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Explore arizona’s stunning canyons and wilderness,  with glamping or backpacking excursions , arizona geologic immersion backpacking expeditions.

Arizona Red Rock country contains some of the most breathtaking beauty and scenery in the entire United States, and some even say the world over.  Our adventure tours in these areas will leave you with a new sense of deep appreciation and wonder for the marvels you behold.  Feel free to ​​ contact us   with any questions, or to create your own Arizona Red Rocks BackPack adventure.

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Sedona, Arizona features what is perhaps the most famous red rock country in the United States, if not the world. This charming little town in the high desert is nestled amongst soaring cliffs, towering buttes and hidden canyons. It’s a region rich in not only scenic beauty but natural and cultural history as well. Spend your days exploring the endless miles of trails with our naturalist guides and enjoy the evenings browsing quaint local shops, art galleries and dining at excellent restaurants.

Our Sedona guided day hikes offer the opportunity to get a taste of the wilder side of red rock country. Hike deep into a secluded canyon or climb to astounding vantage points high above the desert floor and soak up the majestic views. We offer a variety of hikes that are perfect for novices as well as seasoned trekkers. Or consider a multiday experience that includes hiking and sightseeing in Sedona and Grand Canyon. Our all-inclusive lodge-based tours take the guesswork out of your vacation planning. We’ll arrange your accommodations, lead you on the best hikes and take you to the greatest restaurants in the area.

Four Season Guides, LLC is a licensed permitee of the USFS, Red Rock Ranger District.

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Join our local hiking experts for an incredible day of exploring Sedona’s famous Red Rocks. Climb to the high summits for extraordinary views or explore a quiet canyon and discover the beauty of the high desert. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the natural and cultural history of this unique environment. There are many options to suit a range of fitness levels and desires, from a few hours to a full day. All of our Sedona hiking tours include roundtrip transportation from your local Sedona hotel, use of day packs and trekking poles, trail snacks & lunch and a professional hiking guide.

List of Sedona Day Hikes

Lodge based tours.

guided backpacking trips arizona

Experience more of Sedona and northern Arizona’s incredible landscapes on our lodge-based Sedona Hiking Tours. Spend your days exploring world-class hiking destinations and enjoy evenings in hotel accommodations and dining at excellent local restaurants. Leave all the logistics and driving to us and spend more time enjoying the scenery, natural history and local flavors of northern Arizona. Custom itineraries are available with groups of 4 or more people.

List of Lodge Based Tours

On your own or with a guide.

Sedona is a well-established tourist destination and travelers who prefer the freedom of remaining on their own timeframe and itinerary will find everything they need for a great vacation. Countless hotels and alternative lodging options, lots of great restaurants, and a wide variety of daily activities can be pieced together to make for a getaway.

For those who enjoy the benefits of having every detail taken care of by those with local, insider knowledge and just prefer to show up and focus on nothing but having fun, then a Sedona guided hiking tour is the perfect choice. Let Four Season Guides handle all the logistics, arrange a comprehensive and rewarding itinerary, and take care of all the driving while you kick back and enjoy every view, every meal, and every hike.

Which Sedona Tour Is Best?

For our Sedona hiking tours, we offer guided day hikes or multi-day hiking tours. If you like to keep your options open for each day of your vacation, then a guided Sedona day hike might be your best option. We can help you choose the best hike to suit your experience level, scenic interests, and adventure level.

If a multi-day trip is your preference, then our Best of Sedona Lodge-Based Tour will offer an immersive experience focused on Red Rock country. For those seeking a more varied, multi-destination trip, then our Grand Canyon & Sedona Tour includes a selection of hand-picked hikes in both locations.

Learn More About Visiting Sedona

Would you like more information about visiting Sedona and all that this beautiful destination has to offer? Check out our Sedona Visitor’s Guide .

Why Travel With FSG

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Don’t take our word for it. More than a thousand 5-Star reviews on TripAdvisor will attest to the quality of our adventures.

Exceptional Guides

Our guiding staff consists primarily of seasoned veterans who have been guiding professionally, full-time, for a decade or more. In addition to their extensive experience, our guides are fun, accommodating, approachable, entertaining, polite and just plain good people.

All-Inclusive Tours

We’re at work, you’re on vacation! We take care of all the logistics associated with a backcountry adventure and handling all the dirty work. Gear, food, permits, transportation…we have you covered and it’s all included.

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The Southwestern U.S. is our home and our passion. We’ve been exploring this region for decades and know it intimately. This is our niche and nobody does it better.

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WildPathsAZ

Arizona hikes, canyons, and adventures

A tent at night in the wilderness

Six Great Arizona Backpacking Trips

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Stacey Johnston

With both deserts and forests, and elevations ranging from just 72 feet to over 12,000, Arizona has a backpacking trip for pretty much every season.

