Destination, The Americas
5 Stunning Sights in Arizona
By Nicole Grimes
Arizona, the 6th largest state in the US is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the world. While the state is best known for its desert landscape, incredibly picturesque mountains and plateaus are found in more than half of the state. These photos below capture some of the unbelievable beauty found here:
1. Sonoran Desert
The Sonoran Desert is an arid region covering 120,000 square miles! Some of it is in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California, but most of it lies in the western half of the state of Sonora, Mexico. This is the hottest of North America’s deserts, but a distinct rainfall pattern produces a high biological diversity. The Sonoran Desert includes 60 mammal species ( including the roadrunner and the only population of Jaguars in the US), 350 bird species, over 100 reptile species, over 1000 native bee species, and more than 2000 native plant species! You may be able to spot some wildlife yourself while enjoying a desert Hummer tour with or enjoying a breath-taking hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions.
2. Paria Canyon
This mind-boggling photo is a picture taken at Coyote Buttes – a section of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness that spans South Central Utah and North Central Arizona. The Coyote Buttes area is an exposure of Jurassic Navajo sandstone. The area includes dramatic swirling erosional rock formations such as The Wave. Additionally, a dinosaur trackway is found in the area and actually provides evidence of a variety of dinosaurs! However, you would have to be very fortunate enough to visit here. You must obtain a hiking permit in advance to visit Paria Canyon and this is not easy to come by. However, if you do obtain a permit, several companies host tours here including Vermillion Cliffs and Dreamland Tours.
3. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is officially a large area that includes much of the area surrounding Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, a Navajo Nation equivalent to a national park. You must pay an access fee and drive through the park on a 17-mile (27 km) dirt road (a 2-3 hour trip). Parts of Monument Valley are accessible only by guided tour, such as Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa.
4. The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is a geological masterpiece carved by the Colorado River and managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe. It is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and the second largest canyon in the world. The picture above is of the scenic Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado.
Havasu Falls, pictured above, is a waterfall of Havasu Creek, located in the Grand Canyon. It is located within Havasupai tribal lands. Arizona’s all-time record high is 128°F (53°C) recorded at nearby Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994, and also on July 5, 2007. There are several wonderful, and economical, Viator tours to see the Grand Canyon either from Las Vegas or from Phoenix.
While exploring the Grand Canyon is a thrilling experience, you won’t want to miss Sedona as part of your Arizona adventure. Sedona, located in the north east of the state, offers inspiring overlooks, hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails and beautiful red rock vistas. It is home to its own haven of impressive canyons – including Bell Rock (pictured above), Oak Creek Canyon & Cathedral Rock. One must-see attraction in Sedona is The Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic chapel built directly into its buttes! You can check out www.VisitSedona.com for more travel tips.
With sights like these, a trek to Arizona will clearly be an exciting and unforgettable one!
Education is my love but travel is my soulmate. I cannot live without either. Hence, I travel often and it’s always intense. Jam-packed. Not much sleep happens and I return home to New York with hundreds of photos. Amongst those moments captured, you will rarely find pool or beach pics, happy folks with brews in hand.. Instead, to some of my friends dismay, there are endless photos of buildings, bridges, towers, churches, monuments, signs, terrain, animals etc. When I am away, I am eager to consume everything around me. I refuse to spend one waking moment seated in a hotel room or lobby passing valuable time.. Hopefully, this totally geeky travel maniac can provide some helpful tips and insights for you fellow travelers out there.