Arizona was made for road trips. Here, you’ll cover long, romantic miles under endless skies and landscapes, stopping at popular destinations like Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, and Cathedral rock along the way. But the thousands of years old culture of the American Indians is still very much alive. A largest state with a rich past.
1.Grand Canyon national park
According to deluxesurveillance, the Grand Canyon is a natural wonder stretching 277 miles where you can look down about a mile at its deepest point and see the wild Colorado River flowing beneath your feet. Of course you can’t miss the Grand Canyon when you’re in Arizona, this is by far the best known and most popular attraction in the state with an average of 5 million people per year. Arizona is not called the Grand Canyon state for nothing.
2. Route 66
Route 66 , The Mother Road, America’s Highway. It doesn’t matter what you call it. The fact is that this legendary highway is still a highlight on the bucket list of many American travelers. Discover some of the most beautiful stretches of Route 66 for yourself on an Arizona road trip.
3. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is located in Northern Arizona (and partly in Utah). Next to the Grand Canyon, this is one of America’s most iconic destinations. The four spectacular rock formations in the middle of the vast, vast desert landscape have already starred as a backdrop in many (western) films and commercials. Listen to the stories of the Navajo Indians here or get into a rental car and go on a journey of discovery through the endless landscape.
As you walk the streets of historic Tombstone, the heyday of cowboys and outlaws is never far away. Here in southern Arizona (Cochise County), the days of yesteryear are revived and you can experience the authentic atmosphere of the Wild West for one day.
The thriving desert metropolis of Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the undisputed center of Southwestern American culture. Phoenix has it all: From modern architecture to trendy bars, and from street art to excellent restaurants.
6. Four Corners
The Four Corners is the only point in all of North America where 4 states meet. At this place near Monument Valley, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico border each other. Throughout the year, tourists come here to stand at the exact center of the border and take selfies.
7. Montezuma Castle National Monument
The “Casas de Montezuma” is one of the many remnants of old Arizona. These ingenious cliff dwellings were carved out of the rock by the original inhabitants sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries. Spread over 5 floors you will find rooms where up to 50 people lived.
8. Saguaro National Park
What do you envision when you think of a cactus in the desert? Chances are you’re thinking of Saguaro. This famous desert plant grows mainly in the Sonara Desert around Phoenix. The largest specimen can be admired in Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona.
9. Antelope Canyon
The Antelope Canyon is a unique piece of America that is perhaps Arizona’s most beautiful destination. In this deep gorge, light and shadow play tag with each other. Over millions of years, wind and water have formed a unique landscape here that is extraterrestrially beautiful. Antelope Canyon is located in the Navajo reservation and you can visit it under the guidance of a tour guide. Don’t forget: A visit to The Horseshoe bend, where the Colorado River meanders around a rock formation in the shape of a horseshoe.
10. Chiricahua National Monument
The Chiricahua National Monument, named after the Chiricahua Apaches, is well worth a detour. This area is also called Wonderland of Rocks and it is clear why. A volcanic eruption about 27 million years ago is responsible for this wondrous landscape where, spread over 12,000 hectares, various rock sculptures, narrow pillars and boulders balancing on top of each other beg to be photographed. The park can be visited on foot, via various trails, or come by car and drive to Massai Point for the best view.
A photographer’s dream destination, Arizona is home to some of North America’s most photographed places. The Cathedral Rock is one of them. Hiking to the top of Cathedral Rock is a challenging experience not to be missed on any trip to Sedona. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with views in all directions.
12.Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a canyon in northern Arizona between Flagstaff and Arizona. This smaller brother of the Grand Canyon is a colorful nature reserve where you can make a beautiful trip by jeep on a scenic road with many hairpin bends. When you arrive at Oak Creek Vista Point, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the mountains and nature of the Coconino National Forest.
13. Red & Slide Rock State Park
Another highlight in Oak Creek Canyon is the Red & Slide Rock State Park. You will come across this swimming hole as you travel from Sedona to Oak Creek Canyon (the route itself is worth the effort alone). A welcome place to cool off from the heat. The most special attraction of the park is the water slide formed by nature.
People lived there long before Arizona became the 48th state of the United States. About 12,000 years ago, the Canyon State was home to ancient Indian peoples such as the Anasazi (Ancient Publeos) and Sinagua. Much later from Indian tribes that we still know today, such as the Hopis and Navajos. Today, 22 different Indian tribes still live in Arizona.
The first Western influence came around 1540 when a Spanish expedition combed the entire area from Mexico to what is now called Kansas in search of the “Seven Cities Of Gold” (Cibola), a popular myth of the time. According to the myth, there must be seven cities of gold somewhere in the desert. In addition to prospecting for gold, they were also involved in converting the indigenous population to Christianity. Since that time, Arizona has been in the hands of the Spaniards. Traces of the Hispanic presence can still be found throughout Arizona. After a few centuries of Spanish rule, the area became part of Mexico in 1810.
When the Mexican American War ended in 1848, most of Arizona became part of the United States. Later, in 1853, after a few more years of dispute over the remaining territories, the last piece was purchased from Mexico. Until 1863, what we now call Arizona was part of the New Mexico Territory. Only in the last century, on February 14, 1912, Arizona officially became part of the United States.