With all this variety, it’s impossible to say whether these are the best backpacking trips in Arizona, but they’re all pretty awesome.

If you want more, see Six More Great Arizona Backpacking Trips or visit our Backpacking page.

Cabin Loop, Mogollon Rim

A summer favorite that’s incredible after an active monsoon season

Cabin Loop is a 25-mile backpacking route between six historic forest service cabins. Although only three of the cabins are on the loop itself, the other three can be accessed with short side trips. This hike can be especially enchanting near the end of an active monsoon season with lush greenery and a wide variety of stunning mushrooms. For those who aren’t up for the full length, the journey can be completed in your choice of two half loops.

The stats 24.8 miles for the whole loop without side trips 3625 ft elevation gain Best seasons: summer, fall, and possibly spring

The full report Cabin Loop

General Springs Cabin on Cabin Loop Trail Mogollon Rim Arizona

West Fork Trail, Sedona

An Arizona backpacking adventure to rival the Narrows in Zion

I know what you’re thinking. West Fork? That crazy crowded one in Sedona? Sure, you may share the beginning of the trail with the hordes of people exploring the incredible beauty of West Fork, but once the beaten path ends, you’ll leave them behind for some seriously spectacular scenery that you might have all to yourself. Your feet will be mostly wet, and the rocks will be slippery, but it’s the water running through here that gives it its unique charm.

The stats 14.4 miles 964 ft elevation gain Best seasons: summer, spring, and fall

The full report West Fork Trail Backpacking Route

Paria Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs Nat’l Monument

An epic odyssey through a narrow sandstone canyon

There are few places on this planet that awaken the senses and the spirit more than Paria Canyon. Straddling the border of Utah and Arizona, this 38-mile backpacking journey follows the Paria River as it carves its way down to Lee’s Ferry. This trip can be combined with a hike through the world famous Buckskin Gulch for those who can handle at least 16 miles in a single day. Getting a permit can be difficult, but the rewards are immeasurable.

The stats 38 miles 1200 ft elevation loss (north to south) Best seasons: spring and fall

The full report Paria Canyon

Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

KP Creek Loop, Blue Range Primitive Area

A remote hike through thickly forested wilderness

If you’re the type to thrive in complete wilderness and ample solitude, a backpacking trip around the KP Creek Loop is what you need. Though a fire damaged the areas at the beginning of the hike, and the trail seems to have very little maintenance, you will be rewarded for your effort with small waterfalls and surprisingly tall trees. The forest therapy is powerful here, and you’ll leave with a refreshed soul even while your weary body recovers.

The stats 19.1 miles 3712 ft elevation gain Best seasons: summer, fall, and possibly spring

The full report KP Creek Loop

Secret Canyon, Sedona

Get lost in the magic of Sedona without the crowds

If you have 4×4 and high clearance, then there’s no excuse not to get off the beaten path and explore Sedona’s magnificent Secret Canyon. Deep in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness , this Arizona backpacking trip explores a canyon that’s beyond the reach of the typical hiker stopping at Devil’s Bridge and provides a measure of solitude that can be rare in Sedona. Immerse yourself in the tall canyon walls made of the red sandstone Sedona is famous for and stay alert to discover the secrets hidden here.

The stats 9.8 miles 935 ft elevation gain Best seasons: spring and fall

The full report Secret Canyon

Secret Canyon Backpacking Trip Sedona

Charlebois Spring Loop, Superstition Mountains

A great winter destination if you don’t like snow

There are plenty of wild legends that go along with the mining history of the Superstiton Mountains , and some people even say they are haunted. We aren’t into superstition, but these mountains are a favorite haunt of the women of WildPathsAZ. Charlebois Spring is a great Arizona backpacking trip within the wilderness, as it provides a scenic oasis in a rugged environment, but other destinations like Hackberry Spring are also great choices for an overnight stay.

The stats 16.8 miles (without the Cavalry side trip) 3199 ft elevation gain Best seasons: winter, spring, and fall

The full report Charlebois Spring Loop

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2 responses to “Six Great Arizona Backpacking Trips”

Michael Avatar

Another great one, for those seeking a thru-hiking experience or are possibly training for the Arizona Trail, is the 80-mile Black Canyon Trail between Prescott and Phoenix. It’s a good winter hike as temperatures are quite nice in the desert at this time with some majestic views of the Bradshaw Mountains and Agua Fria river, however this trail really shines in the spring, especially after a high-precipitation winter. It is absolutely covered in oceans of wildflowers and the desert is surprisingly green at this time. A few creek and river oases offer the chance to rest in the shade of trees. What’s more, you will probably have the majority of this trail all to yourself. A few mountain bikers use this trail, but I went entire days without seeing another soul. There’s a resupply option at Black Canyon City halfway through the trail. Water is spotty and seasonal and usually comes from gross little cow ponds, so a filter or some kind of purification method is highly recommended.

