Arizona Locations: details and photos from points of interest in Arizona, click photo to enlarge
Balanced Rock (2013)
Balanced Rock, close to Tuba City, is a sacred place for Navajo First Nation people. So visits are not encouraged. Still we have been there. There was nobody around. The area can be reached via several dirt-roads. The first part was very accessible, after that high clearance was needed. In the area between 10 to 20 balls can be found, of which one is on a “tee”.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument (2009)
There is only 1 hike in the park, the trail to the “White House Ruin”. This Ruin is located 200 meter below the rim on the canyon floor. It originates to the Anasazi’s. The trail is very narrow, but has great views on the surroundings. At the bottom of the valley, next to an enormous wall, the ruins are build.
Other ruins can be seen from the viewpoints on the park-road.
The rest of Canyon the Chelly can only be visited with a tour operator. We chose Thunderbird Lodge Canyon Tours. We started in Canyon de Muerto, after that several Anasazi ruins, with rock paintings (hands, antilope, snakes and people).
Cole Mine Canyon (2013)
Cole Mine Canyon is close to Tuba City. It is forbidden to enter the canyon, and there does not seem to be any trails in. From the trail along the canyon rim the views in the canyon can be enjoyed. It is a bit like Bryce, but with more colors. For instance the black layer has given the canyon it’s name. It is nice place to visit for an hour or so.
Coyote Buttes South (2017)
For this area a permit is needed that can be bought either online or in the BLM office in Kanab. For Coyote Buttes South, no lottary is held, first come – first serve, 20 tickets per day are available. To reach the area long difficult dirt roads must be travelled. We knew that were uncapable to do this, so we booked a combination tour (Coyote Buttes South and White Pocket) with Dreamland Safaris. The park has 2 districts: Paw Hole and Cottonwood cove. Both are very beautiful.
Grand Canyon National Park (2009)
The Grand Canyon is one of busiest parks of Arizona. During millions of years the Colorado River cut a 1.6 km deep into the rocks.We did the rim-walk on the South-side of the Canyon. It is an easy walk, that leads along the canyon rim. The trail leads to all of the view points, right until the end at Hermits Rest. The hike took us about 3,5 hours, enjoying the views included. Keep a look-out for the condors that have been reintroduced.
Horseshoe Bend (2009)
Horshoe Bend is a meander in the Colorado river.
Lower Antelope Canyon (2009)
Hasdestwazi is the local Navajo name of the canyon. It means “Spiral rock arches”. After arrival at the office a guide was assigned to us, and with 10 other tourist we were ushered to the crack and stairs that gave access to the canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon is about 400 meters long and a lot narrower that Upper Antelope Canyon. In some places there is hardly enough place to put your feet. As “Upper”-, Lower Antelope Canyon is also created by water. In some places trees were stuck between the walls on top of our heads. Safety material to evacuate the canyon has been installed on strategic places. Artistic colorful rock formation are the main attraction of this canyon.
Meteor Crater (2009)
Enroute from the Grand Canyon to Petrified Forest, we visited a few smaller parks. Meteor crater was one of them. 50.000 years ago an astroid created the crater. In the visitor center a movie is shown, there is a small museium. The crater is huge! 1 mile in diameter
Navajo National Monument (2014)
The free national park offers a viewpoint to ancient ruins, a bit like Mesa Verde, but smaller. The ruines are called Betatakin or “ledge ruin”..
Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Park (2009)
Petrified wood is scattered in various places in this park. A few trails lead to the most interesting areas: Giant Logs, Crystal Forest, Jasper Forest and Pretrified Log Bridge (the last one was a bit fake, the petrified tree was supported with concrete).
In the middle of the park, and area called “Blue Mesa” is located. This is part of the “badlands” of the region.
Further north, the archeologiscal part of the park can be found. Ruins of houses and some petroglyphs are on display.
In the upper north part the painted desert can be found. It consists mainly of red and green rocks. Viewpoints and a rimtrail give access to the area.
Pima Air & Space Museum (2013)
Pima is also called “the Boneyard”. In this desert area discarded aircraft are parked and sometimes dismantled. The area is extremely big. Best thing is to book the so called AMARG-bustour (AMARG = Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center) to see the enormous rows of parked and wrapped-up aircraft. In the museum various rare aircraft are on display.
Saguaro National Park (2013)
Saguaro is close to Tucson. There are 2 parts, east and west of Tucson. In the western part more Saguaro cacti seem to be present. Several trails are available. Take care of the cholla cactus, these are sometimes called “jumping cholla’s” and their needles are imagined to attack you.
Nick name of Sedona is “Red Rock Country”. THis is a very suitable name, all rocks in the neighborhood are red or orange. Sedona is all about hiking, trails are eveywhere! Some are in canyons, others offer amazing views on the red rocks. Whatever the choice, all are very pretty.
Stud Horse Point (2019)
In a small canyon, close to Page, some hoodoos in soft pastels can be found. The site can be reached via a dirtroad. The last part was inaccessible due to loose sand. So we parked the car on the side of the road, and walked, to the hoodoos. On the way in and out, we had to pass a pasture with some cows.
The area itself is small and easy to access. The hoodoos are special due to their color.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument (2009, 2013)
The volcano erupted about 900 years ago. In the park the results of this eruption can still be seen: fields of lava and petrified lava fields. It is easy to see that survival is not easy in this area, there are not many trees. We have visited Sunset Crater twice now, in 2009 and 2013.
Upper Antelope Canyon (2009)
Tse’ Bighanilini: The local Navajo name means: “the place where water runs through rocks”. Tyis says it all. We booked a tour in advanced, to be certain to see the beams in the canyon, which can only be seen a few hours during midday. It was amazingly busy in the canyon. As it is very accessilbe, even for people needing a walker.
The canyon is 90 meters long, and it took 2 hours to see and photograph al the best places. At about 13:00h all beams left the canyon floor.
Walnut Canyon National Monument (2009)
Walnut Canyon is very small. It is a rocky island in a deep valley. In the walls of the “Island” many 700 year old rock dwellings can be visited. The trail along the dwellings is about 1 mile long.
Waterholes Slot Canyon & the Wall (2014)
To visit Waterholes a permit must be purchased (in 2014: $20) at Upper Antelope Canyon. The hike starts with a rather complex descend into the canyon. During the visit there was a strong wind in the canyon, resulting a very sandblasting experience. This was not very confortable. At a certain point some cairns indicated that acsent out of the canyon was possible, so we climbed out. The main reason for our visit was “the Wall”, and this part is on the canyon rim. We found the wall, a small wave-like area. Amazing!
White Pocket (2017)
We visited White Pocket on a combi-tour (Coyote Buttes South and White pocket) with Dreamland Safaris. The long dirt road was to complex for us to do on our own. White pockes has lots of brain rocks and small pockets of water.
(Wrong) New Wave (2019)
New Wave and Wrong New Wave: they are close to each other, and it is not completely clear which of them we visited. The area can be reached via a short dirt-road, very close to the city of Page. We parked the car as soon as the road became inaccessible due to loose sand. By then, we had already reached the correct spot to park, and we were very close to the rock formations. Soon we found a marked trail that led along all the most interesting features of the area: the “Wave-like” structures. According to posts on the Internet, it is nothing like the real Wave (Coyote Butte North), however.
Wupatki National Monument (2009, 2013)
In this national park the remnants of an acient village can be seen. The park is not very big. The ruines are accessible via a paved trail. Several other buildings can be visited via short trails. We have visited Wupatki twice now (in 2009 and 2013), it is a combi-park with Sunset Crater. A detour is needed from the highway. It is nice for a short visit, but not one or our favorites.