Arizona: As Grand As Its Namesake Canyon
As Grand as the Canyon is (and it is spec-TAC-ular!), Arizona’s charms don’t end there.
With a dramatically varying landscape that rises and falls by thousands of feet over the expanse of the state, it’s possible to begin a day trip on a flat, cactus-sprinkled desert baked dry by the scorching heat, and four hours later find yourself in a soaring pine forest of cool evergreens, reaching for your jacket. Along the way you can encounter deep gorges at the bottom of which are clear running creeks, surreal slot canyons sculpted by flash floods, or vermillion cliffs on whose shallow ledges lie ancient dwellings built centuries ago.
Whether or not you consider yourself spiritual in any traditional sense, you cannot help but feel insignificant when appreciating the natural forces that are responsible for such impressive beauty. In Arizona, the word ‘awesome’ has true meaning and you’ll find yourself reaching for that description time after time.
Maybe that’s why here, the haunting notes of the Hopi Indians’ flute sound like the voice of the land itself, resonating deeply within, both now, and long after you return home.
TIP: Many of Arizona’s most-visited sights are on land belonging to Native American tribes, and some places have very limited accommodations for visitors. If you are planning your trip around seeing specific parts of the state, be sure to book your hotels in that area in advance. Hotels can be far apart, with long stretches of driving between. And if you are thinking of taking a mule down to Phantom Ranch, the only accommodation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, start your planning a year in advance! (unless you are really lucky and there’s a cancellation)
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Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established GrownupTravels.com in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.