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The state of Arizona houses some of the most beautiful places to be found in the United States.
I know, many people only think of the desert when they hear Arizona, but this article is here to change your mind.
Use this list to plan your next trip and witness for yourself the most beautiful places in Arizona.
Grand Canyon National Park
This magical, lionized wonder of the world sits near the northern border of Arizona. The natural canyon spans for 277 miles creating endless views that fall in the category of most scenic places in Arizona.
There are also endless possibilities for fun here as well. You can go hiking, ride mules, go water rafting, venture on the most stunning scenic drives, or spend a night under the stars.
Bonus: The Grand Canyon is open all year round, 24 hours a day! Come during the spring or fall for the best weather and less visitors.
Also located on the northern end of the state, Lake Mead creates part of the border between Arizona and Nevada.
Lake Mead, part of America’s first national recreation area, offers up its 750 miles of shoreline as a playground for those who love the outdoors. Camp, fish, or go boating to find a spot on the shore that’s all your own.
For the most enjoyable experience, visit Lake Mead during the spring or the summer. The temperatures for hiking and walking around the recreational area are perfect in the spring, and the summer heat will make you want to jump in the bright blue Lake Mead waters.
Flagstaff is by far one of the prettiest cities in Arizona. About 2 hours north of Phoenix, you’ll find this bustling epicenter of adventure seekers and nature lovers.
Surrounded by the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, each season of the year yields a different kind of beauty. And not only is the city itself beautiful, but it’s only an hour away from the Grand Canyon and close to over 5 other national parks and natural wonders.
Use Flagstaff as a base camp for exploring the Arizona wilderness, but while you’re there don’t forget to check out some of their top tier dining, night life, and seasonal events.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument offers visitors an intimate look at the past and present of the Sonoran Desert.
Unique cacti forms litter the area where many desert creatures have decided to claim as their home. If you’re lucky you’ll spot some. If you’re even luckier, you’ll find evidence of those who walked this land thousands of years before we ever did.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has dozens of miles of hiking trails to explore, as well as backcountry, primitive, and backcountry camping.
Visit just as the winter rains subside and spring begins to reign to see the monument at its most colorful.
One of Arizona’s three ski resorts, Mount Lemmon is located on the south end of the state just over an hour from Tucson.
During the winter, you can rent lift tickets for up to $69 for a full day, discounts for military, seniors, and children. Any other time of the year, you can take the sky lift for a sky ride to see Mount Lemmon from a bird’s eye view for up to $15.
If the ever expansive beauty of the green mountaintops doesn’t convince you to visit, maybe the famous fudge and dining menu will. Go up to ski or a sky ride and leave with some delicious fudge.
Sedona. Forever chiseled into our history by songs, literature, and art, this town is rightfully listed in the most beautiful towns in Arizona.
Tailored to its thousands of visitors, the Uptown Visitor Center should be your first stop when you roll into Sedona. They will provide you with all the information you need for an error-free stay.
Sedona is more than just an outdoorsy town. While they do have some of the most enchanting hikes in the state, they have more than 80 art galleries, two international film festivals, chamber music, and more.
Sedona is located just 45 minutes south of Flagstaff.
As one of the most photographed places on Earth, I’m sure many would agree with me that Monument Valley, or Tse’Bii’Ndzisgaii in Navajo, is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona.
Mesas and buttes guard more fragile rock formations, all detailed by the shadows of unassuming clouds rolling over the desert.
The park’s 17-mile loop provides a comprehensive view of the stratospheric community. At certain times of the year, it will close down due to inclement weather, but throughout most of the year, the park is open and ready to be marveled at.
Get a permit to do some backcountry camping or schedule a guided tour to learn about the overwhelmingly spectral Monument Valley.
The architectural masterpiece, Hoover Dam, is a must-see if you are visiting Arizona. In fact, you can actually see it in certain places in Lake Mead.
Infused with the history of the United States, the Hoover Dam still stands, providing hydroelectric power and fascinating views to all in the area.
Book a tour here to learn more about how the stately dam stands and functions, or walk across the glass Memorial Bridge. Then visit the plaza for a snack.
Saguaro National Park
When you think of a cactus, a saguaro will be the kind that comes to mind, even if you didn’t know what it was called.
Although we all know what they look like, they can only be found in a small section of Arizona near Tucson. Surrounding Tucson on both sides, Saguaro National Park is a sight that you literally can’t see anywhere else in the world.
These enormous cacti symbolize the American Southwest. To get to see them up close and personal, Saguaro National Park has plenty of hiking, cycling (including mountain biking), and horseback riding available.
Located not even 20 minutes from the Utah border, Horseshoe Bend is another famous Arizona spot.
Horseshoe Bend is just the Colorado River’s proof that it can turn on a dime. This unique canyon provides some excellent photo, hiking, kayaking, and even flying opportunities.
With so many ways to enjoy this natural beauty, you’ll want to be constantly strapped with your camera.
To avoid the crowds, visiting Horseshoe Bend from October to February will be your best bet. But even with the crowds, this is a worthwhile stop in Arizona.
Petrified Forest National Park
On the east side of Arizona, you can find the Petrified Forest National Park.
After thousands of years of desert minerals slipping into porous wood, the wood will crystallize into a rock-like structure. Many of those in the same area creates a kind of graveyard for these immortalized pieces of wood.
You can venture off on your own to see each and every one of these pieces or stick to the trails. There is camping available if you’d like to sleep within the eerie beauty the forest presents.
Page is a small town near the Arizona-Utah border. A hub for adventure, Page is located right on the cusp of Lake Powell, making an excellent basecamp for a lake day.
There are plenty of activities to do inside and outside of Page. Get information on hiking rim trails, boating on Lake Powell, and going to the many national parks and monuments in the area.
There’s also a variety of great dining and places to stay. Overall, this is one of the most beautiful cities in Arizona.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
The red fire sandstone of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument will definitely catch your eye if you are traveling through Arizona.
About 40 minutes from Page, you’ll find this monument with varying landscapes and elevations just waiting to be explored.
You won’t run out of hiking trails, and you’ll be spellbound by the beauty of each one.
Flowing, mystical canyon walls overtake you the second you step into Antelope Canyon. The sandy, orange light puts on the perfect ambiance for exploring slot canyons.
This is another one of the most beautiful places in Arizona, located near Page. And I’m telling you, this is one you don’t want to miss. Have your camera ready because these are pictures you’ll want to keep for a lifetime.
Book a guided tour of the Upper or Lower Canyons to get the most out of your trip here.
Nestled right up to the border of Mexico, Tucson, Arizona, has lots for you to see and experience, including incredible Mexican food.
The great outdoors is your backyard in Tucson, but there is also plenty to do within the city that will make you want to stay forever.
With all sorts of museums, music, food, and stunning desert views, what else can you ask for?
Come visit in the spring or the fall to get the best weather.
Maybe the most beautiful places in Arizona were some you already knew of, or maybe you had never heard of most of them before, but whatever the case, this unique state has so much to offer.
Hopefully, this has given you a place to jumpstart your trip planning, and you’ll be off to see all the beautiful places soon enough.
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