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Arizona’s Other National Parks: Beyond the Grand Canyon

Did you know that within the “Grand Canyon State” there are two other National Parks: Saguaro and Petrified Forest? Arizona has a number of notable National Monuments, too. Indeed, within the National Park system there are over 20 different designations besides National Park, all designed to “preserve and protect.” With so many natural wonders in one state, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller parks with lesser designations.

In short: go beyond the Grand Canyon! Here are some of our other favorite Arizona parks…

Personality-filled Cacti

Saguaro National Park


Standing sentinel in the desert, towering saguaro are known for their height (often 50 feet), with arms reaching out in weird configurations. Saguaro National Park preserves some of the densest stands of these massive cacti. Plan a trip to Saguaro »

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

The largest habitat north of the border for organ-pipe cacti. These multi-armed cousins of the saguaro are fairly common in Mexico but rare in the United States. Plan a trip to Organ Pipe Cactus »

Ancient Forests

Petrified Forest National Park

A visit to the Petrified Forest is a trip back in geological time. Petrified logs scattered about the landscape resemble a fairy-tale forest turned to stone. Plan a trip to Petrified Forest »

Geological Wonders

Canyon De Chelly

The nearly 84,000-acre Canyon de Chelly (pronounced d’shay) is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the Southwest. Its main gorges comprise sheer, heavily eroded sandstone walls that rise to 1,100 feet over dramatic valleys. Plan a trip to Canyon De Chelly »

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Chiricahua National Monument

In the “Land of the Standing-Up Rocks,” enormous outcroppings of volcanic rock have been worn by erosion and fractured by uplift into strange pinnacles and spires. Plan a trip to the Chiricahuas »

Image courtesy Mike Norton / istock

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