National Parks in Arizona

Adventure awaits in The Grand Canyon State.

Rafts in the Grand Canyon

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For history buffs, outdoorsmen and view junkies alike, The Grand Canyon State is the ultimate destination for adventure. Its vast prairies, wind and water-carved canyons and fertile volcanic plains have supported human habitation for thousands of years, spawning thriving native civilizations, pioneer settlements and the birth of the American Southwest. Today, the National Park Service protects and preserves many of these breathtaking landscapes, ancient ruins and historical sites for all to enjoy.

Canyon de Chelly

National Monument, Chinle, AZ

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First inhabited by the Puebloans, then the Hopi and, finally, the Navajo, Canyon de Chelly (known to the Navajo as Tseyi), has sustained human occupation for over 4,000 years. Today, 40 Navajo families still live within the 84,000-acre National Monument, working with The National Park Service to maintain the area's important archaeological resources and stunning natural landscape. Explore this fertile canyon >>

Casa Grande Ruins

National Monument, Coolidge, AZ

Love a good mystery? The Casa Grande Ruins and what purpose the multi-structure compound originally served has perplexed visitors and archaeologists for hundreds of years. Learn more about this mysterious ancient complex >>

Chiricahua

National Monument, Willcox, AZ

Millions of years of violent volcanic activity along the Chiricahua Mountain Range resulted in the breathtaking "Wonderland of Rocks" — an expansive landscape of columns, spires and balanced rocks that makes up a large portion of the Chiricahua National Monument. Experience the area's scenic, natural beauty on an eight-mile paved drive or by traversing the 17 miles of day-use hiking trails. Plan your trip to Chiricahua >>

Coronado

National Memorial, Hereford, AZ

Although the gold-seeking Francisco Vásquez de Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542 was deemed a failure at the time, it left a lasting impact on the area that was to become the southwestern United States and paved the way for future explorers and settlers of the region. Enjoy panoramic views of the U.S.-Mexico border as you embark on your own exploration of the San Pedro River Valley and the route believed to have been taken by the famed Spanish explorer. Learn more about Coronado National Memorial >>

Fort Bowie

National Historic Site, Willcox, AZ

Fort Bowie was an outpost of the United States Army from 1862 to 1894 and served as a base of military operations during the bitter U.S.-Apache conflicts of the 19th century. Get to know Fort Bowie >>

Glen Canyon

National Recreation Area, AZ, UT

Glen Canyon National Rec Area, Utah/Arizona

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With over 1.25 million acres to explore, Glen Canyon is your one-stop-shop for all things outdoor fun. Swim or boat in the blue waters of Lake Powell, take in the views of gorgeous wind and water-carved canyons and much, much more! See what all Glen Canyon has to offer >>

Grand Canyon

National Park, Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon

Image Bank / Getty Images

This mile-deep canyon is one of the most visited parks in the U.S. — second only to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park — and spans a breathtaking 1.2 million acres from South to North Rim. Budget two full days to see and experience all the incredible views and historical sites offered by this ancient, expansive landscape. Plan your bucket list trip to The Grand Canyon >>

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Yaki Point
Yaki Point

Yaki Point

Within the Grand Canyon take in the view from Yaki Point. From an elevation of 7,000 feet, you’ll see the rocky terrain dotted with pinyon pines and junipers -- trees with nuts that sustain wildlife such as deer, squirrels, ringtail and birds. 960 1280

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South Kaibab Trail

South Kaibab Trail

The South Kaibab Trail leads to the Colorado River. Along with the Bright Angel Trail, the path provides a direct route to the bottom of the canyon. But with minimal shade, be sure to bring plenty of water and sun protection. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Mather Point

Mather Point

It took 6 million years for water to carve out the Grand Canyon. Get an expansive view of this handiwork at Mather Point -- where vibrant, ancient rock layers await, stretching back 1.7 billion years.  960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Tusayan Museum

Tusayan Museum

For nearly a millennia, Native American peoples have regarded the Grand Canyon as a sacred place. Visit the Tusayan Museum for a look into Pueblo Indian life at the canyon 800 years ago. 960 1280

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Yavapai Observation Station

Yavapai Observation Station

Without a power plant in sight, the Grand Canyon is home to some of the cleanest air in America. Check out an air quality monitoring stand, located outside the Yavapai Observation Station (pictured here).  960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Shiva Temple

