If you love the outdoors, Arizona will be a favorite destination of yours to explore. This state is home to ten national parks, ranging from canyons to mountains and everything in between.
Congratulations on taking this huge step in exploring! Here are some great destinations for you.
1. Grand Canyon National Park
For centuries, visitors have flocked to Grand Canyon National Park from all over the world. With its varied landscapes, it is one of the prettiest national parks in the world.
Arizona is probably best known for the Grand Canyon, but it is still an impressive park regardless of how famous it is.
Canyons like this never cease to impress their visitors with their maze-like corridors, stunning colors, and diverse range of hiking opportunities.
This park is visited year-round by visitors interested in guided tours and museums on the South Rim, while hikers prefer to explore the more remote North Rim from spring to fall.
2. Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is a place to escape the confines of a designated trail and wander wherever you like.
It has an incredible amount of petrified wood, colorful landscapes, and fossils of ancient creatures such as dinosaurs. Arizona is still quite warm this time of year, so lace up your hiking boots and head out for some adventure!
3. Saguaro National Park
If you are interested to visit Saguaro National Park, the most important time to go is late May since that is when the flowers bloom.
Visit early in the morning or later in the day when there’s less sunlight. The park can be reached easily from Tucson and is well-marked off of multiple highways.
4. Walnut Canyon National Monument
Walnut Canyon is a unique part of the region. It hosts many rare species of plants and animals that can only be found in this area in these mountains.
There are many different types of birds that reside within this area as well. It is common to see bald eagles nest on top of tall monoliths outside the canyon walls during winter months when prey cannot be caught easily within these icy waters below temperatures that will freeze you to your toes, even in your summer clothing.
5. Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument is a spectacular cliff dwelling that was built around 700 A.D. by the Ancestral Puebloan culture.
The dwellers left after enduring drought and built this dwelling on their way to the more livable ground.
Even though this site may not look big from the outside, it makes up for its lack of size with its impressive architecture and well-preserved cliff dwelling that tells our story of human adaptation to living in difficult times.
6. Wupatki National Monument
In the Wupatki National Monument, people can enjoy a landscape of legacies with ancient pueblos and red-rock outcroppings.
One of the main goals of the National Park Service is to provide archaeological sites with sustainable development. Here, if visitors linger they might be able to hear earth and artifacts whispering their stories at them.
7. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is definitely an interesting place to visit. The area doesn’t get as much attention as other places in Arizona but the park is unique due to its native species of cacti and rare plants.
There are some hiking trails around the park that are worth exploring, although it may be difficult so you should bring a good pair of hiking boots if you’re planning to do any long treks.
There’s a beautiful view overlooking the desert from one location but the deciduous trees make it dark sometimes, so if you plan on coming here in winter or early spring/late fall when things get cloudy, bring a flashlight with you just in case!
8. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
If you want to explore Canyon de Chelly National Monument, you should hire a Native guide because, if you don’t, you will not be able to do so.
Visit this site respectfully – this is a place of historical importance for the Navajo people.
9. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Discover how ancient dwellings looked like back in the day as you tour these ancient ruins. When you visit Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, you can see a variety of plants and ruins.
In summer, spring, and fall visitors are able to enjoy the reserve as an archaeological site. In the late fall and winter, it is possible to take a tour of the ruins.
10. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a wonderful place to visit! It is situated on Arizona’s northern border with Utah and is characterized by rugged landscapes and intriguing rock formations.
If you are interested in exploring the monument on foot, a backcountry permit (find out more) is the best way to do so. Head over the Navajo Bridge for great views from above!
It is the perfect place to visit if you enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor activities.
Arizona is a state that is full of national parks for people to enjoy. Whether you are into mountains, canyons, or forests, Arizona will have something for you. So, make sure to visit at least one of these spots within the next year!