Travel & Outdoors | 11 January 20173 Arizona Attractions to Take you Back in Time Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Arizona’s land is very diverse. It is more than just the Grand Canyon and desserts. The area has changed, but some of that old history is still there; left untouched, to be discovered. There are many more roads to travel than Route 66, and many more stops to take. If you ever find yourself traveling down the backroads of the Grand Canyon State, be sure to take a few trips back in time by checking out these historic areas from Backroads of Arizona. An Old-Fashion Trading Post Hubbell Trading Post outside Ganado, Arizona, remains almost exactly as it was when it was built in 1883. The noticeable exception is the addition of electric lighting, but even here, there is a vintage feel, as many of the fixtures date to the 1920s. During the frontier period in the Arizona Territory, the trading post was a vital link between the Navajo and Hopi and the broader world that was rapidly bringing change. Here, natives could barter goods, such as brightly colored woven wool blankets, for sugar, canned goods, and clothes. At its peak during the closing years of the nineteenth century, Hubbell Trading Post was one of the largest Southwestern trading posts in volume: A quarter million dollars in hide and wools were traded in a single year. The key to this trading post’s success was its founder, John Lorenzo Hubbell. Born in 1853 in Pajarito, New Mexico Territory, Hubbell possessed sharp intellect, business acumen, and respect for the native people. Fluent in four languages—English, Spanish, Navajo, and Hopi—he strove to find ways to improve the living standards of the Navajo and Hopi he encountered; for example, he once hired a Mexican silversmith to teach the trade to native artisans. Hubbell’s efforts to help the native people eventually extended to politics. In 1882, he was elected sheriff of Apache County, then moved on to the territorial legislature. He was elected to the state senate after statehood was granted to Arizona in 1912. Because of his far-reaching contacts and the respect the Navajo gave him, the Navajo wanted him to keep his homestead after the expansion of the Navajo reservation. It took an act of Congress and an intervention by Hubbell’s friend, former President Theodore Roosevelt, to accomplish this, as all homesteads were rescinded within the new boundaries. The Forgotten Trails The settlement of the West and the Southwest was heavily dependent on a system of established trails, along which travelers could find dependable sources of water at regular intervals, cross imposing mountain ranges and through passes with less steep elevation gradients, and avoid the harshest portion of the deserts. While many of these trails, such as the Santa Fe and the Oregon, are well known, others have faded into obscurity. One of the lesser-known trails is the Honeymoon Trail, which followed the base of the Echo Cliffs—roughly the current route of US 89 between Cameron and Cedar Ridge. Mormon pioneers living in the communities along the Little Colorado River used the trail from 1877 to 1890 to travel to St. George, Utah Territory, to get married in the temple there. The Honeymoon Trail began in Winslow; passed over Tanner’s Crossing at Cameron; ran across the Painted Desert, then along the Echo Cliffs and the Vermillion Cliffs; crossed the Colorado River at Lees Ferry; and passed through the House Rock Valley, around the Buckskin Mountains into what is now Pipe Springs National Monument, and then into St. George. The entire journey was about three hundred miles. Ghost Town Trail If you don’t mind a bit of dust on the tires and aren’t intimidated by a graded rocky trail stretching into the desert wilderness, you might consider a bit of a detour to Swansea, a true ghost town preserved in a state of arrested decay by the Bureau of Land Management. Accessed via Shea Road south of Parker and then Swansea Mine Road, the picturesque ruins of the town and the mill date to the boom times that stretched from 1909 into the 1920s. However, mining commenced in the area with the discovery of rich silver deposits in the early 1860s, and after wavering for twenty years, continued with a vengeance after the discovery of extensive copper deposits in 1904. During the 1910s, the remote mining camp provided residents with a surprising array of amenities. In addition to a spur line that provided regular service to Bouse, the town supported a theater, a realty company, several general merchandise stores, a barber, a physician, several saloons and restaurants, an automobile dealership, and even a weekly newspaper, the Swansea Times. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Explore the wide open spaces of Arizona with this guide to roads less traveled and awe-inspiring sights less seen. Backroads of Arizona guides you into the heart of Arizona’s sun-shiny beauty and fascinating history. In this thoroughly updated edition, you’ll find twenty-five driving tours and adventures that take you off the beaten path to stunning landscapes and breathtakingly beautiful vistas. Marvel at the multicolored hues of the Painted Desert and the jaw-dropping majesty of the snowcapped San Francisco Peaks. Wander into a sky-high forest of regal ponderosa pines and quaking aspens near Flagstaff, scan the deep blue waters of Lake Havasu on the western border, and feel dwarfed by the incredible Grand Canyon. With scenic drives in all corners of the state, Backroads of Arizona offers insight into Arizona’s rich history, from the Spanish conquistadors seeking the legendary cities of gold to the Wild West shootout at Tombstone’s OK Corral. Thanks to the maps and directions to the Grand Canyon State’s unique scenic, historic, and cultural attractions, you can explore prehistoric cliff dwellings, hike to see a mountainside of cacti in bloom, or get your kicks on Route 66. This second edition includes new routes along timeless roads, with fresh images and pithy stories of what can be found along the way. Discover something off the beaten path, and make memories you’ll never forget. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.