Arizona Hiking, Nature March 16, 2017
12 Amazing Natural Wonders Hiding In Plain Sight In Arizona – No Hiking Required
It’s no secret that you can find natural beauty all around Arizona. Bright blue skies combined with wide open spaces and impressive land formations makes for one incredible landscape. However, many of these sites require some degree of hiking, climbing, or other activity, which can mean that anyone with a mobility impairment—such as arthritis, a muscular disorder, or even recovering from surgery—will have a difficult time enjoying these places.
Don’t worry, though! We have a list of places that offer gorgeous sightseeing without the need for major physical activity. These places showcase some of our state’s most beautiful landscapes that you can drive up to or access by wheelchair.
Please note, Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley are temporarily closed.
1. Canyon de Chelly
This canyon on the Navajo Nation has several overlooks that are easily accessible via a rim drive. In fact, a couple of hours will take you to seven different overlooks on the south rim of the canyon, giving you an overhead view of several ruins and Spider Rock.
2. Coal Mine Canyon
Another lovely canyon on the Navajo Nation, this one is a little more difficult to find but is worth the effort. A quick drive to the rim will allow you to get a good glimpse of the jagged hoodoos that define this place. This area isn’t paved so keep that in mind if you’re visiting with someone in a wheelchair. You can read more about it in a
recent article we published
3. Grand Canyon
It would be criminal to leave out the Grand Canyon! Most people only see it from the South Rim and with plenty of overlooks and a paved trail, you won’t have a difficult time getting a great view of this natural wonder!
4. Grand Falls
Roaring waterfalls aren’t something you see everyday in Arizona and those we do have require some mighty long hikes. This time of year, you’ll see one marvelous example on the Navajo Nation that can be seen right from your vehicle. Grand Falls runs when there’s water in the Little Colorado, such as now with snow melt or after a rain storm. You will need to drive along a dirt road for a couple miles to access it but it is a nice find if you happen to be in the area.
5. Horseshoe Bend
Here’s another place that you can pretty much drive right up to for a peek. Horseshoe Bend is an iconic spot formed by the Colorado River and sits a short drive from Page. From the parking lot, the walk to the edge is about 1,000 feet. Just be careful because you won’t find any railings to prevent you from falling over the edge!
6. Massai Point at Chiricahua National Monument
You’ll find many beautiful sights at Chiricahua National Monument but the one spot that is always breath-taking is Massai Point. A ride along Bonita Canyon Drive will take you to several overlooks of the park and it saves the stunning hoodoos of Massai Point for last! From here, you can opt to walk along a short nature trail (a half-mile loop).
7. Meteor Crater
Meteor Crater near Winslow is known for being the best preserved meteor crater in the world and it happens to be very accessible. Most visitors stick to a paved path that lead to two different viewing decks, making this place easy to visit for everyone in your family.
8. Mogollon Rim
Most people might see this place on our list and wonder how it doesn’t require hiking. There are actually two ways you can enjoy the beauty of the forest here: a ride along Forest Road 300, also known as Rim Road, or by visiting the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center. The first option is a drive through that gives you an incredible view of the forest and vistas from the Rim.
The second is located just off State Route 260, about 13 miles east of Kohls Ranch. The visitor center is a cute little cabin with a viewing deck that offers some spectacular views of the Rim and surrounding landscape.
9. Monument Valley
Parts of Monument Valley sit in Arizona and we think those are some of the best and most accessible areas. The obvious stop here are the Mittens, the two buttes that made a presence in many classic Westerns. You can also schedule a guided tour on a jeep to see other beautiful areas of the park that most people will never set their eyes on.
10. Petrified Forest National Park
Here’s another park that you can drive through and see from easy-to-access overlooks. There are so many incredible views here but two of our favorites include the Painted Desert and the Blue Forest. If you’ve never visited, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the landscape can change in a short distance!
11. Slide Rock State Park
This place gets packed in the summer season but it’s much quieter in the spring and fall months when the temperatures can still be a little too chilly for swimming. You can enjoy some pretty views of the red rocks from an accessible overlook and enjoy a walk to the old orchard and homestead. Otherwise,
12. Sunset Crater lava flows
This national monument features a nice drive from the highway to several overlooks that allow you to see the delicate, centuries old lava flow. If you’re up to it, there are a couple of short trails that allow you to see the lava up close.
Feel like you need to get some exercise in? You can see some incredible places when you go hiking! Read more about them in
These 14 Hiking Destinations Along The Arizona Trail Are Unbeatably Beautiful.