Shiva Temple

See that broad, flat-topped plateau off in the distance? That’s Shiva Temple, a mesa about 1 mile long, with an area of about 300 acres. It’s located near the canyon’s North Rim. 960 1280

Pippawilson, flickr  

Kolb Studio

Kolb Studio

At the edge of Grand Canyon you’ll find Kolb Studio -- in the early 1900s, it was the home and photographic studio of outdoorsmen Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. Today, an art gallery operates inside the building, showcasing artwork from the canyon. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge was built in 1935 to accommodate the increasing numbers of visitors coming to the canyon via train. The lodge’s rustic architecture of logs and stone was conceived by American architect Mary Colter. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Mule Corral

Mule Corral

These little guys -- call them “long-eared taxis” -- will take you on a cliff-hugging trip through the Grand Canyon. But relax, each mule goes through 1 year of training before it’s ever allowed to carry any passengers.  960 1280

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Trailview Overlook

Trailview Overlook

From Trailview Overlook you can look down at Bright Angel Trail -- the main route used for centuries to enter and leave the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

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Trail of Time

Trail of Time

Discover the Grand Canyon’s geologic splendor. Take the Trail of Time, a nearly 3-mile-long interpretive walking trail, to peel back the pages of time -- as told through the landscape’s many rock layers. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Hopi House

Hopi House

Architect Mary Colter designed Hopi House in 1905. Today, this Pueblo-style building is the Grand Canyon’s largest gift store; it features a large selection of authentic Native American art and craftwork. The building is located in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. 960 1280

Al_HikesAZ, flickr  

Grand Canyon Depot

Grand Canyon Depot

Also within Grand Canyon Village: the Grand Canyon Depot -- one of 3 remaining railroad depots in the US built with logs. The depot opened in 1910, courtesy of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway -- one of the largest railroads in the US at the time. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs

Nearly 5 miles down the Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab Trail you’ll find Roaring Springs. It’s one of several underground water supplies within the Grand Canyon. Listen closely … and hear the roar. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Night Skies

Night Skies

Get out your telescope: The Grand Canyon offers prime nighttime skies for observing stars. Without a telephone pole or electric wire in sight, it’s just the starry skies above … and an awe-inspiring feeling within. 960 1280

Justin Kern, flickr  

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk

And for the ultimate view, you’ve got to experience Grand Canyon Skywalk: this glass bridge walkway offers a jaw-dropping 4,000-foot-high view of the Grand Canyon’s floor. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Considered one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles long. The steep canyon -- managed by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation and the Havasupai Tribe -- was carved over millions of years by the Colorado River in Arizona. 960 1280

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Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona

One of the most-photographed sights in Arizona, Cathedral Rock is a must-see stop if you’re taking an RV road trip through America’s Southwest. We recommend visiting Red Rock Crossing at Oak Creek in Sedona for the best view of this amazing rock formation. 960 1280

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Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls

Take a dip in the natural pools at Havasu Falls, a well-renowned double waterfall in the Grand Canyon located more than a mile from Supai, AZ. After a swim, eat lunch at the picnic area located near Havasu Creek. 960 1280

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Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail

Go hiking! Bright Angel Trail is the safest trail in Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers can camp out at Indian Garden and Bright Angel Campground. This hiking trail has portable drinking water at the 2 campsites, Three-Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse. And if hikers should ever need them, a ranger presence and emergency phones are located along the trail. 960 1280

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Grand Canyon Railroad Depot

Grand Canyon Railroad Depot

Hop on a train to explore Grand Canyon National Park’s natural beauty. Take a step back in time as authentic characters and musicians bring the Old West to life on a Grand Canyon Railway train ride. Constructed between 1909 and 1910, the Grand Canyon Depot (pictured) was designed by American architect Francis W. Wilson. It is one of 14 log depots constructed in the US. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

North Rim

North Rim

Begin your grand journey here! The North Rim, located 30 miles south of Jacob Lake on Highway 67, is the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. We recommend guests plan ahead. Visitor lodging, food services and the road from Jacob Lake to the North Rim are open from mid-May to mid-October. 960 1280

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North Kaibab Trail

North Kaibab Trail

A parking area is located on State Route 67, about a mile north of the North Rim’s Grand Canyon Lodge, for visitors to start their hike on 3 different trails, including the Ken Patrick Trail and the Uncle Jim Trail. The North Kaibab Trail (pictured) is also accessible from the parking area. This trail begins at the head of Roaring Springs Canyon and ends at the Colorado River. 960 1280

