The Top 12 Best National Parks in Arizona

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arizona national parks

Arizona has a plethora of landscapes, from the majestic Monument Valley and cavernous Canyon de Chelly to the iconic Grand Canyon too. With so much natural beauty in one state, it is no wonder why travelers want to explore all that this fabulous place has to offer them!

While Arizona’s national parks and monuments protect a plethora of astounding scenery, they also preserve lots of archaeological sites left behind by the Ancestral Puebloans. As one-quarter to the state is made up of Indian reservations with their rich Native American history still on show today! With many interesting historical sights that can be checked out in this amazing destination for travelers everywhere; plus there are plenty more incredible outdoor activities waiting just outside your doorstep when you decide to head south from Phoenix or Tucson…make sure not to miss out at all before it disappears into oblivion forever!

Top 12: Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument is a unique and captivating Arizona landmark. The mountainous region offers some of the state’s most impressive landscapes, with balancing rocks that stand up like towers from their foundations on rock spires in varying heights for miles across this land.

Hikers and photographers coming to Chiricahua National Monument are sure to be drawn in by the stunning landscapes. The geology of this area is fascinating! With wildlife around for those who want them, as well as great camping spots with incredible stargazing opportunities- it’s no wonder people keep coming back year after year.

Top 11: Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Located just to the south of Utah, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a secluded and scenic location that can be found near Grand Canyon. Home to spectacular scenery for nature lovers or outdoor enthusiasts alike; it’s sure delights you! The cliffs are what makes this place so interesting with their stunning colors against such amazing rock formations like slot-canyons which make up much more than half its area within these impressive escarpments (the other parts include buttes).

The landscape of New Mexico is dotted with remnants from a bygone era. You’ll find petroglyphs and ancient Native American pueblos, not to mention that it’s home for one-third (or more!) if you’re into slot canyons!

Top 10: Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro National Park is home to some of the most inaccessible and attractive terrain in Arizona, making it an iconic image for travelers from all over America. The cacti within this desert landscape are not only impressive but also provide shade that’s needed during hot summer days when you’re exploring its many hiking trails!

Founded back in 1933 by President Roosevelt, it protects swathes of the Sonoran Desert. This is a vast and sweeping landscape full of mountains that run through its valleys coated with forests like spiky saguaros towering up to 15 meters tall; they make for an iconic sight as their prickly pears bloom into buds before your eyes! There are also lots of trails available along this photographer’s paradise: hiking opportunities abound–searching out new life above ground or cycling down winding roads lined only by cacti–plus scenic drives take you past all sorts among these stunning views.

Top 9: Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

The cinder cone of Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is now open for exploration. The volcano, which formed around a thousand years ago during an explosive eruption and has been relatively tranquil ever since then with only minor activity such as fluid leaks from fissures in the ground or occasional small earthquakes shaking things up just enough so visitors always know something interesting might happen at any time!

The beautiful sunset, green forests, and deep blue skies that can be seen from the summit of Sunset Crater are enough to keep any visitor captivated for hours. But beware: if you hike there without permission then your trespassing will have serious consequences like extensive erosion caused by people who don’t know what they’re doing!

Top 8: Meteor Crater Natural Landmark

Meteor Crater Natural Landmark

The Meteor Crater is a great place for travelers who want to get away from the busyness of life. The quiet landscape and impressive sight easily distract you from any fatigue or anxiety as it rises up before your eyes, forming an almost surreal experience in its natural beauty; this captivating crater was formed about 50 thousand years ago when a meteorite hit Earth near Flagstaff!

One can learn about space and the Solar System through a series of interactive exhibits at the discovery center. Visitors will also enjoy viewing panoramic views from atop Crater’s rim on a tour while being educated by knowledgeable guides who show them how this natural landmark was formed due to an impact with debris thousands of years ago!

Top 7: Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

The Petrified Forest National Park is a must-see for any traveler looking to see some of America’s most exotic and fascinating fossilized remains. Visitors will enjoy hiking among this landscape that has been carved by nature into amazing shapes, as well as cycling or horseback riding while exploring the many trails in this beautifully scenic area!

