If your week has had more downs than ups, you might be in need of a quick retreat from whatever may be stressing you at work, home, or school. For many people, a walk through nature is just the mental medicine they need to recharge and feel ready to tackle another day. Let’s take a look at a few places around Arizona that offer quiet areas for meditation, hiking, or other ways of mellowing out in our state’s natural beauty.
1. Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge
We’re starting this list with a wildlife refuge along the Colorado River that is a seasonal home to thousands of migratory birds. This desert location is definitely the definition of an oasis with its riparian habitat, marshy habitat, and diverse ecosystem. Around here, you can enjoy some quiet time watching the birds, going for a nature walk, or even kayaking along the river.
2. Blue Range Primitive Area
The Blue Range Primitive Area has a home on the eastern side of Arizona that extends into New Mexico and has an absolutely gorgeous forest that almost seems untouched by humans. Out here, you’ll find lush forests, canyons, and untold quiet areas that make hiking and camping here an absolute joy.
3. Boyce Thompson Arboretum
If you’ve ever been to a botanical garden or arboretum, then you’ll know these places generally tend to be pretty quiet. If you’re not quite up for venturing out into the wild—or just limited on time—then a trip to an arboretum like Boyce Thompson will help you relax as you take in the natural environment around you. Take your time walking the trails, looking out for wildlife, and enjoy the views!
4. Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
Another eastern Arizona gem, Gila Box blends stark desert and lush riparian environments into one beautiful place. You’ll enjoy taking in the canyon and river through hiking, canoeing, or just general sightseeing in the quiet environment.
5. Hellsgate Wilderness
The name suggests otherwise but this wilderness area is one huge place full of rugged terrain near the Mogollon Rim. Because of the difficulty accessing trails and camping sites, you’ll find this place has fewer visitors than many others in the area, making it a quiet location that is perfect for an escape into nature.
6. Kanab Creek Wilderness
Located in the Arizona Strip—that section of plateau land flanked by the Grand Canyon and Utah—the Kanab Creek Wilderness is one beautiful area with canyons, washes, and other spectacular landscapes. Since this area sees few visitors, you’ll love the quiet, secluded area filled with colorful rock formations and history.
7. Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge
Located in southern Arizona a short distance from Douglas, this pretty refuge shows what the area once looked like before American settlers began mining and ranching in the area. You’ll find plenty of creeks, which contribute to helping preserve native fish and providing a resting area for migratory birds. This area is quiet and you’ll love walking along trails while watching the wildlife.
8. Ro Ho En, Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
Finding a quiet retreat in the middle of Phoenix can be a rare find but this 3.5 acre garden sitting right in the middle of the city is a perfect place to relax. Trees, ponds, waterfalls, lush plants, and a tea house create a pretty environment for slowing down from the busy city life.
9. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
This riparian area near Sierra Vista shows off the beauty of desert riparian areas with its old, tall trees, grassy areas, and plentiful wildlife. It’s a popular spot for bird watching but a walk along the banks also makes for a nice quiet retreat from everyday life.
10. Whitewater Draw
If watching cranes migrate, roost, and do other bird things is your idea of relaxation, you’ll love a visit to Whitewater Draw. This wildlife wetland area sits just off Route 191 northwest of Douglas and is the perfect spot to watch all kinds of animals wander through this habitat.
I don’t know about you but sometimes just looking at pictures of nature can feel relaxing! Do you have another place that you enjoy visiting for a quiet time away from everyday life? Feel free to share a favorite spot with us.
Looking for a quick relaxation fix for the end of your day? Why not enjoy a classic Arizona sunset? Check out the images on
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