TUCSON Arizona: Experience uniquely Southwestern vistas
Tucson’s geography is a postcard image of cacti forests; rolling hills, and awe-inspiring mountains. Experience this phenomenal scenery at Saguaro National Park, home to the most recognizable cactus in the world-the majestic saguaro. You can choose a leisurely drive on one of the park’s scenic loops or see the park on foot. There are more than 150 miles of hiking trails, ranging from flat and easy strolls in the Sonoran Desert to steep and rugged hikes into the Rincon Mountains. Along the way, you have plenty of places to get out of the car and explore, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just a casual walker.
Spotlight on SCOTTSDALE
Scottsdale and Sedona in Arizona are only two hours apart by car. Both cities offer breathtaking natural settings, luxury resorts, and abundant activities-yet each maintains its own unique personality. The magic of Scottsdale begins with its setting in the heart of the lush Sonoran Desert. A dynamic city with urban sophistication and a blend of distinctive desert charm, Scottsdale dazzles visitors with its indigo sky, pristine desert trails, rivers, and mountains. Here’s a sampling of what’s making travel headlines in Scottsdale:
SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS REEMERGES AFTER A $16 MILLION RENOVATION
The Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts will open its newly renovated Virginia G. Piper Theater on October 24: Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will kick off the season starring in the special art benefit event ARTrageous. And that’s just the beginning. The season will feature performances by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the groundbreaking Martha Graham Dance Company, jazz legends Herb Alpert and Arturo Sandoval, and actors Jason Alexander, John Cleese, and Martin Short.
BLAZING NEW TRAILS AT SCOTTSDALE’S BUDDING DESERT PRESERVE
With the recent opening of the Gateway, you now have a new way to enjoy the radiance of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve,, a protected area of land spanning Scottsdale’s MeDowell Mountains and the Sonoran Desert. Explore the incredible diversity of the city’s desert wildlife and vegetation, such as saguaro cacti and roadrunners, on a variety of trails designed for hikers of every physical ability level.
Grand Canyon – The North Rim – The other rim
While the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is what is identified with the Grand Canyon, the other rim – that on the north side – has much to be desired: fewer tourists, an elevation higher by 1,300 feet and an abundance of wildlife. Amazingly, it is only 10 or so miles across the canyon, yet to drive between each rim requires more than 200 miles. The names of the viewpoints speak to the great beauty of the place: Point Sublime, Cape Royal, Angels Window and even Bright Angel. This is the low-key Grand Canyon and lends itself to quiet contemplation as well as vigorous hikes. The Colorado River continues to do its magic – patiently digging the canyon deeper, one foot per thousand years. While only “discovered” in 1540, the Grand Canyon becomes more inspiring the deeper one travels. “The one great sight that every American should see,” as Theodore Roosevelt so aptly put it.
ANTELOPE CANYON Soak in awe-inspiring visions of nature
While the Grand Canyon is perhaps Arizona’s most famous canyon, it is surrounded by many smaller, yet equally impressive, canyons such as Antelope Canyon. This deep, narrow canyon, known as a “slot canyon,” was gently carved from the Navajo sandstone over the course of countless millenniums.
Walk along the sandy floor of either the Upper or Lower Antefope canyons as you gaze up into the dream-like landscape of constantly changing colors and moving shafts of sunlight. Some of the canyon slots are so narrow in places you can stretch your arms out and touch the cool walls from side to side. It is a photographer’s wonderland, so don’t forget your camera.
Note: You must have an authorized guide to hike the upper and lower areas of Antelope Canyon.
HOW TO GET THERE
Antelope Canyon is located near Page on Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, just outside Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. For a scenic drive, begin your journey a few miles northeast of Cow Spring on U.S. Route 160 and end 66 miles later in Page at U.S. Route 89.
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Transcend time and discover respite from your hectic life One of the world’s vast and powerfully inspiring wonders, the Grand Canyon is,a must-see when visiting Arizona, whether it’s your first or fifteenth visit. Descending more than a mile to the canyon floor and spanning 277 miles from end to end, the canyon offers a playground where you can backpack, bird watch, river raft, and stargaze. You have several options to reach the bottom, including the 9.3-mile Bright Angel Trail or the 7.3-mile South Kaibab Trail.
Start your morning as the sun slowly peeks up above the canyon walls and the sweet earthy smell of the desert lingers in the air. As you.pick your way slowly down one of the trails’ countless switchbacks, soak in nonstop views of multicolored rock formations in astounding shapes: Along the north and south rims, there are trails for all levels of hikers, which offer dazzling views, opportunities to photograph amazing wildlife, and explore seldom-seen wonders at every step. At the bottom, take in the vivid Colorado River as it gushes past, with an invigorating energy that might inspire a rafting trip. Several river-rafting tours offer chances to explore this majestic river with trips that range from a few hours to a few weeks.
DESERT ELEGANCE, CENTURIES IN THE MAKING.
Nestled among the dramatic crimson towers of Red Rock Country, Sedona Arizona provide a stunning sanctuary for outdoor activities and secluded retreats. There are so many things to see and do in Sedona.
From amazing hiking and biking on Sedona’s extensive network of trails to worldclass art galleries and spiritual meditation-you’ll find hundreds of ways to be enriched and rejuvenated. Welcome the rising sun with a yoga session or a hike amid Sedona’s powerful spiritual vortex sites. Spend the afternoon meandering through the art galleries and downtown shops, as you take in the town’s creative and artistic side.
Evening breezes and the bright glow of the sunset on the red rocks at dusk create an enchanting backdrop for al fresco dining in Sedona. At big-city caliber restaurants, unwind with a cool glass of wine as you await the brilliance of Sedona’s night sky.
HOW TO GET THERE
State Route 179, designated the Red Rock Scenic Road, offers a 15-mile grand welcome to Sedona’s Red Rock Country, amid 500 square miles carved from the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. Enjoy the striking scenery by taking advantage of the numerous pullouts and parking areas that offer access to sites like the Little Horse Trail, Bell Rock, and Courthouse Butte.