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First-rate journeys in the 48th state

Grand vistas? Check. Funky restaurants? On the list. Wild and woolly history? You got it. Arizona marks the centennial of its statehood, so we scoured the state and found five score places for your "must" list.

February 12, 2012

WESTERN ARIZONA

London Bridge, Lake Havasu. If the Grand Canyon is the granddaddy of Arizona attractions, London Bridge is the prince. The span, which traces its royal roots to 1831 England, was purchased in 1971 for $2.4 million, but shipping was more than $4 million. A look at this blocky bridge is unaffecting, but when you walk it, you have to wonder in whose footsteps you're following -- Charles Dickens? Jack the Ripper? (928) 855-5655, www.golakehavasu.com CH

Castle Dome Mines Museum. About 40 miles north of Yuma is the Castle Dome Mines Museum, a love letter to the rough-and-tumble mining region. More than 30 buildings tell the story of the 3,000 or so people who once dug out a living from the earth. It's in the middle of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Open mid-October to April, by appointment other times. (928) 920-3062, www.castledomemuseum.com. Admission $10. Take Arizona 95 to Mile post 55 and turn toward Castle Dome. CH

Old Route 66, Oatman to Kingman. After playing with the burros, you'll start a winding drive to Kingman on Old Route 66, past the ghost town of Goldroad and up to Sitgreaves Pass at 3,500 feet. Just before the pass, there's a vista looking west toward Oatman with a small collection of gravestone markers. CH

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Arizona sights: An article in the Feb. 12 Travel section about 100 things to see and do in Arizona referred to the pies at Pizzeria Bianco as "deep dish." The pizzas there are thin crust.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, February 19, 2012 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 3 Travel Desk 1 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
Arizona sights: A Feb. 12 article on 100 things to see and do in Arizona referred to pies at Pizzeria Bianco as "deep dish." The pizzas there are thin crust.

Kingman. Cowboy and character actor Andy Devine isn't a native of Kingman -- he was born in Flagstaff -- but Kingman claims him and has a room dedicated to him at the Mohave County Museum. 400 W. Beale St., Kingman; (928) 753-3195, www.mohavemuseum.org. Admission $5. CH

Arizona 95. The drive south from Lake Havasu to Quartzsite is surprising. There you are in the middle of the desert, and suddenly, there's Cattail Cove State Park, a 2,000-acre park with five dozen campsites, a sapphire blue ribbon courtesy of the Colorado River, a boat ramp and a beach. A little farther along 95, you reach the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge, a 6,105-acre riparian oasis. Cattail Cove park, (520) 586-2283, www.azstateparks.com/Parks/CACO/index.html. Bill Williams refuge, (928) 667-4144, www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/billwill.html CH

Quartzsite. You know you've reached RV heaven when you see the sign for an RV proctologist. Yes, Quartzsite has a huge RV show (and is RV central for snowbirds), but it's mostly for shoppers, if you like the idea of hundreds of vendors in tents and out of doors. The 1.5 million annual visitors start to arrive in November and December. Many stay, leaving about March 1. (928) 927-4333, www.ci.quartzsite.az.us CH

Hi Jolly, Quartzsite. The U.S. Army decides to try camels instead of horses in the desert. Alas, the camels don't speak English, and the soldiers don't speak Arabic. Enter a Greek/Syrian fellow named Hadji Ali, also known as Hi Jolly. He wrangles the beasts for this experiment, which ends after the camels can't adapt to the rocky, cactus-needle-laden desert floor. Hi Jolly dies in Quartzsite, where a monument is built over his tomb, the only one decorated with a camel. (928) 927-9321, www.ci.quartz site.az.us CH

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park. Elena Estrada's lover messed around, but when she was angry, she apparently didn't: She sliced out his heart and threw it on him. That's how she ended up in Yuma Territorial Prison, re-created and restored from the 1876 structures. It was either the "country club on the Colorado" or a hellhole. The tiny cells suggest the latter. 1 Prison Hill Road, Yuma; (928) 783-4771, www.azstateparks.com/Parks/YUTE/index.html. Admission $5. CH

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NORTHERN AND EASTERN ARIZONA

Lower Antelope Canyon. Not for the passive walker, the canyon is an interactive experience you climb and squeeze your way through. Because it is part of the Antelope Canyon-Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, access is by tour only. Tours start at $20, plus $6 admission. www.navajonationparks.org/htm /antelopecanyon.htm JL

Wupatki and Sunset Crater Volcano national monuments. Legend has it that 19th century explorer John Wesley Powell gave the crater its name because he thought its rim resembled a sunset. Just up the road from Sunset Crater is Wupatki National Monument, with picturesque scenery and pueblo ruins. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, (928) 526-0502, www.nps.gov/sucr/. Wupatki National Monument, (928) 679-2365, www.nps.gov/wupa. The $5 fee is good for admission to both monuments. Children younger than 16 are free. Open year-round. JL

Petrified Forest National Park. The park has first-rate scenery. Driving the 28-mile road that leads past most of the park's sights takes at least an hour. The Blue Mesa Trail carries you into the bowels of the Painted Desert's badlands. Admission is $10 per vehicle. (928) 524-6228, www.nps.gov/pefo JL

Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Nearly as spectacular as the Grand Canyon but far less crowded. (928) 674-5500, www.nps.gov/cach. Visitor center open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. JJ

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