The breathtaking Red Rocks of Sedona are a group of several limestone rock formations located near the city of Sedona in Arizona, United States. The rocks are known for the incredibly vibrant red and orange glow they exhibit when illuminated at sunrise and sunset. A few of the better known formations include Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge natural arch, and the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole. Visitors to Sedona can enjoy endless hiking and mountain biking trails in and around the rocks. A Red Rock Pass must be acquired from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center to use the trails.
Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado river. Located in the United States between Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is surrounded by magnificent Navajo sandstone canyon walls in bright oranges, reds, and whites. These striking colors contrast beautifully with Lake Powell’s blue-green waters. Lake Powell is a sprawling, winding lake, and is the second largest man-made lake in the United States. The lake was made when Glen Canyon Dam was constructed in the early 1960s, flooding Glen Canyon. The lake, along with Horseshoe Bend and the notable Rainbow Bridge National Monument rock formation, is now part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Visitors to the lake can tour its waters via boat rental or guided tour. Tour operators and lodging can be found in the nearby town of Page in Arizona.
Horseshoe Bend is a picturesque horseshoe-shaped turn in the Colorado River, just South of the town of Page, Arizona. Visitors can reach Horseshoe Bend by taking a short 1/2 mile (0.8 kilometers) hike off US Route 89 to an overlook 1,000 feet (405 meters) above the river. Horseshoe Bend is part of Glen Canyon, which was carved by the Colorado River over a period of 5 million years. Glen Canyon is also home to the beautiful Lake Powell. Horseshoe Bend is popular with photographers and tourists who seek the beautiful canyon scenery.
The Grand Canyon is a spectacular destination beyond compare. Located within Grand Canyon National Park in the state of Arizona in the United States, the Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, 18 miles (29 km) wide, and over 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) deep. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Wonder of the Natural World was carved by the Colorado River over an estimated 17 million years. Now, it tells two billion years of geological history through the layers exposed on its walls. Visitors to the Grand Canyon can enjoy the view from a popular viewpoint on the South Rim. Rafting the Colorado River, or descending the walls of the canyon by hiking or horseback-riding are also popular activities. Helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon are also available for tourist willing to splurge. The closest international airports to the Grand Canyon are in Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona. From there, visitors can reach the park by car.
Monument Valley is a an area know for its impressively formed sandstone buttes. The region is part of the Colorado Plateau, located in the Navajo Nation on the border between the states of Arizona and Utah in the American Southwest. Encompassing much of the area surrounding Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Monument Valley is an important part of Native American heritage. For a $5 fee, visitors to Monument Valley can take a 2-3 hour scenic drive over a 17 mile (27 km) dirt road, which is open from 6:00am-8:30pm from May to September, and 8:00am-4:30pm from October to April. Other visitors may chose to enjoy a multi-hour or overnight horseback ride to some of the more spectacular views and sites. If you’re interested in a unique view of Monument Valley you can even take a hot air balloon ride over the area. Visitors who are arriving via car can only access the park via Highway 163. There are two hotels near Monument Valley, and the nearest town of Kayenta, Arizona, is about 20 miles (32 km) away. Monument Valley is part of a greater network of attractions called the Grand Circle which also includes Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Zion Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Arches National Park.
The Anasazi Pueblo People were an ancient culture of Native Americans who were believed to have lived as long ago as the 12 century BCE. These ancient peoples are known for the impressive pueblo homes, made of mud, stone, or carved into canyon walls, which are today called the Anasazi Ruins. These ruins can be found at many sites in the American Southwest, including Mesa Verde National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Dark Canyon Wilderness, and other sites predominately located in the states of Colorado, Arizona, and Utah. All of these ruins are sacred places and should be treated with respect when visited.
In Arizona, near the border with Utah, in the United States, you can find a stunning sandstone rock formation called The Wave. The Wave is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, which are in turn located in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, on the Colorado Plateau. This formation is actually sand dunes calcified in vertical and horizontal layers, and the fascinating color bands are iron oxides, hematite, and goethite. The Jurassic-age Navajo sandstone making up The Wave is estimated to be 190 million years old. Getting to The Wave requires a moderately difficult 3 mile hike from the Wire Pass Trailhead. Due to the delicate nature of this formation, visitors must arrange a day permit in advance and pay a $7 fee per person. Only 20 of the highly sought-after permits are issued for each day. More info on permits can be found on the Bureau of Land Management website. Camping is not allowed in the permit area, and the closest accommodation can be found in the small towns of Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona.
On the Havasupai Indian Reservation within Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona you will find the gorgeous Havasu Falls. The picture perfect falls features a blue-green pool below which is excellent for swimming. Havasu Falls is fairly difficult to reach by foot, requiring a drive to Hualapai Hilltop and then a 16 km (10 mile) hike to the Falls via the tiny village of Supai which is 3 km (2 miles) from the falls. For those not up to the long hike, a helicopter ride to Supai can be had, followed up by a horseback ride to the falls. Visitors can camp near the falls, and the village of Supai has one lodge and one cafe. Otherwise the best options for accommodation can be found 177 km (110 miles) away in the town of Seligman. The area also features four other waterfalls: Navajo Falls, Supai Falls, Mooney Falls, and Beaver Falls.