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Arizona Parks - An Undiscovered Treasure

Visit Arizona Parks
Visit Arizona Parks
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Arizona has several unique and amazing parks. Explore these and you will find a diverse and eclectic landscape that will capture your imagination. Here is a list of beautiful desert parks in Arizona well worth visiting

* The Petrified Forest - Travel along Northwest Arizona roads and you will see the Petrified Forest. These ancient trees of a long ago forest lay in rainbow hues scattered across the desert landscape. The sunlight captures the multiple colors that glow like jewels in the Arizona sun. Take time to walk along and examine the complex patterns that nature has made over time. A great photo spot for memorable pictures.

* Saguaro National Park - Located near Tucson you can hike these trail from easy walking to rugged terrain in a few hours. Be sure to bring water with you. The Red Hills visitor center is a welcome retreat to gather brochures and learn about the area. This park is divided into Saguaro West and East. Saguaro West has a bird walk with 25 species of birds to see. Its about a two hour hike along this trail but well worth it.

There is also the Cam-Bo trail which has hundreds of petroglyphs . Another trail that has easy to traverse trails is the Signal Hill petroglyph trail.This area has beautiful picnic areas and stunning views. There is also Saguaro East with peaks at 8,666 feet it is dotted with desert scrub that flowers in the spring. Saguaro cactus is found here and only in Arizona. No other place on earth has them. Some of the Saguaro cactus are thousands of years old. They usually get arms after about 100 years. Along the Rincon mountain you will find a mix of conifers. There are also black bears, spotted owls and white tailed deer.

* Superstition Mountain - This is a breathtaking place to take spring wildflower photos. Many calender photos are taken here in the spring. A great place to hike nature trails and enjoy the sunshine and flowers.There is a rumor that a miner long ago hid a lot of gold in a secret place and many people try to find it.

* Dreamy Draw Park - Located in Phoenix its a great place to have a picnic. Dotted with lupines and daisies in the spring. It has rolling hills normally beige but that can change with a good rain to green.

* Kartchner Caverns - Take a walk through these cool caverns and listen to the quiet. The stalactites and stalagmites drip in this underground protected environment. This is a fantastic cave to explore but be sure not to touch anything. Human contact is not permitted as some of these ancient living caves will be damaged in the process.

* The Grand Canyon Park and Recreation Area - Hike along the rim and experience the stunning views. Long ago water carved out these deep gorges and trails. At the bottom of the canyon there is the Colorado river and a tribe of Indians. You can sign up for white water rafting either lasting one to 14 days. There are also mules to ride down to the bottom and back up if you do not feel that you can hike the trails.


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