Nature March 24, 2021
A Nature Lovers Definitive Guide To Arizona’s Natural Beauty – Parks, Beaches, Hikes And More!
With its vast desert landscape, Arizona is truly a nature lover’s dream. Although our state is best-known for Grand Canyon National Park, it’s also home to a near-endless supply of lakes, rivers, scenic hiking trails, and mountains where boundless outdoor adventure awaits. Believe it or not, Arizona even has beaches and islands! Whether you like to spend your free time exploring hidden caves or checking state parks off your bucket list, there’s a near-endless supply of nature activities to enjoy here in Arizona. Here are some of our favorite spots:
The Best Little Known Park In Arizona
So far South that it shares a border with the Mexican state of Sonora,
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
isn't even on most Arizonan's radars. That's a shame, however, as the 330,000-acre hidden gem is the only place where the incredible organ pipe cactus grows wild. A maze of scenic hiking trails meander through the park, each one featuring different plant and animal life native to the area.
The Most Pristine Beach In Arizona
Despite having no direct access to the ocean, Arizona boasts some pretty amazing beaches. Straddling the border with California,
Buckskin Mountain State Park
boasts some of the whitest sands and most pristine waters you've ever seen. Combine that with sweeping mountain views in all directions, and you've got a seriously bucket-list-worthy summer vacation spot. In addition to the beach, visitors can enjoy waterfront camping, hiking trails, a boat ramp, picnic area, basketball and volleyball court, playground, and park store.
The Most Jaw Dropping Lake In Arizona
If you're in search of a quiet place to enjoy some time on the water, look no further than
Patagonia Lake State Park
. This secluded, lesser-known oasis is a haven for water recreation activities like fishing and kayaking. There's also a nature trail where you can expect to see all sorts of wildlife, including whitetail deer and several different bird species.
The Most Beautiful Island In Arizona
When you picture Arizona, the word "island" probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind - after all, we are a landlocked state. This is exactly why most people are surprised to learn the Grand Canyon State is home to several islands, one being
in Lake Havasu City. This makeshift island was originally peninsula on the Colorado River, and it can be accessed on foot by crossing the London Bridge. Among the activities visitors can enjoy are fishing from the only free public launch ramp in Arizona and touring former WWII military barracks at Site Six.
The Best Trail To Hike In Arizona
The most popular hikes in the Grand Canyon are long and strenuous, but skill level shouldn't be a barrier to entry. On the lesser-known
Bright Angel Point Trail
, you can experience the majesty of Arizona's most iconic natural wonder in less than a mile. This leisurely stroll takes just about half an hour to complete, and features an elevation gain of under 150 feet. The quick and easy trail leads to a scenic overlook that showcases the North Rim in all its glory, and since the hike is so short, you'll have plenty of time to take in the views.
The Most Beautiful River In Arizona
Iconic and loved by Arizonans everywhere, the Colorado River meanders through the ancient rock formations of Grand Canyon Country. Its pristine sapphire waters are a jaw-dropping sight to behold, and the opportunities for water recreation are endless. From whitewater rafting to lounging on countless beaches nestled at the base of the canyon,
this river truly has it all.
The Most Scenic Mountain In Arizona
Tucked away in the small town of Apache Junction, the Superstition Mountains definitely live up to their name. Equal parts eerie and majestic, the sprawling range is best-known for the state park, Lost Dutchman, that lies within it. This park is home to an age-old legend about buried treasure in a mine hidden deep inside the mountains, the existence of which has never been verified. Rags or riches, the Superstition Mountains are far and away
the most scenic mountains in Arizona.
The Most Unique Garden In Arizona
Spanning over 140 acres, Desert Botanical Garden boasts a whopping 50,000 native desert plants. It's truly a nature lover's paradise, attracting tourists from all over the world (and plenty of locals who visit on a regular basis.) Five different trails with a combined total of just one mile traverse the landscape, winding their way through a variety of outdoor exhibits. There's even a library, gift shop, and two restaurants onsite! You'll never forget your time spent exploring this
unique and ethereal Arizona garden.