Fun things to do in Arizona

  • red Rock Crossing, Sedona
    red Rock Crossing, Sedona
    by Martinewezel
  • Heard Museum
    Heard Museum
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Front of building on 2nd St
    Front of building on 2nd St
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Arizona

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    Visit Page!

    by blueskyjohn Updated Dec 17, 2014

    Page is a city of over 7000 permanent residents however, it is a very popular recreation destination for many in Arizona and Southern Utah. Page sits on the border of Utah and Arizona. It is not really an old town with great history. It was settled in the late 1950's for workers and their families to live during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.

    The city sits above Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. Just outside town is Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. To the north on the outskirts of town is Gran Staircase-Escalante National Monument southern border and to the south is Grand Canyon National Park.

    Page is truly a central location for a base of outdoor adventures.

    Grand Canyon Antelope Canyon Paria Canyon
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    • National/State Park
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    Visit the Grand Canyon

    by kbl Written Dec 3, 2014

    If you have only a short time in Arizona, make sure to includ ethe Grand Canyon on the trip. It's less than a day from Phoenix. The views are spectacular and if you have some time for hiking: this is where to go.

    Grand Canyon

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    Heard Museum in Phoenix

    by jorgejuansanchez Written Aug 28, 2014

    This is a very didactic and wonderful museum devoted to the Indians before the Spanish colonization of that territory. There are many artifacts, maps, jewels, Kachina dolls, etc. It will take you at least two hours to visit it properly.
    It was founded in 1929.

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    • Backpacking
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    Valley of Gods

    by Mayzhou100 Written Jun 3, 2014

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    Valley of the Gods is a 17 mile loop scenic sandstone valley in southeastern Utah. It is north of Monument Valley across the San Juan River. The valley is not a park, no services in the valley, except for a bed-and-breakfast. The road in the valley is rather steep and bumpy in parts but passable by normal vehicles in good and dry weather. We drove Cherokee and it worked perfect.

    As recommended by a professional, Valley of the Gods is the best choice and the most impressive scenic view among all the places we visited during the southwest trip.

    Cow in the Valley of Gods the Valley of Gods the Valley of Gods the Valley of Gods the Valley of Gods
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    Lone Rock at Lake Powell

    by Mayzhou100 Written Jun 2, 2014

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    Lone Rock, a large isolated red rock, is fairly close to Wahweap Marina, about 4mi NW of the Wahweep marina. We stopped by and drove to the lake's edge and walked along the beach. The Lake Powell water is very clear. The rock reflection is beautiful! it is also a camp site.

    Lone Rock Lone Rock in Panorama View
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    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Sunrise in Horseshoe Bend

    by Mayzhou100 Written Jun 2, 2014

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    I got up at 5:30 in the morning in order to catch the sunrise (around 7:30 am) of Horseshoe Bend in Xmas day. It was still dark when we were at the trail head. After a easy and short hike, we reached the edge of Horseshoe Bend. Looking down 1000 feet ( 305 meters) of the sandstone to the Colorado river, here is the extraordinary Horseshoe Bend that make the river turns around and keeps running . The river looked like a blue belt when sun came out. Amazing, isn't it?

    Horseshoe Bend in Sunrise Early Morning Horseshoe Bend
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    Lake Powell Resort and Marina

    by Mayzhou100 Updated Jun 2, 2014

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    I didn't stay in Lake Powell Resort but was recommended to visit the Marina when we were close by. Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas owns and manages five marinas throughout the lake - Wahweap, Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, Hite, and Dangling Rope. I was at the most southwestern point on Lake Powell and Wahweap Marina is the largest one among 5 and is open year round. See photos of Sunset Marina.

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    Upper Antelope Canyon

    by Mayzhou100 Written Jun 2, 2014

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    The Upper Antelope Canyon means "the place where water runs through rocks" in Navajo language. When we arrived the parking lot, we made arrangements for a guided tour as required. We moved to another truck and the Guide drove us to the Canyon area and guided us through caves. As of May 1, 2011 there is a 2-hour Limit inside Upper Antelope Canyon.

    It was Xmas season when we were there. The cave looked very dark. The sunshine couldn't go through the caves even in noon time. That's downside of traveling there in winter. But you can see some amazing images that people usually couldn't see in summer.