Madeleine Holland, flickr  

Grand Canyon Camper Village

Grand Canyon Camper Village

Looking for the best spot to camp in the Grand Canyon? Head to Grand Canyon Camper Village, located a mile south of the park entrance on Highway 64 in Tusayan, AZ. This campground offers a convenient camping location for RVs, trailers and tents. The campground also has an IMAX theater, general store, restaurants, shopping and park shuttle stops all within walking distance. 960 1280

Grand Canyon NPS, flickr  

Colorado River Rafting

Colorado River Rafting

Set your course for adventure on a white-water rafting trip down the Colorado River. Thrill-seekers have their pick of various commercial to non-commercial river trips that range from a half-day to a 25-day trip. Experience the scenic wonder and adrenaline rush on this adventure of a lifetime. 960 1280

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Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation

Take a tour of the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff, AZ, through the Navajo Nation, a semi-autonomous Native American territory, covering 27,425 square miles in portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. 960 1280

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Bell Rock

Bell Rock

Some Western spiritual writers with a New Age focus believe this popular tourist attraction is a portal into the Earth or a gateway to other dimensions. Add Bell Rock to your must-see list. It’s located north of the Village of Oak Creek, AZ, and south of Sedona. 960 1280

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Grand Canyon Skywalk

Grand Canyon Skywalk

Get awe-inspiring views from the Grand Canyon Skywalk, owned by the Hualapai Indian tribe. The transparent-horseshoe bridge operates like a conveyor belt, providing tourists with great vantage points to gaze at the majestic canyon from 4,770 feet above the Colorado River. 960 1280

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Rim Trail

Rim Trail

Plan a day of hiking on the Rim Trail, located on the North/South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers can start their trek from any viewpoint in Grand Canyon Village or along Hermit Road. The trail stretches 13 miles from South Kaibab Trailhead west to Hermit’s Rest. Make sure you pack water before you start this hiking trail. Water is available at the beginning and end of the trail. 960 1280

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Hohokam Pima

National Monument, Coolidge, AZ

Located on the Gila River Indian Reservation, this national monument commemorates and preserves the remnants of the ancient Hohokam village of Snaketown, an "urban" community that flourished from 300 A.D. to 1200 A.D. Unfortunately, the monument is not open to the public and no passport stamps or park literature are available, but excavated artifacts and more information can be found at The Arizona State Museum in Tucson. Learn about Snaketown's history here >>

Hubbell Trading Post

National Historic Site, Ganado, AZ

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Robert Alexander

Step back in time as you enter the oldest, continuously-run trading post on the Navajo Reservation. Once here, you can purchase handwoven rugs, Native American art, groceries and more just as patrons have done for over 150 years. Browse the shelves at Hubbell's >>

Juan Bautista de Anza

National Historic Trail, AZ, CA

From 1775 to 1776, thirty young families under the direction of New-Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza travelled from Mission Tumacácori in present-day Arizona to establish the first Spanish colony and presidio (military fort) in San Francisco Bay. Follow the footsteps of these Western pioneers >>

Lake Mead

National Recreation Area, the Mojave Desert, AZ, NV

Formed by the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead is the largest reservoir by volume in the United States when full and spans 247 surface miles from Arizona to Nevada. The lake offers year-round recreational opportunities including boating and fishing and boasts a rich assortment of striking natural features including colorful soils, deep canyons, diverse ecosystems and more. Visit Lake Mead National Recreation Area >>

Montezuma Castle

National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ

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MyLoupe

High rise apartment complexes are a thing of the past — literally. Occupied by the Sinagua people from 1100 to 1450 A.D., this 900-year-old cliff dwelling stands five stories high and is comprised of 20 rooms. Learn more about this well-preserved prehistoric dwelling >>

Navajo

National Monument, Black Mesa, AZ

Take guided tours of Betatakin and Keet Seel — two ancient Puebloan villages built into sandstone canyon alcoves — as you learn about the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. But be sure to book in advance! Only 50 guests per day are permitted in Betatakin while Keet Seel allows only 20. See how the ancient Puebloans lived >> 

Old Spanish

National Historic Trail, AZ, CA, CO, NV, NM, UT

From about 1830 until the mid-1850s, items such as locally-produced New Mexico serapes and California-bred horses were transported by way of an arduous, 700-mile trail that traversed the mountains, deserts and canyons between Santa Fe and Los Angeles. Learn more about this historic trade route >>

