Top 9 Places You Must Visit In Arizona

When you think of America’s most scenic and touristy locations, you probably think of California, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, etc., but maybe you forget to think of Arizona. The Copper State is full of plenty of natural wonders, including one of the nation’s mos tnotable ones.

There’s lots to see in Arizona that you shouldn’t miss out on the next time you visit. To get you started on your itinerary list for the next time you make your way to Arizona, here are the top nine places you must see.

The Grand Canyon

Of course, I had to include the Grand Canyon – it’s a no brainer. If you’re going to see anything here, and only have time for one thing over nine, then this should be your first stop. Everyone in the nation should see the beautiful, deep canyons formed by vivacious burnt orange rock and sandstone. The canyon stretches 277 miles, 18 miles wide, and one mile deep.

It’s truly a sight to see for anyone that loves nature.

Meteor Crater

Located in Winslow, Arizona, the Meteor Carter is a must-see landmark of the state. I mean, how often do you get to see a meteorite landing site? You can explore the rim of this vast meteor crater on a guided tour and learn about the impact that happened many, many years ago.

This is an excellent destination for astronomy and geology enthusiasts.

Antelope Canyon

One of the most photographed locations in Arizona is Antelope Canyon, which you might recognize if you saw it. It’s a slot canyon with amazing sandstone formations that look like waves, and feature sunlight beams peeking through the openings at the top. If you have time and want to see this fantastic place, you should book a tour in advance since that is the only way you can access the canyon.

See the Ghost Town of Jerome

There aren’t many ghost towns in America, but Arizona is home to one called Jerome, located deep in old mining country. It’s one of the most famous ghost towns in the U.S. and is full of charm that makes it worth it to take a glance at the city.

Sedona

If you’re visiting any city in Arizona, I highly suggest going to Sedona. Not only does the town have an incredible culture with many festivals taking place here, but it’s also home to an energy center, or vortex, that Native tribes consider sacred. The rock formations that can be found everywhere you look are said to emit energy from the earth, and thousands of people flock here to feel it. It’s one of the most gorgeous cities in the U.S. that everyone needs to explore.

Horseshoe Bend

Located in Page, AZ, Horseshow bend is a great hike to see an unbeatable view of a near-perfect circle of rock that has been carved out by the Colorado River over millions of years into the Canyon. It’s a beautiful sight to see at sunset or sunrise, just plan accordingly to deal with crowds.

Route 66

Arizona also contains the historic Route 66 highway that has been the backdrop for many movies in American cinematic history and features great pit stops where you can grab a bite to eat. Driving down this highway is indeed an experience like no other and one you’ll want to roll your windows down for.

Navajo Nation

You can’t visit Arizona without taking the opportunity to immerse yourself or learn about the rich Native American population that resides there. Arizona is home to the Navajo Cultural Monument that you can explore by horseback, and any part of northeastern Arizona that you visit will offer opportunities to see the Navajo people’s history.

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is full of many amazing and fun things to do if you’re more of a city person than a hiking person, further proving that Arizona has something for everyone. A personal favorite of mine is the Desert Botanical Garden. The botanical garden is 140 acres of the most beautiful cactuses, flowers, and trees of the desert. They have 50,000 lant displays for you to enjoy, and always have great exhibits, events, and concerts.

A Newbie’s Guide to Hiking Gear

Hiking is a far more dangerous sport than most people realize. Sure, there’s the possibility of you falling down a massive hill, but there are about a million other ways for a hiker to meet their end.

I’m about to show you a full guide on the most essential items you’ll need to start your expedition into the great outdoors. Let’s get into it!

Hiking Backpack

A hiking backpack is going to be the only thing separating you from someone who’s lost in the forest. It’s the kingpin of your whole hiking/survival strategy.

I’m your hiking backpack you’ll be storing everything you’ll need; a first-aid kit, water, etc. If you’re hiking in an area that’s known for extremely low, or even freezing temperatures, you’re going to need a bigger hiking pack to fit in all of those extra layers.

