As the most famous of Arizona’s natural wonders, the Grand Canyon, deserves the top spot. Formed millions of years ago, as a result of tectonic upheaval, when the mighty Colorado River cut through the Colorado Plateau, this gorge is spectacular in its size and majesty.
Shaped by water erosion, Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed areas in the southwest. Its name comes from the herds of pronghorn antelope that once lived on the land, and it is a part of the Navajo Nation's territory. Visitors can book tours to the Upper and Lower parts of the Canyon through Navajo guides.
Famous for its brilliant turquoise waters, the Havasu Falls is blue-green in color because of limestone deposits known as travertine. Located on Havasupai Indian Reservation land, visitors need a permit to enter. The official season to visit is from February to November, as the winter months are too cold.
Located a few miles from the entrance of Grand Canyon National Park, Horseshoe Bend is another highly-photographed natural wonder in the Southwest. Formed millions of years ago, when the Colorado River changed course to cut downwards, the landmark is fascinating for geologists and the general public alike.
Petrified Forest National Park
A historical, geological, and paleontological marvel, the Petrified Forest National Park is a must-visit site. Consisting of a few hundred species of fossilized plants, the forest has huge logs of ancient trees that have evolved from wood to “almost solid quartz.”
Two amateur cavers, Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts discovered the Kartchner Caverns accidentally in 1974. The caverns opened to the public in 1999, and have fast become one of Arizona’s most popular natural wonders.
Lava River Cave
Located in the Coconino Forest, the Lava River Cave is the longest lava tube in Arizona. Formed about 700,000 years ago, when molten rock erupted from a volcanic vent, the cave remained hidden until 1915, when a lumberman chanced upon it.