The 10 prettiest places in Arizona

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  • Post last modified:February 12, 2024
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The prettiest places in Arizona range from world-famous canyons to fascinating sights off the beaten path. With such beauty, Arizona is a US state that truly makes your jaw drop. Yes, Arizona’s most beautiful places impress even the most hard-flirted travelers out there.

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1. Grand Canyon

No collection of the prettiest places in Arizona is complete without the Grand Canyon. After all, it’s called the Grand Canyon State.

The steep-sided canyon carved by Colorado River is known as one of the wonders of the world. People come from all over the planet to experience the unique attraction.

But thanks to Grand Canyon’s large size, it still offers solitude. Most notably the impressive Grand Canyon National Park covers more than 1.2 million acres.

In the vast park you find the South Rim and North Rim areas. Grand Canyon’s South Rim is open year round, while the more remote but as stunning North Rim closes up for winter.

Where to stay

At the South Rim you find Grand Canyon places to stay within the national park and just steps from the breathtaking viewpoints in the park. In addition the border town Tusayan offers more options not far away.

The vast Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ.

2. Havasu Falls

Not far from Grand Canyon National Park the breathtaking Havasu Falls is located. The waterfall within Havasupai Indian Reservation requires a sought after permit and is a very remote place in Arizona to visit.

From the Havasupai Trailhead it’s almost 8 miles (12.9 km) of hiking to the Supai village. Well there it remains another 2 miles (3.2 km) to Havasu Falls.

Havasu Falls is the most famous waterfall of Havasu Creek. The main fall and landmark plunges roughly 100 feet (30 m) into the turquiose pool below.

However, there are more beautiful places for the adventurer to explore on Havasu Creek. Mooney Falls is even taller than Havasu Falls, and Beaver Falls is a series of picturesque waterfalls further downstream.

After Beaver Falls, the stream continues to flow until it joins the Colorado River inside Grand Canyon National Park. It’s truly a stunning place off the beaten path.

The cascading Beaver Falls on Havasu Creek
Beaver Falls on Havasu Creek, AZ.

3. Antelope Canyon

The northern Arizona slot canyon Antelope Canyon has the two distinct sections. Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon are separate but share similar features.

Most of all both parts of the canyon are home to unique wavy canyon walls. Antelope’s signature shapes has made the canyon known as one of the most photogenic sights in Arizona. Around every corner at the attraction, you find otherworldly shapes.

But no visitors can explore Antelope without an authorized tour guide. The guides preserve the sight and ensure that it continues to be one of the prettiest places in Arizona.

Wavy Canyon walls in Antelope Canyon, AZ
Antelope Canyon, AZ

4. Horseshoe Bend

Not far from Antelope Canyon, you find another pretty place, Horseshoe Bend. Located just a few miles from each other, it’s very easy to tick both off on the same day.

From the Horseshoe Bend parking lot you just need to walk for 10 or 15 minutes to get to the famous incised meander. Just be prepared that the unprotected trail to the beautiful spot gets incredibly hot in summer.

However, no matter how hot the weather is, the pretty sight is worth every step and drop of sweat. At the overlook, you face the meander of the Colorado River and a breathtaking drop of roughly 1,000 feet (300 m).

Pile of rocks at Horseshoe Bend during daytime
Morning light at Horseshoe Bend.

5. Sedona

Between Phoenix and Grand Canyon, the city Sedona is a great place to relax. Sedona gets many visitors who come to recharge and find inspiration.

In such a stunning Southwest setting encompassing two state parks it’s certainly easy to see why. The city’s Red Rock State Park and Slide Rock State Park are wonderful and easily accessible spots for hiking.

But all over Sedona you find the signature red rocks and postcard worthy views. Devil’s Bridge is a prime example of that the city is an incredibly pretty place to be in.

Bridge made of rock in Sedona, Arizona
Devil’s Bridge in Sedona.

6. Montezuma Castle

In Camp Verde, not far from Sedona, Montezuma Castle National Monument is located. Above all the monument protects the ancient high-rise dwelling Montezuma Castle.

According to estimates by archeologists the construction began roughly 1,000 years ago. In a natural alcove its clever location has protected the well-preserved dwelling from exposure to the natural elements.

Montezuma Castle is also surprisingly easy to get to. To reach the site by foot only takes a few minutes from the parking lot. That makes it one of the most accessible sights among the prettiest places in Arizona.

Ancient cliff dwelling in natural alcove, AZ
Montezuma Castle, AZ.

7. Monument Valley

On the Arizona and Utah border, Monument Valley provides spellbinding scenery. Everywhere you look in the valley you find otherworldly features.

The red desert landscape includes huge rock formations that shoot up towards the blue sky. Some of the tall structures reach as high as 1,000 feet (300 m) above the valley floor.

With such a beauty the valley often is referred to as not only one of the prettiest places in Arizona but also one of the most beautiful places in the US. Even in a bigger picture the spellbinding scenery in Monument Valley is unparalleled.

Where to stay

To make a visit extra special some Monument Valley hotels offer valley views. In the front row you experience the scenic valley 24/7.

Wagon in Monument Valley Tribal Park
Monument Valley, AZ/UT.

8. Petrified Forest

In the Painted Desert area you find the bizarre Petrified Forest. It’s an Arizonian sight that manages to surprise its visitors year after year.

The main attraction in Petrified Forest National Park is the large quantities of petrified logs. These surreal petrified logs are more than 200 million years old fossils.

But they look so much like real wood that it’s easy to get confused. When you visit the unique place, you need to touch the logs to really believe it.

Where to stay

If you stay in the classic Route 66 town Holbrook you only have 19 miles (31 km) to Petrified Forest. From the hotels near Petrified Forest in Holbrook you effortlessly get to the peculiar fossils.

Petrified wood in Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
Petrified Forest, AZ.

9. Meteor Crater

Roughly 50,000 years ago, a huge meteorite hit what today is northern Arizona. The Meteor Crater, also known as the Barringer Crater, is a beautiful place that truly shows off the power of cosmos.

The National Natural Landmark is not just any hole in the ground. At 3,900 feet (1,200 m) in diameter and roughly a depth of 560 feet (170 m) the impact site is an impressive sight to behold.

In particular the Meteor Crater is the perfect place to visit in Arizona if you like space. However, you certainly don’t have to be a space nerd to be fascinated by the massive crater.

10. Hoover Dam

On the border between Arizona and Nevada, the Hoover Dam is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Completed in the 1930s the impressive dam represents engineering at its very finest.

Above all the Hoover Dam is used for irrigation, water supply, flood control and as a source of energy. Its regional importance can’t be overestimated.

In contrast to all of nature’s prettiest places in Arizona the man-made Hoover Dam stands out. When you walk across the dam, you easily realize what an achievement it was to build the structure.

The Hoover Dam on the border between Arizona and Nevada
The Hoover Dam, AZ/NV.

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