Home to some truly incredible spectacles of nature, Arizona is a state that you should most definitely visit if you want to see some of the most beautiful natural formations in the country. From world-famous natural wonders to lesser known hidden gems, OROGOLD takes a look at Arizona’s natural wonders.
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – a huge slash in the earth’s surface that allows us to see almost two billion years of the planet’s geological history right in front of our eyes. It is almost possible to imagine the turbulent journey that this planet has gone through when you’re standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and it is definitely a humbling experience. There are many different ways that you can explore the Grand Canyon, from a guided tour to an adrenaline-filled hike to a rafting trip, so take the time to explore the different options available.
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified wood is a tree, or a tree-like plant, that has been completely turned to stone, fossilizing its remains. Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park is known for its large deposits of petrified wood, with the park covering a total area of around 170 square miles. There are roads that can take you to all areas of the park, but OROGOLD would recommend choosing from one of the hundreds of footpaths, so that you can enjoy finding these pieces of petrified wood, fossils and other ancient clues that point back to the beginnings of our planet.
The Kartchner Caverns were discovered in 1974, and is a ‘live’ cave that boasts a number of unique features, including the longest stalactite formation in the world. OROGOLD suggests taking a guided tour, as this is the best way to fully explore this amazing underground world, learning about the delicate ecosystem of these limestone caves. The Discovery Center is also worth a visit, with many interactive displays teaching you more about the Kartchner Caverns and how they were discovered, and, of course, don’t forget about a visit to the gift shop so that you can take a small souvenir home with you.
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most photographed parts of the Colorado River, and for good reason. This horseshoe-shaped meander is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, meaning that there is a road leading up to it. It is also accessible via a hiking trail, but OROGOLD advises that you only take this route if you are well-prepared, as the heat and the steep incline can be too much for many people. To really take in the beauty of Horseshoe Bend, you could also join a rafting expedition, with a wide variety to cater to different time scales, or even take a helicopter ride, to enjoy the spectacular views from above.
Almost everywhere that you go in Arizona, you will be faced with incredible natural beauty. From magnificent rock formations to unique native plants to cascading waterfalls to colorful slot canyons, you could easily spend a lifetime exploring and appreciating all of Arizona’s many natural wonders.