Natural Wonders of Arizona You Should Visit Before At Least Once In Your Lifetime
Unsplash by: Dino Reichmuth
Arizona is a state filled with beautiful sights and amazing natural wonders, and if you are building a bucket list before your visit, you might not know where to start! To give you a helping hand, here is a rundown of the absolute essential natural wonders that you simply cannot miss out on if you are taking a trip to Arizona.
The Grand Canyon
Sitting pretty at the top of the list, the Grand Canyon is internationally recognized for both its beauty and for its geological significance.
Whether you take a stroll to overlook the path carved by the Colorado river from one of the many viewing points, or you hike down into the heart of the canyon, there are stunning vistas from every angle. You can even get an aerial overview via plane or helicopter, and it really will leave you awestruck at what the raw power of nature and time can achieve in combination with one another.
Used as a backdrop in some of the most famous Westerns in the history of Hollywood, Monument Valley is another natural marvel, but rather than being hewn from the rock by running water, it was carved and shaped by desert winds, creating the iconic stacks still seen today.
Whether you just visit for a day, or book an overnight stay, this valley of towering sandstone will fill you with wonder, and is even more panoramic and impressive than any iteration of it that you’ve seen on the silver screen.
In terms of straightforward names for natural wonders, it is hard to beat Arizona’s Meteor Crater. As you might expect, this is the impact site at which a meteorite measuring 150 feet across collided with the Earth’s surface around 50,000 years ago.
Today, the crater that this space rock left is a vast and jaw-dropping spectacle, with a small amount of the original meteorite still visible at the visitor’s center. It is also privately owned, although it has been recognized as a significant landmark for over half a century at this point, and is particularly well preserved compared with some of the other craters dotted around the globe.
Another of Arizona’s stunning sandstone canyons are the water-sculpted caves which are most worthy of a visit, as they twist and turn and reveal the layers of rock that have been carved by water running through them over the eons.
If you do visit, prepare to hike to enjoy the best that Antelope Canyon has to offer. There are viewing points, of course, but it is really a sensible choice to actually head into the close-knit walls of the canyon itself to see what all the fuss is about.
While much of Arizona is dry and arid, there are plenty of parts where the water flows freely and oases of greenery can be found. Havasu Falls is one example of this, with the falls themselves creating gorgeously blue pools which in turn support a small but significant ecosystem of trees and plants around their edges.
Unsplash by: Daniel Hernandez
Bear in mind that getting to Havasu falls is actually more of a challenge than the other destinations mentioned above; you will either need to hike for eight miles from the nearest settlement, take a mule ride instead, or book a helicopter to get there quickly. Whatever the case, it will definitely be worth the trip for the sights you will see. Just make sure to book well in advance, as you will not be able to complete the journey to the falls if you have not planned ahead.