Fall is one of the best times to embark on some outdoor adventures in the desert state of Arizona. As the sweltering summer months begin to cool off, an autumn excursion makes for a great way to beat the heat. From ghost towns to slot canyons, here are our top 10 outdoor adventures in Arizona for fall 2021.
1. Jerome Ghost Town
See a real-life ghost town with a visit to Jerome, Arizona. Jerome was home to copper mines in the 1920s. Once a bustling town with over 10,000 residents, the town slowly died as the copper mines dried up. Nowadays, the area welcomes visitors to see the remains of the former mining town.
2. Monument Valley
Check out some memorable and stunning rock formations at Monument Valley! Located in Navajo Nation, this park is home to unique scenery and landscapes. You can take in the sights yourself with a guided tour of the area – self-guided tours are not recommended due to the rough terrain in the area.
3. Grand Canyon
Fall can be an excellent time to see the grand canyon! While temperatures in the area can be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, fall temperatures typically hover in the 80s. This means that an autumn visit to the Grand Canyon is a great way to explore one of America’s natural wonders without having to brave the desert heat!
4. Antelope Canyon
After a long period of closure, Antelope Canyon is finally open to visitors once again! You can traverse this one-of-a-kind canyon by booking a tour, which will ensure you not only get to see the gorgeous canyon but will also have a safe and relaxing trip!
Head up to Northern Arizona to explore Flagstaff! This charming town is a popular spot for winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing in the colder months, but a fall visit will be just as rewarding. Enjoy mild weather, check out some of the local hiking trails, or explore the town’s shops with a trip here!
6. Mt. Lemmon
Mt. Lemmon is the tallest mountain in the Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona, and also a great option for a fun day trip! You can look forward to hiking trails, checking out the gift shop at the top of the mountain, or grabbing a bite to eat at the mountain’s Sawmill Run restaurant.
7. Petrified Forest National Park
This national park makes for a great road trip stop or destination! Like most of Arizona, a fall trip is a great time to avoid the higher desert temperatures you would experience in the summer. Check out the park’s many hiking trails, or learn more about the history of the area at a ranger talk! Even better, pets are allowed in this national park, meaning this is one adventure you can bring four-legged family members on too!
8. Camelback Mountain
If you’re looking for a fun outing near Phoenix, Arizona, check out Camelback Mountain. There are generally two trails leading up to the top of the mountain – Cholla and Echo Canyon. Cholla Trailhead is currently closed, however. Echo Canyon, meanwhile, is open and is approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip. If you feel like getting up early, a sunrise hike will be especially rewarding – offering dreamy views of both the rising sun and the city below.
9. Hot Air Balloon Tour
See Arizona from a totally unique perspective with a hot air balloon tour! With such a tour you can look forward to seeing the desert in a memorable way. This could also be a great option for a romantic outing – what’s more romantic than literally floating through the clouds? Several companies in different areas of the state offer hot air balloon rides, including Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co. in Phoenix!
10. Vulture City
Another historic ghost town in Arizona, Vulture City is home to the remains of several old buildings as well as now abandoned mines. You can look forward to seeing the remains of the town up close and personal, as the area is currently open for tours.
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