Occasionally referred to as the “scenic, smaller cousin” of the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff, is known for some of its geological details, including colorful rocks and unique natural formations.
Getting to Oak Creek Canyon isn’t hard, either; in fact, State Rt. 89A goes right into it. Before you go into the actual canyon, though, you might want to take a look at the Oak Creek Canyon Vista. From this place, you can get a nice bird’s-eye view of much of the canyon. Also, if you’re interested in Native American jewelry and crafts, and other items from the locals who set up displays around the area, you can pick up something at this vista.
While it’s definitely possible to explore the majority of the canyon just by driving down State Rt. 89A and taking in the sights, what fun is that? Most of the people who take the time to come to Oak Creek Canyon want to do more than just stay in their car the whole time; they want to go out and hike, or swim, or fish, or do any number of other things to make the most of their visit. If you’re one of these people, there are overlooks, picnic areas, hiking trails and swimming holes scattered throughout the canyon.
Oak Creek Canyon even offers its visitors something to see as they’re leaving. On the way away from the canyon, the keen-eyed observer might notice some of the various natural sculptures on the horizon. Among others, there’s Steam Boat Rock, Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.
So if you’re around Flagstaff and want a place to go where you can see a neat little piece of the Arizona landscape, go give Oak Creek Canyon a look. And try not to stay in your car the whole time.