Arizona, the Grand Canyon State, possesses perhaps more icons of the American Southwest than any other state in the region. Its arid desert terrain contains an abundance of geological wonders, starting of course with the Grand Canyon itself, a 440 km (275 miles) long chasm that reaches up to 29 km (18 miles) wide, and in some places, goes deeper than 1,800 m (6,000 ft). You could be aboard the International Space Station and still spot it. Get closer and you’ll see that it’s a veritable living geological museum which traces red hued rock striations dating up to 2 billion years old.
Changing Times and Classic Scenery
Elsewhere across the state you will likely recognize the towering monoliths of Monument Valley from many a postcard and classic Western film, which harken to the westward expansion of settlers in the 18th century into lands long occupied by native tribes like the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Zuni, whose turquoise jewelry dazzle admirers the world over. Arizona is an epicenter of Wild West lore on top of that, with Tombstone being one of its most infamous locales. Arizona is also home to the red rocks of Sedona, the iconic saguaro cacti, and the fossils and petrified remains of an ancient forest in Petrified Forest National Park.
Many of these spots are only a short jog north or south of the historic Route 66. However deep in the desert you may go, there’s the bustling hubs of Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona, and Tucson to retreat to for some fine dining, entertainment, and museums. With its dry climate, warm temperatures, and broad offering of history, culture, sightseeing, and outdoor activities, Arizona is sure to have something for everyone.