- Published: Wednesday, 14 February 2018 13:39
- Written by Alpenglow Lights
While many tourists have their eyes on the world-renowned Grand Canyon, Arizona has a lot more to offer. With a land area covering 113,990 square miles, the Copper State is the 6th largest state in the United States.
Arizona houses three national parks and 13 national monuments, two national recreation areas, a national historical park and a national heritage area.
This article aims to give you information about these fantastic places you can only find in AZ.
Grand Canyon National Park
First off our list is the Grand Canyon, a steep-sided canyon chiseled by the Colorado River. This canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and reaches a depth of 1,857 meters.
Grand Canyon National Park, founded in 1919, is one of the oldest national parks in the United States.
For thousands of years, the Grand Canyon has been occupied by Native Americans who built communities within the canyon and its caves. Its area has some of the cleanest air in the United States.
The Grand Canyon is a great meeting place for biology folks. It is the natural habitat of approximately 1,737 known species of vascular plants, 167 fungi, 64 species of moss and 195 species of lichen.
This canyon is also home to 90 mammal species living along the Colorado River corridor.
This national park attracts over 4 million visitors per year who marvel at the Grand Canyon’s majestic view. People also come here to explore gigantic gorges and cliffs. Camping, hiking, and lodging are just some of the things you can do while you stay at this famed tourist destination.
The South Rim remains open all year while the North Rim is closed during winter.
Petrified Forest National Park
Known for its large deposits of petrified wood, the Petrified Forest National Park is a national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona.
According to National Park Service, Petrified Forest was visited by 643,273 people in 2016. These tourists spent $41,429,100 in communities near the park.
What to do in this national park? A good starting point is a drive through the park, stopping at some of the overlooks.
Hiking, camping, and backpacking in the wilderness of the Petrified Forest are an excellent opportunity for adventure. Be astonished by the colorful sunsets, the beautiful night sky, and incredible sunrises.
Saguaro National Park
Located in Pima County, this park consists of two separate areas — the Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District that preserve Sonoran Desert landscapes, plants, and animals, including the giant saguaro cactus, which is the number one reason people come here.
This national park also has the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum that provides an outdoor experience of the Sonoran Deserts landscape and natural history.
One of the ongoing most popular activities in Saguaro National Park is hiking since the park is full of well-maintained trails with options for both short and long treks. If you are a backpacker you are going to love this place, just make sure to grab a permit, bring a lot of water and remember to clean as you go.
The national park had an increased number of visitors in 2015, attracting 753,400 people, which is an 11 percent boost from a year prior.
Red Rock State Park
Featuring a red sandstone canyon outside the city of Sedona, Red Rock National Park is a day-use park that is dedicated to the preservation of the riparian habitat along Oak Creek. This state park serves as an environmental education facility for the public, schools, and private groups.
People choose to stay in this park to experience extraordinary views without too much congestion. Red Rock features a variety of easy to moderate trails, serene creek and forest views, gorgeous panoramic overlooks, and the unusual wildlife sighting.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Located in northeastern Arizona, the Canyon de Chelly National Monument reflects one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America. It preserves ruins of the indigenous tribes that lived in the area for nearly 5,000 years. Though none of the land is federally owned, Canyon de Chelly is one of the most visited national monuments in the United States.
There are several cliff homes in Canyon de Chelly, which can be viewed from scenic drives and overlooks on both the north and south sides of the canyon. This is a no-fee park that is located very close to a town called Chinle.
There are over 2,700 archaeological sites within the many canyons of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Only 13 of the 700 standing ruins have been stabilized, reinforced, or protected from degradation.
Things to do in this national monument include camping, hiking, horseback riding, and guided or ranger-led programs.
Tourism in the country has never been this great. There’s a good reason why 43 million people visited Arizona in 2016 who collectively spent $21.2 billion in the state.
Arizona isn’t all about canyons and gorges. This state has a lot more to offer. Experience nature at its best; visit the Grand Canyon State. Make sure your boat or RV is ready for your trip, and of course, we recommend you install Alpenglow Marine Lights