrified Forest National Park tree

Navajo County was formed on March 21, 1895.  This county includes Navajo, Hopi and Apache Indian reservations.

Native American celebration
Native American celebration in Navajo County Arizona

By the time it became Navajo County, the railroad had crossed the county for more than a decade, and North America’s third largest ranch, the Aztec Land and Cattle Company near Holbrook, had been established.  courtesy:  http://www.navajocountyaz.gov/history.aspx

The Hopi Pueblo of Oraibi Indian Reservation is further south and one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the US.

Show Low Arizona
Show Low in Navajo County, Arizona
Ranches in Navajo County, Arizona
many ranches in Navajo County

There was an uplifting of the soul as we rode past the curious horses.  Ranching is a major portion of Navajo County’s economy along with coal mining, timber and tourism.

I’ve only been back in the Tucson area for a short while and I miss northern Arizona already.  Maybe we are getting too old for the hot temperatures and need to retire in Navajo County? 🙂

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Author: tjsgarden

We are a family that loves the Arizona Desert. A lot of research and team efforts go into our articles and photos. Come discover the beauty and mystery with us. Don't forget your sunscreen!

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