Beautiful Arizona

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The Grand Canyon attracts about an average of 5 million visitors per year (specifically the North Rim). If you’ve been there in person, then you know that even the most amazing photograph doesn’t do it justice… it is, quite simply, GRAND.

Grand Canyon North Rim
Grand Canyon, North Rim
View the blog post of this photo here:

However, the Grand Canyon isn’t the only natural wonder in Arizona that offers spectacular views. Check out these beautiful photos that capture the magnificence of Arizona.

Photos without credit were taken by Leonids.

Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ by edwademd

Credit: edwademd
ANTELOPE CANYON consists of an upper & lower slot canyon near Page, AZ. Visiting is exclusively through guided tours in part to preserve the area, because it’s a source of tourism business for the Navajo Nation and because of flash flooding (11 tourists died in 1997 during a flash flood. Measures to prevent this were installed shortly thereafter).

Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ

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HORSESHOE BEND, also known as King Bend, is just 6 kilometers outside of Page, AZ. There’s a short .8-km hike from the parking area to access the view of the 1,000 foot drop. It’s completely free of charge & makes for a breathtaking side trip.

Catalina Highway Sky Islands

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SKY ISLAND SCENIC BYWAY This drive up to Mount Lemmon on the Catalina Highway will have you ascending from the hot, arid desert, to grassland, then to oak-pine woodland, pine forest, and finally to spruce-fir-aspen forest. This area is also popular amongst rock climbers and boulder-ers.

Monument Valley, AZ

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MONUMENT VALLEY is part of the Grand Circle, a ring of national parks & monuments woven together by Scenic Byways in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah & Nevada. The 27-km loop tour through the pay-park brings view of well photographed sights like “The Mittens”, “Three Sisters”, “The Thumb” and “The Totem Pole”.

Totem Pole & Yei Bi Chei, AZ by coventrysdragon

Credit: coventrysdragon
TOTEM POLE & YEI BI CHEI is a part of the Monument Valley loop.

Grand Falls, Melting Chocolate, Chocolate Falls, AZ by dtedesco

Credit: dtedesco
GRAND FALLS, also known as Melting Chocolate, Chocolate Falls or Mud Falls is northeast of Flagstaff, AZ in the Painted Desert and is almost like a well kept secret. Probably because you have to time your visit between early March to late April when snow is just melting or after a summer thunderstorm. Otherwise you’ll hit it at it’s dry period & miss out on something that looks like it’s out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory — but at least you won’t be wasting any admission fees because it’s free!

Meteor Crater, Winslow, AZ

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METEOR CRATER is just an hour and a half drive south from Grand Falls. It’s considered the world’s best preserved meteorite impact site…. the impact was about 50,000 years ago. A fragment of the meteorite (Holsinger) is exhibited in the visitor center. Admission price for adults comes to $16.

Superstition Mountains, AZ by Mike Jones Photo

Credit: MikeJonesPhoto
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS are centered around the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine: a German immigrant named Jacob Welzer discovered a motherload in the mountains & revealed this on his deathbed in 1891. Whether this is true or not, approximately 8,000 people annually have visited here since 1892 to locate the lost mine. If you decided to try your luck, make sure to keep your wits about you: there have been a plethora of mysterious deaths & disappearances in this area.

Blue Canyon, AZ by mikejonesphoto

Credit: MikeJonesPhoto
BLUE CANYON is a lesser known destination just north east of Coal Mine Canyon. It is on the Hopi Indian Reservation & requires a permit. For more info on where to get the permit & how to access the area, visit Paul Wilson’s photography site.

The Wave, Vermillion Cliffs, AZ by bku

Credit: bku Photography
THE WAVE is part of the Coyote Buttes in the Vermillion Cliffs in southern Utah & Northern Arizona. A day-use permit is required however the Bureau of Land Management limits the permits to 20 per day. It’s only $7 per person (or dog) but these permits book months in advance!

Havasu Falls

Credit: MikeJonesPhoto
HAVASU FALLS is actually just 1 of the 5 major waterfalls on the Havasupai Tribe’s land deep in the Grand Canyon. There are 3 options to get to the falls:

  1. Hike the 16-km into the Havasu Canyon that starts at Hualapai Hilltop (it’s also the cheapest option at $35/person for the entrance fee)
  2. Ride down on a guided horseback tour for $187 (round trip)
  3. Helicopter in at $85/person/way

For a hike, it’s on the pricier end but definitely would make for a memorable one! My option would be to hike down then helicopter out.

Chiricahua National Monument

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CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT is another one of Arizona’s sky islands. It’s a 12.9-km scenic paved drive with plenty of areas for hiking and rock climbing amongst the hoodoo formations.

Spider Rock Canyon de Chelly by myplanetexperience

Credit: My Planet Experience
SPIDER ROCK in Canyon de Chelly is an 800 foot sandstone spire and is considered sacred to the Navajo. This monument is also home to the White House ruins, which date from 1200 AD and are some of the oldest in the Canyon. No permit is needed for the White House Ruin Trail or rim overlooks however any other access to the canyon floor requires a park ranger or authorized Navajo guide.

Lake Powell by mikejonesphoto

Credit: MikeJonesPhoto
LAKE POWELL (View from ALSTROM POINT) is the 2nd largest man-made reservoir and is located between Utah & Arizona. It provides access to many natural points of interest like Goosenecks State Park, Defiance House Ruins, Cathedral in the Desert, Three Roof Ruin and…..

Rainbow Bridge National Monument by Tom Till

Credit: Tom Till
RAINBOW BRIDGE NATIONAL MONUMENT is technically in Southern Utah however it’s only accessible by boat through Lake Powell (the closest city to it is Page, AZ). Unless you want to hike the 21-km trail from the south side of Lake Powell (which you will need a $5/person permit from the Navajo Nation). If that’s your option, you can always choose to camp half a mile east of the bridge at Echo Camp.

If I wanted to feature all of the beautiful, natural wonders in Arizona, this entry would be never ending! There are the Saguaro National Parks, Catalina State Park, White Mountains, Sedona, San Francisco Peaks, Tonto Natural Bridge, Watson Lake… the list goes on. Being here the last 3.5 years has really sparked our sense of adventure. When our time here is up, we will definitely have plenty more adventures to add to our DONE list!


  1. Mike Jones | October 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    That’s not Havasu Falls. It’s a joke photo I created in photoshop.

    This is Havasu Falls.

    Mike Jones

    • JC | October 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Haha! Thank you for letting me know. Your photo definitely fooled me. :)

      And thank you for sharing your beautiful, photos! I hope you do not mind my featuring them on my blog.

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