State and National Parks Close to Your Home at Liv
Although your Liv community has excellent amenities and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, everyone feels the need for a bit of adventure sometimes. If you have been itching to explore the natural wonders found in Arizona's state and national parks close to your home at Liv Multifamily, you'll be thrilled to learn that many of them are close enough for a day trip.
Even those a bit further away can be reached quickly enough to enjoy them on a weekend getaway. Read on to find out more about these great parks close to home.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon National Park is perhaps the best known of the parks run by the National Park Service in Arizona. There's a good reason for this. The Grand Canyon is one of the most awesome natural sights to be seen in all of North America.
Visit any of the many viewing areas on the south rim to take in the incredible views of the canyon's rocky walls, its colorful ridges' subdued beauty, and the canyon's sheer depth as it drops to the Colorado River far below.
The truly adventurous may want to take a guided tour down into the canyon either by foot or on a mule. This trip is not for everyone, it is physically taxing and may not be suitable for the elderly, infirm, or very young. If you want to try a guided tour, be prepared to plan ahead. Many of these tours have lengthy waiting lists.
Petrified Forest National Park
Preserved by minerals they absorbed over 2 million years ago, the Petrified Forest National Park trees are no longer made of wood. Instead, the trunks are made of quartz and other minerals that twinkle and glow in the sunlight.
And it’s not just the trees that sparkle, many of the rock formations in the forest also contain different types of quartz, reflecting light in striking hues of brown, green, and pink. They are quite a sight to behold.
As incredible as the petrified trees are, they are not the only sights worth seeing here. If you are a hiker, take the time to hike the Jasper Forest Trail, which is well maintained but infrequently traveled. In short order, you may find yourself alone with the natural wonders surrounding you.
Saguaro National Park
The Saguaro cactus is a well-recognized symbol of a desert environment. In Saguaro National Park, you will find these ancient and slow-growing cacti in abundance in their natural habitat, the Sonoran Desert.
The park is divided into two parts, with the city of Tucson in between them. Saguaro National Park is a hiker's paradise with incredible views from well-maintained hiking trails. And for those who want to see the cacti but don’t have the ability or desire to hike in the desert sun, the park also has vehicle access roads where you can take a scenic drive through the many sights and cacti.
If you are planning a trip to Saguaro National Park, consider going in the late spring or early summer when the cacti bloom and their large white flowers add to their splendor.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
If you are looking for a weekend getaway and are fascinated by ancient cultures and their ruins, then a trip to Canyon de Chelly National Monument may be for you. Here you will see firsthand the cliffside homes of the Anasazi, or ‘Ancient Ones.’
The Anasazi built their homes and culture around the incredible red rock cliffs in the canyon walls of this area for almost 1,000 years. Then, for reasons that are not entirely clear, they left the area, leaving their homes and their cliff-dwelling way of life behind.
Later, people of the Navajo Nation moved to the area and settled in the canyons surrounded by the cliffs. They still live there. If you want to explore the ruins of the Anasazi, you must stop by the visitor center and register for a Navajo guide to take you, by horseback or four-wheeler, into the deep parts of this monument.
For those who love camping, this national park offers free campsites in very specific areas. If you plan to make a weekend of it and would like to stay at one of these sites, be sure to arrive early and have backup plans. These campsites cannot be reserved. They are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and if they fill before you register, you will have to spend the night elsewhere.
Chiricahua National Monument
Nicknamed the ‘Wonderland of Rocks,’ the Chiricahua National Monument is home to some of the world's most impressive natural rock formations. It was with good reason that the Chiricahua Apache named this area ‘the land of standing up rocks.’
This trip works equally as well for those who love hiking as it does for those who enjoy more sedentary pursuits. This monument boasts 17 miles of hiking trails and an 8-mile scenic drive through its wonders.
This national park does have campsites, and they do take reservations. Plan ahead though, as the waiting list for these sites may be lengthy. Stop by the visitor center to learn more about the Native American peoples that once called this area home.
The Painted Desert
The Painted Desert is not a national or state park in and of itself, but parts of it are in both the Petrified Forest National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park. The parts of the Painted Desert that run between those two national parks are part of the Navajo Nation.
The parts of this desert that can be accessed through the bordering national parks offer spectacular views and hiking opportunities for the more adventurous.
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Just 10 minutes from Flagstaff, the Walnut Canyon National Monument offers up-close glimpses of the homes and lifestyle of the Sinagua people who lived there in the 13th century.
Incredibly well preserved by the dry air and still accessible to the general public, a guided tour of these fascinating ruins will leave you with a newfound respect for the ancient peoples that lived there and a whole new concept of history.
Wupatki National Monument
Another historical goldmine, the Wupatki National Monument allows visitors to tour the ruins of the Sinagua people who lived on the grasslands instead of the cliffs. Here you can hike the same trails as the Native Americans did for thousands of years and tour a 900-year-old pueblo to wonder at the intricate adobe construction that has stood the test of time and puts modern building techniques and materials to shame.
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park is another place to view the majestic saguaro cactus and many other types of desert vegetation and wildlife. It is a popular spot for birders who come to watch the more than 150 species of bird who call this park home. Unlike many other Arizona parks, this park has trails that allow horseback riding and biking.
Various Parks in Verde Valley
Verde Valley is home to many great parks such as Jerome State Historic Park, which features the Douglas Mansion, now a visitor center and museum that overlooks the Verde Valley and the former working mines below. Tuzigoot National Monument offers a self-guided tour through a 110-room village called the Tuzigoot Pueblo via a ⅓ mile loop trail, amongst other attractions. Slide Rock State Park is a 43-acre apple farm offering a creek in Oak Creek Canyon with a rock slide sharing the park’s namesake.
Since you will already be nearby, you should also consider visiting some of the area's other natural treasures, including Fort Verde State Historic Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park or the Verde River Greenway. Just keep in mind, most of these parks are a ten to thirty minute drive away from each other.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Located in the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona, the Lost Dutchman State Park is a relatively small state park, at only 320 acres. Built around the remains of a goldmine of the same name, this state park is ideal for the experienced and adventurous hiker or biker.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
If you have had your share of fun in the sun and are looking for a trip that is a bit different than the rest, consider visiting Kartchner Caverns State Park. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the Kartchner Caverns, where it is always cool and shady.
Discovered in 1974 by local cave explorers, this cavern boasts an impressive display of limestone formations, some of which are believed to be more than 50,000 years old. You can travel through the 2.4 miles of the open cavern on a guided tour, where you will learn about the history of the caverns, the rock formations, and the wildlife that call them home.