Hear about travel to Arizona’s National Parks as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gary Arndt from Everything-Everywhere.com about the many and varied parks in the Grand Canyon State.
You may think that the Grand Canyon is the only national park in Arizona but Gary says, “actually Arizona has 22 national park sites which places it second for most national parks only behind California. There is a great deal of diversity. These aren’t just natural sites although it has some of those. There’s a great deal of history that goes back to the ancient people who lived in this area before Europeans showed up as well as westward expansion and a host of other things. You are also going to see some landscapes that you really are not going to see anywhere else. There are other deserts in the United States but the Sonoran Desert that you are going to see here is really unique and has some things that you are really not going to find in California, Nevada or even Utah.”
Gary starts us with one of the most frustrating of all the national parks, Hohokam Pima National Monument, which is one that you cannot visit and if you could, there would be nothing to see. But we Arizona makes up for that with sites like the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend that are much more Instagramable.
We talk about Native American sites including Canyon De Chelly, Walnut Canyon, Montezuma Castle, Wupatki, Navajo, Tonto, Tuzigoot and Chiricahua National Monuments. These sites look at the history going back to the Navajo, Apache and further back to the Sinagua and Hohokum cultures and even further back to the Ancient Pueblo Peoples (Anasazi).
Some sites cover the history of European exploration and colonization including Coronado National Memorial and Tumacacori National Historical Park.
Other sites cover the history of the westward expansion of the United States including Pipe Spring National Monument, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and Fort Bowie National Historic Site.
Arizona has two different sites dedicated to a kind of cactus with Saguaro National Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and one dedicated to a much older forest with Petrified Forest National Park.
Grand Canyon is not the only park on the Colorado River. Arizona also has part of Glen Canyon and Lake Mead National Recreation Areas. Glen Canyon has become better known in recent years because of the popularity of Horseshoe Bend.
The Grand Canyon is spectacular but Gary thought Chiricahua National Monument just might be the prettiest spot of all the parks in Arizona.
We also talk about the Navajo National Parks of Antelope Canyon and of Monument Valley which is just over the border to Utah.
Whether you love history or beauty, Arizona probably has a national park for you.
right click here to download (mp3)
National Parks in Arizona
Travel to Northern Arizona – Amateur Traveler Episode 562
Travel to Phoenix, Arizona – Episode 647
Travel to Tucson, Arizona – Episode 596
Rafting Down the Grand Canyon – Episode 223
Grand Canyon Sky Walk
Canyon De Chelly National Monument
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
Sainte Geneviève NHS
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Grand Canyon–Parashant National Monument
Thanks to new Patron Chris:
Hello fellow Chris, thanks is due to you for keeping up such a brilliant podcast! I just listened to the Mt. Kilimanjaro episode today it’s brilliant!
I’ve just started my own podcast too on more adventure travel aspects (so I’d probably do an episode on the Everest episode that you wouldn’t do – that kind of angle). In part inspired by you and your fantastic interview technique.
Please keep the content, I must have listened to 100’s episodes and so far have gone back as far as the high 100’s episode number and I still listen (mostly) weekly 🙂
Thanks to new Patron Cynthia:
Chris! Thank you so much for what you do and all the episodes you have released. Your show is the reason my fiancé and I went to Uzbekistan which was life changing! I am so inspired each time I listen, and especially now that I’m quarantined in NYC, each episode offers a respite and chance to daydream. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity sharing so much information over the years!! Keep it up!
Justin on Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – Episode 699
This brought back fond memories, thanks for sharing. We agree, do the hike before the safari. We did the Lemosho route from the west and summited the Western Breach, so a little bit different experience. We also did early September, which matched well with seeing the great migration. If interested, we kept a log with photos and videos:
Amateur Traveler trip in September 2020 to Turkey
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Amateur Traveler trip to Turkey in September 2020