A year of staying at home has got many of us thinking about planning trips and creating lists of destinations to visit once restrictions are relaxed. If you’re a victim of wanderlust, and you’re daydreaming about getting out and about, you may be considering visiting Arizona. In this guide, we’ll provide some top tips to help you plan an incredible itinerary in the Grand Canyon State.
The Grand Canyon
There’s no other place to start when planning an Arizona itinerary than the Grand Canyon. No glossy magazine or social media images can prepare you for the views you’ll enjoy when you visit this awe-inspiring natural wonder. The scale of the Grand Canyon is difficult to comprehend until you see it in the flesh. There are several ways to visit Grand Canyon National Park, including making your own way or joining an organized tour. You can travel by car, bus or coach or you can take to the skies to take advantage of a bird’s eye view. From the skies, you can appreciate the size and reach of the canyon, but from the ground, you get a better view of the colors, the shape of the rock formations and the depth. Most people choose to visit Grand Canyon West, which boasts the skywalk, but there are other entrances. The South Rim tends to be slightly quieter and it’s a beautiful spot to take in the sunset. If you’re planning to visit towards the end of the day, make sure you have plenty of layers with you to keep warm and ensure your camera battery or phone is fully charged.
Exploring the Sonoran Desert
Arizona is a fabulous destination to combine action and adventure with rest and relaxation. If you’re looking to take advantage of home comforts and a touch of luxury while spending your days discovering the great outdoors, look for the best Arizona hotels with a hot tub and then start planning your itinerary. The Sonoran Desert is an arid wonderland, which is ripe for exploration on foot, as well as being a popular location for hot air balloon flights. There are numerous hiking and walking trails and you can also plod through the desert sands on horseback. For those who thrive on adrenaline rushes, there’s also an opportunity to get off the beaten track and whizz through the dusty plains in off-road vehicles. You can also go river rafting and paddle-boarding here.
Nestled on the Arizona-Utah border, Monument Valley is a unique, breathtaking region, which is famed for its intriguing collection of sandstone buttes. Burning red sands are scattered with towers of stone that rise from the ground, stretching towards the sun, piercing the bright blue skies. Every stack is shaped differently and the vista changes as the sun rises and then plunges later in the day. This spectacular backdrop has featured in many movies, particularly Westerns, and it’s a magnificent setting to take a hike or a scenic drive.
Arizona is blessed with some of the most mesmerizing and staggeringly beautiful natural wonders on the planet, and it’s a dream destination for adventurers, intrepid explorers and those who love nothing more than to spend time in the great outdoors. If you’re planning a trip, don’t forget to add these locations to your itinerary.
*Post contributed by travel writer and Arizona native, Erin Rogers.*