The Cliff Dwellers roadside attraction in Arizona

Located along Highway 89a in northern Arizona is an incredible roadside attraction known as the Cliff Dwellers. The Cliff Dwellers is a cluster of several small homes built under unique rock-formations that provided some of the shelter. The soft eroding material from the Vermilion Cliffs offered a bounty of building materials to create the little domiciles.

Aerial view of Cliff Dwellers Vermilon Cliffs by MikesRoadtrip.com

The area was homesteaded in the 1920s by Blanche Russell, a Ziegfeld Follies dancer (a series of elaborate theatrical revue productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 to 1931), whose car broke down in Marble Canyon. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. This automotive breakdown turned into an idea for Russell, who ended up staying in the area and built a successful trading post business, complete with restaurant and a gas station. The area became so popular, travelers began to refer to the area as House Rock Valley.

Cliff Dwellers along hwy 89a by MikesRoadTrip.com

The drive from Page down into a sliver of the Grand Canyon, known as Marble Canyon, is really something to behold. This is actually the start of the Grand Canyon. In less than 20 minute you can go from looking out above an incredible vista, to being deep within canyon walls, albeit quite far apart from one another. The stretch of Hwy 89a flanked by the Vermilion Cliffs, on the way to the Cliff Dwellers, is quite stunning and absolutely worth checking out.

Back of one of the Cliff Dwellers by MikesRoadTrip.com

If you’ve ever seen the Cliff Dwellers along Hwy 89a, leave a comment below and share your experience. Click the following link if you’d like to see more roadside attractions.

Mike Shubic

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Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

2 Comments

  1. Just went through this area a few days ago and stopped. Was sorry that the signage was all faded out so we did not know exactly what we were looking at on our way to the Grand Canyon from Hurricane, Utah. It was very interesting and unexpected. We did get out of our car and walk around a little, but since we did not have more information, we just took pictures and continued on. Did any Native Americans live here? Were there any actual structures built up in the cliffs? Or was this just a roadside area?

    1. Hi Brenda, yes, it sure is an interesting place. I don’t believe so. Here is a blurb from the article I wrote: “The area was homesteaded in the 1920s by Blanche Russell, a Ziegfeld Follies dancer (a series of elaborate theatrical revue productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 to 1931), whose car broke down in Marble Canyon.” Thanks for stopping by hope you ‘ll check out the rest of my site and videos.

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