How often do we take the time to enjoy what our own state has to offer? If you’re reading this you are likely a resident of the one and only Grand Canyon State. We see this desert wilderness everyday because we live in it and that can make it easy to take for granted. There are a lot of beautiful destinations here that are unique to us and cannot be experienced anywhere else. How many of us have actually seen Monument Valley? And, no, television doesn’t count. It’s easy to let these places slip by on our vacation destinations list because they are on our turf. Hopefully, however, we can manage to behold what makes our own state unique. So, in no particular order, here’s a list of some of the best travel destinations to visit in our very own backyard.
1. Antelope Canyon
Our first attraction lies outside of Page and consists of two slot canyons, which are formed by the passing of water through multiple layers of rock. These natural, colorful canyons make for great photos whether you are a professional photographer or taking pictures for your home. To visit either canyon requires signing up for one of the various tour options available inside the Navajo Tribal Park.
This scenic town is a great spot to go hiking and enjoy the beautiful red rock mountains in the area. Residents of Gilbert, Mesa, and the general Phoenix area can all make a fun day trip out of it as it is located a short hour to hour and a half north of Phoenix and the general Phoenix area. There are plenty of activities to do for the adventurous and for those who want to keep things more urban. Plus, Sedona comes with its views, including the iconic Cathedral Rock which can be hiked to via Cathedral Rock Trail.
3. Havasu Falls
Dropping 100 ft into a beautifully colored pool of water is our next entry, Havasu Falls. The water has a distinct bluish-green hue due to a high concentration of a certain mineral. Reaching the Falls requires a hike of around 10 miles each way there and back but it can also be incorporated into a larger hike of up to around three days if you would like to visit the local village, creek, and the multiple waterfalls on the way.
4. Monument Valley
We have all seen this sightseeing destination portrayed on the big screen in old westerns and otherwise. Monument Valley is one thing to see on screen and another to behold in person. Sunrise and sunset both provide especially breathtaking views where the entire valley is glowing in color. The scenic route can be filled with drivers so it is advisable to also hire one of the park’s authorized guides to catch the scenic views all by yourselves.
5. Grand Canyon - North Rim
Ah yes, how can there be an Arizona travel destination list without the Grand Canyon in it? Because this location is so well known, we thought that we would mention the lesser traveled “half” of this wonder. The North Rim gets less visitors than the ever popular South Rim subsequently provides a less crowded experience when enjoying the beautiful views it has to offer. The North Rim also comes with its own sights and hikes (big and small) and may provide a more pleasant Grand Canyon experience.
Each of these travel spots comes with its own sights and wonders. Hopefully, you are now feeling more inspired to check out the destinations our state has to offer. Even though they are relatively close to us, they can be just as enjoyable of a trip as anywhere else. Before you travel to these destinations, make sure to stop by your local auto repair in Glendale, or wherever you may be, so you don’t have to worry about car troubles on the road. The views are definitely nicer when the car is running.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/23/2017) Airwolfhound (Flickr)