The state of Arizona in the United States offers some of the most diverse and incredible natural wonders you could ever hope to stumble across. Yet they are all found in the same state, close enough together to fit into a road trip! How insane is that! With majestic turquoise waterfalls, red sand deserts, deep historic canyons, mountains topped with snow and a land full of cacti, it’s hard to believe all these different environments can be squished into the same state. Here are ten natural wonders that you should definitely add to your Arizona bucket list.
Watch out though, some of these breathtaking places can only be found at the end of intense hikes. Do your research before you get too excited! Above image found here.
1. The Grand Canyon
One of the most visited, famous and beautiful canyons in the world, the Grand Canyon is usually high on the list of anyone visiting Arizona. Reaching out to much further than the eye can see, it’s hard not to look at the Grand Canyon with a complete sense of awe. Plan your trip to the Grand Canyon well in advance to figure out where the best views and experiences can be found to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Image found here.
2. Havasupai Falls
If you’re willing to take the 20 mile (32km) round trip hike to get there, Havasupai will absolutely blow your mind. Hidden deep in the mysterious Grand Canyon, this waterfall paradise is reserved for the fit and adventurous, who don’t mind an extreme hike to find something beautiful. Just look at how incredible that blue green water is!! Image found here.
3. Horseshoe Bend
One of my favourite places in Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is still relatively off the beaten track, in the way that there are no tickets or fees to get there, no observation decks or handrails, and you can sit right on the edge of the canyon and admire the beauty of the unique horseshoe bend in the Colorado River.
Read more: Sitting on the edge of Horseshoe Bend
4. Fossil Springs
Found in a town named Strawberry, Fossil Springs can be found at the end of another tough hike in an Arizona National Park. The Fossil Springs trail winds 4 miles (6.5km) down into a deep canyon before you will spot any water (remember, this will be an incline on the way back out). If you’re tough enough to tackle the decent, you will be rewarded with a refreshing secluded waterfall to cool down before your climb back to the top. Image found here.
5. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, infamous for it’s tall red rock walls and tunnels of light spilling in through the slots of the canyon walls. Found on traditional Navajo land, close to the town of Page, Antelope Canyon is separated into two different sections – Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon and is best experience between the hours of 10am and 1pm when the light is spilling in through the slots. Image found here.
6. Slide Rock State Park
Found in the middle of Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock is a scenic wonderland, featuring sandstone bluffs, natural flora and fauna and the water of Oak Creek. It’s made it’s name as one of the top 10 swimming holes in the United States, with a major highlight being the ultimate natural waterslides offered by the red rocks of Sedona. Image found here.
7. Saguaro National Park
If you’re looking for cacti and a real desert experience, this is where you need to be. The giant Saguaro is known as the universal symbol of America’s west, however these iconic plants are only found in a small pocket of the states. This is where you find them. Thousands of them, all together for you to see! Image found here.
8. Petrified Forest National Park
The Petrified Forest is found in Navajo and Apache countries in northeastern Arizona, known for it’s large deposits of petrified wood found across the area. The national park is so different to anywhere else in Arizona, let alone USA, it’s hard to believe it’s still part of the same state! Image found here.
9. Monument Valley
Sitting on the boarder of Utah and only just hustling it’s way into a post about Arizona is Monument Valley, part of the Navajo Nation and used in countless Hollywood movies as the perfect depicition of America’s wild west. It’s the true Western America you came to see, with red sand roads, clear blue skies and tall rock formations appearing out of the ground all over the place. Image found here.
Read more: Exploring Monument Valley
10. Red Rock State Park
Just outside the popular city of Sedona is Red Rock State Park, a red sandstone canyon which also covers part of Oak Creek. The famous red rocks are surrounded by the Coconino National Forest and the park offers endless mountains and canyons to explore. Image found here.