Top 10 Most Famous Arizona Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Arizona is known for its natural beauty. Located in the southwest part of the United States, it is a place where visitors can still traverse around for hours without seeing another person. Visitors come to hike, bicycle, kayak and more, and are frequently drawn to famous Arizona landmarks. There are plenty of them to be found, and even repeat visitors find that there is still much more to see and explore in The Grand Canyon State.
1. Grand Canyon National Park: Not only is this massive, natural geological feature the most popular of all Arizona landmarks, but it’s also one of the top vacation destinations in the United States. Found in the northwest part of state, the Colorado River carved formation stretches over two hundred and fifty miles and is as wide as eighteen miles at some points. In some parts of the canyon, the depth can reach as much as a mile, meaning that not only is the entire area stunningly beautiful, but it’s also important geologically as it exposes visible accounts of the planet’s history.
2. Havasu Falls: Although the canyon itself is what typically draws travelers to the northwestern part of the state, there is another natural gem found here that is so beautiful that it’s often depicted in magazines and calendars of great waterfalls around the world. Found on Havasupai tribal lands, the falls mark the spillover of Havasu creek, in a place that has become known as one of the most treasured of all Arizona landmarks. Here, blue green waters cascade down along red rocks, collecting in bright pools that step down in layers from the fall’s edge. One notable fact about the falls is that due to their mineral composition, change occurs regularly and they have even been known to split into two separate falls. Hence, no two visits here will likely be just the same.
3. Monument Valley: Found in the northeast part of the state in an area often referred to as the four corners, towering buttes made from sandstone are visible from miles away. It’s these formations, located in the Navajo Nation Reservation, that are not only a popular tourist destination and one of the most well known of all Arizona landmarks, they also have a big role in movies too. The area has been so widely used in various film and television programs that it’s commonly associated with what many people think of as “the west.” However, most that come to visit the formations, some of which reach a thousand feet of height, do so not for their place on the silver screen, rather their natural beauty.
4. Canyon de Chelly: Although it may not look much like it today, this National Park is one of the longest inhabited places in the United States. It’s the history that is found here that brings visitors en masse, providing a glimpse into past civilizations of both ancient Pueblo and Navajo peoples. Amongst the oldest and most unique of Arizona landmarks, the canyon remains home to around forty Navajo families and is also the only National Park that is not federally owned, rather entirely owned by the Navajo Nation.
5. Antelope Canyon: There are two distinct parts that comprise this slot canyon, located at the northern border of the state. Both unique and abundantly photogenic, “The Crack” and “The Corkscrew” are well known for the unique light displays that appear as it makes its way through the canyon cracks. Unlike other Arizona landmarks, a trip to the duo of rock features that make the canyon spectacular does require a guided tour with an experienced guide. However, past guests point out that it’s well worth both the journey and the effort for these unique sights.
6. Sedona: Like many parts of Arizona, red sandstone rocks make this southern town so popular with tourists. Notably brilliant when the sun both rises and sets, it’s both a top attraction for spiritualists and nature lovers alike. There are several Arizona landmarks found here like the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and the combination of a natural setting and city amenities from the culturally rich region make it popular with tourists.
7. Saguaro National Park: Two separate districts, both encompassing parts of the Sonoran desert and mountain ranges, cover nearly a hundred thousand acres in the area west of Tucson. What lures travelers to this National Park is the same as many other Arizona landmarks, a stunning natural landscape. However, there are some unique things about Saguaro that make it perhaps different from other parks. It has an endangered local resident, the lesser long nosed bat as well as an owl that has recently received threatened status. Saguaro is also well known for cacti, and the pair of park districts seem to be decorated with it.
8. Meteor Crater: There is no play on words here. This crater promises to deliver just what its name implies, the best preserved example of a meteorite impact in the world. This makes the mile wide site not only one of the most unique of all Arizona landmarks, but one that is known the world over. Found just east of Flagstaff, the 550 foot deep crater welcomes visitors with trails for observation, air conditioned viewing options, a movie theater, discovery center and a gift shop as well.
9. Petrified Forest National Park: Another perfectly titled National Park, this nearly one hundred and fifty square mile area is known for an abundance of petrified wood that is found within its borders. In addition to these often oddly shaped Arizona landmarks, there are other wonderful sights to behold in the park, including brightly colored rocks and badlands as well as an immense collection of well preserved fossils. An interesting display of wildlife is also found here including small rodents, snakes, lizards, birds, coyote, bobcats and amphibians.
10. Flagstaff Lowell Observatory: The southern city is home to one of the most technologically advanced telescopes in the entire world, and the fifth largest found anywhere. In a project with The Discovery Channel, the ten year and 53 million dollar project was completed recently, promising a whole new world of discovery and adventure, scanning the planetary skies from this most futuristic of all Arizona landmarks. Guests can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, watch educational features and explore much more at the Observatory.