The state of Arizona is the 48th American state and is interesting for tourists primarily for its unique natural objects, among which the most famous is, of course, the Grand Canyon, which is one of the most famous places of interest in the United States. Listed below are the 7 spectacular hidden gems in Arizona that are completely free to visit. Watch out!
1. Grand Canyon
A deep gorge appears on Arizona for more than four hundred kilometers. The Canyon arises out of two rivers, which are the Colorado and Walpai, which for many millions of years pierced the sandy-and-rocky land of the plateau. The wind, polishing their surfaces, also took part in the architecture of the ornate walls. Many stony rocks, opening in layers as the Canyon is formed, fill it with all kinds of iridescent shades.
You can enjoy fantastic landscapes by visiting one of the most significant US reserves called the Grand Canyon National Park. The park covers almost five thousand square kilometers. The most visited area is the southern edge of the Canyon, where the most popular survey platforms are located.
To see the whole Canyon, stretching from horizon to horizon, of course, is impossible. Previously, those who wanted to see the panorama of the Grand Canyon on a large scale had to dip into a pocket for a helicopter tour. Architecture came to the rescue: in 2007, over a 1220-meter precipice, an utterly transparent bridge was opened from which a genuinely breathtaking view opens up.
2. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon got its name thanks to very red walls that resemble the skin of an animal. The bizarre relief of the canyon is filled during the day with light pouring from numerous cracks. For several centuries, water and wind carved holes in the red sandstone. Rare rain showers flood the canyon, washing away the top layer of sand – thus, the water forms an incredible internal relief of the rocks.
Antelope Canyon lies on the lands of the Navajo tribe and belongs to the Indians of this tribe. To get there, you need to pay a fee for passing through Indian Territory.
It is a destination of choice for photographers: surprisingly, the colors and fancy rock patterns in the pictures look more colorful and fantastic than they are.
3. The Sonoran Desert
Sonoran is one of North America’s most vast and driest deserts. It covers the territory of Arizona, California and the northwestern part of Mexico, which in total is more than 320,000 kilometers. On its area is the Saguaro National Park, including the deserts of Colorado, Yuma, and Lechuguilla.
In spite of the dry climate, Sonoran is not covered with sand completely. More than sixty species of animals and more than one hundred species of birds live here. You may find jaguars and substantial saguaro cacti only in this region of North America, that is more characteristic for Mexico. 17 Indian tribes live in the territory of the desert and reservation areas, following their ancient foundations and customs.
Phoenix is the largest city with a population of 4 million people. About 365,000 people live at Coachella Valley, and there are several major southern resorts. Among them are Palm Springs and Palm Desert, known for their mild climate, when the temperature does not sink under 21 and does not exceed 32 degrees. Here in the orchards, mangoes, citrus fruits, and fig trees are grown.
4. The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert in northern Arizona, in the USA, is one of the most amazing places on our planet. This is a large part of the North American Plateau of Colorado. Beautiful colored hills stretch along the Little Colorado River and form an incredibly picturesque landscape. This dessert is part of the famous Grand Canyon and is part of the Petrified Forest.
Lieutenant Joseph Eaves first used the name of the desert in 1858, as he described the colored stripes of red, yellow, white, blue and lilac. Hot desert air sometimes turns into pink mist or purple haze – this colored dust rises into the air. Together, all colors form a fantastic rainbow, stretched across the desert, like glowing waves overflowing the hills.
It took millions of years to create this fantastic canvas in nature. Earth’s break up, ocean waters, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, erosion and sun rays are just a few of the factors that worked on this stunning picture and created one of the unique landscapes of the planet.
5. Havasu Falls
The Grand Canyon is an amazing place on planet earth. At first, it may seem that this is a monotonous place where the terrain is represented only by reddish rocks and bizarre-shaped rock formations. However, this is not at all true. The Grand Canyon is fraught with many incredible landscapes, among which the pearl is the emerald Havasu Falls.
Many saw it on postcards or calendars, but not many managed to look at it live. Havasu is located a kilometer from the Indian village of Supay, so it is often also called “Havasupai.”
A few decades ago, the waterfall was called the Bridal Veil Falls and was about 70 meters wide. However, a severe flood changed the course of the waterfall to its current appearance. The first thing that catches the eye is the unbelievable green-emerald color of water, which is continually evolving due to the high content of minerals in the stream.
Falling water forms a sizeable clean pond, pleasant for swimming on a hot day. Water in it does not sink under 21 degrees. A spacious sandy beach built on the shore, gradually disappearing under the shade of trees.
6. Lake Powell
Artificial Lake Powell was created in 1956 when a dam on the Colorado River began to be built in Glen Canyon. The resulting reservoir was named after explorer John Wesley Powell, who in 1869 was the first to explore the shores of Colorado in the area and describe the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Lake Powell is one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the world.
Although as a result of the construction of the Dam and the Powell Reservoir, ancient landscapes were flooded, it fits quite naturally into the surrounding countryside. Sheer canyon walls of bright orange, red and white sandstone frame the shores of the lake. A rich palette of shades of rock formations goes well with the blue-green waters of the Powell Reservoir.
Since 1972, the lake has been part of the recreation area and is considered a national treasure of the United States. Tourists coming here have extensive opportunities for outdoor activities among which are boating, exploring the surroundings from the survey platforms. For photography enthusiasts, the opportunity was organized to take beautiful pictures in the morning and evening, and even at night, when you can capture the movement of stars in the sky.
7. London Bridge in Arizona
In 1968, an American businessman from Missouri, Robert McCullough, bought the old London bridge, intended for demolition. The crossing was disassembled and transported to the United States, and stone blocks were mounted as a lining in the reinforced concrete supporting structure of the bridge installed at the canal near Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Before that, the London Bridge for about 140 years served as a crossing over the Thames, it was the first and for a long time remained the only bridge in London, survived two wars with their terrible destruction.
The bridge cost the entrepreneur $ 2.5 million, and its transportation took more than three years. But it was worth it: around the bridge in Lake Havasu City, construction gradually developed, the flow of tourists increased.
About the author
Melisa Marzett is a former journalist, a translator and a content writer who is currently working for resumeperk and traveling throughout the world. She is into geography, psychology, photography, fashion, and sports. She cannot get through the day without a morning run, a cup of green tea and reading. She practices yoga and meditation since recently, learned how to knit and admires people who do things with their hands, are patient and persistent.
Updated: September 7, 2019