J&T Arizona National Parks Trip - Jaz&Theo

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We are Jaz & Theo! We a wedding photography team in El Paso, here to serve our couples and photographers. We enjoy traveling, making friends, wearing cute outfits (including hats), and snuggling together often.

We are a wedding photography team here to educate, inspire, and serve.

January 5, 2018

Jaz

Over the Christmas break we took a short trip to see some of the national parks in Arizona. We thought it was a nice tribute to remember our love for our old home. Theo and I had both never been to any of the national parks we went to this trip. Theo had been to Montezuma Castle but not the Well. In total we were able to see 8 National Parks! We bought a National Park Pass (America the Beautiful Pass) for Christmas which paid for it self! This is one of the best gifts, we highly recommend everyone get one.

We started our trip on 21st of December at Tonto National Park. This one has a bit of a steep climb but is well worth it! Once you get to the top you get an incredible view! Lots of cacti, Saguaros and a great view of the lake. These are some cliff dwellings that you can walk around in. They aren’t very large but it is a great opportunity. We also found out that there are some other ruins at the same site higher on the mountain and you have to make a reservation but then we can go with the group and see what most don’t get to see. Sounds like we’ll be making another trip! We then drove into Phoenix and met up with some sweet friends of ours, Ivy and Mario. We took some anniversary photos for them and they just radiate Joy! Check them out here.

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That night we stayed with my sister Briana and her husband Zack, you might remember them from their wedding. We played a few games too! We enjoyed seeing them before Christmas. The next day we drove  to Tuzigoot National Monument. This location was very different than the Tonto dwellings, for one they are on a hill and had many rooms. Tuzigoot was built for everyday people. Tuzigoot is close by to a small town called Cottonwood and enjoyed the little town more than we thought. Lots of little shops to go and look at. Also we ate at Pizzeria Bocce and got the Prosciutto & Arugula pizza and the white sauce pizza with goat cheese and truffle oil, the truffle oil one was the best!

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On Saturday we went to Walnut Canyon which has cliff dwellings you get to walk up close to and is one of my favorite! Love canyons. Theo had a little cold but was a trouper!

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Next we went to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, it is fun but we found it not at interesting at the ruins we have seen.

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Close by is the Wupatki National Monument. Now this one is similar to Tuzigoot but the workmanship is much nicer. They have some Kivas and a ball court too so it was obviously for more religious and ceremonial use. I loved that they used the rocks and just built on top of it!

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I might have been a little too adventurous because the last stop that day was to Coal Mine Canyon.  It is not far from Tuba City. It is just a canyon but far enough no one is around and pretty far off on a dirt road plus it is also on the reservation. Theo didn’t feel easy about any of it. I had seen many other travel bloggers go and most even went down in but maybe it was just nerves being alone on a reservation that made us stay only a few minutes. It was beautiful but you really feel alone out there.

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On Sunday the 24th we went to Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma Well. Both we fascinating but I think we both really enjoyed the well, which is a natural sinkhole that always has the same amount of water plus has a few dwellings in the side of the well!

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Next was Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This was impressive and so cool to see ruins in the desert we grew up in. The structure is quite impressive and large! It is also different than most of the other ruins we saw on the trip or have seen nearby. This one is made for one large square building. Most dwellings are not as simple and have many additions.

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We finished in time to go spend Christmas Eve with my family. Christmas Day we spent it with Theo’s family! On the 26 we went to Chiricahua National Monument. These rock formations are astounding! There are many trails to hike and most are pretty long but also have a great sight. We just wish we could have stayed longer but we had to drive back to El Paso.

 

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We hope that you are able to go out and see your own backyard and the local national parks. Please don’t take the things around you for granted or think that you have to travel far to go on a vacation.

What is your favorite National Park?

 

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