VALLE

Highways US 180 from Flagstaff and AZ 64 from Williams meet at this road junction, pronounced "Valley," 28 miles south of Grand Canyon Village. The tiny community has an excellent aviation museum, a simple theme park based on the cartoon Flintstones, two motels, a campground, convenience stores, gift shops, and gas stations.

Planes of Fame Air Museum
Outstanding aircraft of the past reside in this collection (Grand Canyon Valle Airport, on the south side of town, 928/635-1000, www.planesoffame.org, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, to 6 p.m. daily in summer, $6 adults, $2 kids 5–11). It's part of the Planes of Fame Air Museum based in Chino, California, so some planes rotate between the two locations or may be on tour.
    During the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur flew aboard the Lockheed Constellation C-121A named "Bataan," which has been beautifully restored and opened for tours ($3 extra). A 1928 Ford Trimotor, said to have been a personal aircraft of Henry Ford, still flies; it's a type of plane used in early tourist flights over the Grand Canyon. You'll see replicas of a few famous WW I aircraft. World War II highlights include a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider and Messerschmitt Bf 109G. Newer fighters represent the dawn of the jet age. Some homebuilts and other light aircraft, a Link Trainer Model C-3 ("the sweat box"), and a timeline of women in aviation round out the collection. Exhibits change as planes rotate between here and the Chino facility. Around the last weekend in June, the museum sponsors the High Country Warbirds Fly-In with flybys of vintage aircraft.
    The nearby airport terminal has a display of antique autos and trucks, which you can see 7 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, free.

Flintstones Bedrock City
Fans of the cartoon series The Flintstones may enjoy walking around this life-size town (928/635-2600, 6 a.m.–8 p.m. daily in summer, decreasing to 7 a.m.–4 p.m. daily in winter, $5 ages two and up). It has the houses of Fred and Barney and their families, businesses, dinosaur statues (one is a kid's slide), a little ride through a "volcano," and a theater where the cartoons play. The park is open year-round but the volcano ride and theater don't run in winter. There's also a campground and a snack bar.

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