Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying the Grand Canyon isn’t a great place to visit. But you haven’t really seen Arizona until you’ve strolled through the jaws of a rattlesnake on Diamondback Bridge in Tucson, or tried to score a hole in one in the vintage outhouse in Jerome, or spent a night in the haunted caboose in Williams.
That’s just beginning of the weird—and fun—side of the state, the side you won’t hear about in most guidebooks. Arizona, home to boom and bust gold towns, instant billionaires and crazy prospectors, outlaws and killer cactus, is full of some of the oddest places and people in the country. To round them up, we roped in Wesley Treat, a veteran traveler on roads to the Weird. In Arizona, as he will tell you, he found some of the friendliest, most peculiar and far out people he has ever encountered. And he means that as a compliment.
Strange things happen in the Copper state: There’s the spiritually charged Red Rocks in Sedona where mystifying vortexes seem to calm and rejuvenate those who come in contact with them. For something less tranquil visit the town of Tombstone, site of the famous Gun Fight at O.K. Corral. You’ll find the true story of what really happened here. Arizona has its own Bigfoot—the Mogollon Monster, and fairies, but not the cute kind. These tiny creatures have tails and are said to be cannibals. In Arizona you can feed carrots to feral donkeys, or stop by the Frontier Relics Museum and examine smoked snake carcasses. You can sleep in a wigwam, or visit the abandoned Vulture Mine, if you don’t mind the vultures circling overhead. Read all about Weird Arizona in this brand-new entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series.