Located in Southwest America, Arizona presents a world of possibilities for tourists and other travelers. This state boast of 22 national parks, including the second most toured national park in the states — Grand Canyon National Park. Phoenix and Sedona are two of the best cities to visit in Arizona; they are filled with exciting and unique vacation destination sites. This state is home to many natural and historical sites, including historic ghost towns, cactus-studded deserts, volcanoes, waterfalls, conifer-scented mountains, and remnants of ancient cultures, landscapes ideal for outdoor activities, deserts and lakes among others. This article compiles the top 10 things to do in the outdoors in Arizona.
1. Saguaro National Park
A tour to the Saguaro National Park will be a lasting memory of your visit to Arizona. One of the remarkable features in this national park is the giant saguaro cactus whose branching arms extend to about 50feet tall, and the plant has a lifespan of more than 200 years. In the national park, you can visit the visitor center museums and take a walk in the park or drive across the park to behold the scenic views and wild animals in the area. Another striking feature of this park is the fantastic sunset visual treats. In this park, you’ve unlimited ecosystems to explore.
2. Kayak the Verde River
Arizona is packed with lots of outdoor activities for travelers and other visitors. In the Sedona area lays the Verde River that has breathtaking and blooming vegetation along its riverbank. This river is renowned for kayaking with the trees along the riverbank, offering shade for the paddlers. The river has challenging ripples and riffs along its course that make the ride more fascinating. You may opt to hire a kayak from Clarkdale Kayak Company or pick a guide who’ll take you to some of the exciting places along the riverbank such as the 900-year old ruins that belong to the Sinagua’s. You can also use the services of Verde Adventures for your kayak trip in the river.
3. Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim)
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the top national wonders in the USA. It lies in a remote area, and it’s usually closed during winter. When you get to the helm of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim, you’ll be thankful for the fascinating sights below. You can also opt for a camp out during the night in this area, or you can choose to spend your night at the rustic Grand Canyon Lodge.
4. Navajo nation
This is home to the American Indian tribes that settled in this area before the gunslingers and mountain climbers arrived in the state. To date, about 22 original Indian tribes call this place home. The Navajo nation is an ideal place you can visit to learn about the customs and cultures of these ancient inhabitants of the region. Actually, this region hosts a number of museums that are devoted to the cultures and customs of these American Indian tribes. This area also hosts several historical monuments that include the Monument Valley, Wupatki National Monument, and the Canyon de Chelly. In your visit to the Navajo nation, you can pass by Cameron, which is a small trading center in the region where you can find authentic Indian crafts and products besides some local delicacies.
5. Monument valley
The Monument valley presents the sandstone buttes, which are iconic images that lie in this area. This area lies between Utah and Arizona and features sand dunes, stone spires, buttes, and pointed rock formations. At the center of the Monument valley lays the Navajo Tribal Park, a place that attracts many visitors all years round; a visit to this park includes a 17-mile self-drive gravel road that takes you around the park. If you want a memorable experience when visiting the area, it’s advisable to engage a tour guide.
6. Havasu falls
The Havasu falls lie on the Havasupai Indian Reservation adjacent to Supai. Bluish-green tinted pools lie at the base of the falls, and the Havasu falls somewhat split; thus, it appears as two falls when the river has lots of water. At the gorge of Havasu creek, about 450 Havasupai Indians live a secluded life in this area, and they are mainly reliant on subsistence farming and tourist trade, these people are referred to as “people of the green-blue water.” The Havasu have also curved gorgeous waterfalls and created several waterfalls in the paradisiac valley.
7. Verde hot springs
In the past, the Verde hot spring was part of a hotel that was in a mountain overlooking the Verde River. In the 1960s, the hotel burned down, and today two of the pools lie on its old foundation while a smaller and warmer pool is in a small roofless building that has psychedelic paintings. The Fossil Creek Road leads to the springs campground, off the road lays the swimming walls, waterfalls, and hiking trails. In your visit to Arizona, you can spare some time to enjoy your time in the Verde hot springs.
8. Hiking to Humphrey’s Peak Summit
If you love hikes, you’re not left out, while in Arizona, you and hike to Humphrey’s peak summit. The Humphrey’s pear is part of an extinct volcano that lies at an elevation of 12, 637 ft. in the San Francisco Peaks. The hike starts at Lockett Meadow at the base of the trail to the route takes you through the pine and aspen forests to the summit where you’ll be fascinated by the breathtaking views.
9. Tempe Beach Park &Town Lake
This is a manmade lake that was opened to the public in November 1999. The lake is a stretch of two miles and presents unlimited recreational opportunities for residents and visitors in the Temple area. The lake is surrounded by a 25-acre park ideal for picnics and biking. The area is also perfect for cruising and sailing. In the park, kayaks, pedal boats, electric boats, and bikes are available for rent; the children enjoy the splash playground. The park also hosts several annual events and concerts in the amphitheater. You can also opt for a walk or jogging in the park. This park is easily accessible from downtown Phoenix.
10. Visiting local art galleries
Sedona is home to over 80 art galleries; it’s a prime location in the Southwest for arts. The best way to explore these art galleries is by walking from one store to another since they are adjacent to each other. You can get detailed information about these art shops in the Sedona Gallery Art Walk guides. One of the guides is limited to art galleries in the West Sedona, which are five and the other guide centers on Uptown & Gallery District areas with about 25 stores to explore.