Arizona is known for the wide variety of attractions within its borders. From the Grand Canyon to the major metropolis of Phoenix and the fun-loving Lake Havasu City, there are hundreds of destinations to fill your time with. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to find a quiet spot to enjoy nature and soak up some history. If you’re the type that would like to take a long hike away from the buzz of civilization, here are five best places to visit in Arizona:
- Tortilla Flat
If you’re looking for some seclusion, then a trip to Tortilla Flat will do the trick. This little town (population: 6) is a popular spot for hikers interested in walking trails up into the Superstition Mountains. Once the last stop on the Apache Trail for stagecoaches, this former camping ground for gold prospectors attracts outdoorsy visitors looking for a quiet place to relax.
- Tonto Natural Bridge State Park:
This 400-foot-long tunnel is a wonder tucked away in the Arizona desert 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. Formed out of travertine rock, the ceiling is more than 180 feet high in some places. The surrounding area offers three trails for hikers and a camping area. Be quick, though! The park may not survive budget cuts.
- Kartchner Caverns
Southeast of Tucson you will find this underground marvel. With more than two miles’ worth of passages, it is considered the best of Arizona’s three cave systems. Discovered in 1974, the subterranean vaults have been well-protected and remain almost exactly the same, giving visitors the rare opportunity to visit caverns free of vandalism.
- White Mountains
Though Arizona is renowned for its painted desert, you’ll be amazed by the verdant, sunflower-filled meadows and evergreen trees in this mountain range near the New Mexico border. A trip during Winter will afford you snows powdery enough for skis or a snowboard. In the summer months, it’s a wonderful location to enjoy hiking, fishing or boating with a permit from the Fort Apache Indian Reservation that holds much of the territory.
- Homolovi State Park
This “place of the little hills” in central Arizona is one of the best-preserved examples of ancient pueblo architecture and a must see Place. Originally settled sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries, it remains a site of significance to the Hopi tribe. Two of the seven sites are open to visitors, with the largest containing several pit-houses, ceremonial rooms and rock carvings.