Rock of Ages
There are few destinations within the United States that can offer the ancient and breath-taking beauty that exists in the Arizona landscape. This part of the country is where mother nature was the most luscious with her palette and brush. With the rich colors and unique floral growth, the sculpted countryside impresses it mesmerizing stature into your memory for an entire lifetime. The attractions and natural landmarks that exist in this state are famous all over the globe, making it an area that everyone should plan to experience at least once as they explore the world surrounding them. Among the hundreds of attractions scattered throughout the state, the following destinations have gained unparalleled acclaim from visitors to the region.
Not all of the carving into the earth’s surface in Arizona was caused by wind and water. This impact crater occurred roughly 40,000 years ago, and it is widely regarded as the most well-preserved feature of its kind on the entire globe. Still privately owned, the site is named after Daniel Barringer, the first observer to suggest that the impression was made by a meteorite. This site lies just outside of Flagstaff, exhibiting a rim that rises 45 meters above the desert landscape. It is a compelling 570 feet deep with a radius of 4,000 feet.
Some of the earliest cultures of the region have left artifacts and dramatic structures for us to still enjoy today. In terms of cliff dwellings that have stood the test of time, this castle is one of the finest in the entire United States. Visitors can travel from Camp Verde in order to see this 12th century structure that was created by the Sinagua civilization. From its base to its peak, it measures five stories and is comprised of 20 different rooms that were used as living quarters. The location features a museum that houses artifacts found in the castle that include shell ornaments, millstones, bone needles, and stone tools.
This huge tourist attraction has been regarded as one of the greatest engineering accomplishments this country has ever seen. The dam, constructed during the Great Depression, is made entirely from concrete. It is seated on the border of Nevada and Arizona, holding back a tremendous amount of water flowing down the Colorado River. It is still used to control flooding, maintain irrigation, and to produce electricity. Visitors can take guided tours or ride the elevator that is actually embedded in the canyon wall itself.
Although the majority of this state is arid and dry, maintaining a primarily desert environment, there are scenic waterfalls to be explored. The Havasu Falls are near the Grand Canyon and are maintained by the Havasupai Tribe. One drop in the falls extends downwards over 120 feet to a lavish, all-natural turquoise swimming pool below. The water stands against the rich reds of the canyon walls, making it an ideal location for anxious photographers. The pools are surrounded by Cottonwood Trees where many visitors stop to have a picnic lunch. There are several different ways to reach the falls including a 8-mile hike, a helicopter ride, or a horse trail that goes through the Supai Village.
This destination represents the ideal of the historic Western landscape. It has been the backdrop for hundreds of Western movies, including “Stagecoach” which featured John Wayne. In terms of actual geography, it is not a valley but rather a landscape that hosts a number of huge, crumbling rock formations. Mesas and buttes are the remnants from millions of years in which sandstone layers have been swept away to reveal towering rocks that are rich in color thanks to the presence of red oxide. Monument Valley is near the Four Corners area, situated on the Arizona, Utah state line.
Another area famed for its rock formations that are rich with vivid colors, Sedona offers plenty of natural landmarks and activities. Among the most noted of the landmarks are Thunder Mountain, Cathedral Rock, and the Coffeepot. Man-made attractions reside here as well, allowing visitors to explore spiritual retreats, museums, art galleries, and theaters. The area is steeped in activity of all kinds. There are multiple state parks that offer opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding as well.
The Grand Canyon
This natural formation is by far one of the nation’s most famous, natural landmarks. It was formed over a period of several million years as the Colorado River cut deeper and deeper into the earth. A National Park has been established around the formation that is split up into two main sections. Visitors can enjoy both the South Rim and the North Rim that exist along the canyon’s borders. There are dozens of activities related exclusively to offering new and exhilarating views of the canyon. There are designated routes for scenic drives. Helicopter rides can be taken to various locations within the canyon. People enjoy hiking to the bottom of the canyon or going on guided tours using donkeys that make their way to the bottom of the formation. The newest attraction to be installed is the Skywalk. This glass-bottom extension stretches out over the lip of the canyon and virtually takes the ground out from under your feet to give you the most intense experience of the canyon available.
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Arizona Tourism has been bringing you information about Arizona since 2001. We live in Arizona and have hiked many of the trails we write about, we’ve stayed in the hotels we feature and have lived the Arizona experience. Join us as we travel through Arizona to provide you the most complete information about vacationing in Arizona.
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