First, let me say that I’m not a travel blogger and I’m not pretending to be, but I wanted to share my favorite scenic places to visit in northern Arizona.
There are literally hundreds of amazing places to go in this beautiful state, but these are just a few of the places we have been during the three years we’ve lived in Arizona. This state has incredibly diverse topography and wildlife, so there is always something new to see based on which part of the state you’re in!
Northern Arizona is one of my favorite parts of the state. It is more green (if you visit southern AZ, you’ll know what I mean), there are different types of trees, and the mountains are multiple shades of vibrant reds.
Of all the places we’ve lived or had the chance to visit, this is one of my and my husband’s favorite scenic spots. Every red rock and every swirling canyon testifies to the incomprehensible creativity of our God.
That being said, here are a few places I recommend seeing if you are ever in the area:
Grand Canyon National Park
Because, obviously! ?
En route to the Grand Canyon, we passed through a small Historic Route 66 town by the name of Williams. It’s super cute and reminds me of Radiator Springs in the kids story “Cars.”
It has restaurants and shops dating back to the early 1900s and is adorable to drive through on your way to the canyon.
The Grand Canyon stretches 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and 1 mile (1.6km) deep. Its vast beauty is absolutely breathtaking! You can’t help but stand there and be in awe of how amazing our Creator is.
I have personally been to the Grand Canyon three times now. If you’re planning a trip and you would like to stay in the canyon lodging, be sure to book well in advance. We stayed about an hour and a half outside of the canyon, but this may not be ideal for everyone. Make sure you check out their availability beforehand so you can map out your route.
The South Rim is open all year. The North Rim is only open certain times of the year due to snow. You can stay in the Canyon lodging or you can “rough it” and do it camping style. This also includes RVs.
I could go on and on, but to keep this short and sweet, let me just say, you absolutely will not regret going!
Below are a few pictures from our first trip there.
The only reason this was not the first on my list is because Arizona is literally called “The Grand Canyon State,” not “The Antelope Canyon State.”
Antelope Canyon will absolutely blow your mind. Its beauty is beyond anything I’ve seen before with my own eyes. I had very high expectations going into the tour, and I can honestly say I was not one bit disappointed with everything we saw. Pictures absolutely cannot do it justice, although many have tried (including me) in hopes of conveying its beauty through a lens.
A few things you need to know about Antelope Canyon before visiting:
- Prepare to have your socks knocked clear off!
- There’s an upper canyon and a lower canyon. If you are wondering what the most significant difference between the upper canyon vs the lower canyon is, it is the size of the canyon itself. The upper canyon is wider at the bottom versus the top, which is what produces the gorgeous light beams inside the canyon that you’ll see on most Google searches. Lower Antelope is smaller at the bottom and is said to be shaped like the letter “V.”
- You must book your tour in advance. Antelope Canyon is in Navajo territory and can only be seen by tour with a Navajo guide. I think this is a super cool touch and adds so much authenticity to the experience. There are both photographer tours, regular tours, and helicopter tours. You only need to take a photo tour if you are a professional photographer in search of your next big photo breakthrough. We were still able to get amazing photos on the regular tour; the guides allow you to pause and take pictures throughout the entire tour and are very cool about it (the regular tour is cheaper). You will need to pay for both adults and children, including toddlers or infants that require a car seat (totally worth it). It’s a bit of a bumpy and dusty ride, so be prepared with a scarf or bandana to cover your nose/mouth.
- I recommend checking with a guide company ahead of time to see when the best time of day is to visit when you’re there. Certain times of day are better than others for catching the infamous light beams in the canyon, so definitely check in advance.
Do yourself a favor and add this to your list of places to visit! Below are a few photos from our Upper Canyon tour. Like I said before, pictures can’t begin to do it justice.
Monument Valley is also on Navajo territory. You can do a self-guided tour by car through these canyons. However, if you plan to off-road, you are required to have a tour guide. Upon arrival, you will need to pay according to the number of people in your party/car at the gate. It’s a bit of a bumpy drive, so I recommend an SUV or truck for an easier ride. We made it happen in our sedan, but there is no way I would have done it without my husband driving. I was so nervous. Ha! Below are a few photos we took on our self-guided tour through Monument Valley.
Sedona is known as Red Rock Country, and once you visit you will understand why. The beautiful red mountains are seriously jaw-dropping. There are so many outdoor activities to do, you just can’t see it all in one or two days! When I went, I was visiting friends and was there for such a short time, but we tried to pack some adventures in anyway. Below are a couple photos from my trip. I truly wish I had more pictures that better captured Sedona’s beauty!
Of course, there are so many more beautiful places to visit in the beautiful state of Arizona, but these are just a few places that I can say I have been and that you should visit, too!
Until next time —
Hugs and many blessings,