    Peak Season (late March - November 1) 8:00am - 5:00pm, 7 Days a week
    Off Season (November 2 - early March) 9:00am - 3:00pm, 7 Days a week
    (Mountain Standard Time year round)

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    The San Xavier del Bac Mission

    by traveldave Updated May 13, 2013

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    The San Xavier del Bac Mission is considered one of the finest examples of mission architecture in the United States, combining Moorish, Byzantine, and late Mexican Renaissance styles of architecture. The church was established to convert the local Tohono O'odham American Indians to Christianity. Nowadays it is the focal point of the San Xavier Indian Reservation on which it is located.

    Bac was a village settled by the Tohono O'odham tribe in the Santa Cruz River Valley, and means "place where water appears." The village was visited by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1692. In 1700 he began construction on the first of two churches to be built in the area, and named it San Xavier, in honor of Saint Francis Xavier.

    The first church was destroyed, and the present church was started in 1783 and completed in 1797. It was built by Franciscan fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz. For reasons that remain unknown, the east tower was never completed.

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    Lake Pleasant Regional Recreation Area

    by Africancrab Written May 4, 2013

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    I do have an impulsive behavior when it comes to travel. I will spontaneously go to a place if I have the right company and mood. One such time was St. Patrick's Day 2006 when my charming boy friend Guy, invited my best friend Agnes and I to his boat on Lake Pleasant.

    Getting to Lake Pleasant is easy: from Wickenburg, take route 60 (East Wickenburg Way, which turns into Grand Avenue south to route 74. Turn left (the only way you can go) to head eastbound. Drive for about 20 miles through some of the most beautiful and barely touched Sonoran Desert landscape around. (Enjoy it while it lasts; developers will be turning it into housing development and strip malls as soon as they can). Sharing in the "luck of the Irish" with non-Irish people around, imagine that!

    The pints, Margaritas, beers, vodka to mention but a few made for such a merry St. Patrick's day celebrations on the boat last year. Besides us, Guy, had Bob & Linda who both own a boat at Lake pleasant that they live on during the summer months. The rest of the people on the boat we found there, honestly I don't remember any of the other girls on the boat with us. We just had them join us for a cruise and dancing later that night, the spirit of fun was amazing.

    The cruise was Bob's idea: being the Italian that he is, and retired at that Bob and his wife Linda life such a relaxed and carefree life. With no children to worry about, they spend their time traveling and having fun at the Lake during the summer months. When I first met Linda, it was evident that she was a fun loving woman. Her smile is as welcoming as the warmth of a mother's embrace. It was about three in the afternoon when we left the docks for the West Side of the lake where most boats anchors for fun. On board Linda had all her goodies, she loves margaritas and so she had her own margarita mixer.

    Lake Pleasant Regional park is large recreation area, one of the best water recreation areas in the region. Lake pleasant harbor offers activities for visitors including boating, jet skiing, and more

    Fun times at the harbor aboard Bob's boat Me at Lake Pleasant harbor My girlfriend Agnes With my friend Guy at the harbor
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    • Water Sports
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Casa Grandes

    by Jim_Eliason Written Apr 5, 2013

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    Casa Grandes, about a 1/2 hrsouth of Phoenix, was a major pre-columbian site for the Hohokam indians from 1350 to 1450. It represents one of the best preserved adobe great houses that used to dot the landscape in this region.

    Casa Grandes Casa Grandes Casa Grandes Casa Grandes Casa Grandes
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    • Archeology

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    Montezuma's Castle National Monument

    by Africancrab Written Mar 20, 2013

    We approached the national monument from the north, then headed south on Interstate 17. Montezuma National Monument is a little less than 60 miles south of Flagstaff. After a rather exciting three days of traveling, hiking and using motels, we were heading back home to Tucson when we made a last minute decision to stop at this historic place. Whether you are traveling north or south, you will need to take exit 289 off of interstate 17 and follow the signs down the Verde Valley to the location of the Castle. When we arrived, we found the place crawling with Italian tourists who had come in on two giant tour buses from California. Apparently there was some sort of annual christian trip organized by the faithfuls of a local region in Italy.

