- Grand Canyon
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Canyon De Chelly National Monument
- Antelope Canyon at Page
- Coconino National Forest
- Saguaro National Park
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
- Tumacacori National Historical Park
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Monument Valley
- Hoover Dam
- Havasu Falls
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- Horseshoe Bend
Let’s start with the canyons:
This is the first name that comes to mind when thinking of Arizona because the Grand Canyon is one of the biggest attractions in America. The natural phenomenon has been carved over the centuries by the Colorado River, which can be seen far below. With its approximately 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and one mile deep, this massive precipice in northern Arizona is truly a stunning sight. The Grand Canyon has been widening from the great river for six million years, and for centuries visitors from all over the world have traveled to delight their eyes with its red and orange grandeur. The site is managed by the Office of National Parks and is officially designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a place where you will want to stay for at least another day. The view is stunning in this interesting area with blue water, desert landscape, and scary stone walls. These include Lake Powell, one of the largest artificial lakes in the United States, and Glen Canyon, built between 1956 and 1964 to block the Colorado River and create Lake Powell. At the lake, there are opportunities for many recreational activities on land and water.
Canyon De Chelly National Monument
The Canyon de Chelly National Monument houses spectacular Indian rock dwellings set in steep canyons, the walls of which reach about 1,000 feet in height. Apart from them, the other landmarks are the Ruins of the White House, built around 1050 and discovered in 1849, and the Spider’s Rock, as the White House is the most famous of the rock dwellings. Most of the ruins, which are largely inaccessible, were inhabited from about 350 to 1300 AD. Other interesting rock dwellings include The Antelope House and the Mummy Cave in the Canyon del Muerto.
Antelope Canyon at Page
Antelope Canyon is located within the Navajo National Reservation and is a slot canyon that looks like a fantasy movie set. The sculpted, curving walls of sandstone rise around the visitors and light poles are drilled from the narrow opening above. The canyon can be toured with a guide, and the Upper Antelope Canyon is the easier option, especially for people who have mobility problems, or for those who prefer to move on flat land. In any case, you will enjoy this incomparable natural creation.
And now, let’s move to the next sites – historical and natural parks, and more:
Sedona is defined as one of the most beautiful places in America with its dramatically colorful landscape, with towering red rocks and jagged sandstone planks combined with almost always the blue sky. This place is attractive for tourists, artists, and film producers. But that’s not all there is to Sedona. Many have rediscovered it as a center of spiritual energy. Also, there are many spas offering traditional treatments that use red clay and blue corn body scrub. Apart from that, Sedona has over 100 hiking trails.
Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest is a real gem important to Arizona’s natural diversity – a national forest with more beautiful landscapes: the famous red rocks around Sedona, the Ponderosa pine forests, a rich palette from the southwestern desert to the alpine tundra, including mountains and canyons, small lakes, rivers, and streams. Coconino National Forest is one of the oldest in the United States, established on 2nd July 1908.
Saguaro National Park
One of the associations coming up in your mind when you think of Arizona is the huge cacti. That’s why you should see the Saguaro National Park, where you will take a closer look at the saguaro cacti. The park has two sections – east and west – relative to the city of Tucson, both of which offer great opportunities to see the desert flora and fauna. The hikes are intriguing and range from easy walks to more extreme hikes up in the high mountains, which reach as high as 8,000 feet.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an international biosphere reserve in southwestern Arizona, just on the border with Mexico. The park is also one of the most popular camping destinations throughout the state. The name comes from the eponymous organ pipe cactus. The area is amazing, with mountains and beautiful sunsets over the desert. There are about 30 different species of cacti in the park. Organ pipes cacti grow up to 23 feet tall and bloom from May to July. Due to the severe heat during the day, it only opens its flowers after sunset.
Tumacacori National Historical Park
Tumacacori National Historical Park is located south of Tucson and preserves the ruins of three early Spanish colonial missions in southern Arizona. Two of the third missions – San José de Tumacácori and Los Santos Ángeles de Guevavi, were established in 1691, so they are the oldest missions in Arizona, and the third one – San Cayetano de Calabazas, was established in 1756. The site was abandoned in 1848 due to Apache raids, neglect, and severe winters, but acquired the status of a national monument in 1908.
Petrified Forest National Park
The Petrified Forest National Park covers an area of over 200,000 acres. There is one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world, as well as rocky rocks and fossils of animals. Here you can indulge in activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and cycling, sightseeing of the historical exhibits of the park. Large pieces of petrified wood, as well as petrified plants, fish, and reptiles, have been found in today’s petrified national forest in the painted desert. You have the opportunity to take a closer look at various sights that you will remember from your walk here.
Monument Valley is located in Navajo Park. There you will find a remarkable visitor center and a 17-kilometer self-driving route on a one-way, gravel road through the park itself. To get acquainted with the interesting details, you can take a guided tour. Some of the most iconic images of the Southwest are the sandstone planks that fill the Monuments Valley. This area, which crosses the Arizona-Utah border, includes jagged rock formations, rocky peaks, and beautiful sand dunes.
