Arizona Nature September 08, 2017
A Visit To These 9 Places In Arizona Will Feel Like You’re Walking On Mars
If there’s any place in the world that could easily double as a Martian landscape, northern Arizona has to be at the top of the list. The high desert is an arid place with strikingly beautiful landscapes that are not only in that iconic red shade but also look surreal. Let’s take a look at a few places that could easily double as Mars.
Please note, Canyon X is temporarily closed.
1. Blue Canyon
Located on the Hopi Reservation, Blue Canyon is one strikingly beautiful place that shows off an alien-like landscape iconic to the Southwest. If Mars were a tiny bit more colorful, I bet we would find sights like this emerging from the landscape.
2. Canyon X
This slot canyon is hidden away in northern Arizona and can only be accessed with a certified guide but the sandy red rocks look exactly like what we would expect from the Red Planet. The canyon was formed by rushing waters and while moving water isn’t something we’ve found yet on Mars, we could only hope to find something similar there.
3. Coal Mine Canyon
Another colorful place, this canyon is filled with tall, spiky spires that creates a rugged landscape that looks strange yet breathtaking.
4. Kanab Creek Wilderness
Located between the Grand Canyon’s North Rim and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, this picturesque area is remote and simply stunning. The reddish landscape runs for miles without interruption by modern civilization and it’s easy to imagine the Mars Rover flitting by.
5. Little Colorado River Gorge
Rugged, rocky, and mostly devoid of plants, I bet you would think this canyon was part of Mars. It actually sits just east of the Grand Canyon near Cameron.
6. Meteor Crater
Mars has thousands of craters dotting its landscape and because of the limited weather conditions, they are nicely preserved looking something like this version on Earth. Meteor Crater sits about 25 miles west of Winslow, just off Interstate 40 and is known as the best preserved crater in the world.
7. Monument Valley Tribal Park
If you remember watching the Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Marvin the Martian and his alien landscape, you might see some similarity between his cartoonish planet and the fantastic buttes found at this park. The red sand desert combined with impressive buttes and hoodoos are exactly what we think of when imagining Mars.
8. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Located north of the Grand Canyon in the Arizona Strip, this unique landscape looks absolutely surreal, you half expect it to be from a dream or another planet. The sandstone landscape contains formations shaped by the wind, sand dunes, and washes all in red and white shades that is simply stunning.
9. Sitgreaves Pass
When you look at photos of Mars’ landscape, you’ll find not only red dirt but also mountainous areas, like Phlegra Montes. Remove the road and dry shrubs from this photo and you just might be convinced this scene was set on Mars.
Are there any other places you can think of that could double for a Martian landscape? If you want to see some truly strange sights in Arizona that are influenced by humans, you may want to read
The 13 Strangest Things To Ever Be Found In The Arizona Desert.