Stacey Johnston Avatar

“Oceans of wildflowers” sounds absolutely delightful. Thank you for sharing! We are always looking for new ideas.

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Discovery treks adventures.

Come and see what the great outdoors has to offer, and witness some of nature’s most incredible, breathtaking, and otherworldly views up close and personal. We offer a variety of guided backpacking and hiking tours through the most scenic parts of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Havasupai Falls. Whether you’re on the Arizona or California side of these gorgeous parks, any one of our trips will give you the experience of a lifetime.

Our packages range from day hikes to multiple-day/overnight excursions and offer varying degrees of difficulty to accommodate adventurers of all experience levels. No matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong! Every single destination is postcard worthy, and you will have a medically trained, professional guide to safely lead you every step of the way. Plus, our overnight packages include all of the gear you’ll need for a successful trip, and we prepare fresh, delicious meals daily to keep you satisfied and going strong for the duration of your journey.

Travel with as few or as many people as you’d like; as one of the best backpacking and tour agencies for Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, we provide solo and couple adventures. You can also sign up to meet new people and travel with a group of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. We’ve seen lifelong friendships form out on these trails, and love exploring with a community of other passionate hikers!

Don’t see the combination you’re looking for? No problem! We’re more than happy to build a custom package for your dream expedition. Click on any adventure to learn more about the excitement that awaits you, and book your next guided tour adventure in Arizona or California with Discovery Treks today!

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Looking for the best backpacking in Arizona? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Arizona. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Arizona

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Havasu Falls in the Havasupai Reservation

guided backpacking trips arizona

Grand Canyon: Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim

guided backpacking trips arizona

Mooney Falls

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Confluence of the Colorado River and Havasu Creek

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Navajo Falls

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Horton Springs Loop

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West Fork Trail

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Ribbon Falls via North Kaibab Trailhead

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Hike Aravaipa Canyon

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White Rock Springs Camp Loop via First Water Trailhead

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Backpack the Grand Canyon's South Rim

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Camp at Canyon de Chelly

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Hike the Thompson Trail

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Mogollon Rim via Washington Park

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Cabin Loop Trail

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Superstition Peak 5057 via Carney Springs

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Arizona Backpacking

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Arizona Backpacking Company

Backpacking Arizona Tours & Courses

Arizona Backpacking Company was born out of a love for our state and a passion for the outdoors.  Arizona is a magical land of enchantment.  Immediately upon your first visit you'll feel as though you're stepping into another world.  And then you'll want to plan several overnight backpacking Arizona trips to experience it's landscapes and wonder at its diversity.  The only way to improve upon Arizona's grandeur is to strap on a kit of bare essentials and walk.

We created this company to help you get the most out of your Arizona backpacking trip - no  matter how much experience you have.  We offer clinics & workshops for beginners and tours for just about anyone.  We've been playing in the wild spaces of Arizona for most of our lives and we love to show it off.

The founding members of this organization have been backpacking for decades.  We have done thousands of miles of trail, worn through multiple pairs of shoes & boots, and have been lost and un-lost enough times that we now call that "exploring".  Whether it was a short backpacking trip into the Superstition Mountains, or the Grand Canyon, or it was a long-distance hike, covering hundreds of miles of the Arizona Trail.  We've backpacked Arizona!

So, as you peruse these pages count on the fact that every single thing we offer has been done and tested by us.  If there's something you need that we don't provide at least reach out to us anyway - we'd at least like to try.

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Best Backpacking Trips In Arizona

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Hikers in Arizona

The Arizona wilderness is unlike any other. A desert landscape that is absolutely teeming with life. It may sound paradoxical, but there is a vast array of ecosystems out there to explore. From mountains to canyons, or waterfall oases to sandstone towers, Arizona has plenty to offer if you’re willing to find it. But let us give you a hand on that front! We’ve pulled four of our absolute favorite  backpacking trips  in Arizona together, and all the details are right here for you to plan your next adventure.

But regardless of the route you take, always stay safe and remember that Arizona is famous for harsh weather conditions. It’s therefore very important to research wildlife and weather forecasts beforehand so you can be fully aware and prepared.

Important Reminder: While Leave No Trace is important in all outdoor settings, it’s especially important for backpacking trips in Arizona where arid climates seriously inhibit the break down of food and human waste. Refresh  LNT guidelines  and be sure that whatever you pack in, you pack out too.

guided backpacking trips arizona

Grand Canyon Rim To Rim

guided backpacking trips arizona

Trip Overview

Hiking the Grand Canyon  is breathtaking no matter the trail you choose, but exploring the Canyon Rim to Rim is the trail to beat them all and certainly one of the best backpacking trips in Arizona. It gives you the unparalleled experience of being able to visit and enjoy both the North and South rims of the canyon. Seeing the Grand Canyon from above is one thing, but truly understanding its magnificence can only come from hiking through the bottom of the canyon itself.

