Arizona is located in the southwest of the United States of America, bordered to the west by California, to the northwest by Nevada, to the east by New Mexico, and to the northwest by Utah. Every state in America has a capital, and Arizona has its capital which is Phoenix, located in the south of the state, it is the largest city in it, and it is also the sixth largest state in the United States of America.
Since ancient times, Arizona has been home to Native American tribes, and then Europeans flocked to it at the beginning of the 16th century, and the Spanish Franciscan Marcos de Niza was the first European to enter the state and communicate with its residents. In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain and the area became part of the territory of Nueva California, but then Arizona became the 48th state after the defeat of Spain in the Mexican-American war of 1848.
More than half of the state consists of mountainous areas, plateaus, and the largest forests of Ponderosa Pine in the United States of America. Arizona has been divided into three main wilderness areas, which are:
- Colorado Plateau: The Colorado River passes through it, and through it, you will see the deepest valley in the region, the Grand Canyon is carved.
- Transitional Zone: it is located south of Colorado Plateau and north of the Arizona Basin and the Ridge region. This region is characterized by a narrow strip of land with a rugged series of mountain ranges, and from these mountains is Santa Maria.
- Basin and Ridge Region: it is located south of the transition zone and occupies a small strip of land along the western border with California. The region is characterized by mountain ranges extending from the northwest to the southwest.
Weather in Arizona
Arizona’s climate is arid and semi-arid, but it is also different according to the seasons. In the summer, the temperature rises and makes you engage in all recreational activities in all cities of the state, and it is recommended to wear light clothes.
In the spring and autumn, the weather is a little cold, and mostly these months are the rainiest, especially in the cities of Sedona and Flagstaff, so it is preferable to wear heavy clothes and have an umbrella with you, and in the winter, in particular, you will find that in the high cities it is covered with snow and the temperature is low.
Things to do in Arizona
The desert climate in Arizona is home to some amazing geological deposits and valleys worth exploring, for example, the Grand Canyon which is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the United States and we will get to know more about it in the coming part.
There are also many interesting archaeological, historical, and cultural sites in Arizona related to Native American culture for tourists to enjoy. In addition to the presence of many museums, theatres, and art galleries, this makes Arizona one of the most visited places in the United States of America.
Now let us start our tour in one of the famous places in the United States, and get to know its well-known attractions there, so pack your bags and here we go.
We will start with one of the famous attractions in America, which is the Grand Canyon, it overlooks ridges of colourful cliffs and deep ravines, and in the afternoon when the sun is up you will see the canyon is glowing with many beautiful such as colours red, yellow and orange.
The Grand Canyon was carved over many years by the Colorado River and you will be able to see when you visit the place, how enormous this natural wonder is. The place is divided into many parts, the most visited is the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, when you are there you will be able to see while on the road and the walkways running along the canyon’s edge and it will give you a fantastic view.
Also, there is the North Rim, which will give you a different view from the South Rim but unfortunately, the road is closed in winter. You can give visit Eagle Point, where you will find the skywalk it is a glass bridge located at Grand Canyon West.
Phoenix is one of the famous cities in America that you would love to visit and spend a great time in it and it is also the main destination in winter for golfers. It is located in the middle of the desert in an area known as the Valley of the Sun and it is considered the cultural and economic centre of Arizona.
The city is full of many activities and things to do, where you can have a nice shopping in the cities of Scottsdale and Mesa and also there are golf courses, and desert parks that include bike and hiking trails. Besides that, there are restaurants and cafes that visitors can enjoy it.
Hoover Dam is one of the most popular structures in the United States, it was built in 1935 crossing the Colorado River connecting Arizona with Nevada and the dam is 726 feet high, and 1,244 feet long. Behind the Hoover dam, there is Lake Mead, which is considered the largest artificial lake in the United States.
You would be able to have a walk across the dam and see a fantastic view from there. There is also an information centre that will give you all that you need about the dam and a café where you can have a rest in it.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
The area extends 177 miles of the Colorado River, when you visit the place you will see that it includes two lakes which are Lake Mead and Lake Mohave and it also spread into southern Nevada. When you are there you will be able to do many activities such as fishing, hiking, water sports, and camping facilities.
If you want to stay there you can try Willow Beach, which is a small resort on the Colorado River and it includes restaurants, a marina, and other things.
Sedona is a city located in Arizona, it is surrounded by red rock mountains and it is about one hour from Phoenix, and it has one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States.
When you arrive in Sedona you will see the Valley of Oak Creek to the south, it is a beautiful nature place, and you can stop and enjoy the lovely view surrounding you. After reaching the city, you will be able to enjoy walking in its streets which are full of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
If you love hiking, then Sedona is the best place for that which includes mountain biking trails, and hiking trails. Having a jeep tour is one of the famous things you can do in Sedona, where you can see the landscape and several ancient Native American dwellings.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a natural place full of many things like landscapes, stone walls, and blue water, and it also includes Lake Powell which is considered one of the biggest manmade lakes in the United States, you can start exploring the place from the town of Page.
Lake Powell was created by the Glen Canyon Dam which was constructed between years 1956 and 1964 to block the Colorado River. In the area, you will find a famous attraction there which is the Antelope Canyon, where you can walk through a narrow slot canyon with shafts of lights coming through the top.
