1. Grand Canyon
One of the biggest attractions in America, and certainly in the state of Arizona, is the spectacular Grand Canyon. This incredible landscape, carved out by the Colorado River, reveals the power of nature and and the wonder it can create. The canyon walls glow a variety of colors in the late afternoon sun, with hues of orange, red, yellow, and everything in between. Most visitors see the canyon from the South Rim, where there are numerous lookout areas all along the road and walkway running along the canyon’s edge. The North Rim provides a different view altogether, but the road is closed in winter. For those who want a closer look, t is possible to hike down into the Grand Canyon or take a helicopter flight over and through the canyon.
2. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a stunning area of blue water, desert landscape, and dramatic stone walls. In addition to Glen Canyon, the area is also home to Lake Powell, one of the largest manmade lakes in the United States.
The Glen Canyon Dam was constructed between 1956 and 1964 to block the Colorado River and create Lake Powell. There is still a 15 mile section of Glen Canyon downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, which stretches from the dam down to Lees Ferry.
The town of Page is a good base for exploring the Glen Canyon National Recreation area and surrounding region. The largest marina on Lake Powell, Wahweap Marina, is located just 7 miles north of Page. One of the area’s biggest attractions is the nearby slot canyons of Antelope Canyon. Depending on the section of the canyon, visitors can either simply walk through a narrow slot canyon with shafts of light penetrating through the top, illuminating the red walls, or repel down into a canyon. Photos of Antelope Canyon are often found on postcards or in fine art galleries. Visitors can visit Antelope Canyon on a guided tour.
Official site: www.nps.gov/glca/
3. Monument Valley
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park straddles the border between Arizona and Utah. The impressive Wild West landscape includes jagged rock formations, dramatic buttes, and sand dunes. Visitors can do a self drive tour through the valley, take a guided tour or photography tour, or simply appreciate some of the views from the passing highway.
Official site: http://navajonationparks.org/htm/monumentvalley.htm
4. Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam is one of the world’s great engineering marvels. This massive structure, completed in 1935, crosses the Colorado River, linking Arizona and Nevada. It is 726 feet high and 1,244 feet long. Lake Mead, held back by the Hoover Dam, is the largest artificial lake in the United States. It is 110 miles long, and holds the equivalent of two years of flow of the Colorado River.
Official site: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/
The town of Sedona, about an hour and a half drive north of Phoenix, is situated in a stunning setting, surrounded by red rock mountains and buttes. There are fabulous views from the main highway running through the town and almost every street corner. The area has great hiking and mountain biking, but jeep tours provide an even easier way to get out into the landscape. Sedona is known for its energy vortexes and many people consider it to be a highly spiritual place.