Arizona is home to some AMAZING sites. From bright blue waterfalls to red-orange canyons, the landscapes in Arizona are absolutely incredible. Keep reading for a list of the most awesome places to visit in Arizona and start planning your trip!
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When people ask “where is the most beautiful place you’ve traveled to?” my answer is always Havasupai. It’s simply amazing and is the ultimate bucket list destination. The bright blue water juxtaposed against the red canyon walls is a photographers dream! AND it looks just as beautiful in real life as it does in pictures.
While Havasupai is definitely one of the most epic places to visit in Arizona, it is also the most difficult to get to. Located basically at the base of the Grand Canyon (not technically inside the Grand Canyon, but right near it), you have to hike 10 miles down into the canyon to reach the campground. The campground is situated next to two different waterfalls at either end – Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. From there, you can also hike to Beaver Falls and the Confluence (where the Colorado River meets Havasu Creek).
Reservations for the campground come out each year on February 1 for the full year. Make sure you are on your computer right at the exact moment they go on sale in order to snag a spot – they go fast!
SEE MORE: Complete Guide to Hiking Havasupai
2. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is probably one of the most photographed spots in Arizona – for good reason! The colors shining through these canyon walls are breathtaking. This slot canyon is one of the coolest spots in Arizona. Located near Page, AZ, Antelope Canyon is made up of two parts: Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Choose Lower Antelope Canyon for slightly less crowds, and a bit more adventure. This slot canyon is below ground – you descend 5 flights of stairs before you start the short trail through the narrow canyon walls!
Note that the only way to see Antelope Canyon is through a guided tour.
SEE MORE: The Ultimate Southwest Road Trip Itinerary
3. Horseshoe Bend
Only about 15 minutes from Antelope Canyon is another epic place to visit in Arizona – Horseshoe Bend. You can drive up and park right at the trailhead, and walk under a half mile until you see the awesome view. It can get pretty crowded here, but thankfully there is room to spread out with a great view. Pro tip – bring some wine and watch the sunset!
Sedona is such a magical place. The town has a certain mystical, eclectic air about it, and there are so many cool hikes right nearby. I highly recommend Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge and The Birthing Cave. Each of these hikes offer super scenic views and are under 4 miles. If you are visiting during summer, make sure to hike in the morning before it gets too hot!
There are plenty of awesome Airbnbs in the area, like this A-Frame Cabin with a view of Bell Rock!
SEE MORE: 3 Days in Sedona: Your Itinerary for an Epic Trip
5. The Wave
The Wave is a natural rock formation in Arizona that looks like an orange-swirled wave. Made famous from a Windows desktop background (and Instagram) this iconic spot is one of the most epic places to visit in Arizona. The only problem is – it’s super hard to get there. Only 20 people per day are allowed to hike the 8 miles (roundtrip) to The Wave. They award 10 permits from the online lottery, and 10 from the walk-in lottery. The challenge of getting there is worth it, though – this bucket list destination is seriously so cool!
I recommend trying for the walk-in lottery because your chances of winning are significantly higher vs the online lottery. You can stay at the Quality Inn in Kanab, UT right next door to the visitor center where they draw the lottery the next morning to be in place for it. And if you don’t win – there are so many other epic places to visit in Arizona that you can go to instead!
SEE MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Winning the Wave Lottery
6. The Grand Canyon
I still remember the first time I saw the panoramic view of the Grand Canyon as a kid. It’s something that sticks in your memory forever! I’ve been back a few times since then, and the scenery still amazes me. The Grand Canyon is one of the most awesome sights in Arizona.
There are a few lodges and campgrounds in the park if you want to stay central, however they can get booked up quick. Another great alternative is to go glamping at Under Canvas! They have all the comforts of home (read: king size beds) but immersed in nature.
One of the best hikes to do in the Grand Canyon (besides the super tough rim-to-rim trail) is the South Kaibab Trail. Make sure to stop at “ooh-aah point” for a picture, and enjoy the amazing scenery along the way! Just remember that when hiking in the Grand Canyon, you hike down first and then back up on the way back, which can be tough, especially in high heat!
SEE MORE: The Ultimate Grand Canyon Weekend Trip
7. Lake Powell
Located in Page, Lake Powell is another awesome place to visit in Arizona, especially in the summer. You could spend a whole weekend here on a houseboat cruising through canyons! But if you only have a day, book a boat tour to get out on the water! You can book an hour-long boat tour with Antelope Point Marina for $30. This is a simple and affordable way to be able to get out there and enjoy the amazing views of the lake amongst the canyons. You can also rent kayaks if you want more of an active experience!
8. White Pocket
White Pocket is a lesser-known destination in Arizona, but it’s quite the hidden gem. Located right near The Wave, White Pocket is another epic place to visit in Arizona because of the super unique landscape. It looks like you’re on a different planet! You don’t need any sort of permit or reservation to come to White Pocket, however you do need 4WD. If you don’t have a car with 4WD, you can always book a guided tour with Dreamland Safaris! We did this tour, and it was awesome. Not only to not have to worry about driving there ourselves, but also because our guide educated us on all of the different rock formations we saw that day!
SEE MORE: White Pocket: An Epic Alternative to The Wave
This Post Has 2 Comments
Great pictures! I have been visiting all these areas as a Tour director-Interpreter for foreign visitors.. Unfortunately some of those places need a special reservation long time in advance! I miss being on the road, because this year there were no tourists from overseas. The Southwest is my absolute favourite.
I never see anybody write about the Chiricahua National Monument/Park. https://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm
It is breath-taking and full of history.