The Monument Valley is located between Arizona and Utah, there you can see rock formations, sand dunes, and stone spires. When you reach the middle of the valley you will find the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and there you will find a visitor centre that will give you all the information you need, and you can have a guided tour to explore more of the area.
Tucson city is one of the famous cities in Arizona surrounded by mountains, it is the second-largest city in this State and it is located in the Sonoran Desert. The city of Tucson is full of many attractions that you would love to visit such as Saguaro National Park, Old Tucson Studios, and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
For all nature lovers, you can try the hiking trails in the city and the ones near the mountains, and canyon, and also you can go to the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, which is a famous route and see from there a magnificent view. There are near towns that you can visit and have a good time there like Tombstone and Bisbee.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park is located just around Tucson, it is the best place for desert lovers who would like to explore the place and see the saguaro cactuses which are located there. The national park is divided into two parts the east and the west parts and they are located around Tucson about 30 minutes away from each other.
When you visit the place you will be able to see many plants and animals along the roads and the hiking trails that will lead you to a high point in the mountains and you will see a fantastic view from the top at 8,000 feet high.
Bisbee is located in the southeast of Arizona, near the Mexican border and it is well-known as a former mining town that is set in a high part in the mountains, and it is a famous day trip from Tucson. The mines in the town were closed, and then it became a ghost town and after that, it became the perfect place for artists.
There are many shops and restaurants downtown, and many things you can do there with former mines cabins surrounding the downtown area. While you are in town you can go to the hillside and walk through the hiking trails, which give you a magnificent view of the mountains of Mexico.
Another beautiful place to visit in Arizona is the Antelope Canyon, which is twisted sandstone walls that will be surrounding you and with lights coming through from a narrow opening above you as you will be walking in the canyon.
There you can go to either the Upper Antelope Canyon or the Lower Antelope Canyon, but most of the tourists prefer to go to the Upper Antelope Canyon where the ground is flat and it offers you great views also. You can take many lovely pictures there and discover all the places surrounding you.
Jerome is another mining town like Bisbee, it is located on a mountainside, and it became also a ghost town but a famous tourist attraction in Arizona. The town is full of shops and restaurants, and most of the buildings in the town were renewed and the others are standing as ruined.
The town is near Phoenix, Sedona, and Prescott, so it will be easy to go on a day trip from these cities to Jerome. You can know more about the history of the town in the Gold King Mine Museum and the Jerome State Historic Park.
Canyon De Chelly National Monument
It was known as the home of the Native American cliff dwellings, with walls reaching 1,000 feet high, and inside the Canyon De Chelly National Monument many attractions that you would like to visit. Among these attractions are the White House Ruins, which were built in 1050 and discovered in 1849.
There is another cliff dwelling that includes the Antelope House and Mummy Cave that contains mummies in the Canyon del Muerto. You can easily tour there by driving along the North and South RimDrives and seeing the ruins and admiring the beautiful nature surrounding you.
The Havasu Falls is located near Supai, it is about 100-foot with a pool at the base of the falls and it ramified that will appear to you that it is two falls when the river flows heavily. In this wonderful valley, the Havasu created a group of waterfalls and carved out in the rocks forming bathing pools that tourists would love to swim in it.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located southwest of Arizona near the Mexico border, the place is great and you can enjoy seeing the sunset in the desert. In the place, there are three various vegetation zones and about 30 different species of cactus.
The cactus can grow up to 23 feet high, flowering from May to July and that is due to the heat and that’s why its flowers only open after the sunset. You can also explore the place from different two points which are Ajo Mountain Drive and Puetro Blanco Drive and also it is one of the best camping places in Arizona.
Tumacacori National Historic Park
Tumacacori National Historic Park is located south of the city of Tucson, including the ruins of three Spanish colonies on an area of 47 acres two these colonies are San Jose de Tumacacori and Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi were constructed in 1691, while the third one was constructed in 1756 by the name of San Cayetano de Calabazas.
Places to stay in Arizona
Arizona is full of many hotels to stay in, relax and also have a great time with your friends and family beside the attractions that you will be visiting there, here are some of the well-known hotels that you can stay in while you visit the beautiful southern state.
- Yavapai Lodge: It is located inside the Grand Canyon National Park, it is near the South Rim and includes many lovely rooms divided into two complexes in the middle is the Market Plaza which includes the lobby, shops, and restaurants.
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: The place is located on 65 acres, it was built in Spanish Colonial style and it includes about 750 rooms and suites. There are also a spa, two golf courses, shops, and restaurants, besides that are the pools for adults and kids and afternoon Family Adventure Center.
- Four Season Resort Scottsdale: it is a 5 stars hotel, located outside Scottsdale and surrounded by the beautiful desert. The rooms are casita-style, including three restaurants, a gym, a swimming pool, and a spa.
- JW Mariott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa: one of the perfect choices to stay in Arizona, it gives you a wonderful view of Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain and it was built in 1936. It is a five stars hotel with wooden furniture in the room and it includes six restaurants, two golf courses, a children’s swimming pool, and a spa.
- Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, Tucson: It is located on a hill north of the city of Tucson, from you can see magnificent views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and Tucson Valley, the rooms and suites are great in all sizes and in the past, it was the top choice for the movie stars to go there.