Just off Interstate 17, roughly half way between Phoenix and Sedona, is a quiet little spot at the Badger Springs exit to pull off and stretch your legs. While you’re at it, consider taking a jaunt down the Badger Springs Trail to see petroglyphs and more of Arizona’s other amazing natural wonders.
On your journey to the pools, you’ll brush by native grasses, trees and other desert-hardy plants. Saguaro and prickly pear cacti dot the hillsides as you gradually lose elevation, while canyon walls rise higher and higher. All the plant life attracts a colorful menagerie of birds, lizards, snakes and insects.
Although the trail rests on the grounds of a national monument, there is no charge for admission or parking. And unlike many national parks and monuments, the Agua Fria National Monument is typically uncrowded.
Tens of thousands of people whiz by the Badger Springs exit on I-17 every day. Those who take the time to stop and look around get to stretch not only their legs, but also their imaginations.
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