On the other end of the spectrum, hikers getting ready for a long trip across a landscape similar to Arizona should pack themselves a medium sized bag – one that isn’t too small so that storing extra water isn’t a problem.

Navigation Tools

Every hiker should plan out his or her route before beginning the expedition. It’s also not a bad idea to take a ‘dry run’ through the trail, or talk to friends that have hiked said trial – this is going to help you figure out the most dangerous sections of trail to look out for.

Another great reason people plan out their routes ahead of their trips. It is because getting lost in the wilderness is just about the most terrifying thing a human can experience. When the trees all look the same, no matter which direction you look, things can start to get very dangerous.

Another thing hikers with often bring with them (other than a compass and map) is a flare gun. You can pick one of these up at any Big 5 or any similar sports store. Finding your local hiking supply shop shouldn’t be too difficult, but if you run into trouble, you can always use Amazon – just make sure the reviews are good.

First-Aid Kit

This one is big. When you’re hiking alone on a trail you’ve never attempted before, the situation can get bad – and quick. You see, when you’re hiking with a buddy there’s always that certain comfort of having someone there to look after you. When you’re by yourself, then. Well, you’re screwed – unless you have a solid first aid kit and a flare gun.

A lot of hikers will also bring an emergency whistle for them to blow in case they’re stuck in some kind of crevasse or something. It’s also not a bad idea to keep all of your first aid items in a waterproof bag so they don’t end up getting soaked,

The last thing you want to do is wrap a bunch of wet gauze around your deeply cut arms – they’re just not going to work. And on that note – it’s important to keep your most vital items in waterproof bags in your backpack. Or at least the ones that need to be totally dry.

MRE

MRE stands for ‘Meal Ready to Eat” and it’s only $10. They’re designed for combat units in the military and require no cooking pots or pans. You can pick them up at your local Army Surplus store for pretty cheap, but I have to warn you; some of the flavors aren’t very good. (avoid the lemon pepper tuna)

Anyways, these lightweight MREs only weight about a pound so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too much space in your pack. The only great thing about these little meals is that they could potentially save your life.

When a hiker gets stuck in a pinch that they can’t get out of alone, they often have only cereal bars to eat. If you ever get trapped somewhere, you can just eat your MRE that contains anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 calories that are guaranteed to keep you alive for at least 6 days.

5 Hiking Do’s and Don’ts [#3 Will Surprise You]

Hiking far more dangerous than most people realize. I guess it’s kind of like rollercoasters at the state fair; everybody does it – but eventually, some unlucky soul is going to meet their end as a result.

Don’t worry though; there’s good news! If you study these methods for safe hiking, you’ll have almost a zero percent chance of wildly sending your limp body into a crowd of falafel-eating onlookers. Now, let’s get into it!

Do: Inform Friends and Relatives

When you go on a hike alone, you’re at risk of getting caught up in a bad situation. Hikers often get too confident in their ability to plan and maneuver through the desired terrain, but every once in a while those hikers will get trapped or lost – and who’s going to come and get them? Probably nobody for a few days.

By telling your friends and relatives where you’re going to be when you’re going to be there, and for how long, you’re giving them vital information that could (possibly) end up saving your life.

If you are ever trapped or lost in an area and you start getting hungry, make sure to pull out that MRE you brought with you. What’s an MRE you ask? Well, it’s a Meal Ready to Eat, and it was developed for military combat units who don’t have access to food.

They were designed to be lightweight too, so you don’t have to worry about your MRE(s) taking up too much room in your pack. They also contain anywhere from 1000 to 1800 calories in them, so you don’t have to eat it all at once.

Don’t: Stray from the Trail

When you’re undertaking a traditional hiking expedition, it’s tempting to wander off of the trail in search for interesting landscape and flora – do not do this. By wandering off of the trail, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way even more.

