While the park has all the wonders known for a century, there are many new adventures and discoveries to share. There are backcountry hikes into areas never open before such as Red Basin and little known areas like the Martha’s Butte. There are new exhibits that bring the stories to life. Come rediscover Petrified Forest!
Explore Saguaro National Park
Made famous in countless Hollywood films, this iconic statement piece hasn’t changed in 3000 years.
Looking for an unforgettable Arizona experience? With so much to see and do in Arizona, it can be hard deciding what to experience. Head outside the city centers and explore the one-of-a-kind communities that hold a charm all their own. From grand to small, to amazement and adventure, these must-sees will help you make the most of your trip.
A trail that spans 800 miles, a county known for its Old West Outlaws, an infamous highway dotted with kitschy attractions? You are sure to experience something unforgettable in Arizona.
Must See Saguaro National Park
You know those typical cartoon cacti? They came from these real-life cacti.
Whether you started watching John Wayne movies like Stagecoach back in the 1930s, or you’re a modern day fan of the slightly more recent Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you’ve probably seen shots of Monument Valley at some point in your life…because…well…its pretty monumental.
The magnificent sanstone buttes shoot out of the desert landscape, the tallest reaching up over 1,000 ft above the valley floor. This land that time forgot straddles the Utah-Arizona border and is actually part of the Navajo Nation Reservation territory. Despite the locations non-designation as neither a national nor a state park nor even a national monument, you haven’t seen the real American West if you haven’t set your sights on the iconic Monument Valley.
Visitors can enjoy the majesty of Monument Valley by paying a small access fee and driving the 17-mile dirt road through the area. This drive allows visitors to see many of the valley’s monuments including, The Mittens, Merrick Butte, and Totem Pole. There are additional sections of the valley which our off limits to public access unless you are accompanied by a local guide. Locally-owned Navajo tour companies offer a variety of tours in Monument Valley ranging from jeep tours to overnighters. Cookout tours might also add an authentic flare to your visit, complete with the famous Navajo tacos.
When traveling to Monument Valley, make sure to stop in at the visitor center which is open seven days a week:
May to September: 6am – 8pm
October to April: 8am – 5pm
Weather in the region is typical of a high-desert climate with hot summers and cold winters, so plan accordingly depending on when you decide to visit.
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The South Rim of The Grand Canyon National Park is the most visited of all the rims. Think of it like your Mom’s favorite kid. She says she doesn’t have one, but we all know who she visits most. The West Grand Canyon is where you will find the Grand Canyon Skywalk. This famous glass walkout makes parents everywhere clench up tight enough to squeeze out a diamond. The East Grand Canyon is quickly gaining popularity due to Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend. The North Rim is seasonally limited from May 15th to October 15th.
The Grand Canyon is often viewed as a single destination, but there are four main places to visit and tour. If you aren’t sure what to do, when to do it, or how to make it epic, we recommend hiring one of Arizona’s guides and outfitters.
Hopi guides lead members of the Coronado Expedition (the first Europeans) to the Canyon.
Major John Wesley Powell leads the first successful expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
Senator Benjamin Harrison introduced the first of several unsuccessful bills to establish the Grand Canyon National Park.
John Hance, the first non-native settler, starts to promote mining and other ventures.
The Grand Canyon was first set aside as a forest reserve by President Benjamin Harrison.
The first automobile, a Toledo Eight Horse, made it to the Canyon.
President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the Grand Canyon Game Preserve.
President Theodore Roosevelt established the Grand Canyon National Monument.
Arizona becomes a state.
The gates of the dam were closed, flooding the area upstream of the dam; forming Lake Powell.
The park doubled in size by the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act, passed by President Gerald Ford.
Some questions you should ask as you plan your Grand Canyon National Park vacation:
- What time of year are you wanting to travel?
- Who you are traveling with and what are their interests?
- How much time do you have to spend?
- What kind of activities do you want to experience?
When contemplating a visit to The Grand Canyon National Park, priority #1 should be to book your lodging and book it ASAP.
Hotels and Lodging in the Grand Canyon are known to sell out months, or even a year or more in advance, depending on your planned destination and season.
The Grand Canyon National Park hotels and lodges run the gamut from ultra-modern, with all the amenities modern travelers expect, to bare-bones rustic cabins that offer a clean place to lay your head and not much more.
Vacation rental homes, bed and breakfasts, and glamping resorts also warrant consideration for larger traveling parties, individuals who prefer to cook their own meals, and those who wish to experience their destination on a deeper cultural and personal level.
Either way, the Grand Canyon should top your must-see list.
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