Best Arizona Road Trips
Arizona is known for many things, the most popular being the Grand Canyon. Though this is an awesome sight to see, there are plenty of other attractions that are just waiting to be explored.
National Monuments can be found all over Arizona. These amazing sights are definitely worth a day’s drive to see. Wupatki National Monument is a fantastic display of the ancient pueblos of the past. The colorful deep red stone of the houses alone is gorgeous. Unlike other pueblo monuments, Wupatki is a series of several ruins all put together. It is an exciting trip into history to see how the ancient people lived in these ruins. A strange phenomenon within Wupatki is the Wupatki Blow Hole. This strange crack in the earth changes due to the air above it. Warm air above the hole will make cold air blow out with great force. If the air above is cool or wet, the hole will suck in with strong pressure.
Montezuma Castle is the most preserved ancient cliff dwelling still surviving in America. Located in Camp Verde, Arizona and just a short drive from Phoenix, the monument makes for an awesome day trip. The Sinagua Indian tribe built their homes on these cliffs over 700 years ago. This spectacular monument is five stories high and has 20 rooms enclosed in it. Just the wonder alone of how these ancient people scaled the cliff side to build these homes is a mystery.
Canyon de Chelly not only has breathtaking scenery, but also offers hiking, horse back riding and ancient ruins to explore. The evidence that ancient Pueblos and Navajo people once lived here can be seen in the ruins that still exist. One of the highlights of Canyon de Chelly is Spider Rock. Spiraling over 800-feet into the air, it is said that this formation began over 230 million years ago. This red sandstone monument is a wondrous sight to see, and can appear deep red or even a golden color, depending on the sun’s rays or time of day that you view it.
Cactus can be found scattered throughout the desert land. The saguaro is the largest cactus found in North America, and it’s blossom is Arizona’s state wildflower. At Saguaro National Park you can see plenty of these giant prickly plants, along with barrel cactus, prickly pear, and cholla cactus. The largest saguaro known in existence, is the Champion Saguaro. It rises at over 45 feet tall, and is 10-feet around.
Arizona is also the home to many ghost towns and old mining villages. Copper Creek, Tombstone, and many others are scattered throughout the area. Some are still inhabited, while others have nothing remaining but a few signs or old mine equipment. No matter which ones you choose to drive through, you can get the feeling of the old west by visiting the saloon, jail, or at the more tourist geared destinations like Tombstone, you can even witness re-enactments of gunfights.
Day trips through Arizona can provide you with a variety of excitement, history and memories.