I have been living in Arizona since 1997. I grew up in this state from first grade until I left for college.
But aside from the Grand Canyon, I never had the chance to explore around the incredible natural landmarks and monuments around my home state!
So, my best friend Jake and I decided to go on a 2-day road trip and cover as many landmarks as we could around Arizona.
We decided to rent a car, and we found the best deal on a company called VroomVroomVroom. Their service is easy to use, and they offer the best rental car rates in thousands of U.S. cities. I highly recommend using them if you need to find any car rental!
In total, we drove over 1,000 miles — beginning and ending in Phoenix.
The five places that we visited were:
– Antelope Canyon
– Horseshoe Bend
– Monument Valley
– Four Corners
– Grand Canyon
In the remainder of this blog post, I’m going to give you a description of each place we went.
This place is the coolest thing to see not only in Arizona, but in the USA. I haven’t seen anything more spectacular or mind-blowing than Antelope Canyon. To me, it was more impressive than the Grand Canyon.
Antelope canyon is located just outside of a city called Page, in the very north central part of the state. The canyon was formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, due to flash flooding from rainwater. Scientists have said that this canyon is some 150-200 million years old.
In order to visit, you MUST go on a group tour. There is no solo-adventuring allowed inside the canyons.
The tour company that I went on, and that I highly recommend, is called Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours. The staff and tour guides are very friendly, and they will help you get the best photos on your camera (they know all the best spots inside the canyon). My guide’s name was Roman, and you should ask for him if you go, because he is the man!
You can visit the upper and lower canyon — both are worth seeing!
Check out these stunning photos of Antelope Canyon.
This one caught me by surprise. I had never even heard of it before our trip!
Horseshoe bend is located just a 10 minute drive away from Antelope Canyon. So if you visit one, then you have to visit the other!
Basically, Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River that sits 4,200 feet above sea level. The Colorado river is a straight 1,000 foot drop from the viewing point up top.
It’s truly remarkable. I recommend going for sunset, so you can get photos like these!
Jake and I actually didn’t originally plan to visit Monument Valley, but we realized that we were only 1.5 hour drive away from Antelope Canyon, so we decided to go.
The Valley is located in Utah, just a few miles north of the Arizona border. It is made up of a cluster of vast buttes that are made from red sandstone rock. The shape and sizes of each monument vary, but they are all bunched together in the same area.
For Monument Valley, you don’t need a tour guide and it’s free. We stayed at a great place called Goulding’s Lodge, and I recommend them! You should visit Monument Valley during sunrise like we did, and you can get some epic photos like the ones you see below.
Although not really a natural landmark, we decided to go to the four corners to cross it off our bucket lists.
And to be honest, I’ve always wanted to visit the four corners since I can remember. It is the only place in the USA where 4 states come together at one point. I mean how cool is that?
So, after we saw the sunrise at Monument Valley, we booked in our car it for about 2 hours to get to the four corners.
We had to pay $5 each to get inside, but it was pretty neat. There is a giant cross in the ground where the four states meet, and you are allowed to lay in all 4 states at once!
Just like you see below!
Ahhhh – save the best for last 🙂
After the Four Corners, we drove 4 more hours and arrived to the Grand Canyon around noon the same day. IN THE SAME DAY!
As everyone knows, the Grand Canyon is a massive and steep-sided canyon located carved by the Colorado river in Northern Arizona. It is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and has a depth of over 1 mile.
It is also one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
When you enter Grand Canyon National Park, they charge a $30 fee per vehicle. So, it’s a good deal if you are with a bunch of friends!
It was my 3rd or 4th visit to the Canyon, but I hadn’t been since high school. And after all of my recent travels, my perspectives have changed and I now have a brand new appreciation for things like this.
Therefore, this visit to the Grand Canyon was by far the most eye-opening and memorable.
The canyon literally left me speechless. No words can describe that gut feeling that you get when you first lay eyes on this beast. It beats anything of it’s kind in the world.
Here are some pics to check out:
Thanks for reading about my fun road trip around Arizona, and I hope that this inspired you to check out the amazing monuments in my home state!