Coconino Plateau

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The Coconino Plateau is found south of the Grand Canyon and north—northwest of Flagstaff, in northern Arizona of the Southwestern United States.

Grand Canyon A steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States

The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile.

Flagstaff, Arizona City in Arizona

Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

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Geography

The Coconino Plateau lies south of Grand Canyon Village and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Coconino County, and primarily north of Interstate 40 and east of Arizona State Route 64. Much of it is protected within the Kaibab National Forest.

Coconino County, Arizona County in the United States

Coconino County is a county located in the north central part of the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 134,421 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Flagstaff. The county takes its name from Cohonino, a name applied to the Havasupai. It is the second-largest county by area in the contiguous United States, behind San Bernardino County, California, with its 18,661 square miles (48,300 km2), or 16.4% of Arizona's total area, making it larger than each of the nine smallest states.

Interstate 40 (I-40) is an east–west Interstate Highway that has a 359.11-mile (577.93 km) section in the U.S. state of Arizona, connecting sections in California and New Mexico. The section throughout Arizona is also known as the Purple Heart Trail. It enters Arizona from the west at a crossing of the Colorado River southwest of Kingman. It travels eastward across the northern portion of the state connecting the cities of Kingman, Ash Fork, Williams, Flagstaff, Winslow, and Holbrook. I-40 continues into New Mexico, heading to Albuquerque. The highway has major junctions with U.S. Route 93 — the main highway connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas, Nevada — in Kingman and again approximately 22 miles (35 km) to the east, and Interstate 17 — the freeway linking Phoenix to northern Arizona — in Flagstaff.

Arizona State Route 64 highway in Arizona

State Route 64 (SR 64) is a 108.31-mile-long (174.31 km) state highway in the northern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It travels from its western terminus in Williams to its intersection with U.S. Route 89 (US 89) in Cameron.

Vegetation

The native plant vegetation in the forest areas varies by elevation and exposure. Principal tree species are Ponderosa pine, Douglas-fir, Pinyon pine, and Juniper. They provide cover and food for a diversity of wildlife. As elevation decreases, trees give way to Bitter brush - Purshia tridentata and Sagebrush - Artemisia tridentata.

Native plant plant indigenous to an area

Native plants are plants indigenous to a given area in geologic time. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area.

Vegetation total of plant formations and plant communities

Vegetation is an assemblage of plant species and the ground cover they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader than the term flora which refers to species composition. Perhaps the closest synonym is plant community, but vegetation can, and often does, refer to a wider range of spatial scales than that term does, including scales as large as the global. Primeval redwood forests, coastal mangrove stands, sphagnum bogs, desert soil crusts, roadside weed patches, wheat fields, cultivated gardens and lawns; all are encompassed by the term vegetation.

Pinyon pine subsection of plants, the Pinyon pines

The pinyon or piñon pine group grows in the southwestern United States, especially in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. The trees yield edible nuts, which are a staple food of Native Americans, and widely eaten as a snack and as an ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish pino piñonero, a name used for both the American varieties and the stone pine common in Spain, which also produces edible nuts typical of Mediterranean cuisine. Harvesting techniques of the prehistoric American Indians are still used today to collect the pinyon seeds for personal use or for commercialization. The pinyon nut or seed is high in fats and calories.

Recreation

A view of the plateau can be seen from the top of Kendrick Peak, at 10,418 feet (3,175 m) above sea level, located northwest of Flagstaff.

Kendrick Peak mountain in Arizona

Kendrick Peak or Kendrick Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the San Francisco volcanic field north of the city of Flagstaff in the U.S. State of Arizona and is located on the Coconino Plateau in Coconino County.

Sea level Average level for the surface of the ocean at any given geographical position on the planetary surface

Mean sea level (MSL) is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's oceans from which heights such as elevation may be measured. MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.

The Coconino Plateau is home to the Kendrick Mountain Wilderness area. The plateau has many hiking trails, including the Beale Road Historic Trail and Bull Basin and Pumpkin Trails.

Kendrick Mountain Wilderness

Kendrick Mountain Wilderness is a 6,510-acre (26.3 km2) wilderness area in the U.S. State of Arizona. It lies north of the city of Flagstaff on the Coconino Plateau in Coconino County. Kendrick Mountain Wilderness was designated a protected Wilderness area by Congress in 1984. About two thirds of the wilderness is contained within the Kaibab National Forest. Kendrick Mountain Wilderness contains 10,418-foot (3,175 m) Kendrick Peak, upon which a fire lookout has been located since the early 1900s.

