The parking park and ticket office are located at the canyon's apex. At the bottom of the canyon, at Hell's Gate, there are stores, ice cream (and fudge) kiosks, a restaurant, and restrooms. Can you come for free? The canyon may be hiked down (or up) for free. Some areas require a permit for horseback riding or mountain biking; check with the National Park Service before you go.
Hell's Gate is a popular spot with photographers because of its views of both the Upper and Lower Canyons. There are also some interesting rock formations in and around the gate that may not be obvious from the road but can be seen if you take time to explore on foot or by bike. Be careful when walking in the area because of the danger of cliff drops - keep an eye out for intruding objects like sticks or stones that could signalize a hidden hazard.
If you want to see more of the canyon, take the short drive down Route 66; there are several scenic lookouts along the way where you can get a view of the valley below.
From the depths of Hell, Grand Cayman Tourists in the Cayman Islands can go to Hell. This unusually named site, located in Grand Cayman's West Bay sector, is widely known for a tiny patch of black limestone structures that may be seen jutting out from its verdant surrounds. These formations are actually the remains of ancient coral reefs that have been eroded by wind and water. Today, visitors can climb down into the grottoes to get a better look at their supposedly haunted past.
Hell has been known since the early 1900s when several of its caves were used as illicit distilleries. It was not until after these caves were closed that their true nature was discovered. The town is so called because it resembles a picture of hell painted by Dante Alighieri in his famous work Divine Comedy. His description matches this location very well - it is an extremely desolate place full of poisonous snakes and other dangerous creatures.
The only way to reach Hell is by boat. A five-minute ride from North Side Beach, the Hell Hole is one of the most popular attractions on the island and offers some great snorkeling too. There are no facilities here except for some old oil drums for people to sleep in at night, but there are no restrictions on access and the site is usually quite peaceful.
If you're looking to escape the crowds then try to visit Hell during off season (spring and fall).
Most vacation advertisements promise Heaven on Earth, yet it turns out that excursions to Hell are also accessible. All you have to do is obtain a Turkmen visa and travel to one of the country's most popular destinations: the Darvaza Gas Crater, also known locally as the Gates of Hell. Situated about 75 miles south of Ashgabat in the Kurgan Valley, this inactive volcano crater is so named because it used to be filled with flames due to gas emissions. Today, however, the area is cold and dark, with only a few glowing points here and there where fire used to burn.
The Darvaza Gas Crater was created over 10,000 years ago when an avalanche destroyed its floor, causing gas pipes to rupture and release their contents. The resulting explosion spread debris over more than 20 square kilometers (8 square miles), covering everything in its path with glass up to 12 inches (30 cm) thick.
Due to its dangerous conditions, tourists aren't allowed to visit the site without a guide, and even then, they must wear protective gear including hard hats, boots, and face masks. The fee for entering the site is $150 per person, but this includes transportation from Darvaza village, food, and accommodation in a guesthouse. You can also opt to stay in tents at the edge of the crater for $50 extra.
After a gorgeous, winding journey up into Tucson Mountain Park, stop into one of the many parking places and enjoy panoramic views of the desert below. Take E Speedway Blvd west until it intersects with W Gates Pass Rd. Follow this for 3 kilometers until you reach the parking area at the top of the pass. The trailhead is located on the north side of E Speedway Blvd.
You can also drive up Gates Pass Rd., which is a paved road that winds its way up the mountain past several picnic areas and playgrounds. The road is easy to navigate and doesn't require a high-clearance vehicle. Don't worry about snowbirds or other visitors to this popular hiking spot; the park service clears the road annually so it can be driven by people like you and me.
Gates Pass Rd. is open from late fall through early spring. During these months, there are usually volunteers stationed at the trailhead to give out maps and information about the local environment. You can also call the number listed below to find out when the next group trip up the pass takes place.
The best time to go hiking up Gates Pass Rd. or on the adjacent trails is during warm weather months: April through October. However, if you go in November or March, the temperatures will be more comfortable and the passes aren't as likely to be covered in snow.