Grand Canyon sightseeing with mountain view | Feature | Why You Should Visit Northern Arizona

Why You Should Visit Northern Arizona

Northern Arizona is a surprisingly diverse visual delight. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit Northern Arizona.


In this article:

  1. Step Back in Time When You Visit Northern Arizona
  2. Visit Northern Arizona to Admire Natural Wonders
  3. Don’t Miss Page
  4. Magnificent Cliff Dwellings
  5. Visit Northern Arizona For the Fall Foliage


Visit Northern Arizona to Nourish Your Soul

Step Back in Time When You Visit Northern Arizona

route 66 with the yellow separated line amog desert | Step Back in Time When You Visit Northern Arizona | Why You Should Visit Northern Arizona

The Mother Road, better known as Route 66, cuts through Northern Arizona. It also happens to be some of the best stretches of the old road.

Along the way, you’ll find Arizona’s second-most notable hole in the ground, Meteor Crater. About 50,000 years ago, a spectacular collision rocked the American Southwest and left behind the world’s best-preserved crater. It’s well worth a visit if you find yourself in Northern Arizona.

For the best Instagramable spots, stop by Williams. Saloons, soda fountains, and shops line the walkable stretch of Route 66. And, with plenty of Route 66 highway signs, you’re sure to find more than one opportunity to take the perfect photo.

Williams is also home to the Grand Canyon Railway. It operates old-fashioned passenger coaches and vintage locomotives. Take the train and chug up to a historic train station at the South Rim.

For retro neon signs, classic cars, and to feel the true spirit of route 66, head over to Seligman. The town fought for the rebirth of the Mother Road. So much so that it inspired the Pixar animated feature, Cars. You’ll leave this iconic Route 66 town, feeling a little nostalgic, longing for the old-fashioned Americana it represents.

You’ll also find dozens of museums and ghost towns as you make your way across the surviving stretches of Route 66.

Visit Northern Arizona to Admire Natural Wonders

Many people visit Northern Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. But, there’s so much more to the Grand Canyon State.

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest 

As the names suggest, the two areas are some of the most impressive scenery in Arizona.

Millions of years ago, the area was covered in tropical wetlands. Over time, the dead trees absorbed minerals and volcanic ash. 

These minerals changed the now petrified wood into distinct colors that paint the landscape from desert tans to marble blues and deep reds.


Chocolate Falls (Grand Falls)

The snowmelt and rains from the White Mountains transform a tiny trickle of water into a chocolate-colored force of nature. The muddy falls are strangely reminiscent of something you’ll find in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

The best time to see the falls is during March and April.


Tonto Natural Bridge

a mountain naturally become a bridge shape Tonto Natural Bridge | Tonto Natural Bridge | Why You Should Visit Northern Arizona

Tonto Natural Bridge is a colossal arch that many believe is the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge creates a 400-foot tunnel, and it’s up to 150 feet wide.

The park also features a waterfall and three hiking trails.


Devil’s Bridge

Sedona is known for its vistas and red sandstone, but Devil’s Bridge is probably the most iconic feature.

Not only is a walk across the bridge something to cross off your bucket list, but it’s also one of the best vantage points where you can admire Sedona’s vivid red rocks.


Don’t Miss Page

If you can only visit Northern Arizona once in your lifetime, make sure to spend time in and around Page. On its own, the small desert town is much to write home about. But the surrounding canyons and sandstone mountains will leave you in awe.

Page is a must-see-destination. And, with so much to do, it’s tough to narrow it down if you don’t have much time. 

The staggering size and dramatic bend in the Colorado river make Horseshoe Bend a definite bucket-list destination.

Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon are breathtaking. The orange slot canyon is famous for the light beams that color the sandstone walls into dark purples and bright yellow hues. A massive downside, however, is the price tag and the hordes of tourists. Despite this, it’s still one of the most mesmerizing places in Arizona. 

Escape the crowds with a boat trip on Lake Powell. You can also kayak, but bear in mind most companies shut down for the winter, so plan accordingly.


Magnificent Cliff Dwellings

Ancient Indian ruins in Northern Arizona are some of the best-preserved and most notable cliff dwellings in America. 

The dwellings were once home to Ancestral people, who began living beneath overhanging cliffs sometime during the 1100s.

The structures range from small single rooms to vast villages. They even built some into sheer cliff walls, offering residents breathtaking views.

Although Montezuma Castle is closed to the public, visitors can take a trail and view the entire cliff.

Walnut Canyon National Monument and Navajo National Monument, on the other hand, do allow small groups to explore these magnificent structures.


Visit Northern Arizona for the Fall Foliage

Arizona is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about fall foliage, which makes the scenery all the more impressive. The dramatic landscape with ribbons of trees and sheer canyon walls highlight the autumn hues in ways that are truly spectacular.

Drive, hike, or picnic amongst the fall colors when you visit Northern Arizona. 

For the more adventurous fall fanatics, Arizona’s wilderness in autumn will reward you with foliage to rival any New England hillsides.

Yellow hues start from mid to late September in the high-desert creaks near Camp Verde and Sedona. Then move lower and further south as winter approaches. And, by October, golden-yellow hues drift down the mountain slopes.

To catch fall in all its glory, don’t miss the San Francisco Peaks aspens in Flagstaff. 

For hiking enthusiasts, the Inner Basin trail is as good as it gets when fall comes around. The trail winds through shady forests then lead to the midst of an ancient volcano.

Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona has a multitude of plants that transform into yellow, orange, and red when autumn is in full swing. The changing colors against the red sandstone make the perfect backdrop for family hikes or romantic picnics.

There’s so much more to Northern Arizona that meets the eye. It’s a diverse destination where you’ll find something that caters to every taste. So, make your next trip memorable and visit Northern Arizona.


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