Hidden gems can be found all around Arizona…if you know where to look. We’ve highlighted
some pretty cool little known spots in previous articles and today we’re going to take a look at 11 more that you should add to your Arizona bucket list. If you’re a regular reader, or just very well-traveled, you might recognize a few of these spots and you know what? That’s a sign that you definitely need to pay these places a visit.
1. Coal Mine Canyon
Located just east of Tuba City, Coal Mine Canyon is one of several stunning little canyons found in the Moenkopi Wash. This is place is also one of the most serene areas you will find in the state, which makes a visit here even better.
2. Emerald Cave
While you might not find actual gems in this little cave, you will see some impossibly green waters at this Colorado River location. You can only access Emerald Cave is by boat so be sure to book a kayak tour the next time you're near Willow Beach.
3. Grand Canyon Caverns
You'll find lots of caves around Arizona but this one is unique not only because it is located near the Grand Canyon but you can even spend the night here! There's also plenty of tours to take here, from a basic walk-through to more adventurous spelunking for more experienced folks.
4. Keet Seel at Navajo National Monument
Located in Navajo National Monument, this is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States, all thanks to our arid environment. You can take a 15-mile round trip hike to the ruins and see some of the rooms up close.
5. Knoll Lake
This scenic lake is a lovely hidden spot on the Mogollon Rim that usually sees higher traffic at the peak summer months but now that most people are back in school or laboring away at work, an overnight trip here is perfect! The lake is great for scenic views, boating, and camping.
6. Lava River Cave
You’ll need to drive along several miles to dirt forest roads to get to this hidden cave but a trip here is worth the effort. The often icy cave was formed by lava 700,000 years ago and makes for a perfect summer hike to escape the heat.
7. MacAlpine’s Soda Shop (Phoenix)
Finding a soda shop is a rare find these days but MacAlpine’s in central Phoenix is perfect for a good old fashioned treat. Enjoy a burger and an ice cream soda or a malt here the next time you’re itching for a cheat day treat.
8. Mount Graham
Mount Graham and the Pinaleño Mountains don’t see a high number of visitors each year, which makes a trip here a nice retreat from everyday life. It’s also a surprising place to find cool air and pines in southeastern Arizona.
9. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
Down near the US-Mexico border, the San Pedro River creates a lovely riparian area that is home to a diverse range of wildlife. It’s a perfect spot to watch wildlife in the morning or to take a quiet stroll along the river’s banks mid-afternoon.
10. Sycamore Canyon
One of the largest canyons in Arizona, Sycamore Canyon sits in the Verde Valley and is a large, not often visited spot. There’s plenty of hiking trails, camping sites, and other spectacular places to see here year round.
11. Queen Mine (Bisbee)
Bisbee’s Copper Queen Mine produced millions of dollars of wealth in coppery, gold, silver, and other minerals. The mine closed in 1975 and today you can take a tour via minecart with a retired miner to learn more about what it was like working here.