Beautiful National Parks and Monuments in Arizona
Arizona is one of the greatest tourist states in the United States in no small part due to the beautiful national parks and national monuments located in the state. Each year millions of people from the United States and all over the world travel to Arizona to see the great natural wonder sites like the Grand Canyon and these tourists fill up the hotels and motels in Arizona as the state does a great tourist trade. These are the most beautiful national parks and monuments in Arizona.
Grand Canyon National Park
Over 5 million people a year visit Grand Canyon National Park making it one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Hiking, camping and rafting are popular activities inside this magnificent park. Lodging is available inside the park at both the North and South Rims and the towns nearby have plenty of motels and restaurants to accommodate tourists. Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park who do not like large crowds especially in the Summer are advised to plan a trip to the North Rim which is at least as beautiful as the South Rim and usually much less crowded.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is located in southern Arizona right along the border with Mexico in the area of Lukeville and along Highway 85. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the only place in the United States where Organ Pipe Cacti grow in the wild. Today the park is also actively used for smuggling and for illegal immigrants to enter the United States from Mexico. Unless camping is part of the plan tourists to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument are advised to make day trips from Tucson or Yuma where plenty of hotels and motels are located though there are some motels in Ajo and Gila Bend north of the monument.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Image Source (Canyon de Chelly and Spider Rock)
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located in northeastern Arizona just east of the town of Chinle with the visitor center located 3 miles from Chinle and Route 191. Canyon de Chelly is located on Navajo Indian land. The main feature of the monument is the beautiful canyon floor where a sandstone spire known as Spider Rock rises over 800 feet towards the sky in brilliant fashion. The park road takes visitors along the canyon rim where great views of Spider Rock, the canyon floor and Indian ruins built into the canyon cliffs are common. Access to the canyon floor is restricted to guided tours. Motels for tourists are available in the Chinle area.
Petrified Forest National Park
Image Source (Painted Desert)
Petrified Forest National Park is located in eastern Arizona just east of the city of Holbrook along Interstate 40 in the north or Highway 140 in the south. The two main visitor attractions in Petrified Forest National Park are the colorful and plentiful concentrations of petrified wood and the beautifully colored Painted Desert. Hiking trails are available in the park but the petrified forest and painted desert are located right along the main roads in the park. Motels and visitor accommodations for tourists to Petrified Forest National Park can be found in Holbrook.
Agua Fria National Monument
Agua Fria National Monument is located in central Arizona about 40 miles north of Phoenix and contains a desert ecosystem at elevations ranging from 2,200 to 4,600 feet. Contained in the desert ecosystem are bobcats, coyotes, javelinas, mule deer, antelopes and bird species including eagles.
Ironwood Forest National Monument
Ironwood Forest National Monument is located in southern Arizona about 50 miles northwest of Tucson and contains a large concentration of Desert Ironwood trees some of which are over 800 years old all set against the Sonoran Desert mountains and valleys.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park is located just east of Tucson, Arizona which makes this national park a popular tourist attraction in Arizona as tourists can stay in the hotels and motels in Tucson and easily drive to the park a few miles away. Inside Saguaro National Park are plenty of saguaro cactus as well as barrel cactus, prickly pear cactus and cholla cactus all set against the beautiful Sonoran Desert and surrounding mountains creating some truly magical scenes especially at sunrise and sunset each day.
Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument is located in southwestern Arizona off of Highway 181 which can be reached by taking Highway 186 for 32 miles out of Willcox, Arizona which is located off Interstate 10 some 120 miles east of Tucson. Though in a remote area of Arizona this national monument is well worth the trip as Chiricahua National Monument contains some amazing and beautiful vertical rock formations that are the result of a huge volcanic eruption that occurred in this area of Arizona some 27 million years ago.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Sunset Crater National Monument is located in central Arizona 15 miles north of Flagstaff right off US 89. Sunset Crater is a natural wonder that was created about 1,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption which also left huge lava flow fields in the monument creating a unique and beautiful scene as pine trees and wildflowers have filled in among some parts of the lava flows. Plenty of motels and tourist accommodations are located in Flagstaff.
Sonoran Desert National Monument
The Sonoran Desert National Monument is located in central Arizona about 50 miles southwest of Phoenix along AZ Highway 238. The Sonoran Desert Monument contains the Maricopa, Sand Tank and Table Top Mountain ranges separated by wide valleys containing saguaro cactus and beautiful desert wildflowers.
Vermillion Cliffs National Monument
Vermillion Cliffs National Monument is located in northern Arizona and can be reached along Highway 89 and 89A. Contained in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument are towering cliffs, beautiful sandstone formations and deep canyons at elevations ranging from 3,100 to 6,500 feet. The Vermillion Cliffs reveal seven major geological formations in layered fashion which gives the cliffs their name and makes them such a beautiful site to behold. Hotels and motels for tourists to Vermillion Cliffs National Monument can be found in the Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah areas.
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