Arizona Has It All

Like many other western states, Arizona is a land of paradoxes. Deep canyons give way to rugged mountains. Ponderosa pine forests merge into arid deserts. Native American reservations dot a state with major metropolitan areas like Phoenix and Tucson.

From eroded red rock formations to large urban centers, from the Grand Canyon’s stunning vistas to small mountain towns, from Old West legends to Native American and Mexican culture, and from professional sporting events to world-class golf—Arizona has it all!

A paved road runs 3.8 miles into the canyon, crossing nine stone bridges over Sabino Creek. It begins at an altitude of 2,800 feet and rises to 3,300 feet at its end. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A paved road runs 3.8 miles into the canyon, crossing nine stone bridges over Sabino Creek. It begins at an altitude of 2,800 feet and rises to 3,300 feet at its end. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With more than 300 sunny days a year, it’s understandable why the Phoenix area is described as the Valley of the Sun.

Tucson is a city of unique and interesting places to explore. These include Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air & Space Museum, Sabino Canyon, Catalina State Park, Tohono Chul Park, Arizona State Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac (“The White Dove of the Desert”), Titan Missile Museum, Old Tucson Studios, Biosphere 2, and Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Yuma doubles in population during the peak snowbird months. Nestled in the Yuma and Gila River valleys of southwestern Arizona, Yuma’s climate blends desert sunshine with the cool waters of the Colorado River.

Visit Tombstone and you’ll step back into the rough and tough days of the Old West. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Visit Tombstone and you’ll step back into the rough and tough days of the Old West. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Grand Canyon is known throughout the world. The canyon follows the Colorado River encompassing more than 200 miles. Only parts can be seen along South Rim Drive and a small portion of the North Rim can be viewed by traveling a paved road during the summer.

A less-known canyon, Canyon de Chelly has sheer sandstone walls rising up to 1,000 feet, scenic overlooks, well-preserved Anasazi ruins, and an insight into the present day life of the Navajo, who still inhabit and cultivate the valley floor.

Petrified Forest National Park contains the largest concentration of petrified wood. Additionally, you can explore the Painted Desert badlands along with archaeological sites and historic structures.

The Petrified Forest features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Petrified Forest features one of the world’s largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Visitors to Saguaro National Park receive a firsthand look at the Sonoran Desert. The rolling hills are covered with Saguaro cacti, as well as a wide variety of other cacti, desert shrubs, and animals unique to the desert southwest.

Unique rock formations and unusual landscapes can be explored at Chiricahua National Monument.

Along the state’s southern border lies Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument which marks the northern range of its namesake.

Sedona is one of Arizona’s must-see wonders. At the end of Oak Creek Canyon, another scenic destination, the town is known not only for red rock formations such as Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Courthouse Butte, but also for its hiking and biking trails, art galleries, and spiritual-energy vortexes.

Sedona and Red Rock Country as seen from Airport Mesa. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Sedona and Red Rock Country as seen from Airport Mesa. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

During its 1880s heyday, Tombstone, the “Town Too Tough to Die,” boasted 10,000 gunslingers, gamblers, prospectors, and prostitutes. Sparked by Edward Schieffelin’s silver strike (skeptics warned he’d only find his own tombstone), the raucous town had more than 60 saloons. Tombstone is known for the famous street fight near the OK Corral.

Although mostly a truck stop in the summer, snowbirds descend upon Quartzsite with more than 100,000 RVs spread over 70 square miles. The main attraction is the annual rock and gem shows, the flea markets, and the RV show under the Big Tent. Nowhere on earth will you find such an assortment of “stuff” as you will at Quartzsite.

Spring wildflowers, autumn colors, year-round birding, two miles of scenic walking trails, a picnic area shaded by Argentine mesquite trees are all available at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Spring wildflowers, autumn colors, year-round birding, two miles of scenic walking trails, a picnic area shaded by Argentine mesquite trees are all available at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

From prehistoric ruins to historic Old Western towns, Arizona is home to fascinating history. Native Americans were the first to settle here, and today their presence is still felt with more than 14 tribes represented on 20 reservations.

Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 State Parks and Natural Areas. The scenic shoreline of Lake Havasu State Park is an ideal place to enjoy beautiful beaches, nature trails, boat ramps, and convenient campsites. Catalina State Park is a haven for desert plants and wildlife and nearly 5,000 saguaros. Red Rock State Park is a nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park features cacti and other plants from the world’s deserts, mountain cliffs, and many natural habitats with varied wildlife and specialty gardens.

The many branches of the organ pipe rise from a base at the ground, instead of growing like a massive trunk of the saguaro. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The many branches of the organ pipe rise from a base at the ground, instead of growing like a massive trunk of the saguaro. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arizona has it all! Start now to plan your visit.

Worth Pondering…

Newcomers to Arizona are often struck by Desert Fever.

Desert Fever is caused by the spectacular natural beauty and serenity of the area.

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