    A little history on the castle: The first Europeans to see Montezuma's Castle believed it to be of Aztec origin and named it for the Aztec king. Both the castle and it's well lie in the setting of thick limestone layers that were deposited near the center of the lake. The Sinagua people learned earlier that the limestone was a good thing; they realized the durability of the limestone and the alcove carved by Beaver Creek. It is believed that the Sinaguan architects built Montezuma Castle in a natural alcove that had been carved by the Beaver Creek in limestone deposited in ancient Lake Verde. The alcove seemed to have been naturally curved, ready for the Sinaguan architects to construct their mud brick walls. The Beaver Creek provided a reliable water source and cultivable land along the flood plains. The Sinaguans got salt and good crops along the flood plains. The village alcove provided both shelter from nature's elements as well as from enemies. Antonio de Espejo and his Spanish expedition are believed to have been the first European explorers to see the villages in the Verde river Valley in the 1800s.

    To reach the well from the parking lot, one has to walk up the flight of stairs by the ranger's cottage. Beware of the cacti, their defense systems are so evolved, you could get hurt if you are not looking out for them. You will then come to a much greener place with lush grasses and reeds. Now we did not go to the creek, we saw it from across the Castle grounds. The ancients diverted the waters from the spring that drains Montezuma's well into a canal for irrigation purposes.

    We did not stay very long at the Castle. We toured enough of it. The place of course is overrated as there is very little left to impress upon the eyes. Nonetheless, looking at the way it was built into the hill side, one marvels at the architectural achievements of the time. From what I gathered, no one seems to know how the castle was constructed. There is varying tales of what might have happened then back in time. I, got the feeling some of the history is more investigative than actual documented facts. For the archaeologist and geologist, this would be an actual wonder house. Investigative archeology at it's best right here. Certainly a great stop to catch a glimpse of the past. I must comment the National Parks for the way they have preserved the history and the site itself.

    with my daughter at the Castle Ruin
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    Chiricahua National Monument

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jan 23, 2013

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    This little known park sets along way from anywhere in the Southeastern corner of the state but is well worth the visit for its fantastic rock formations. No services are available in or around the park so fill up with gas in Wilcox and get any water and food needed there.

    Chiricahua National Monument Chiricahua National Monument Chiricahua National Monument Chiricahua National Monument Chiricahua National Monument
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Desert
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    Hiking

    by blueskyjohn Written Jan 12, 2013

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    Both Tucson and Sedona have some of the best hiking anywhere. In Tucson, I especially enjoyed the Brown Mountain trail. I've highlighted a few others here: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/be2b7/b73a6/
    Many others I haven't tried. Best bet is to pick up a guide book and also check with the local staff at Summit Hut when you arrive in town: http://www.summithut.com/
    I always found them very helpful.

    Sedona is great. Again, there are some great guide books for hiking here. Canyon Outfitters would be a good stop for local and up to date intel/ guide book: http://www.canyonoutfitterssedona.com/

    I've always enjoyed hiking Boyton Canyon and Doe Mountain. Doe has some steep sections but it is worth it. It is a mesa some I recommend hiking the rim once on top. When you get to the top, go directly to the opposite side, its a short walk. Turn right and explore the rim. No trail but pick your best and safest route. It is a bit of an adventure. If you are an avid hiker, you should have no problem. Canyon Outfitter will have good maps of the area. I've always enjoyed hiking this to watch sunset. You can also go left once on top just a short distance to watch sunset.

    Tucson Mountains Cochise Stronghold Santa Catalina Mountains Sedona Outside Phoenix
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    • Desert
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Pipe Springs National Monument

    by Jim_Eliason Written Oct 29, 2012

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    An interesting stop if you are heading for the North rim of the Grand Canyon, Pipe Springs is a natural springs that has attracted first indian and then later mormon settlers to its reliabel water source in an otherwise arid landscape. Today the site is dominated by the remains of the Mormon fort built here.

    Pipe Springs National Monument Pipe Springs National Monument Pipe Springs National Monument Pipe Springs National Monument Pipe Springs National Monument
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    • Archeology

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Arizona Things to Do

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