Northern Arizona is a region that tourists often overlook, but it’s home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States. Something here will leave you in awe, from towering rock formations to lush forests and shimmering lakes. If you’re looking for a unique travel experience, you won’t be disappointed by what Northern Arizona offers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 10 unexpected wonders that you should definitely add to your travel bucket list. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an adventure seeker, there’s something here for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey through Northern Arizona’s stunning landscapes and hidden gems.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is undoubtedly Arizona’s most famous natural wonder, and it’s not hard to see why. The vast expanse of the canyon, which stretches over 277 miles, is awe-inspiring. The layers of rock formations in various shades of red, pink, and orange create a stunning contrast against the blue sky. The Grand Canyon is not just a pretty sight, though. It’s also a geological wonder that dates back millions of years.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike down into the canyon. The Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails and offers stunning canyon views. You can also take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of the canyon. The Grand Canyon is a must-visit destination in Northern Arizona, and it will leave you in awe.
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. The canyon is famous for its stunning beauty and unique rock formations carved by water and wind over thousands of years. The canyon’s walls are made of Navajo sandstone and are shaped like waves, creating a mesmerizing effect.
The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is during the summer when the sunlight shines directly into the canyon, creating a beautiful play of light and shadow on the canyon walls. You can explore the canyon on a guided tour, and the guides will show you the best spots to take photos. Antelope Canyon is a unique wonder that will leave you speechless.
Horseshoe Bend is a stunning viewpoint located near Page, Arizona. It’s a meander of the Colorado River that has created a horseshoe-shaped bend in the canyon. The view from above is breathtaking, and you can see the river’s emerald green waters contrasting against the red rock walls.
The hike to Horseshoe Bend is relatively easy and is only a 0.6-mile round trip. It’s best to visit early or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and get the best lighting for your photos. Horseshoe Bend is a must-visit destination in Northern Arizona, and it will leave you in awe.
Meteor Crater is a fascinating natural wonder located near Winslow, Arizona. It’s a massive impact crater created when a meteorite crashed into the Earth around 50,000 years ago. The crater is almost a mile wide and 550 feet deep, and it’s one of the best-preserved meteor impact sites on the planet.
You can visit the Meteor Crater Visitor Center to learn more about the crater’s history and formation. You can also take a guided tour of the crater and see the impact site up close. Meteor Crater is a unique wonder that will leave you amazed at the Earth’s power.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park is a unique wonder located in Northeastern Arizona. The park is home to ancient trees that have become stone over millions of years. The trees’ petrified remains create a surreal landscape of colorful stones over 200 million years old.
You can hike through the park and see the petrified trees up close. The Blue Mesa Trail is one of the most popular trails and takes you through a canyon of colorful petrified wood. You can also visit the park’s museum and learn more about the trees’ history and formation. Petrified Forest National Park is a must-visit destination in Northern Arizona and will leave you in awe of nature’s power.
Wupatki National Monument
Wupatki National Monument is a historic wonder located in Northern Arizona. The monument is home to ancient pueblos built 1000 years ago by Native American tribes. The pueblos are made of red sandstone and are located in a stunning desert landscape.
You can take a guided tour of the pueblos and learn more about their history and significance. You can also hike through the nearby trails and see stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Wupatki National Monument is a unique wonder that will leave you in awe of the ancient civilizations that once lived in Northern Arizona.
Canyon de Chelly
Canyon de Chelly is a stunning natural wonder located in Northeastern Arizona. The canyon is home to towering red rock formations carved by water and wind over millions of years. The canyon is also home to ancient ruins and petroglyphs that date back thousands of years.
You can take a guided canyon tour and see the ruins up close. You can also hike through the nearby trails and see stunning views of the canyon’s landscape. Canyon de Chelly is a must-visit destination in Northern Arizona and will leave you in awe of the ancient civilizations that once lived there.
Lake Powell is a stunning man-made wonder located in Northern Arizona. The Glen Canyon Dam created the lake and is home to crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake is also surrounded by stunning red rock formations that create a surreal landscape.
You can rent a houseboat and explore the lake’s hidden coves and beaches. You can also take a guided tour of the lake and see the stunning views from the water. Lake Powell is a unique wonder that will leave you in awe of man’s ability to create beauty from nature.
The Lowell Observatory
The Lowell Observatory is a historic wonder located in Flagstaff, Arizona. The observatory was founded in 1894 and has contributed to many significant astronomical discoveries, including the discovery of Pluto. The observatory is home to several telescopes that are open to the public.
You can take a guided observatory tour and learn more about its history and contributions to astronomy. You can also attend a stargazing event and see the stars and planets up close. The Lowell Observatory is a must-visit destination in Northern Arizona and will leave you in awe of the universe’s vastness.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Northern Arizona is a region that tourists often overlook, but it’s home to some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States. From the Grand Canyon to ancient ruins and man-made wonders, something here will leave you in awe. If you plan a trip to Northern Arizona, add these ten unexpected wonders to your travel bucket list.
Plan ahead and book your tours and accommodations in advance to get the most out of your trip. Remember to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes for hiking. Northern Arizona is a stunning region that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.