It’s the End of The World as We Know It

Sounds like a song, doesn’t it? But, no. It’s an absolutely gorgeous sight, set right out in the middle of Nowhere, Arizona!

I can’t honestly say that this stunningly surreal spot is officially called The End of The World; but that’s what the locals call it, so I’m sticking with it. Other than being a tad bit hazy due to the wind kicking up some dust, it was a gorgeous view and definitely clearer than the pictures depict.

IMG_20160710_165725733_HDRIMG_20160710_165537581_HDR

After taking at least 103 photos, we headed back to the car and further on down the road; which, to our surprise, dead-ended after only about a half-mile at a gate marking the entrance to the USFS Lookout Tower.

From this point, it’s boots on the ground only, so we gladly abandoned our car and hoofed it on foot for about another 1/2 – 3/4 miles to the tower. Which I did in my flip-flops, by the way, since I completely forgot to grab my more appropriate shoes that I carefully placed near the door at home so I wouldn’t forget them. Thankfully the road was well-maintained. Though the slightly rocky, steady incline did make me wish more than once that I wasn’t quite so perpetually forgetful.

East Pocket Knob USFS Fire Lookout Tower
EOTW 61
Check out that earth curvature! Proof that we were truly at the end of the world. (Or that I’m a bad photographer)
IMG_20160710_173851759
A beautiful view of the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff AZ

EOTW 46

After spending about 30-40 minutes taking pictures and talking with the Forest Service Ranger, we decided to head back down so we could make our way home before sundown. This time of day is always a great time to see wildlife, and we were hoping that would be the case today. A little treat to top off an already great trip.

We were definitely not disappointed!

EOTW 33EOTW 39EOTW 36EOTW 31EOTW 30

We actually saw much more than this. To include a herd of about 30-40 elk frolicking off the side of the road, hardly taking notice of us as we drove by. Not to mention three other large elk just like the picture above. It was more than we expected and we were thrilled!

And then it happened…

We heard it before we felt it. And when I say we, I mean my husband.

Psssssssst….. Flat tire. In the middle of nowhere. With at least 15 miles of dirt road to go. But thank God for donuts! And for my efficient husband, who had that tire changed quicker than the Dad in The Christmas Story. Less than 6 minutes, from start to finish! And we were back on the road like nothing had ever happened.

To Access:

Take Historic Route 66 west from town (east from I40 E) to Woody Mountain Rd, which quickly turns to dirt and begins SR 231. EOTW 01This is a 23 mile stretch of dirt road that eventually dead ends at the gate to the East Pocket Knob USFS Lookout Tower. A word of caution: there will be other SR’s veering from SR 231 (as you can see from the picture on the left), so be careful to stay only on SR 231 for the entire distance. About a half-mile before the road dead ends, you will reach the holy grail; aptly named, The End of The World. You can camp here short-term, and there is even a ready-made fire pit for you to use. Dependent on current fire restrictions, of course. The road is in very good condition for the majority of the drive, with only about 5 miles of typical dirt road conditions. We drove a car and made it with no problems (except for that teeny-weeny flat) but when we do it again, we will definitely take our truck for a more comfortable ride. And thicker walled tires.

Happy Trails!
Dee