STATE NATIONAL PARKS OF ARIZONA
Where will your adventure lead you?
Grand Canyon National Park
America’s Southwest is full of breathtaking canyons, but none as famous or as widely visited as the Grand Canyon. This world-famous landmark offers wondrous views, spectacular hiking, exhilirating whitewater rafting, and countless adventures. One look across the enormous chasm confirms just why this inspirational place is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a must-see destination for so many travelers. The park also protects a wealth of biological diversity, including numerous endemic and threatened species and several rare ecosystems.
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
This recreation area provides scenic vistas of Lake Mead and Lake Mohave with more than 700 miles of shoreline and a beautiful reservoir for boaters, swimmers, and anglers to explore. The surrounding desert features nine wilderness areas and isolated backcountry with a fantastic diversity of desert plants and animals and dramatic desert scenery.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest is best known for its ancient trees that have crystallized over 225 million years into rainbow colors. The park also features fossils from huge 18-foot crocodile-like creatures known as Phytosaurs, as well as remnants from 13,000 years of human history, including the remains of villages, tools, and grinding stones. A 28-mile road runs through the park, offering a number of short hiking trails into the diverse landscape of wild grasslands and Painted Desert vistas and colorful badlands.
Saguaro National Park
It’s the iconic image of the American Southwest: The giant saguaro cactus, standing tall amid the arid desert, arms perpetually raised to the sky. At Saguaro National Park, you can see more than 1.6 million of these giant saguaro—the largest forest of its kind on the planet. The park is divided into two separate and distinct units on either side of Tucson. The Tucson Mountain District to the west of the city features desert grasslands, desert shrubs, and a variety of wildlife; the Rincon Mountain District to the east offers higher elevation vistas and conifer forests climbing the hillsides.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
This monument preserves a dramatic cinder cone volcano with colorful mineral deposits at its rim and cinder fields and lava flows at its base that erupted sometime between 1040 and 1100 A.D.—the most recent volcanic eruption in the Colorado Plateau. The park also protects more than 3,000 acres around the volcano dotted with pine and aspen trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Local citizens lobbied for protection of Sunset Crater Volcano after a Hollywood film company made plans to blast the volcano with explosives to simulate a landslide for a movie; President Herbert Hoover preserved the volcano by declaring it a national monument in 1930.
Tonto National Monument
This area was once home to the prehistoric Salado people, named in the early 20th century after the life-giving Rio Salado, or Salt River. The Tonto National Monument protects the ruins of two cliff dwellings that are nearly 700 years old. The park also shares artifacts and stories from this region of the Sonoran desert overlooking the Tonto Basin in southeastern Arizona.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Learn what it was like to live in the small, ancient cliff dwellings that dot the rim of this canyon, built by the Sinagua people, the first permanent inhabitants of the region. Walk the Rim Trail for scenic views, or hike into the canyon to explore the dwellings up close.