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July 19th, 2017

7 Arizona Destinations You Need to Visit

Making a new-to-you discovery is exciting.

It’s always fun to explore an area you’ve never been to before, let alone one you never even knew existed!

Check out these seven hidden gems in Arizona that may make you want to pack your bags and hop in the car – or on your motorcycle!

1. The Hieroglyphic Trail

 

The Hieroglyphic Trail

This painless 1.5-mile hike is a cactus-covered beauty. The trail affords hikers a breathtaking view of the desert and, depending on the time of the year, ends with seasonal pools.

In close proximity to the Superstition Mountains, the coolest part of this particular trail is the petroglyphs that are carved in the basalt cliffs that rise above the pools.

A great destination for history buffs, the ancient markings are believed to have been left by Hohokam Indians who are thought to have been the inhabitants of the area 1,500 years ago.

2. Goldfield Ghost Town

Ghost town Arizona

Goldfield is located near Apache Junction and the Superstition Mountains.

Like many Old West ghost towns, Goldfield was thriving at the turn of the century, following a gold strike in 1892.

Now, it’s a place for modern-day explorers to try their hand at panning gold. You can also check out the historic buildings, visit the museum and get up close and personal with a gold mine.

3. Kartchner Caverns

Kartchner Caverns Arizona

You’ve probably always wondered where the world’s longest stalactite formation is, right?

The answer is in Benson at the Kartchner Caverns, which has 2.4 miles’ worth of passages to explore.

While “beautiful” may not be the best word to describe what you’ll see here, it’s certainly magnificent and well worth a visit.

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4. Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park

A trip to Sedona requires a visit to this natural waterslide.

It’s not just called a waterslide, either. You can actually take a slide down the smooth stone and end up in a swimming hole.

The water offers a perfectly refreshing respite from the heat, whether you’re all-in or just wading.

5. Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument Arizona

Another awesome destination for history-lovers, these ruins offer a unique look into the past – the 600-years-ago-past!

The Montezuma Castle area boasts the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. They are believed to have been built and inhabited by the Sinagua people, who are closely related to the Hohokam – the petroglyph creators of the Superstition Mountains area.

6. Mooney Falls

Mooney Falls

Mooney Falls, located in Havasupai, may not only be one of the most beautiful spots in the state of Arizona, but in the entire United States, too.

If that’s not enough to persuade you to go there, maybe the fact that they’re perfect for swimming will!

You’ll definitely feel like taking a cool dip once you’ve made the slightly dangerous trek to get there.

As with any hike into new territory, use caution.

7. Mount Graham International Observatory

Mount Graham International Observatory

Even the most amateur star-gazer, (basically anyone who likes to look up and see the stars!), should put the world’s largest telescope on their must-see list.

It’s located in Safford, AZ, at the Mount Graham International Observatory.

They also have other research telescopes and they offer weekend tours which take you up Mount Graham. There you’ll be able to observe history, fascinating geology and a variety of living things.

The bonus is that lunch is included!

What are you waiting for?

You shouldn’t have any trouble finding an activity that suits you on this list.

Those who enjoy a challenge may want to try Mooney Falls, while those who prefer a little more low-key entertainment can check out the ghost town of Goldfield.

Hiking, swimming, panning for gold, astronomy and other fabulous activities are hidden among Arizona’s vast landscapes.

What’s your favorite off-the-beaten-path Arizona destination?