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Arizona destinations, parks and attractions

Are you going on a road trip to Arizona, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?

Here are some of the top destinations in Arizona and tips about visiting them

National parks and monuments in Arizona

  • Hoover Dam Power Plant -  Hydroelectric power dam
    81 Hoover Dam Access Rd, Boulder City, NV 89005. Phone: (702) 494-2517. Phone: (702) 494-2546. Email: Open: Hoover Dam: Open to the public daily from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (PST).   (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Doors close at 4:15 p.m. Last tour departs at 3:45 p.m.  Guided Dam Tour: Tickets CANNOT be purchased online, and are only sold on-site, in person, on a first come-first served basis. The entire group must be present at time of purchase. These tours routinely sell out, arriving early is recommended.  The two-hour tour goes 530 feet down and thenup to the balcony to to see the hydroelectric plant's generators. $12-15. 9:00 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.
    Visit historic tour tunnels and ride original elevator to the top of Hoover Dam
    Walk through the inspection tunnels at the center of Hoover Dam
    View the Colorado River through the inspection ventilation shaft
    Guided Powerplant Tour
    Self-Guided Visitor Center Tour.
  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, AZ.

    For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons - longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tsegi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in the canyons. A place like no other, the park and Navajo Nation work together to manage the land's resources.

    Farming in the canyon
  • Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coolidge, AZ.

    Explore the mystery and complexity of an extended network of communities and irrigation canals. An Ancestral Sonoran Desert People's farming community and "Great House" are preserved at Casa Grande Ruins. Whether the Casa Grande was a gathering place for the Desert People or simply a waypoint marker in an extensive system of canals and trading partners is but part of the mystique of the Ruins.

    The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins stands out for miles
  • Chiricahua National Monument, Willcox, AZ.

    A "Wonderland of Rocks" is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 12,025 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home.

    Standing rock formations with conifer trees
  • Coronado National Memorial:, Hereford, AZ.

    It was a journey of conquest filled with exploration, wonder - and cruelty. Inspired by tales of vast cities of gold, 339 European soldiers and hundreds of Aztec allies embarked on an epic journey through arid deserts and rugged mountains. They encountered rich traditions and brought new technologies. The resulting collision and combination of cultures reverberates today.

    San Pedro River Valley from Montezuma Peak - D. Bly
  • Fort Bowie National Historical Site:, Willcox, AZ.

    Fort Bowie witnessed almost 25 years of conflict between the Chiricahua Apache and the US Army, and remains a tangible connection to the turbulent era of the late 1800s. Explore the history of Fort Bowie and Apache Pass as you hike the 1.5 mile trail to the visitor center and old fort ruins. Today, this peaceful landscape stands in stark contrast to the violence that once gripped this land.

    A rusted bell and costumed cavalry riders in the background
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation area:, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, AZ,UT.

    Encompassing over 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based and backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.

    From Alstrom Point you can see Gunsight Butte, Padre Bay, and Navajo Mountain
  • Grand Canyon National Park:, Grand Canyon, AZ.

    Located in Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. The park is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon; a mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide. Layered bands of colorful rock reveal millions of years of geologic history. Grand Canyon is unmatched in the vistas it offers visitors from the rim. Open 24 hours.

    View of Grand Canyon National Park at sunset from the South Rim
  • Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Northern Arizona, AZ.

    Take a lonely and rocky two-track road in a 4x4 to the edge of the Grand Wash Cliffs. Find a stunning solitary vista deep into the Grand Canyon. Relax in the shade of ponderosas at Mt. Trumbull. Touch ancient waters at Pakoon Springs in one of the driest places in the world. Parashant is remote. There are no crowds here. Be equipped to leave pavement, cell service, and the 21st century behind.

    Red Pockets
  • Hubbell Trading Post National Historical Site:, Ganado, AZ.

    The squeaky wooden floor greets your entry into the oldest operating Trading Post on the Navajo Nation. When your eyes adjust to the dim light in the "bullpen" you find you’ve just entered a mercantile. Hubbell Trading Post has been serving Ganado selling goods and Native American Art since 1878. Discover Hubbell Trading Post NHS, sheep, rugs, jewelry and so much more..

    Hubbell outbuildings in fresh winter snow
  • Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA, AZ,CA.

    "¡Vayan Subiendo!"("Everyone mount up!") was the rousing call from Juan Bautista de Anza. In 1775-76, he led some 240 men, women, and children on an epic journey to establish the first non-Native settlement at San Francisco Bay. Today, the 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail connects history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Amigos de Anza 2015
  • Lake Mead National Recreation area:, the Mojave Desert, AZ,NV.

    Swim, boat, hike, cycle, camp and fish at America’s first and largest national recreation area. With striking landscapes and brilliant blue waters, this year-round playground spreads across 1.5 million acres of mountains, canyons, valleys and two vast lakes. See the Hoover Dam from the waters of Lake Mead or Lake Mohave, or find solitude in one of the park's nine wilderness areas.

    Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin
  • Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ.

    Established December 8, 1906, Montezuma Castle is the third National Monument dedicated to preserving Native American culture. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape.

    Montezuma Castle's prehistoric dwelling
  • Navajo National Monument, Black Mesa, AZ.

    The Hopi, San Juan Southern Paiute, Zuni, and Navajo are tribes that have inhabited the canyons for centuries. Springs fed into farming land on the canyon floor and homes were built in the natural sandstone alcoves. The cliff dwellings of Betatakin, Keet Seel, and Inscription House were last physically occupied around 1300 AD but the villages have a spiritual presence that can still be felt today.

  • Old Spanish National Historic Trail, AZ,CA,CO,NV,NM,UT.

    Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to exchange for mules and horses.

    Red Rock Country, pack mules, Gunnison River
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Ajo, AZ.

    Look closely. Look again. The sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an International Biosphere Reserve, reveal a thriving community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living. A scenic drive, wilderness hike or a night of camping will expose you to a living desert that thrives.

    scenic view from the Ajo Mountrain Drive
  • Petrified Forest National Park:, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ.

    Park Hours: 8am to 5pm, MST No reservations needed. Visitors and staff must wear a mask to enter any public building, including the visitor center, even if vaccinated. Did you know that Petrified Forest is perfect for exploration and discovery? While the park has all the wonders known for a century, there are many new adventures and discoveries to share. Come rediscover Petrified Forest!

    Jasper Forest is magical in twilight, particularly the logs on stone pedestals
  • Pipe Spring National Monument, Fredonia, AZ.

    Beneath vermilion cliffs, American Indians, Mormon ranchers, plants, animals, and many others have depended on the life-giving water found at the desert oasis at Pipe Spring. Learn about settler and Kaibab Paiute life by exploring the museum, historic fort and cabins, garden, and Ridge Trail. Visit with rangers and ranch animals, and attend living history demonstrations and talks.

    Pipe Spring National Monument
  • Saguaro National Park:, Tucson, AZ.

    Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

    Saguaro Blooms Upclose
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ.

    The cinder cone volcano's rim is the dusky red of sunset, but the crater is only part of the story. Around 1085 the ground began to shake, and lava spewed high into the air. When the eruption finished, it had changed both the landscape and the people who lived here. Today, it teaches how nature and humankind affect each other-and how rebirth and renewal happen in the wake of disaster.

    Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
  • Tonto National Monument, Roosevelt, AZ.

    The Salado Phenomena, 700 years ago, blended ideas of neighboring Native American cultures to emerge a unique and vibrant society. Tonto National Monument showcases two Salado-style cliff dwellings. Colorful pottery, woven cotton cloth, and other artifacts tell a story of people living and using resources from the northern Sonoran Desert from 1250 to 1450 CE.

    Lower Cliff Dwelling
  • National Historical Park:


    Tumacácori, AZ

    Tumacácori sits at a cultural crossroads in the Santa Cruz River valley. Here O’odham, Yaqui, and Apache people met and mingled with European Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, settlers, and soldiers, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in cooperation. Follow the timeworn paths and discover stories that connect us to enduring relationships, vibrant cultures, and traditions of long ago.

    Sunlight illuminates the top of historic Mission San José de Tumacácori church.
  • Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ.

    Water flows under and through this landscape, feeding the growth of people and towns. The Verde Valley is watered by snowmelt, summer monsoons, and springs that well up from the ancient sedimentary rocks. In the heart of the valley, a thousand years ago, people began to build a little hilltop pueblo that would grow into one of the largest villages in the area.

    A storm gathers behind the pueblo at Tuzigoot
  • Walnut Canyon National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ.

    Come gaze across curved canyon walls. Among the remarkable geological formations of the canyon itself, the former homes of ancient inhabitants are easily evident. Along the trails you can imagine life within Walnut Canyon, while visiting actual pueblos and walking in the steps of those who came before.

    View of Cliff Dwellings from the Island Trail
  • Wupatki National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ.

    Nestled between the Painted Desert and ponderosa highlands of northern Arizona, Wupatki is a landscape of legacies. Ancient pueblos dot red-rock outcroppings across miles of prairie. Where food and water seem impossible to find, people built pueblos, raised families, farmed, traded, and thrived. Today, if you linger and listen, earth and artifacts whisper their stories to us still.

    Wupatki Pueblo at sunset

Arizona State parks and historic sites

State Parks

iState Parks

Arizona Seasons, bugs, topography and climate

Located in the Rockies and at the edge of the plains, Wyoming has both landscapes. In the summer, it tends to be semi-arid, hot during day and cool at night. Winters can be brutally cold. Many roads are closed or impassible in the winter.

Bugs are thankfully few!

Arizona Camping tips

If you're not from Arizona, you may not realize that

There are both state parks and private campgrounds in Arizona.