Grand Canyon: Arizona National Scenic Trail exhibit
If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon recently, it’s a great time to plan a trip — not only because the weather is much cooler than it is in the Valley, but because you’ll also be able to view the Arizona National Scenic Trail — an 800-milelong recreational trail stretching from Mexico to Utah — without ever stepping outside the visitor center at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. The diversity of the trail, which spans canyons, forests, deserts, mountain ranges and forests, and includes a wide variety of flora and fauna, is commemorated in the new exhibit with maps, wall graphics and photographs.
“It’s like a virtual tour of the Arizona National Scenic Trail,” says Janet Rosener, general manager of National Geographic Visitor Center. “The display really captures the natural beauty that exists throughout the state, as well as the diversity of trail users who find adventure on the Arizona Trail. We are sure that our visitors from around the world will take a great interest in the Arizona Trail because of this exhibit.”
The grand opening ceremony is Thursday, Aug. 14, but the visitor center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. through October and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. November through February. While you’re there, you can also schedule a variety of canyon tours, enjoy a meal at the Explorer’s Café, or watch “Grand Canyon — The Movie” on the six-story IMAX screen.
DETAILS >> Grand opening ceremony takes place 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14. Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center, 450 State Route 64, Grand Canyon. Admission to the visitor center is free; movie tickets, tours and food are individually priced; entrance to Grand Canyon National Park is $25 per vehicle. (928) 638-2468 or ExploreTheCanyon.com. Information on the Arizona National Trail is available at AZTrail.org.
Superior: Prickly Pear Culinary Festival
It may not be your typical foodfest, but this quirky event in nearby Superior includes all the elements of a fun day. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. with ranger-led hikes, followed by a hearty breakfast (served from 7-11 a.m. by members of the Superior Fire Department) at Porter’s Cafe; you’ll then learn how to select, gather and prep the most edible prickly pear varieties, and (for an additional fee) make wine and India pale ale from the juicings. Crafters, artists and vendors will also be on-site with a variety of prickly-pear-inspired wares.
DETAILS >> 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with hikes beginning at 6:30 a.m.) Saturday, Aug. 23. Main Street, downtown Superior. Admission to the festival is free; reservations and a $25 fee are required for the prickly pear ale brewing class; breakfast is $6. You can register for the brew class by calling Lynn Heglie at Porter’s Cafe: (520) 827-9398. More information on the festival is available at SuperiorAZChamber.net.