Travel to Arizona?
the Grand Canyon, one of the top five USA must-sees as well as part
of the spectacular and cowboy film-popular Monument Valley.
The state has grown from simple mining and cow herding to become a major
tourist destination with varied attractions in mountains, deserts and forests including
wild west experiences, psychic re-balancing, wildlife watching, Native American tribes, superb outdoor activities and a visitor-friendly attitude.
Best: Oct-April for deserts, less heat
and crowds than summer; try spring for desert flowers, though
the high ground will still be chilly.
Worst: July-Sept, way too much heat plus
substantial rainfall, though it's still very popular at this time; the mountains in particular are pleasant in mid-summer.
the most famous natural feature in the USA,
where the great Colorado River has cut a one mile deep, 10 mile
wide chasm in the desert rock.
The southern rim sees most tourist activity; the north rim is less
accessible and offers less activities but more solitude. More Grand Canyon and Pictures.
Navajo and Hopi Nations covering
much of the region east of the Grand Canyon before the rise of the
Rockies is the biggest Native American reservation in the country,
including part of Monument Valley - lovely buttes and melancholic but amiable American Indians. Excellent for
photos, hiking and cowboy film buffs. More Monument Valley with Pictures
Powell, a huge artificial lake created by a dam stretching
well into Utah; the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for boating
Petrified Forest National Park, a very,
very old forest and mildly colourful rocks that give the 'Painted
Desert' area its name.
The Painted Desert (aka Great
northeast of the state is high desert on the Colorado Plateau, also
sometimes called the Painted Desert.
A desert with famously monstrous cacti and a relative abundance
of wildlife, especially hummingbirds.
Sedona: halfway between hot Phoenix and cold Flagstaff is
a universal spiritual centre with natural electro-magnetic vortices
that reboot the body and mind of aware persons, apparently.
Sedona is also small, rich, very beautiful, surrounded by red
rock mesas and trees and has 300 days of sunshine a year. Sedona Pictures.
Phoenix: the unattractive state capital sprawls
across the desert, joining with Scottsdale, Tempa and Mesa, the
There are attractions for those seeking year round sunshine, golf, nightlife, outdoor
adventure possibilities and even several good museums.
(western town) and Fleischer Museum (Impressionism).
Museum (dinosaurs to gold rush), and Champlin Fighter Museum (warplanes).
Flagstaff and Williams: for exploring the natural features of the state these two towns
are good locations near the Grand Canyon.
Check out also the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff
and the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams.
good city base for adventure in the nearby Santa Catalina, Tucson
and Rincon Mountains.
Plus the Tucson Museum of Art (includes western regalia), Center for
Creative Photography, Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, Old Tucson
Studios and Santa Xavier Mission, Saguaro National Park,
and Organ Pipe National Monument; all in or
Catalina, Tucson, Rincon, Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains
Scenic mountains in the south eastern
corner of the state with a wild west flavour, skiing and fine
birding opportunities - a cool reprieve from the deserts below.
National Historic Landmark: full on cowboy swagger with re-enactments , festivals and gunslinging showdowns.
Kartchner Caverns State Park, one
of the most impressive crystalline cave systems in the world.
Ramsey Canyon Reserve, a good
place to see hummingbirds that care little if they are in the USA
or Mexico so long as the nectar is good.
Hiking: The fantastic Grand Canyon National Park;
the Painted Desert; Estrella Mountain Regional Park, Sonoran Desert;
Santa Catalina, Tucson, Rincon, Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains.
Mountain biking: Mount Elden, Flagstaff;
Sedona; Estrella Mountain, Regional
Park et al, Phoenix; Tucson region.
Whitewater Rafting and Canoeing: Colorado River, Painted Desert; Salt River, Sonoran Desert.
Cowboy Stuff: Dude
Ranches offer ranch lifestyle holidays, allowing guests to play
at being cowboys/girls, while organised Wagon Drives offer a more
imaginative and pioneering historical take on the experience. Rodeos
turn extreme ranching techniques into a spectator sport. Some
evocative western towns include Rawhide, Scottsdale and Tombstone.
Wildlife Watching: roadrunners are just a little amusing, and there are prickly cacti
and lots of rattlesnakes, basically hardcore desert safaris, but
also hummingbirds and other cross-border bird species who also live
Skiing and Snowboarding: White
Mountain Apache Indian Reservation; Mt Lemmon, Santa Catalina Range;
Humphey's Peak, San Francisco Range.
Festivals and Events
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, Tucson and Quartzite - the world's
largest trade fair for rocks.
September, Navajo Nation Fair, Window Rock,
Great Basin Desert, the largest of its kind.
protest e-mail from Levin Arnsperger:
am surprised and deeply upset that you include stereotypical and
diminishing sentences such as "Monument Valley** lovely buttes
and sad but amiable American Indians" in your information on
Arizona. This perpetuates the cliché of the harmless, eternally
sad, tragic American Indian, who is about to vanish anyway. American
Indians actually have a great sense of humor and irony. To be sure,
a great number of them are suffering from alcoholism, diabetes etc.
and they still lament the loss of land. But they have resisted white
attempts to eradicate their cultures and they have survived. American
Indians are normal human beings who are sometimes happy, and sometimes
Please read the novels and stories by Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon
Silko and the critical essays by Craig Womack and Gerald Vizenor
to find out more about American Indian culture. Learn and study
before you write, please!
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