Arizona is a state full of natural beauty, rich history, and diverse cultural experiences. From the iconic red rocks of Sedona to the towering peaks of the Grand Canyon, there are endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. If you’re planning a trip to Arizona, or just dreaming of all the amazing things you could do there, here’s a bucket list of some of the top experiences the state has to offer.
Visit the Grand Canyon. No trip to Arizona is complete without a visit to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. This massive chasm in the earth’s surface is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep in some places. There are plenty of ways to experience the Grand Canyon, from hiking to the bottom and back up to taking a scenic drive along the rim. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a sunset or sunrise over this natural wonder.
Go stargazing in Sedona. Sedona is known for its red rock formations and natural beauty, but it’s also an excellent spot for stargazing. The dark skies and lack of light pollution make it the perfect place to see the Milky Way and other celestial bodies. Join a guided tour or just find a secluded spot and gaze up at the stars in wonder.
Tour the Antelope Canyon. Located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a stunning slot canyon with towering walls and vibrant colors. There are two main sections of the canyon, Upper Antelope and Lower Antelope, each with its own unique features. You can take a guided tour through the canyon or explore on your own. Just be sure to bring a camera – the photo opportunities in Antelope Canyon are endless.
Hike the Camelback Mountain. Located in the heart of Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is a popular hiking destination for both locals and tourists. The summit offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding desert landscape. There are two main trails to the top, the Echo Canyon Trail and the Cholla Trail, both of which are challenging but rewarding. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the desert heat can be intense.
Explore the Petrified Forest National Park. Located in northeastern Arizona, the Petrified Forest National Park is home to one of the largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood in the world. The park is also home to a variety of other geological wonders, including ancient ruins, badlands, and petroglyphs. You can take a scenic drive through the park, go hiking or backpacking, or visit one of the park’s many educational exhibits.
Take a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert is a beautiful and unique ecosystem that covers much of southern Arizona. One of the best ways to experience it is by taking a hot air balloon ride. You’ll soar above the landscape, getting a bird’s eye view of the cacti, mountains, and other natural wonders below. Many hot air balloon companies offer sunrise or sunset rides for an extra special experience.
Go on a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon. Located just outside of Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon is a beautiful stretch of road that winds its way through the red rocks and pine forests of the Coconino National Forest. The drive is about 12 miles long and takes you past a variety of natural wonders, including waterfalls, rock formations, and scenic overlooks. There are plenty of opportunities to pull over and take photos or go on a hike.
What’s on your bucket list for Arizona? Check out the AZ Central’s Ultimate Arizona bucket list? Do you agree? What did they miss in their article?