Plateau An area of a highland, usually of relatively flat terrain

In geology and physical geography, a plateau, also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain, that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental.

See also

Related Research Articles

Mogollon Rim mountain range

The Mogollon Rim is a topographical and geological feature cutting across the U.S. state of Arizona. It extends approximately 200 miles (320 km), starting in northern Yavapai County and running eastward, ending near the border with New Mexico. It forms the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau in Arizona.

Kaibab National Forest

At 1.6 million acres the Kaibab National Forest borders both the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon, in north-central Arizona. It is divided into three major sections: the North Kaibab Ranger District and the South Kaibab and are managed by the United States Forest Service. The South Kaibab is further divided into two districts, the Tusayan Ranger District, and the Williams Ranger District. The Grand Canyon is a natural boundary between the North Kaibab and the South Kaibab. The South Kaibab covers 1,422 square miles (3,680 km2) and the North Kaibab stretches over 1,010 square miles (2,600 km2). Elevations vary on the forest from 5,500 feet in the southwest corner to 10,418 feet at the summit of Kendrick Peak on the Williams Ranger District. The forest as a whole is headquartered in Williams.

Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona is an unofficial, colloquially-defined region of the U.S. state of Arizona. Generally consisting of Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, and Apache counties, the region is geographically dominated by the Colorado Plateau, the southern border of which in Arizona is called the Mogollon Rim.

Kaibab squirrel subspecies of squirrel

The Kaibab squirrel is a tassel-eared squirrel that lives in the Kaibab Plateau in the Southwest United States, in an area of 20 by 40 miles. The squirrel's habitat is confined entirely to the ponderosa pine forests of the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and the northern section of Kaibab National Forest around the town of Jacob Lake, Arizona.

Walnut Canyon National Monument United States National Monument in Arizona

Walnut Canyon National Monument is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi (16 km) southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, near Interstate 40. The canyon rim elevation is 6,690 ft (2,040 m); the canyon's floor is 350 ft lower. A 0.9 mi (1.4 km) long loop trail descends 185 ft (56 m) into the canyon passing 25 cliff dwelling rooms constructed by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group that lived in Walnut Canyon from about 1100 to 1250 CE. Other contemporary habitations of the Sinagua people are preserved in the nearby Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle national monuments.

Coconino National Forest protected area in Arizona, USA

The Coconino National Forest is a 1.856-million acre United States National Forest located in northern Arizona in the vicinity of Flagstaff. Originally established in 1898 as the "San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve", the area was designated a U.S. National Forest in 1908 when the San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve was merged with lands from other surrounding forest reserves to create the Coconino National Forest. Today, the Coconino National Forest contains diverse landscapes, including deserts, ponderosa pine forests, flatlands, mesas, alpine tundra, and ancient volcanic peaks. The forest surrounds the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff and borders four other national forests; the Kaibab National Forest to the west and northwest, the Prescott National Forest to the southwest, the Tonto National Forest to the south, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to the southeast. The forest contains all or parts of ten designated wilderness areas, including the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, which includes the summit of the San Francisco Peaks. The headquarters are in Flagstaff. There are local ranger district offices in Flagstaff, Happy Jack, and Sedona.

Arizona Strip part of Arizona north of the Colorado River, having more physical/cultural connections with southern Utah and Nevada than the rest of Arizona due to the difficulty of crossing the Grand Canyon, whose largest settlements are Colorado City and Fredonia

The Arizona Strip is the part of Arizona lying north of the Colorado River. The difficulty of crossing the Grand Canyon causes this region to have more physical and cultural connections with southern Utah and Nevada than with the rest of Arizona. The largest settlements in the Strip are Colorado City and Fredonia.

Kaibab Plateau

The Kaibab Plateau is located in northern Arizona in the United States. The plateau, part of the larger Colorado Plateau, is bordered on the south by the Grand Canyon and reaches an elevation of 9200 feet above sea level. The plateau is divided between Kaibab National Forest and the "North Rim" portion of Grand Canyon National Park. Tributary canyons of the Colorado River form the plateau's eastern and western boundaries, and tiers of uplifted cliffs define the northern edges of the land form. Winter snowfall is often heavy, and this creates opportunities for backcountry Nordic skiing and snow camping.