The Painted Desert is best known for its kaleidoscopic colors and petrified trees. It’s a geological wonder that dates back more than 225 million years ago when the ancient forest thrived during an Ice Age. Visitors can learn about this incredible landscape at any number of galleries or museums in Rainbow Forest National Park where they will find all sorts of intriguing information on how nature has impacted our lives through time – from fossils to rainbows!

Top 6: Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument is one of the most significant and impressive archeological sites in America. Mistakenly named after famous Aztec emperor Monte Zu Mayhem by early European explorers, this well-preserved pueblo now attracts tourists from all around to see what remains for themselves!

The castle is located on a sheer cliff and has long been protected from the elements by its natural alcove setting that looks out over Beaver Creek. Made of stone-and-mortar masonry, it showcases not only Sinagua people’s exquisite engineering skills but also their ingenuity with this ancient site! Visitors are able to learn all about prehispanic architecture at the magnificent museum while snapping some photos too – no entry allowed though so make sure you’re stealthy if you want your shot in there!

Top 5: Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument

Wupatki National Monument is a fascinating place to visit for those who love ancient ruins and the Ancient Pueblo People. It’s located in north-central Arizona, not far from Flagstaff–and you’ll be able to see hundreds of these dwellings that are more than 1000 years old!

Set on the North American Plate, Wupatki’s volcanic ash enriched soil and led to a population boom. By 1225 AD it had been abandoned with over 2,700 structures remaining behind along with remains of radiant red rocks dwellings that were left by these ancient people for us today in our modern world

Top 4: Walnut Canyon National Monument

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Arizona’s astounding archaeological sites are just a few of the many that travelers can find while in Arizona. One such site is Walnut Canyon National Monument, which sits on top side-stepping down into Flagstaff, and has 25 cliff dwellings for visitors to check out!

The Sinagua people had created an amazing settlement deep in the canyons. This was a hidden location they could escape to when life got too hectic outside their cliff-side homes, and visitors can explore this lost world today! The buildings are beautifully preserved underneath those ancient limestone ledges with looping trails winding through them all down towards gorgeous forests below – it really feels like you’re back centuries ago yourself (maybe not quite so far away from everything if only by 200 years!)

Top 3: Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a must-see for visitors to the Navajo Nation, and it lies on one side of Route 64. The canyon was used as an Ancestral Puebloan settlement 5 thousand years ago when they inhabited this area thousands of miles away from what’s now New Mexico borderlines with Arizona.

The walls of the canyon soar high, and visitors may stumble upon countless crumbling cliff dwellings. However it is not just about ancient history on show here; in 1806 during one such massacre by Spanish soldiers – known as The Long Walk- many Navajo people were chased up into these hills where they had their villages at a first glimpse with beautiful views to spare!

Top 2: Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Imagine Monument Valley, a place where you can see some of America’s most iconic images and attractions. The Navajo Nation Reservation spans the Arizona-Utah state line in an area known for its dramatic desert landscapes which have appeared in countless films over time like Lawrence of Arabia or Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope among other productions filmed there!

Known to the Navajo as ‘Valley Between The Rocks’, its breathtaking buttes and massive mesas rise above a desert landscape. Located on America’s southwest plateau, Monument Valley is home to many old American West traditions like cowboys and Indians; it’s also one-of -a kind sight!

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Top 1: Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is a world-famous landmark that attracts millions of visitors every year. The stunning scenery and size make it one of the most popular national parks in America, attracting people from around the globe to experience its grandeur firsthand!

I’ve seen some incredible things in my travels, but nothing beats the feeling of standing at the edge and looking down. I can’t even begin to describe what this spot represents- it’s like being on top of your world or someone taking away all obstacles between you and happiness; whatever floats their boat really!

The National Park Service has a great Geology Museum and terrific Trail of Time exhibition where you can learn all about the canyon’s lovely layered landscapes. Widely considered to be one of Arizona’s Wonders, Grand Canyon is an unforgettable experience for many people who visit our state!

Map of National Parks in Arizona

National Parks in Arizona
National Parks in Arizona Map