Organ Pipe Cactus

National Monument, Ajo, AZ

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Ron and Patty Thomas

Named for, you guessed it, the rare Organ Pipe Cactus that grows wild in this region of the Sonoran Desert, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is also designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve, allowing its diverse ecosystems to flourish virtually untouched. Take a trip to this desert wilderness >>

Parashant

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Northern Arizona, AZ

This vast, rugged park, located on the western edge of the Grand Canyon National Park, is adorned with the scars of prehistoric eruptions, earthquakes and flowing basalt. The landscape is best suited for well-equipped, experienced hikers and explorers as it has no paved roads and is largely undeveloped. Explore the true wild west >>

Petrified Forest

National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

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BSIP

Strewn with crystallized logs and colorful badlands, The Petrified Forest is an archaeological and historical gem. New hiking trails and interesting sites are being discovered each year, making this fascinating park a destination you'll want to visit again and again. See what awaits you at Petrified Forest National Park >>

Pipe Spring

National Monument, Fredonia, AZ

This ancient spring, located along the Armijo Route of the Old Spanish Trail, has provided centuries of sustenance and shelter to Ancestral Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians, Mormon pioneers and European explorers. Explore the life-giving waters of Pipe Spring >>

Saguaro

National Park, Tucson, AZ

Anne Frigon

When you think of a cactus, you likely picture the tall, spiny Saguaro Cactus that grows abundantly throughout the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona and northeast Mexico. But did you know that these majestic plants can live for over 150 years and grow to be over 70 feet tall? Learn more about this symbol of the Southwest >>

Sunset Crater Volcano

National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ

Nine-hundred years ago, the earth split and lava spewed, forming the 340-meter-high cone we know as the beautiful Sunset Crater Volcano. Today, the once-devastated landscape is now a thriving, colorful sanctuary for flora, fauna, wildlife and exploration. Take a closer look at this gorgeous volcanic landscape >>

Tonto

National Monument, Roosevelt, AZ

Tonto National Monument preserves and protects two cliff dwellings built and occupied by the Salado people around 700 years ago. Known for their fine craftsmanship, the Salado left behind a wealth of archaeological artifacts that tell the interesting story of their life in the Salt River Valley. Get to know these ancient peoples >>

Tumacácori

National Historical Park, Tumacácori, AZ

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Education Images

The oldest Jesuit mission in southern Arizona, Mission San José de Tumacácori was established on the east bank of the Santa Cruz River in 1691 by padre Eusebio Francisco Kino. Learn more about this National Historical Park >>

Tuzigoot

National Monument, Clarkdale, AZ

This three-story pueblo ruin perched atop a limestone and sandstone ridge in Clarkdale, Arizona was built by the Sinagua peoples around 1000 A.D. and consists of 110 rooms. Fun fact: Tuzigoot is an Apache term for "crooked water" and refers to a nearby bend in the Verde River. Learn more about Tuzigoot's rich history >>

Walnut Canyon

National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ

While visiting nearby Tuzigoot or Montezuma's Castle, plan a quick trip to Walnut Canyon where you can explore the remnants of ancient Sinagua cliff dwellings on a self-led hike along the Rim or Island trails. Discover how these ancient civilizations thrived >>

Wupatki

National Monument, Flagstaff, AZ

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Wolfgang Kaehler

The main feature of the 35,000-acre Wupatki National Monument is the ancient Wupatki Pueblo, a Sinagua dwelling comprised of over 100 rooms, a ball court and a community room. Interestingly, the first rangers assigned to the park in the 1930s actually lived in modified rooms within the pueblo. Learn more >>

Yuma Crossing

National Heritage Area, Yuma, AZ

Although the first European explorers arrived here in 1540 and gold-seeking pioneers traversed the area in the 1840s, this narrow section of the Colorado River originally served the needs of the native Patayan and Quechan tribes for hundreds of years. While visiting this National Heritage Area, you can stroll the paved paths of two riverfront parks, learn about the history of the area at the new interpretive plaza and enjoy all that historic downtown Yuma has to offer. Plan your trip to Yuma Crossing >>

Video: Arizona: The Beauty Within

Why travel abroad when the beauty of Arizona's national parks is right here?

The Beauty of Arizona's National Parks

 02:38

Why travel abroad when the beauty of Arizona's national parks is right here?

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