Enjoy These Natural Wonders Close to Liv
Many people feel the need to explore nature beyond their local community, and Arizona's state and national parks offer some of the best opportunities for doing so. Luckily, many of these parks are close enough to Liv Communities for a day trip.
Even the farthest ones can be reached easily enough to enjoy them on a weekend getaway. Keep reading to find out more about these historical and natural wonders waiting for you.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular parks run by the National Park Service, and for a good reason. The Grand Canyon is one of the most impressive natural sights in the whole world.
To appreciate the canyon's rocky walls, colorful ridges, and vast depth, head to one of the south rim's many viewing areas.
The truly daring may go on a mule or foot trip down into the canyon. This excursion is not suitable for everyone owing to its physical demands, and it might be dangerous for the elderly, infirm, or very young. Make preparations if you want to attempt a guided tour. There are often long waiting periods for some of these trips.
Petrified Forest National Park
The trees of the Petrified Forest National Park, which have been preserved by minerals they absorbed over 2 million years ago, are no longer made of wood. The trunks are composed of quartz and other minerals that glitter and radiate in the sunlight. The forest is also home to various quartz formations, reflecting light in lovely tones of brown, green, and pink. They're quite a spectacle to see.
The petrified trees are incredible, but they are not the only things to see here. The Jasper Forest Trail is a good choice if you're a hiker; it's well-maintained but little traveled. If you go for a short walk, you may find yourself alone with nature in no time.
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro cacti are often seen as the most iconic symbol of desert life. In Saguaro National Park, you'll find plenty of these slow-growing cacti that have been around for centuries in the Sonoran Desert.
Saguaro National Park is full of beauty and adventure, containing many hiking trails with exquisite views for the avid hiker. For those who would rather sightsee from their car, vehicle access roads show different picturesque scenes throughout the park. The cacti bloom around late spring to early summer, adding lovely white flowers to their appearance. If you're planning a trip here, this season would be ideal for witnessing everything the park has to offer at its finest.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
A weekend getaway to Canyon de Chelly National Monument is perfect for anyone who loves history and ancient cultures. At the monument, you can see the cliffside homes of the Anasazi people, also known as the ‘Ancient Ones.’
The Anasazi people resided in the canyon walls near red rock cliffs for nearly 1,000 years before departing the area mysteriously, leaving their cliffside homes and culture behind. The Navajo Nation people later moved to the area and settled in the canyons by the cliffs. If you want to explore ruins of the Anasazi, you first have to stop by a visitor center and get registered for a Navajo guide who will take you there on horseback or with a four-wheeler.
This national park offers free camping in designated areas for visitors who love spending time outdoors. If you're planning to camp for the weekend, be sure to arrive early and have backup plans since these sites are first-come, first-served with no options to reserve a space ahead of time.
Chiricahua National Monument
The Chiricahua National Monument holds some of the planet's most unbelievable natural rock formations. The area was named ‘the land of standing up rocks’ by the Chiricahua Apache for a good reason.
This is the perfect trip whether you love hiking or not. With 17 miles of hiking trails and an 8-mile long scenic drive, there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you're hoping to camp at this national park, make reservations months in advance—the waitlist is long. While you're here, drop by the visitor center to learn about the Native American peoples that once inhabited this region.
The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert is not a national park in its own right, but it is located within both the Petrified Forest National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park. The Navajo Nation dominates the parts of the Painted Desert that connect those two national parks.
This desert has many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. If you're feeling adventurous, take a hike through one of the nearby national parks for some breathtaking views.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
The Walnut Canyon National Monument is a great place to learn about the Sinagua people who lived there in the 13th century. The monument offers up-close views of their homes and lifestyle, and it's only 10 minutes from Flagstaff!
These ancient ruins are still preserved today and open to the public. With a guided tour, you'll not only gain respect for the people who used to live there, but get a whole new perspective on history.
Wupatki National Monument
The Wupatki National Monument is another amazing place to explore the history of the Sinagua people. You can hike on the same trails that they used for thousands of years, and tour a 900-year-old pueblo. The adobe construction is incredible and has lasted for centuries. It's definitely worth checking out!
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park provides breathtaking views of the saguaro cactus and other desert flora and fauna. It is also home to more than 150 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. In addition, the park features trails that are open to horseback riding and biking – a rare perk among Arizona state parks!
Various Parks in Verde Valley
Jerome State Historic Park is a beautiful location that offers many things to do, such as the Douglas Mansion. The mansion has now been turned into a visitor center and museum where people can come and learn about the area. It also provides a stunning view of Verde Valley, specifically all of the old working mines that are no longer in use today. Tuzigoot National Monument's main attraction is the Tuzigoot Pueblo, a 110-room village that you can explore via a ⅓ mile loop trail. Situated in Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park is a 43-acre apple farm with a creek with a rock slide that gives it its name.
While you're in the area, why not explore some of its other natural wonders? These include Fort Verde State Historic Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park or the Verde River Greenway. Remember, many of these parks are located ten to thirty minutes from each other.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Situated in the Sonoran Desert of central Arizona, Lost Dutchman State Park spreads over a comparatively small 320 acres. Hikers and bikers with some experience will find this state park especially rewarding as it was built around an abandoned goldmine.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
If you're done lying in the sun and are ready for an experience that feels entirely new, Kartchner Caverns State Park is perfect trip for you. This state park gives guests the opportunity to explore the beautiful and serene caverns. You'll be amazed at how cool it is inside after being out in the heat!
Come explore more than 2 miles of stunning caverns, which are home to many wildlife species and some rock formations believed to be over 50,000 years old. You will have a guide accompanying you on your journey through the open areas of the cave system, explaining the history and significance of what you see along the way.
Countless Options are Waiting for You at Liv
These are just a few of the many Arizona state and national parks that you can visit without having to travel too far from your Liv community. If you are interested in becoming part of our communities — contact us at Liv.