Fabulous Pictures of some of my Favorite Places in Arizona
Just one of many great places in Arizona...The Painted Desert
Already written are a number of posts about different sites in Arizona. If you are interested in a particular location after looking at this overview, be sure and check it out as in most cases there will be many more pictures to view as well as more information. This will be a brief synopsis or explanation of why we have enjoyed these locales.
By no means is this an exhaustive rendition of what the entire State has to offer...solely some of my experiences while there.
All photos unless otherwise specified were taken by me and in a very few instances, someone traveling with me at the time.
In no particular order, let me begin a brief review of several of my favorite places of interest when visiting Arizona.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National ParkClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Petrified Forest National Park
It has taken literally millions of years to form the petrified wood and other fossils that have been found in the Petrified Forest National Park of Arizona.
Despite the fact that massive amounts of the brightly hued chunks of petrified wood and fallen and cracked logs of entire trees can readily be seen, most of what is there still remains buried beneath the earth. In fact it has been discovered that up to 300 feet of fossilized remains lie underground ever so gradually working their way to the surface. Much of this process is due to the forces of erosion.
That being said, to see the greatest amount of petrified wood lying in the open air and easily accessible in one concentrated area of the entire world, it is worth it to come and visit the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.
One can easily get an impression of this national park by driving through and stopping at nine overlook points strategically placed for best viewing opportunities.
Without a doubt, hiking in to the different areas offers enjoyment of the scenery in a more close and personal way. The paths are well maintained and easily accessible.
The Agate House is a pueblo that has been partially restored using the building blocks that were available at the time to the resident Indians...that being the chunks of petrified wood .
The Badlands, huge mounds looking like petrified sand dunes that are composed of various minerals is an amazing site to see and one can also traverse the paths into the heart of them.
Petroglyphs...writings of long ago Indian residents...or perhaps those Indians just passing through...are found within the park.
For these reasons and more, the Petrified Forest National Park is one of my favorite visited places in Arizona.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Arizona's Painted Desert
If one visits the Petrified Forest National Park, one will also get to see the Painted Desert as they are intermingled, merging with one another.
Just imagine a child with multiple pails of white sand being given an assortment of colors ranging from pale pinks and oranges to muted mauve's and other hues. That child was told to mix the colors with the sand and then make piles of them in different patterns all across a wide expanse of area.
Now imagine that child being a giant and this part of Arizona being like that child's backyard.
The result is a brightly and imaginatively arranged and colored landscape like few other backyards. In fact, it is spectacular!
The colors of the Painted Desert change with the lighting, time of day and passing clouds. Pictures and photographs can only capture so much. It is an amazing site to behold and makes it onto my list of favorite places.
Apollo Capsule at Meteor Crater
Meteor Crater Arizona
If you are unfamiliar with this fascinating place in Arizona you might be wondering about the photo with my mother standing next to an Apollo Space Capsule.
Our astronauts have been trained in this huge hole in the ground as the terrain is so similar to what they have found on the moon.
Around 49,500 years ago a massive meteor or cluster of them rocketing through the atmosphere at an astonishing 43,000 miles per hour impacted this formerly flat terrain in Arizona creating this immense and geologically unusual space.
The circumference of the rim is over three miles. The crater's depth is 570 feet and its diameter is 4,100 feet across.
Meteor Crater is the best preserved crater on earth and is significant for the impact it has had on space exploration.
This site which is 43 miles east of Flagstaff, provides a museum where one can learn much about space and geology; two movies that run on the half hour; the Apollo Capsule; a Moon Mountain Telescope; a viewing platform of the amazing crater...and yes...even moon rocks! After viewing the Astronaut's Hall of Fame, one can also picnic in Astronaut Park if desired.
The Grand CanyonClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Grand Canyon south rim in 5 min
The Grand Canyon National Park
One of the true wonders of the world, what visit to Arizona would be complete without seeing this majestic park?
The Grand Canyon is also a World Heritage Site and people from all around the planet earth are drawn to wanting to see this gigantic canyon carved by the Colorado River.
While it took many millions of years for the Colorado River to accomplish what can now be viewed, the scouring and erosive action of the river is still slowly changing the landscape.
Originally Indian territory, five Indian tribes still call this region home.
From mule trips to backpacking, camping to hiking, river rafting or simply gazing down into the canyon and taking photographs, most everyone that comes here leaves with an overwhelming feeling of the majestic power of nature.
The Grand Canyon National Park is not only a favorite place of mine, but rates that same status for many people who have come and experienced its grandeur.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park
Since the days of cattle grazing have been eliminated in what is now the Saguaro National Park, thousands of young growing seedlings of saguaro cactus may be able to grow and thrive.
The biggest threat is cactus rustling and vandalism in addition to Mother Nature.
Cactus rustling is a big business unfortunately because it takes so long for a saguaro cactus to attain any size, much-less its signature shape. Many people are willing to pay significant amounts of money to have the saguaro cactus growing in their landscapes...thus the incentive for the illegal activity of rustling them.
Saguaros grow very slowly and only after about 75 years begin to sprout the uplifted arms which make them famous.
They grow in limited areas and the Saguaro National Park around Tucson, Arizona has a great concentration of one of the largest growing cacti in the United States. For this reason it makes my list of favorite places in Arizona.
Sedona, Arizona and Oak Creek Canyon
Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon
Driving south of Flagstaff (and the Grand Canyon) one encounters a gem of a canyon called Oak Creek.
As opposed to the massive scale of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon can be experienced much more easily and intimately as one literally drives through the heart of it.
Just driving through the mountainous roads, one get glimpses of Oak Creek and about midway one can stop and encounter the Slide Rock State Park if one has the time and interest.
It is a fabulous area of scenic splendor for hiking and literally sliding across the slick rocks of Oak Creek if the weather permits and one is ready to play in this aquatic natural wonderland.
Driving further south and entering Sedona, Arizona...not only will one basque in the glow of the ever present red rocks in this area, but Sedona offers a variety of interesting sites for tourists and residents alike.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross sits high up built into the red rocks overlooking the town of Sedona.
There are numerous reasons that this has made my list of favorite places in Arizona!
There is so much more to see and enjoy in this fabulous State of Arizona. From past volcanic activity located at Sunset Crater to desert architectural jewels such as experienced at San Xavier del Bac in Tucson to ancient Indian ruins such as are found at Walnut Canyon and Wupatki National Monument, one will never tire of seeing new and different things in Arizona.
Hopefully you enjoyed these pictures and the synopsis of some of the areas which have been enjoyed by this author.
Which of the areas mentioned in this hub are your favorites?
Where Arizona is located in the U.S.A.
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© 2009 Peggy Woods