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Reviewed on Dec. 2, 2020
Reviewed on Nov. 30, 2020
Top things to do in Northern Arizona
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One highlight is the Grand Canyon, but this region offers many other great spots for outdoor thrills and Southwestern charm. The Grand Canyon stretches across the western half of Northern Arizona, offering amazing views of the deep ravine etched over thousands of years by the winding Colorado River. See this natural wonder and the region’s other fascinating destinations.
Entering Arizona from Utah, notice tall mesas and towers in Monument Valley. They may look familiar, as they have appeared as backdrops in many American western films. Near Page, the river creates a remarkable spectacle at Horseshoe Bend. Hike to the cliff edge to look down on the blue-green water creating a near circle. From Lees Ferry, take an exciting multiday raft trip on the river.
Nearby, climb down the steep trail into Antelope Canyon and photograph the amazing swirls of eroded sandstone. Come at midday to see light beams entering the slot canyon.
Visit the three entry points to Grand Canyon National Park for unique experiences. Stay at the historic Grand Canyon Lodge or camp in the summer near the North Rim or snowmobile and cross-country ski in winter. Walk on the glass-bottom Skywalk 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) above the canyon at the West Rim.
The South Rim includes Grand Canyon Village, with services and many options for overnight stays. From here make the strenuous hike or ride a mule down the steep trail and stay overnight at Phantom Ranch.
Flagstaff is a 90-minute drive south of Grand Canyon Village. Look for distinctive markers for historic Route 66 winding through the downtown. Stop at a diner to experience the laid-back atmosphere of the driving community created when the first U.S. highways crossed the nation. Count the stars in Arizona’s dark skies from the Lowell Observatory . View the San Francisco Peaks or enjoy excellent skiing in Flagstaff’s high elevations.
Be aware that the Grand Canyon is deservedly a popular spot. Some areas might be crowded and many tours require advance reservations. Plan ahead to be able to enjoy all the attractions that you want to see in Northern Arizona.