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The 5 Best National Parks In Arizona + visiting guide

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The Best National parks in Arizona- Here I will break down the amazingly scenic national parks situated in Arizona. Sure you might know of them, but what are the best to visit? Keep reading to find out!

What is a national park?

national parks in Arizona

What exactly is a national park? A national park is an area protected due to its cultural heritage, boasting varied wildlife and beautiful countryside. They are typically known for their stunning landscapes and unique features. The aim of a national park is to preserve the site of natural beauty and benefit from this, without destroying it. The ‘National park service‘ manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.

Why visit the national parks in Arizona?

Why visit the national parks in Arizona? Well to put it honestly, the national parks in Arizona are truly like no other, and if you’re searching for a unique natural environment to ponder through, Arizona has a wide variety of amazing national parks. If you want to find out more about the best national parks in Arizona, keep reading!

How many national parks are in Arizona?

national parks in Arizona

Arizona is home to 22 national parks, a huge amount for one state! Here are a few below:

Straight away you can recognise these names… and that is just the start of it! If you want to delve into the less well known national parks, you may come across;

So if you’re looking for some time to explore some unique nature… Arizona’s the place to go!

The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Arizona

 national parks in Arizona

So you’re visiting the national parks in Arizona! That calls for a beautiful accommodation nearby right? Here are the best quality, best located, and best value for money accommodations in Arizona.

Best Western Green valley

Best western Green Valley in Arizona is amazingly scenic, and just an hours drive from Madera canyon. This accommodation has amazing facilities, with all inclusive breakfast and wellness facilities including a gym and hot tub, for that perfectly convenient stay. Click here to book.

Holiday Inn express, Grand Canyon

Like you might’ve guessed from the name, Holiday Inn express is situated very close to the Grand Canyon! It’s Only a 15 minute drive , or 35 minute walk! This holiday inn provides amazing facilities including free WIFI, a hot tub and of course some cool AC for the Arizona heat. Snuggle up in your comfy bed and relax after a whole day of exploring the Grand Canyon! Click here for more.

The Wilde resort and spa

The Wilde resort and spa is set in a beautifully picturesque part of Arizona, just a ten minute drive from Red rock state park. This lovely accommodation really has an eco vibe, overlooking some particularly beautiful areas of desert. With great services including free WIFI, and outdoor gardens, this is one of the best accommodations to settle into for visiting Red rock state park. Click here to find out more.

Foothill house

Foothill house is a stunning 4 star b&b located just 2.8 miles from Petrified forest national park! This cosy and charming little cottage is a safe haven for rewinding after a long day, with a spa bath located in every room. Wonder out on the patio and watch the views of the evening after a long day of catching the sights at Petrified forest. With amazing facilities and a convenient location, what’s stopping you! Click here to book.

Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Arizona

national parks in Arizona

A trip to Arizona isn’t an everyday occurrence, so what exactly do you pack for visiting national parks in Arizona? Keep reading so you catch all the essentials!

Sun cream

Sun cream is absolutely essential for exploring the national parks in Arizona, with the average daily temperature on a summer day being 98°F and above. Enjoy your holiday, preferably without a 3rd degree burn! This is one of my favourites.


Sun hats are perfect for keeping the sun off of your face whether you be hiking or enjoying a picnic. These hats are super practical because they fold down small to fit inside your bag- I personally love them!

1 litre water bottle

When you are out in the deserts such as Saguaro National park, you’re going to get thirsty! It’s important not to use single-use plastics and stay sustainable! So, purchase one that you will love and keep, the larger capacity the better! This one is great.

Mini first aid kit

You never know when you might need a plaster or some ibuprofen on a long and tiring hike, don’t let a blister stop you powering through! This mini first aid kit is small and practical.

Hiking boots

Arizona’s national parks cover a large surface area, so you’re going to want some proper hiking shoes! Personally, I love my Baughaus, but there are plenty of other great brands too.

The best national parks in Arizona

national parks in Arizona

Arizona is home to some of the best national parks in the world. Arizona’s state parks have won awards, including ‘National Recreation and Park Association’s gold medal for best managed state-park system‘. So it’s no doubt the parks are top standard, but what are the best national parks in Arizona? Keep reading to find out more…

The Grand Canyon

national parks in Arizona

The Grand Canyon is one of those names we all know, but do we know much about it? The Grand Canyon is a UNESCO world heritage site, formed roughly 6 million years ago. The Canyon spans 277 miles and is 18 miles deep! It’s renowned for its stunning natural beauty, historic connections and education. So this definitely makes The Grand canyon one of the best national parks in Arizona by far!

Spectacular ‘Grand canyon air tours’, means you can experience the Grand Canyon landscapes from above, from a luxury viewing space! An absolutely unforgettable experience, you will fly over the East rim of the canyon, uncovering the Painted desert of Badlands within the four corners, and reaching Imperial point, which is the highest point of the Grand Canyon. So if you’re interested in a memorable time at the Grand Canyon, Click here to find out more about tours and trips to this area.

Petrified forest

national parks in arizona

Petrified forest is like no other if you’re looking to discover quirky national parks in Arizona! Now, I know the name sounds strange, but it refers to Petrified wood that lays everywhere around the site. This wood has fossilised over 225 million years, and has come to form crystals and unique colours that you can catch glimmering in rainbow light. Not only are they a site of great magnificence but they’re a scientific wonder too!

Saguaro national park

Saguaro national park is absolutely stunning, and embodies the classic picture perfect American desert image. It’s the home to Saguaro Cacti, in fact, the largest in the US! These beautiful cacti are huge, in fact the largest stretched 78ft! The site splits into East and West, where on the east you will find the older generation of Wildlife, as well as beautiful oak woodland and a pine conifer forest. On the West you will find the younger Saguaro forest, with scrub and desert grasslands. There are picnic tables around site for a bite to eat in the sun, perfect for families!

Walnut Canyon National Monument

national parks in Arizona

Walnut Canyon national monument is home to some amazing rocks and Ancient cliff dwellings. You can explore the Walnut Canyon on an Island trail , which takes you through the rich 700 years of history, all the way back to the Sinagua people that inhabited the cliff dwellings and Walnut creek. There are 25 cliff dwelling rooms along the trail to explore , where you can get amazing views of the Canyon. There is also a Rim trail that takes you along the scenic route on the Canyons rim towards two overlooks. Here you can gaze out at the stunning Canyons and cliff dwellings. Walnut Canyon is definitely one of the best national parks in Arizona, with much to explore, amazing history and many trails to follow!

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National monument is otherwise known as ‘the wonderland of standing rocks‘, and you’ll soon see why. Rhyolite rocks fill the landscape, rising hundreds of feet tall, creating an immensely unique and magical natural landscape. The park has an amazing ‘Hike for health‘ scheme, where visitors can earn a Chiricahua landscape pin badge for hiking 5 miles or more! All you have to do is take a selfie on any trails you follow and present them at the visitor centre! At Chiricahua the range of hikes are countless, all from easy, to moderate to hard.

  • One easy hike is the Bonita creek trail, which takes you from the creek to the faraway ranch, make sure to look out for the stunning wildlife, including deer, javelina and various bird species.
  • If you’re an expert hiker, try out the Inspiration point trail. This 5 mile trip stretches up Mushroom rock trail, and along the way you will uncover beautiful views of Cochise head and the Rhyolite rocks.

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