Arizona September 19, 2016
This Underrated Canyon Just Might Be The Most Beautiful Place In Arizona
If there’s anything Arizona is known for, it’s her wide collection of canyons—from the massive Grand Canyon to the dimly lit and well-hidden Antelope Canyon. Each of these spots are beautiful in their own right but, occasionally, one stands out from the crowd. In this case, we are going to take a look at Aravaipa Canyon, one gorgeous canyon located in southeastern Arizona.
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderrness is a protected wilderness area located in southeastern Arizona, about two hours away from Tucson and is known for its pristine landscape that remains untouched by modern life. A total of 19,410 acres are protected here, making it an incredible example of Arizona's desert terrain.
Aravaipa Canyon is an 11-mile canyon with small side canyons and a creek that runs the length of the canyon. You'll find plenty of desert vegetation here but also the lush riparian environment that attracts so many species to the area.
The canyon was designated a wilderness area in 1984 in a 13-year pursuit to protect it, especially after attracting a HUGE amount of foot traffic in the decades leading up to that time. Settlers initially drove livestock through the area, then a few mining operations began popping up, followed by camping, hiking, and other human activities.
These days, the Bureau of Land Management only allows up to 50 people enter the canyon each day for a maximum of three days. This reduces the amount of human traffic that runs through the canyon's 11 miles and all the problems that can involve, including overcrowding, noise, and waste.
You will need a permit to visit and the number of activities you can engage in are limited, since the primary focus of this area existing is to protect the land and its animals. You can
camp in designated areas away from other campers, hike through the canyon, or even ride your horse during daytime hours. However, biking, bringing pets, and fishing are prohibited. This allows your experience here to feel peaceful and like you're the only person in the entire canyon.
Permits can be obtain by
clicking this link
Did we mention the wildlife? Since the canyon is a protected preservation area with relatively little human contact, you'll find crowds of wildlife occupying the canyon's riparian areas, just like this javelina pictured above.
If anything, this canyon's remote location and limited visitation will make it feel like your own little sanctuary. Perhaps that's why the animals love it so much as well.
For more information about the canyon, how to get a permit, and how to get there, visit the
Bureau of Land Management’s website.
Want to see some other incredible canyons around the state? Be sure to check out our article,
15 Underrated Canyons In Arizona That Will Take Your Breath Away, for places that you definitely need to visit!