One of the places I have always been looking forward to meet is Arizona. Maybe because of the western cartoons, series and movies I remember watching since I was a child, maybe because of all the boho-ethnic fashion style I’m quite fond of, or maybe because of all the amazing photos shared on social media. I’m sure it must be a mix of all of them. Anyways, this year, I have finally had the opportunity to visit this state. And far of being just a quick trip to the canyon from Las Vegas, as many people do, my adventure lasted a hole week.
A road trip took me to the most amazing places I have ever seen. And if you think that Arizona I just the Grand Canyon State you’ll me amazed with all the different things this corner of the world has to offer.
As you must now, this state is mainly a desert; which means extremely hot summers and chilly and snowy winters -yes, it can actually snow in a desert-. In the travel domain, this translates into a huge activity offer. Nature lovers, foodies, adventure lovers, zen seekers, arty, shoppers and pretty much everyone, will find a way to satisfy their inner traveler.
My visit to this wonderful place happened during the winter season after the holidays. It was the perfect timing, windy but friendly weather, free from crowds and accessible prices. Here are some of the highlights of my Winter Wonderland.
While it is not the deepest or longest canyon in the world, it is without a doubt the most famous one. Thanks to its beauty and majesty, this geological masterpiece is consider one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
446 kilometers of sedimentary rock carved by the Colorado River, extend in one of the first national parks in the United States. The South Rim and the North Rim are the main access to the national park. The second one is only open form May to November due to heavy snow.
The quickest way to visit the colorful and steep cliffs, is taking a drive through the scenic route and stopping in the view points. However, there are many activities you can do here such as hiking, helicopter tour, camping, ride a mule, kayaking, rafting and more. Nevertheless, due to the important demand, for some activities it is required to book more than a year in advance. 24 hours are not enough to discover this wonder of nature. Both sunrise and sunset offer views that are simply breathtaking.
Water is responsible for the creation of one of the most photographed places in the world. This narrow canyon, located a few miles from Page, owes its beauty to its sinuous 40-meter-high walls through which light penetrates, illuminating the interior with an infinite array of warm colors. A true paradise for photography lovers.
In spite of being a dream location full of natural beauty, quick floods are generated here due to the rain. This is why, it must be visited with a Navajo guide.
On highway 89, 7 miles away from Page, you will find the exit for the most famous meander in the United States. A 15-20 minute hike through the desert, will take you to one of the most spontaneous and unexpected landscapes you’ve ever seen. A 270° curve decorates the overlook of the Colorado River and the Glen Canyon. During the sunset, the sunlight offers an infinite dance of colors, shadows and textures.
Tsé Bii Ndzisgaii – the valley of the rocks – is how the Diné -Navajo – call the land located in the Utah-Arizona border. This region of the Colorado Plateau is known as a Navajo Nation Reservation, and it is characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes.
West mitten, east mitten, merrick butte, three sisters, camel butte and totem pole are some of the names of the majestic giants who have safeguarded this sacred valley, introduced to the world by the cinema. The director John Ford filmed many of his western movies using this scenario. You can either take a horse tour or a jeep tour to visit the valley. It is also possible to go hiking, but this isn’t the best option during summer season because of the heat and limited access to water.
The memory of a sunrise and/or sunset in this place is impregnated in memory and is hardly forgotten. If you’re lucky, you can book a room at The View, the only hotel inside the reservoir. From the terrace of you room you can whiteness amazing views. The definition par excellence of –room with a view-.
Of all the spectacular canyons in Arizona, this is, in the eyes of many, the most spiritual and beautiful one. This national park, located a few kilometers away from Chinle, preserves remains of the first indigenous tribes that lived in the area, such as the Anasazi.
Two viewpoints offer scenic views of the sandstone masses divided by the river flowing between them. The canyon can be explored by taking a light hike along the path traced on one of the cliffs. Once you arrive to the valley inside de cliffs you can admire the ruins of the White House, petroglyphs, pictographs and walk or hop on a jeep and visit the Spider Rock, a 244-meter-high red sandstone monolith.
Besides being known because of the beauty of its red rocks landscapes, this place is considered a spiritual mecca. Sedona’s combination of scenic beauty and mysticism draws tourists form around the world. Here you can go hiking, mountain biking, shopping, visiting galleries, taking a yoga retreat or dining in a gourmet restaurant.