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Southern Arizona Travel Guide

  • Photo: Galina Barskaya / Shutterstock

Plan Your Southern Arizona Vacation

Southern Arizona can do little to escape its cliché-ridden image as a landscape of cow skulls, tumbleweeds, dried-up riverbeds, and mother lodes—but it doesn’t need to. Abandoned mining towns, sleepy Western hamlets, rugged rock formations, and deep pine forests beckon visitors for birding, hiking, and horseback riding, as well as more tame adventures like wine-tasting, stargazing,

and moseying down historic main streets. This diverse range of activities, along with the feel of stepping back in time, affords a rich and satisfying tour.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Tour Kartchner Caverns The underground world of a living "wet" cave system is a rare and wonderful sensory experience. You’ll see a multicolor limestone kingdom and probably feel "cave kiss" droplets grace your head; just don’t touch anything.
  2. Hike in the Chiricahuas Stunning "upside-down" rock formations, flourishing wildlife, and relatively easy trails make for great hiking in this unspoiled region. The 3.4-mile Echo Canyon Loop Trail is a winner.
  3. Explore Bisbee Board the Queen Mine Train and venture into the life of a copper miner at the turn of the last century. Afterward, check out the narrow, hilly town’s Victorian houses and thriving shops.
  4. Stargaze at Kitt Peak Clear skies and dry air provide ideal conditions for stargazing; the evening observation program, with top-notch telescopes and enthusiastic guides, is an excellent introduction to astronomy.

When To Go

When to Go

As you might expect, the desert areas are popular in winter, and the cooler mountain areas are more heavily visited in summer. If you’re seeking outd...

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Fodor's Arizona & the Grand Canyon 2015

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