Arizona is synonymous with ” Wild West, “well … Wild, distant, old … The cinema has been in charge of mythologizing the most famous natural skyline in the world. When we talk about the skyline of these lands, we can do so about the saguaro, that gigantic cactus that can measure more than 18 meters in height and that has become the emblem of the license plates of these lands. Or the brownstone plateaus of Monument Valley, which John Wayne so often rode for director John Ford.
Arizona Travel Guide
But without a doubt, of all there is to see in Arizona, the star is the Grand Canyon or Grand Canyon of Colorado, for those of you who have “Ñ” on your keyboards. A protected enclave since 1908, this colossal rift has been undermined by the bed of the Colorado River for millions of years, revealing landscapes where nature goes hand in hand with the mythology of the first American peoples. It’s 30 kilometers wide and 1.5 deep, make that when you look at the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time in your life, you think you are facing a giant canvas that you don’t know how to get your hands on, visually speaking.
Its size and magnificence, with many branches and lateral gorges, make it take five hours by car to go from one edge to another. For this reason, tourists have concentrated on one of the two shores, the most spectacular, the south shore or South Rim.
Continuing north along the beautiful State-89, you reach the town of Page, considered the “third most attractive small city in the entire United States.” Glen Canyon awaits us, temporarily calming the rough waters of the Colorado River and giving rise to the second largest artificial lake in the US, Powell Lake, which extends to enter the state of Utah, allowing the practice of all kinds of water activities. This reservoir was built in 1963 and took 11 years to fill, flooding and the main crack, more than 80 branches, and small canyons.
One branch of the many that were not submerged was the Antelope Canyon or Antelope Canyon. Visiting this gorge owned by the Navajo Indians, we can get used to the idea of the preciousness of the environment that today is submerged underwater. Antelope Canyon has become one of the most photographed places on the planet. It can only be visited with a guide due to the danger of flash floods since torrential rains in the region can cause the canyon to flood in a matter of minutes.
We can’t leave Page without hitting the lottery. Yes, you heard correctly. “The Wave” or “The Wave” is located in the Paria Canyon, with its ripples formed in the Jurassic Age thanks to the erosion that wind and water production in this kaleidoscopic landscape in its sandstone. Its location was unknown in the mid-’90s, being published for the first time in 1995 by a German magazine. From this publication, the visitors and photographers multiplied. And that is why, as of today, only 20 people are allowed access to the area with a permit obtained through a raffle, in which if you are the winner, they provide you with the GPS coordinates to go on a 4-hour trek that is actual location is guarded with suspicion.
As a counterpoint to so much restriction, we have in the vicinity of Page, the Horse Hoe Bend, to visit at your own pace, as long as you want and free. It is an impressive horseshoe curve, meander, or gooseneck, as they say there.
Bordering the state of Utah, we find Monument Valley, the great reservation of the Navajo Indians, the largest in the country. The “Wild West” occupation massacred the Indian tribes, sheltering them in the misnamed “reserves” as if it were an endangered animal. In return, the United States authorizes them within its limits to abide by its laws as long as they do not contradict state laws. It allows them to exploit at will the most famous skyline in the West, Monument Valley.
Near these plateaus is the Canyon de Chelly. This place stands out as the incredible monolith of red sandstone of 244 meters high baptized as Spider Rock. The many viewpoints in this park and its well-preserved Anasazi ruins offer a fascinating insight into the current life of the Navajos. They still inhabit and cultivate the valley floor.
In Arizona, the landscapes are so diverse that there is even room for a crater! Known as the Meteor Crater, this kilometer-wide, 170-meter deep sinkhole was produced by a meteorite that impacted 50,000 years ago.
Not far from there is Petrified Forest, a petrified forest with an essential set of fossilized wood remains that recall what was once a lush forest area.
But in a wild and extensive state like this, there is also a place for populations that will transport us to the most authentic Far West with such diverse landscapes. Like Tucson, surrounded by missions that do nothing but remind us that this territory once belonged to the Spanish Crown, being a unique enclave for lovers of ” wetern. ” With its horizontality, it draws a path with nothing to tame it, blending with desert areas where wild saguaros grow.
Or Tombstone, where the most famous shooting in the whole West took place, brought to the screens in several films, such as “Duel of the Titans,” and are still recreated today in its streets. And, of course, the state capital, Phoenix, has established itself as a growing and dynamic modern metropolis.
Further north, we have Sedona, recognizable in more than 60 film productions. This small town had the perfect atmosphere for cinema back in the 1970s to establish Sedona as the ideal location for filming outdoors. However, by then, the Pantone palette could only be appreciated in real life. There the road merges between the reds and greens of a spectacular landscape.
And to finish the review of what to see in Arizona, we will talk about Flagstaff, Williams, Seligman, or Kingman. These towns serve as a bedroom in Route 66 that crosses the state from east to West. But it is in the section that is still preserved of the mythical Route 66 between Seligman and Kingman, where we can find the Hackberry General Store. It is one of the many gas stations that closed when Route 66 began to decline until, in 1992, someone reopened it, turning it into an antique museum of what was once “The Mother Road.”