Hiking trails (especially more remote ones) are known for containing wildlife of all kinds. Sometimes you see a chipmunk or a deer, but every once in a while a hiker will cross paths with animals that are much larger.

By being on the trail in a lesser-known hiking location, you’re already in the danger zone, as far as wild animals go. So, if you stray off from the trail, you might find yourself going head-to-head with a mountain lion – and nobody wants that.

Getting lost in the forest is another result of people wandering off the trail. And I think we already went over how horrible that is.

Do: Research the Trail

Researching the trail should be the very first thing you do when preparing for a new expedition. It can be a lot of work learning about all of the plants, animals, etc. But trust me – it’s worth it.

Hikers that don’t research their trail before heading out for a hike are often at risk of getting lost or eaten. I mean, I don’t want to be crude, but yeah.

It’s important to research the local flora because if you pick a berry from a berry bush and it’s looking too juicy to resist – it could kill you. Or even worse – just have you rolling around in pain for hours while nobody comes to rescue you because you didn’t tell anybody where you were going.

Now, obviously that’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s a scenario that can and will real if you don’t rigorously prepare for your future hike. And as long as you follow my advice, you’ll be out there storming the mountains that have been sitting there since the beginning of time, and you’ll be breathing in that fresh air. You’ll also be relaxed to know that you’re ready for anything. Good luck out there, and stay safe goddamnit.

5 Essential Pieces of Hiking Gear

Hiking is one of the easiest ways to get into outdoor activities! All you need to be able to do is walk reasonably well and know what to bring with you, and that’s it!

Gathering the gear you need to go on a hike isn’t that hard, you can likely do short beginner trails with stuff you have at home, but here are the things that the pros don’t leave home without!

Camelbak

Now, you don’t need a Camelbak – or a similar product – to go on a hike, however with a camelbak you don’t need to bring a water bottle or a backpack as this thing combines the two!

camelbaks allow you to store your water and all your stuff in one convenient pack. Plus the bladder of the camelbak will usually hold more water than your average, and it will feel much lighter!

Hiking Boots

Footwear is super important when it comes to hiking. The proper shoes are important if you don’t want your feet to hurt or get wet, slide off a surface, or twist an ankle!

Good hiking boots provide fantastic ankle support and traction so that you can keep your feet safe while hiking up the mountain of your choice.

1st Aid Basics

Shit happens.

And anytime you go out into the wilderness you’re bound to get a little dirty. You’re more likely to take a Tumblr down a steep incline on a mountain or trip on a rock while you’re hiking.

Don’t go out into nature without the first aid basics. This will help you keep anything from a scrape from getting infected to help you get to safety if you so happen to hurt yourself more seriously.

So purchase a small, compact first aid kit that will fit into your hiking pack or make your own first aid kit. You want the basics: bandaids, disinfectant, liquid bandage, gauze and ace bandage! I’d also recommend carrying gloves in case things get gross!

Map and Compass

In the age of smart phones, you still need to bring a map and compass wherever you go. Out in nature service is unreliable. If you’re planning on going out to an area that has little to no cell service you need to make sure you know where you’re going and how to get back to the trailhead!

Trial Mix and Snacks

You’ve got to eat!

Even if you’re planning on going on a short hike, you should really bring some food.

If you’re going on a longer day-hike, you’re definitely going to need some food to keep you going. The last thing you want to be on a hike is hangry!

Compact Waterproof Overjacket

Weather is unpredictable! One of my must-haves in my hiking pack is a compact waterproof over-jacket. Plenty of outdoorsmen stores sell small waterproof jackets that fold up into themselves and easily fit into your pack!

Flashlight

Don’t get caught out in the dark without a light.

Even if you’re only going out for a short hike, you don’t want to get caught out in the wilderness without a light.

While nighttime isn’t intimidating in society – due to lights – you may be surprised at how dark it gets out on the trail in a snap

Make sure you bring a flashlight in case you get lost or lose track of time and lose daylight!

