It’s like you’ve stepped into a whole other world.
Vast plains. Snow-capped mountains. Lush, green forests of Ponderosa pine trees — the largest in the world. Towering cottonwood trees with wildlife of nearly every size roaming throughout. Grandiose canyons and epic valleys.
Topography of nearly every kind exists — and its all found within northern Arizona.
Let’s start in Flagstaff, where Route 66 winds through its downtown area. This mountain town is also home to the San Francisco Peaks, the highest point in the state of Arizona at 12,633 feet in elevation, located within the Coconino National Forest. And found on the slopes of the Peaks is Arizona Snowbowl, a resort where residents and visitors alike ski, snowboard, snowshoe hike and lodge during the winter months. During the summer, the ski lift is a popular activity to witness the beauty of northern Arizona.
Drive west on the switchbacks, and you’ve reached Sedona, also a hiker’s paradise, engulfed with Red Rock sights and monumental rock formations that will be sure to mesmerize you, both physically and from within. Sedona is the spiritual capital of Arizona, a city claimed to be comprised of both smaller vortexes and one large vortex in itself. Connect with your inner spirit, go on a hike, or do both.
Winding through Sedona’s canyons is Oak Creek, a refreshing end to a strenuous day hike.
But let’s not forget about the third natural wonder of the world — the Grand Canyon, an incredible chasm more than a mile deep and 227 miles long. Tourists from all over the world fly into Arizona to not only catch a glimpse of the Canyon, but to hike and camp. Mule rides are booked a year in advance for those who want to ride down the Canyon on one of its many trails.
Driving isn’t the only method of transportation to get to the Grand Canyon; some take the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, “The Gateway to the Grand Canyon.” This historic, vintage train entertains its passengers through plains and the ponderosa pine forest, educating them about the area’s history as well as the Grand Canyon throughout the ride.
Another train ride with breathtaking views of northern Arizona is the Verde Canyon Railroad, located 25 miles from Sedona, running from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. On this ride, sit back and relax or stand on the outdoor viewing platforms; you may just spot a Bald Eagle, and you’ll pass by ancient Indian ruins and through a manmade 680-foot tunnel.
Northern Arizona also has small towns boasting unique arts and cultural districts and unique sights, including Jerome, Cottonwood and Prescott. Visit Page for Antelope Canyon or Lake Powell for all your water sports and water activities needs.
Take a look at all of the cities within northern Arizona: