National parks in Arizona that every outdoorsy person must visit

Stef Zisovska

The Grand Canyon State is the perfect place for history buffs, outdoor freaks, and admirers of great views. Arizona is the state where you can find fantastic adventure opportunities like nowhere else in the world. Wind carved canyons, immense prairies, and the fertile volcanic earth are only some of the things that the Grand Canyon State has to offer. This soil has supported ancient civilizations, pioneer settlements, as well as being the birthplace of the American Southwest.

Nowadays, thanks to the National Park Service, many of these stunning landscapes and ancient ruins are protected and have been well preserved for the present and future generations to enjoy. Here are some of the best national parks, monuments, and landmarks in Arizona that every outdoorsy person must visit.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

The Canyon de Chelly National Monument contains over 2500 archeological sites ranging from 1500 B.C. to 1350 A.D. – Author: Potok71 – CC BY-SA 3.0

Canyon de Chelly was established as a national monument in 1931, and it represents one of the longest continuously inhabited regions in North America. First, it was inhabited by the Puebloans, then the Hopi and, finally, the Navajo. Canyon de Chelly has sustained human occupation for over 4,000 years. About 40 Navajo families still live in the Canyon de Chelly National Monument area, collaborating with the NPS for the protection and preservation of the archeological sites and mesmerizing natural landscapes.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins (The Big House) – Author: midiman – CC BY 2.0

If you are an outdoorsy mystery fanatic, then you will love this place and its immense archeological significance. The national monument consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall constructed by the ancient people of the Hohokam period, who farmed the Gila Valley in the early 13th century. The structure was constructed to survive extreme weather conditions. According to archaeologists, it was abandoned before 1450. Even today, Casa Grande Ruins remains a big mystery for the scientists as well as the visitors. However, it’s a great experience to visit this astonishing national monument.

Chiricahua National Monument

Organ Pipe Formation, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona – Author: Ken Lund – CC BY-SA 2.0

Chiricahua Mountain Range has suffered from violent volcanic activity throughout history. These events helped in creating the breathtaking “Wonderland of Rocks” that includes columns, spires, and precariously balanced rocks. The expansive landscape looks surreal and attracts many people from all parts of the world. For the best experience in Chiricahua National Monument, plan a hiking trip on the 17 mile trail network.

Glen Canyon National Recreational Area

The breathtaking Glen Canyon National Recreational Area

Glen Canyon offers 1.25 million acres to explore. If you have kids then probably this is the best place in Arizona to take them. The outdoor fun here is endless, accompanied by the hard-to-believe landscape that will blow your mind. If you are a photography fan, this is the right place to make some epic shots of you and your family in Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. Don’t miss the opportunity to swim or boat in the blue waters of Lake Powell. There is nothing better than swimming in its fresh waters after a long, tiring hike. Enjoy it!

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

As you already know, the famous Grand Canyon is an absolute must for every self-respecting outdoors freak. No matter which part of the country you’re from, you must visit Grand Canyon at least once in your lifetime. Grand Canyon National Park is the second most visited park in the States right after the Great Smoky Mountains. It receives more than 6 million visitors each year. The park has so many things to explore that if you’re planning a visit, you’d better plan on staying for a few days. This awe-inspiring wonder is always in the top five lists of people’s favorite places, and if you come here you’ll understand why.

Arizona is a beautiful state with endless possibilities for outdoor activity. No matter what your preferences are, here you can find whatever it is that you’re looking for and more. Good luck!

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