MARK ON THE MOVE
By: Mark Munson
Thinking about heading west to see what Arizona has to offer?
Arizona is a hidden gem when it comes to hiking and sightseeing. A lot of hikers and adventurers tend to overlook Arizona as the majority of people don't know any worthwhile destinations. Well today is your lucky day... These three amazing spots can make your stop in Arizona a memorable one. All three destinations are located close enough to each other to see all three in one day, if you use your time efficiently, but allotting 3-5 days to is ideal to fully enjoy each location. From picturesque views of the Colorado River to vast canyon views, these beautiful destinations won't leave you disappointed!
1. Horseshoe Bend
The first stop on the list is Horseshoe Bend, located in Page, Arizona. Horseshoe Bend is definitely a touristy destination, but if you plan correctly you can enjoy the views from the lookout with minimal crowds. Getting to Horseshoe Bend is as easy as following Highway 89 out of Page for only a few miles. The parking lot for Horseshoe Bend is directly off Highway 89 and easily fits 40+ cars so finding parking shouldn't be an issue unless you are going during the summer. There is a short half mile hike required to get to the overlook, making the total hike to the Bend and back equalling 1 mile, easy enough for any children. The views of the river carving out the canyon 1,000 feet below are breathtaking and cannot be replicated in pictures. This is one place where I can honestly say pictures don't do it justice (not even mine 😉) and cannot replicate the size of the landscape. This is a spot that can be enjoyed for an hour or even a half day. Don't miss out on this next time you adventure to AZ!
2. Antelope Canyon
Antelope Canyon is a MUST see if you are taking a trip to Arizona. Being down inside the canyon puts you in a whole other world. Antelope Canyon consists of both the "upper" and "lower" sections of the canyon, both of which require a tour guide to be viewed. Photography tours are also available for the avid photographer for a small extra fee. Both sections of the canyon see a lot of traffic, but if you are looking for less crowds I recommend the "lower" section of the canyon. Lower Antelope Canyon gets narrow at the base of the canyon which is why some people avoid it. If you are thinking about doing Lower Antelope Canyon, Ken's Tours is a very reliable tour guide service that offers knowledgable tour guides that know all the canyon formations and offer to take pictures on your phones! Upper Antelope Canyon offers a wider canyon base and doesn't require any climbing. The difference between the two canyons are the formations and amount of traffic. Tour guides for both upper and lower Antelope Canyon are very educated on the canyon's history if that's something that tickles your fancy.
3. Grand Canyon National Park
Saving the most iconic for last, Grand Canyon National Park is a two and half hour drive from Page, with scenic views the entire ride. The Grand Canyon almost speaks for itself. The sheer vastness of the canyon is indescribable even in person. This is a spot that NEEDS to be on your bucket list. Whether you are camping, staying in an RV, or backpacking, Grand Canyon National Park is very accommodating to anyone visiting. General stores and marketplaces are scattered throughout the park to help you out when you realize you forgot your firewood! Depending on what trails you are trying to hike and what you are trying to see, before arriving you should decide whether you want to view the canyon from the north or south rim. Both offer different trailheads and different views of the canyon below. The Grand Canyon is very large and there's a lot of terrain to hike. Having at least two days here would be idea to see and hike the majority of the terrain.
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