Top 5 Amazing Hike Trails in Arizona

Arizona is home to one of the most amazing national parks in America, the Grand Canyon, but what many people don’t know about this state is that it also has some of the nation’s most beautiful hiking trails. With striking features that make Arizona one of the best states a nature lover could visit, there are several different hiking trails you could embark on. While some can be found at one of the nation’s natural wonders, there are others located in places outside of it that are just as gorgeous.

Here are five of the most fantastic hike trails found in the Copper State.

Bright Angel Trail

With an elevation of 6,850 feet, the Bright Angel Trail inside of the Grand Canyon National Park is a must for every hiking enthusiast. It’s a long, steep, and strenuous trail, but the view is worth it, and drinking water can be found along the way. It’s also one of the only two fully maintained trails in the park because of its popularity, but it’s not recommended to complete the whole path and back in one day as it takes a very long time and can get very hot.

Havasu Falls

One of the most scenic and famous hiking trails in all of Arizona is the Havasupai Falls, or Havasu for short. What sets this hike apart from others on the list is that you need to purchase a permit before hiking the trail. Without it, you won’t be allowed to hike this impressive landmark. The falls at Havasu are breathtaking and aqua blue, just like you see in photos of them. There are a few different falls along the way, but if you want to reach the stellar Havasu Falls, you should plan for a 3-day hike. Permits are sold on the Havasupai tribe website and are only sold as a 4-day and 3-night deal. Though it can be expensive to visit the beautiful location, it is an unforgettable experience worth saving up for.

Antelope Canyon

You’ve probably seen the photos of Antelope Canyon’s distinct “wave” formation of the burnt orange sandstone in this Navajo Tribal Parl. The canyon is only accessible through a guided tour. If you want to experience the breathtaking light beams that shine through the openings of the canyon, the best time to visit the slot canyon is from late March through early October.

Cathedral Rock

One of the shorter hikes on the list, covering just one mile, Cathedral Rock is another must-hike destination for travelers. Kid and dog-friendly, this trail located in Sedona offers you the view of beautiful red rock formations and the vast land covering the area. There are no shortage of incredible views on this trail that isn’t too difficult, except for some steep areas.

The Wave

Along with Antelope Canyon, the Wave is one of Arizona’s features that displays a swirling, wave-like texture. This orange sandstone landscape is found in Paria Canyon and stretched 5.5 miles. You do need to acquire a permit, however, much like many other popular hiking trails in Arizona, to see the Wave. You’ll get a map and directions to the feature once your application is processed successfully.

Welcome to Arizona Hiking Trails

This site contains a listing of over 100 hiking trails located within this great state of Arizona. There are hiking trails for every difficulty level, including day trips (long and short), kid-friendly hikes, and backpacking excursions. 

All of the trails listed on Arizona Hiking Trails are ones that we have hiked ourselves, and the trail descriptions are based on our hiking experiences.  You may search for hikes Alphabetically or by Region;  we also have a short listing of trails that we have hiked outside of Arizona.  Our trail descriptions include links to the governing agencies, to help you obtain current conditions.  Also, be sure to read our Disclaimer before your embark on your trip.

Naked in the Woods – A Journal of Adventures is a travelogue of our outdoor excursions, whether it’s on the trail or on the road. Come and share some of our adventures!

Contact the Webmaster with any questions, or if you have an idea for a trail that you would like us to hike, to add to our site.  

Welcome to Naked in the Woods

Naked in the Woods is a travelogue of our outdoor excursions, whether it’s on the trail or on the road. We have had a good number of adventures, and there are still many more to come.

To begin your reading adventure, click on the Table of Contents, then pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and relax.

You will also find links to some of our stories within our hiking site, Arizona Hiking Trails. To read about an adventure we had on a particular trail, click on the “Journal” links located within each trail description.

Be sure to read my disclaimer before joining our adventures.

All of the stories presented here were written by Heather Verley (unless otherwise noted). Contact the Webmaster with any questions.