What do you want to do on your Arizona adventure?
Once known as the Arizona Territory, Arizona became the 48th of the United States in 1912. But evidence at ruins sites suggests that the region was inhabited as early as 500 BC.
Like maps? Me too. That’s why I plotted all my favorite places on this map for easy reference:
Arizona quick facts:
- 35+ million acres of public lands
- 35 state parks covering more than 64,000 acres
- 20 national parks and monuments
- 6 national forests
With over 114,000 square miles of land between its borders, you could fit the state of Indiana into Arizona three times and still have room to squeeze in Delaware and Rhode Island.
The tall, stately Saguaro cactus is an Arizona icon. Sure, there’s an expansive desert landscape here, but so is the largest forest of Ponderosa Pine trees in the world.
Much of the state receives only ten inches or less of rain per year, yet it’s incredibly blessed with GORGE-ous rivers and lakes that rarely freeze over. Oh, and there’s a large canyon here, too.
Are you ready to explore an amazing place loaded with unexpected sights, sounds and experiences?
I started this blog in 2017 after living in Arizona for five years. It’s my attempt to help showcase the amazing beauty of the Grand Canyon State for all to see. My goal is to share insights into this magnificent place that will help you explore the unique nooks and crannies of Arizona.
My obsession with the many wonders of Arizona began in 2014 when I went on a group hike with my church to an amazing place called Havasupai. Pictures might make you think you’re looking at a remote place on an island in the tropics.
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The journey to Havasupai started with a 5-hour bus ride from Phoenix to a dusty parking lot in the remote western stretches of the Grand Canyon. From there, our group hiked eight miles down into the canyon to a very basic lodge managed by the people of Supai village. As we neared the community, we crossed a small, swift-running creek of clear water that originated from a spring.
The next morning, we ventured down the canyon a few more miles. Every hundred yards or so, the creek got a little wider and ran a little faster. Eventually, we began to see small waterfalls. The falls got bigger and bigger as we ventured on. I felt like I was experiencing a place only possible in dreams.
Before I knew it, I was looking at a gushing waterfall that poured well over a hundred feet (33 meters) into a massive, clear turquoise-blue pool carved out of rock-like travertine. Unbelievably, we would come upon an even larger, more stunning fall further downstream. I felt like I was experiencing a place only possible in dreams.
Check out some of my photos from the Havasupai experience below. (Click any thumbnail image for larger view).
My Arizona Bucket list
The trip to Havasupai opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of Arizona and it changed my life. I couldn’t help wondering:
“If that magnificent place was accessible only to those willing to get out of the car (or bus in my case) and venture out, what else was out there waiting to be experienced?”
I chose to no longer just live in Arizona, but to actually seek out adventure and explore it. There are so many amazing natural wonders to see in Arizona that I created a bucket list.
Plot twist: my Arizona Bucket List is now a book
How this blog came to life
Before I started the blog, I used to post pictures on Facebook and tell a story or two after each adventure. My Facebook connections really began to take notice, even though many of them don’t live in Arizona.
I began to realize that more and more of my Facebook updates were about the wonders of Arizona, so I decided to set up this blog and named it AZ Wonders. The response has been fantastic!
Blog traffic growth since 2017
Feedback and encouragement from my followers keep me going. Through the WordPress blogging service I use, I am able to see which posts appeal to people most. In 2020, the blog registered over 100,000 views.
Recent blog posts:
- Humble creosote bush produces a fragrant aroma when it rains in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun
- Rare view from Upper Cliff Dwellings at Tonto National Monument
- This short and easy trail to Willow Springs Lake gets more scenic the further you hike
- Look no further than Willow Springs Lake on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim for relief from the desert heat
- Good luck finding a more scenic, fully accessible trail than Rim Lakes Vista Overlook on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim
This one post on azwonders.com is viewed by tens of thousands of people from around the world each year: Superstition Mountains cougar shadow. It ranks very high when people search for that amazing natural phenomenon that happens only a few days during the year, and only in Arizona.
See the most viewed posts in recent days at the bottom of this page.
My favorite Arizona places
I am often asked what my favorite natural wonder in Arizona is. It’s hard to choose one, but below I’ve listed a few experiences that I’d love to do again and again.
- Grand Canyon
- Hiking by moonlight
- Fossil Creek
- Kaiser Hot Spring
- Mogollon Rim Country
- Ancient ruins and rock art
- Wild horses of the Lower Salt River
Then, there’s this incredible place I fell in love with on an 8-day camping road trip around Navajo Nation in 2019: Walk in the footsteps of ancient Anasazi people at Rock Art Ranch near Winslow
How to use this site
If you made it this far down the page, you’re clearly interested in what I’m doing. Here are a few ways to get the most out of this site.
Use the menu at the top of the site to browse all kinds of cool stuff
Click on the Explore Arizona drop-down to see posts categorized by topics such as hiking, mountains, plants, water, and more. Click on topics and tags for more articles similar to the one you’re viewing.
Under the Insiders Guide tab, you’ll find unique images and guest posts from other Arizona explorers, plus product reviews and other tips to help you get the most out of your Arizona adventures.
Example: type Grand Canyon and click the search icon to find all AZ Wonders posts that mention your search word(s).
- Rate or like the posts (5 stars make me happy)
- Use the comment box to ask questions or tell me what you’d like to see
- Share AZ Wonders with others who might be interested
Become an AZ Wonders insider
You’ll get notified by email every time there’s a new post.
Start your AZ Wonders adventure now
I am so glad you’re here! Arizona is a place full of exciting adventures. Now, all you have to do is click around to explore more. Hang around and keep coming back because I’ve just begun to scratch the surface. There are so many more wonders to explore. And I want to share them all with you.