When most people think of Arizona they think of a hot desert, but Arizona is that and a lot more. Arizona has desert, but also canyons (including the most famous canyon in the world – the Grand Canyon), caves (with one of the most interesting caves in the world – Kartchner Caverns), waterfalls, lakes, ski resorts, mountains, and the largest group of Ponderosa pine trees in the world.
Most people in Arizona live in the desert area, which stretches from around Phoenix down through the southern part of the state and Tucson.
There are a lot of mountains spread throughout Arizona, including the Superstition Mountains, the San Francisco Peaks (by Flagstaff), and the White Mountains in eastern Arizona which include a ski resort and many mountain lakes great for fishing. Many people do not realize is that mountains are a big part of the Arizona landscape. A lot of people in Arizona actually live closer to a ski resort (a couple hours) than some people in Colorado and Utah.
The Grand Canyon is world famous for a reason. It is an amazing place to visit and it is one of the few places that you can go back to and have it still be amazing because your memory does not do it justice. What most people do not realize is that the two rims of the Grand Canyon, the North Rim and the South Rim, are very different. The South Rim is what most people pictures when they picture the Grand Canyon. It’s where most visitors show up, where most facilities are, and where most of the iconic pictures are taken. The North Rim is higher in elevation and has a very different feel. While the South Rim is more desert like, the North Rim is more pine trees and forest. I definitely recommend a visit to both if you can pull it off.
Arizona also has several other canyons that offer some great scenery, such as the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. A few other canyons well worth visiting are:
Antelope Canyon: Located near Page is an amazing canyon with steep walls, creating a breathtaking and tranquil experience.
Oak Creek Canyon: South of Flagstaff, Oak Creek Canyon is a great place for families to visit. It is within the Coconino National Forest, and includes Slide Rock State Park, where there are natural water slides and swimming holes.
Arizona enjoys a variety of lakes. It has big lakes, like Lake Powell and Lake Havasu that are great for sports like water skiing. It also has a lot of mountain lakes that are great for trout fishing, especially in the White Mountains.