Hoover Dam is one of the greatest engineering marvels in all of America. It is a massive structure built in 1935 that crosses the Colorado River. The dam is 726 feet high and 1244 feet long. Lake Mead, which is retained by Hoover Dam, is the largest artificial lake in the United States, 110 miles long and equivalent to a two-year flow of the Colorado River. It is free to cross the dam the visitor center provides detailed information about the facility. The tour will be pleasant because there is a cafe around with some basic food options.
Now, let’s move to the towns – old and new ones:
Jerome is a small mining town located on a mountain slope high above the desert. At the moment it was a ghostly place, with a steep hill with switches being the main street through the city. You will be amazed at the views that look amazing. And although most of the old buildings have been restored, there are still ruins, making the place an intriguing tourist attraction. You will see the Jerome Sliding Prison, which was originally built around 1928 on clay patches, and soon after that, it began to slide, reaching 2,500 feet from its original location. There is more evidence of the city’s history at the Gold King Mine Museum and the Jerome State Historic Park.
Phoenix is one of the most famous cities in Arizona. It is a major winter destination for golfers who just want to enjoy a stay at a resort, spa or in the desert heat. The city is full of shops, restaurants, golf courses, desert parks with hiking trails, campsites and cycling trails. First on the list of landmarks around Phoenix are the Heard Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.
If you are looking for a beautiful city, this is Tucson. It is located in the Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by mountains. It is the second-largest city in Arizona, full of cultural and historical landmarks, as well as natural areas to enjoy. Here you will find the museums which you will find more about the place and around. For those who value nature above all, there are hiking trails in the city and the surrounding mountains and canyons. Tucson is located a little higher than Phoenix, at an elevation of just under 2,400 feet, and is therefore slightly cooler.
This is where you will find yourself in the old world of this state of America – the one which movies identify with. Definitely, this is one of the must-see places in Arizona. Here you will see an Old West town, with staged street shootings and heroes walking around the city in ancient costumes. Here everything is as in the glorious times of the state: shops, restaurants, attractions. Also, you can see part of the history of the city in the historical landmarks, among which the famous O.K. Corral, the Boothill Graveyard, the historic park with the tombstone of the court, located in the original courthouse, which today functions as a museum.
Near the border with Mexico is one of the most intriguing cities in Arizona – this former mining town of Bisbee is a unique small community. It is located high in the mountains, and after the mines open, it becomes a ghost town where squatters settle. The city has become a paradise for artists and hippies, but today it is also a thriving small town with unique shops and restaurants in the historic city center. There are many interesting things to do and see in this place in Arizona. You will see houses on the hills that were former miners’ cabins, many of which are only accessible by long stairs. The city offers you incredibly beautiful views of the mountains, even Mexico.
Prescott is an unexpected find in Arizona, with tall Ponderosa pine trees, lakes, and occasionally even a sprinkle of snow. At 5,300 feet, this small town has seasons that are more defined. It is also incredibly beautiful and offers walking, kayaking, and camping opportunities.
This town is also the former capital of the Arizona Territory. The lovely city center has several historical attractions and places, including the old court hall and the Elks Theater. Take a break for lunch at one of the city’s restaurants or spend the night in one of the city’s beautifully restored beds and breakfasts or hotels.
And now, the water creations of Mother Nature in Arizona:
Do you like waterfalls? They are here, as well! The 100-meter Havasu Falls are located in the Havasupai Indian Reserve. Its pools have a bluish-green hue of the water. That’s what the people were called, about 450 people from the Havasupai tribe – or “the people of the blue-green water.” They live in isolation from the noisy world and make a living from agriculture. Today, however, their income depends on tourism. The waterfall offers you stunning beauty. Many waterfalls have been created in the Havasu Valley, which have carved pools in the travertine rock.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
In the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which spans 177 miles from the Colorado River and stretches across southern Nevada, you will find a paradise where you can rent a boat and even practice water sports. There are facilities for camping, fishing, and other tourism opportunities. Lake Mohave is 67 miles long and is the smaller of the two large lakes in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. It’s around Willow Beach – a small resort town on the Colorado River with accommodation, restaurants, a marina, a fish hatchery – everything you need to recharge your batteries.
Horseshoe Bend is a Colorado River horseshoe-shaped incised meander located in the city of Page, Arizona, United States. The walk is approximately 6 miles from the top. The view goes down to the Colorado River for approximately 1,000′. A closed view area was created in 2018 for security viewing. However, visitors wanting to leave the closed slope are asked to be careful; there can be unstable slabs or pauses underneath the sandstone edges of the terrain.
In early June 2019, the extended car park was completed. Visitors now have a lovely, safe parking lot for larger motorcycles and a separate lot. Near the railway, there is a lot of handicap-tested parking. Commercial cargo shuttles and coaches have a parking area that provides easy access to angled parking.
Traveling to Arizona and visiting the must-see places will leave you with new impressions and knowledge. You will find that North America is a land full of amazing views and history. One thing is for sure – it will not leave you indifferent, but it will excite you from the first to the last day of your trip.