Phoenix, Arizona urban attractions, opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors
Posted by Jason Shores on August 28th, 2022
Surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks and photogenic saguaro cacti, this ever-growing city is a destination unto itself, but also the perfect home base for exploring one of America's most remarkable attractions: the Grand Canyon.
Vast, immense, inspiring
Many words are used to describe the Grand Canyon, but none can fully capture the wonder of one of America's most iconic landmarks. UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Canyon National Park is a 5,000 square kilometer marvel of dramatic crevasses and fiery hues.
There are many different ways to experience the park, from leisurely hikes or mule rides along the South Rim trails, to thrilling rafting trips down the Colorado River, to helicopter flights over through the canyon's maze of ravines. In any case, bring plenty of water, a cap and sunscreen to protect you from the scorching desert heat.
Many providers offer one- or multi-day Grand Canyon tours. You can also rent a car at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and drive the three-hour drive to the site.
To see on the road
Even if you're in a rush to get to the Grand Canyon, take advantage of other exciting opportunities along the way to enjoy Arizona's great outdoors. For example, stop at Montezuma Castle National Monument , about 150 kilometers north of Phoenix, to visit the cave dwellings of the Sinaguas, which date back about 900 years. Or park in Sedona, about 185 miles north of Phoenix, to explore the fiery Red Rock State Park Outdoor Market Tlaquepaque .
Ancestral Native American dwellings carved into the cliff face form the centerpiece of Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona.
Attractions around Phoenix
In addition, opportunities to explore Arizona's spectacular desert landscape abound in the vicinity of Phoenix itself. More adventurous travelers can stretch their legs on the many hiking trails in the area. Although the hike to reach the top is strenuous, Camelback Mountain offers awe-inspiring views of the cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale. As for Papago Park , east of downtown Phoenix, it gratifies visitors with equally stunning views, but at the cost of less effort.
Camelback Mountain, which towers above Scottsdale, Arizona, United States is one of the area's most popular hiking spots due to its incredible views.
Desert Flowers and Wild West Legacy
If you want to explore the charm of the city without having to equip yourself with walking shoes, spend a few hours in the Desert Botanical Garden . Located in Papago Park, this superb botanical garden is home to some of the most beautiful plants in the Sonoran Desert, including a multitude of cactus species. You can also soak up the region's Wild West heritage on a stroll through the historic heart of Scottsdale, which has a few cowboy hat and Native American jewelry shops.