I joined Wings Birding Tours for their tour of Arizona and Utah, Fall Migration in the Canyonlands. The tour superbly combined birdwatching with some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Southwest. I recommend it.On our first day on the road, we visited Boyce Thompson Arboretum, east of that sun-baked madness known as Phoenix, and then rose up to the southern end of the Colorado Plateau.Then, in a climb up the Grand Staircase, we saw the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Cedar Breaks, and Bryce Canyon, before returning to Arizona and the Navajo Nation, where we walked into Antelope Canyon and skirted the edge of Canyon de Chelly. Don’t forget Monument Valley and the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert! We explored the pine-filled White Mountains near the New Mexico border. On our last day, we descended from the mountains to the desert, feeling the temperature rise 50 degrees, passing through the lesser known but no less spectacular Salt River Canyon, and ending in the Water Ranch, a riparian wonderland in Gilbert, AZ, made of reclaimed water and a magnet oasis in greater Phoenix’s suburban sprawl.
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