Arizona Trail

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Utah that traverses the whole north–south length of the U.S. state of Arizona. The trail begins at the Coronado National Memorial near the US–Mexico border and moves north through parts of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains. The trail continues through the Santa Catalina north of Tucson and the Mazatzal Mountains before ascending the Mogollon Rim north of Payson, eventually leading to the higher elevations of Northern Arizona and the San Francisco Peaks. The trail then continues across the Coconino Plateau and in and out of the Grand Canyon. The Arizona Trail terminates near the Arizona-Utah border in the Kaibab Plateau region. The 800-mile (1,300 km) long Arizona Trail was completed on December 16, 2011. The trail is designed as a primitive trail for hiking, equestrians, mountain biking, and even cross country skiing, showcasing the wide variety of mountain ranges and ecosystems of Arizona.

State Route 67 is a 43.4 mi (69.8 km) long, north–south state highway in northern Arizona. Also called the Kaibab Plateau – North Rim Parkway, SR 67 is the sole road that links U.S. Route 89A at Jacob Lake to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Along the route, the road heads through the national park as well as Kaibab National Forest and is surrounded by evergreen trees. The section inside the national park is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS), whereas the section north of the entrance, completely within Kaibab National Forest, is owned by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). The road was built in the late 1920s and improved through the 1930s. In 1941, the road received its number, and was given its designation as the parkway in the 1980s. The parkway has received designations as a National Forest Scenic Byway as well as a National Scenic Byway.

Oak Creek Canyon river gorge located in northern Arizona between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona

Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located in northern Arizona between the cities of Flagstaff and Sedona. The canyon is often described as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. State Route 89A enters the canyon on its north end via a series of hairpin turns before traversing the bottom of the canyon for about 13 miles (21 km) until the highway enters the town of Sedona. The Oak Creek Canyon–Sedona area is second only to Grand Canyon as the most popular tourist destination in Arizona.

Kanab Creek Wilderness

Kanab Creek Wilderness is a 75,300-acre (305 km2) wilderness area located along the Coconino/Mohave County line in the U.S. state of Arizona, approximately 30 miles (48 km) south of Fredonia. 68,600 acres (278 km2) of the Wilderness are located in the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest, the remaining 6,700 acres (27 km2) are administered by the Arizona Bureau of Land Management.

Arizona transition zone

The Arizona transition zone is a diagonal northwest-by-southeast region across central Arizona. The region is a transition from the higher elevation Colorado Plateau to the northeast in Northeast Arizona and the Basin and Range region of southwest and south regions of lower elevation deserts.

The Great Western Trail is a north-south long distance multiple use route which runs from Canada to Mexico through five western states in the United States. The trail has access for both motorized and non-motorized users and traverses 4,455 miles (7,170 km) through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Designated a National Millennium Trail.

Toroweap Formation

The Middle Permian Toroweap Formation is a thin, darker geologic unit, between the brighter colored units of the Kaibab Limestone above, and Coconino Sandstone below. It is a prominent unit in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, found through sections of the South Rim, Grand Canyon, and the North Rim, of the Kaibab Plateau; also the Kaibab's southeast extension to Cape Royal, the Walhalla Plateau. The Colorado River of the Grand Canyon makes its excursion from due-south to due-west around the Walhalla Plateau, as it enters the east end of the Grand Canyon's interior, Granite Gorge. The formation is also found in southeast Utah.

Isis Temple mountain in United States of America

Isis Temple, in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA is a prominence below the North Rim, and adjacent Granite Gorge. The prominence lies north of the north bank of the west-flowing Colorado River, and is just north of Middle Granite Gorge. The Trinity Creek and canyon flow due-south at its west border; its north, and northeast border/flank is formed by Phantom Creek and canyon, a west tributary of Bright Angel Creek; the creeks intersect about 3 mi southeast, and 1 mi north of Granite Gorge.

Brow Monument and Brow Monument Trail

The Brow Monument is a monument listed in the National Register of Historic Places for Coconino County, Arizona, located in the Kaibab National Forest. The site contains one of the few remaining survey markers used by the expedition of John Wesley Powell in 1872 It is accessible via the Brow Monument Trail.

References


Coordinates: 35°50′N112°30′W / 35.833°N 112.500°W / 35.833; -112.500