9 of the Best Canyons in Arizona
These are some of the best canyons in Arizona to explore. It can take an avid hiker a long time to hike most of the well-known canyons in Arizona. Since we cannot list all of the canyons in Arizona, we have decided to list the top 9 canyons that we recommend for any hiker.
1. Different Kinds of Hiking
You may think that all hiking is the same; this is not the case, especially if you ask backpackers or serious hikers. You can have day or night hiking, backpacking, and solo hiking. Some people like to hike really fast and may want to get a hike done in a certain amount of time. Conversely, some people like to take their time. Whatever you decide to do, make sure the trail you choose is suitable for your hiking style.
2. Lower Antelope Canyon
Our absolute favorite canyon is Lower Antelope Canyon. As you might have noticed, we even specialize in tours to this canyon. The canyon has two main areas, the upper and lower canyon. We focus on the lower canyon tours because they are a little less crowded. Be sure to book a reservation with one of our amazing guides today.
3. The Grand Canyon
We had to put Lower Antelope Canyon first because we love it so much. The Grand Canyon is probably the most famous canyon in Arizona: for good reason. This canyon is like a bowl and has two rims: the north and south rim. You do not need a tour to explore this canyon. There are donkey rides available for those who want to see the canyon on a donkey. There are flat trails that go around the rims and trails that go down into the canyon.
4. Havasu Canyon
This canyon is extremely popular, so of course, it made the list of the best canyons in Arizona. It is most known for its fabulous waterfalls and vibrant colors. You may have seen college kids posting about how they went to it for spring break. You have either the option to hike through this canyon or to take a helicopter ride.
Since this site is so popular and on an American Indian reservation, you will need a permit to visit the site. There are a certain number of permits and permits sell out fast. It is important to note that the canyon is currently closed. The canyon is supposed to reopen in February 2022.
5. Canyon de Chelly
The great thing about this canyon is that this one is free and you do not need to get a permit or make a reservation. This canyon is located on Navajo land and is known as a National Monument in Arizona. You can take a hike with a ranger for free and ask them all of the questions that you have about the canyon and surrounding area. There are also tours with specialists that cost money. These guided tours are available on foot, on horseback, and in a vehicle.
6. Marble Canyon
This canyon is commonly known as the beginning of the Grand Canyon. Marble Canyon has its name because it features marble-like rock formations. These formations have a bright color with red rock and lighter dirt. This creates a gorgeous contrast that is beautiful to view during the sunrise or the sunset. The closest city near this canyon in Page, Arizona. Page is a small city that is to get busy with tourists. It fills up fast during the summer months. This is because it is a good home spot for anyone who is visiting canyons near the surrounding areas.
7. Arizona Hot Springs Canyon
This hike is 3.5 miles and is uphill for the end part leading up to the hot springs. The initial slope is gravel. You will need to bring good hiking shoes. If you do get in the hot springs it is important to keep your head above the water so you do not get any bacterial infections. To get to the hot springs you will need to climb up a waterfall on a rung ladder that has 18 rungs.
8. Sycamore Canyon
This canyon is a big area that encompasses over 50,000 acres of land. There are 15 canyons that visitors can explore. You could spend 2 weeks here doing a hike a day and you would still have one hike left to do. The area features arches, buttes, swimming, fishing, hiking, and red rocks,
This place is a Wilderness by Congress, so it follows specific rules and guidelines. Any kind of vehicle, including bikes, is prohibited. There are guided tours that use horseback to get around the canyon. Leave No Trace is in effect and they ask all visitors to follow it.
9. Ramsey Canyon
Ramsey Canyon is a secret canyon that is in Southeastern Arizona. It is a conglomerate of different areas coming together. This creates a nice, wet area that allows a variety of wildlife to appear and live in this canyon. There are pine trees and other wildlife that live in this cool environment.
The canyon is not open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays year-round. It is also closed on major holidays. There is a fee of 8 dollars per person to enter the canyon. This canyon is unique because it features a hummingbird viewing area in the nature center. Parking only has 27 spots so you will want to arrive early.
10. Other Options
Okay so not everyone enjoys hiking. But you may still want to see the gorgeous sites that all of these places have to offer. The good news is that you can experience these canyons without having to hike. Larger canyons such as the Grand Canyon and Havasu offer helicopter rides which allow you to see the rock formations without hiking. This is a great option if you are disabled or are traveling with someone who has a hard time walking.