Barry D. Williams

A hiking adventure around Eastern Arizona’s Four Corners area.

Travel + Leisure
February 21, 2012

Eastern Arizona is a land of quirky motels and otherworldly scenery. In the Four Corners area, the arid landscape was sculpted over time by wind and water. Here, the Painted Desert Rim Trail is just 1.2 miles round-trip, but it leads through woodland littered with fossilized, ocher-colored logs that are millions of years old. It’s at its most beautiful—and people-friendly—from May through early September.

Painted Desert Scenic Drive

Drive the park’s 28-mile Painted Desert Scenic Drive, stopping for short hikes and photo ops along the way. Don’t miss the ruins of the 100-room, circa-1400 Puerco Pueblo, or Jasper Forest’s vast valley of fallen petrified logs.

Joe & Aggie's Cafe

Enjoy down-home chicken-fried steak or breakfast enchiladas while admiring the extensive collection of Route 66 memorabilia (much of it dates back to the restaurant’s opening in 1943). Wash down homemade, family-recipe chiles rellenos with fresh-brewed raspberry tea.

Painted Desert Inn

Stop into this National Historic Landmark within the park that now houses a museum and bookshop for topographical maps.

Holiday Inn Express Holbrook

Clean, basic southwestern-style rooms, plus pool and hot tub and free hot breakfasts.

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