Welcome to Arizona Wonders!
Welcome to a world full of unexpected sights, sounds and color.
My name is Paul and I’ll be your guide on this Arizona Wonders journey. I started this blog in 2017 after living in Arizona for five years. It’s my attempt to capture the amazing beauty of the Grand Canyon State. I want to share insights into this magnificent place that will help others explore unique nooks and crannies of Arizona, even if it’s only as a virtual tour on your computer or smartphone.
Two things I knew about Arizona when I moved here:
The Grand Canyon is here
Both are facts that most people know about Arizona. What I’ve learned in my time here is that there is so much more to Arizona than heat and the Grand Canyon.
My awareness of the many wonders of Arizona was piqued in 2014 when I went on a group hike with my church to an amazing place called Havasupai. Based on the pictures alone, you might think you’re looking at a far-flung place on an island in the tropics. The journey involved a 5-hour bus ride to a dusty parking lot. From there, we hiked eight miles down into the canyon, where we stayed in a very basic lodge managed by residents of Supai village. As we neared the lodge, 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. 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 below from the Havasupai experience. (Click any thumbnail image for larger view).
My Arizona Bucket list
The trip to Havasupai had a profound affect on my perspective of Arizona. I thought 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 other wonders are out there waiting to be experienced. I chose to no longer just live in Arizona, but to actually seek out adventure and explore this amazing place.
I created a bucket list with two categories:
Places to see
Places I’ve seen
After a couple years, my “places to see” list was growing faster than “places I’ve seen”.
How this blog came to life
This blog is really a culmination of the items from my “Places I’ve seen” list mentioned above. For bragging rights, I would post pictures on Facebook and tell a story or two after each adventure. My Facebook friends seemed to take interest based on their comments, even though most of my contacts do not live in Arizona.
Over time, I realized that the bulk of my Facebook updates were about the wonders of Arizona. So, I decided to set up this blog, and name it AZ Wonders. The response has been great!
Feedback and encouragement from my followers keeps me going. Through the WordPress blogging service I use, I am able to see where people are spending the most time on the blog.
The number one post (by far) that draws people to azwonders.com is Superstition Mountains cougar shadow. This blog evidently ranks very high when people search for that amazing natural phenomenon that happens only a few days during the year. Interestingly, you can find all sorts of shadow images projected on rocks if you look for them. It’s sort of like finding animal shapes in the clouds.
If you’re curious about the other popular posts, check out Top 10 AZ Wonders posts of 2017.
Some highlights of my Arizona Bucket list
These days, I see so many amazing things as I travel the state. People who come with me on field trips sometimes get impatient because I’m always stopping to check out rocks, critters, plants and other wonders I once took for granted. And of course, I can’t just look at them. I have to take pictures. From multiple angles. Ha! This is the main reason I am usually alone in my videos.
I am often asked what my favorite Arizona Wonder is. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but below I’ve listed a few experiences that I’d love to do again and again.
- Grand Canyon
- Hiking by moonlight
- Fossil Creek
- Mogollon Rim Country
- Remnants of ancient civilizations
- Wild horses
If I were to give an honorable mention award to one Arizona Wonder, it would have to be Kaiser Hot Spring. (Check out the post and you’ll see why.) It’s about a two hour drive from Phoenix and the perfect cure for anyone in need of a mental health day off from life.
How to use this site
If you made it this far down the page, you are clearly interested in what I’m doing. Here are a few ways to get the most out of AZ Wonders.
Follow AZ Wonders
- Subscribe for email updates
- Connect on Facebook and Twitter too
- Share AZ Wonders with your friends and followers
Scroll down and look for topics that interest you, then click the title for more info. Click on the Browse drop-down to see posts categorized by topics such as hiking, mountains, plants, water, and more. Click on highlighted topics and tags for more articles similar to the one you’re viewing.
See cool stuff
Under the Cool tab, you’ll find unique images, guest posts about Arizona adventures from other bloggers, plus product reviews and other tips to help you explore Arizona.
If you have a particular item you’re looking for, just type it into the Search box located at the bottom of every page. Example: type Fossil Creek and click Go to find all AZ Wonders posts that mention your search word(s).
- Rate the posts (5 stars make me happy) or like them
- Use the comment box to ask questions or tell me what you like
- Send me your photos or stories with an email to azwonders @ outlook.com (no spaces)
- Share AZ Wonders with others who might be interested
Start your AZ Wonders adventure
I am so glad you’re here! Arizona is a place full of exciting adventures. Now, all you have to do is start clicking around to explore more. Hang around and keep coming back because I’ve just scratched the surface. There are so many more wonders to explore. And I want to share them with you.