This hike packs all this and more into just a matter of days. Although this hike is classified as moderate, it is no small feat to hike down and back up the canyon. The descent and ascent are spaced out, however, as they are the most strenuous parts of the hike. Nevertheless, don’t take your training lightly and be sure that you are fully conditioned and prepared before you set out. If you’ve never had the pleasure of backpacking in the Grand Canyon before, you receive a Grand Canyon specific packing list if you register for a guided Wildland Trekking trip.

Trip Details

While you can complete this trail in just a day while running; let’s give our lungs a break, shall we?  It’s much easier and infinitely more enjoyable to space this hike out over a few days. Usually, it takes 4 days and 3 nights to make it from the North Rim to the South Rim. This would have you hiking at least 5-7 miles per day. You can complete the trail at whatever pace you wish, but this itinerary gives you more time to enjoy your surroundings.

The Rim to Rim backpacking trip starts on the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail. This begins your 6.8-7 mile descent into the bottom of the canyon to your first campsite. The first day brings you through a dense conifer forest down into an arid desert landscape. Trekking poles are especially helpful in descending the canyon and are recommended, but not necessary, for all hikers.

Continuing down the canyon, you will hike 7 more miles to reach the Bright Angel Campground. This day will bring you past the pristine Ribbon Waterfall.

Day three is a much shorter trek of 4.5 miles that leads to the Havasupai Garden Campground. This leg of the trail has special historical significance to the Native American Havasupai, as you will pass the  Havasupai Garden Spring .

The final day will bring you out of the canyon to enjoy the views of the South Rim. From Havasupai Garden Campground it is 4.8 miles until you reach the top.

Getting There

Since you’re starting at the North Rim, you will likely be coming from Flagstaff, AZ. However, there are many other routes to get to the North Rim depending on your starting point. The route is very clearly marked as you drive but for more detailed driving directions please visit the  Grand Canyon National Park website .

Permits, Fees, and Reservations

Grand Canyon National Park requires you to have a backcountry permit to hike and camp along the Rim to Rim trail. Permit requests can be made ahead of time and the permit cost is $10 per permit plus $8 per person or stock animal per night camped below the rim. For more details, and to apply for a permit, visit the  Grand Canyon National Park Permit Page .

When To Hike

Spring and Autumn are the best times of year to hike Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon. The summer heat is no joke and makes it nearly impossible to safely hike during the day. Although winter temperatures are tolerable, the North Rim is closed during those winter months.

Hike The Grand Canyon With A Guide

Guided  Grand Canyon Rim to Rim backpacking trips  are available and are a stress-free, exciting way to do this trip. The tour company handles permits, gear, transportation, meals, and provides a professional guide so you can focus 100% on enjoying your adventure. If you choose to book a trip with Wildland Trekking, it is highly recommended that you get  trip insurance  for life’s unpredictable last-minute situations that can prevent you from embarking on the trek.

Wildland Trekking also offers other backpacking trips in Arizona as well as the Grand Canyon of varying length and difficulty.  Read more…

guided backpacking trips arizona

Havasu Falls

guided backpacking trips arizona

Located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls Trail has become one of the most sought-after backpacking trips in Arizona. Finding water in the desert is always a delight, but Havasu Falls is a true oasis. Also known as ‘the heart of the Grand Canyon’, you will see a part of the canyon that bus tours cannot reach.

This trail has some strenuous portions, but overall, it is not an overly taxing hike. It may prove to be quite challenging if this is your first backpacking trip but should be rated moderate overall. Therefore, as it isn’t an overly challenging or long backpacking venture, Havasu Falls is accessible to most backpackers!

This has become a rather crowded hike over the years as its popularity has exploded. So, if you are seeking solitude in the backcountry, this is not the place to find it. Once you get to camp, however, there are a few day hikes you can take within the falls area that may take you away from other hikers. But overall, you can expect a crowd.

In past years, this hike could be done in two days with just a one-night stay, but as of 2019, the Havasupai Tribe requires a minimum of a 3-night stay in the falls area. Most backpackers will therefore spend 4 days on this trail and the surrounding falls area.

This is an out and back trail and you will be hiking 10 miles on the first day to reach your campsite. Your adventure begins at Hualapai Hilltop. The start of the hike involves descending a series of steep switchbacks. After 6 miles, you will have reached Havasu Creek. Following the creek for 2 more miles, you will have arrived at the village of Supai. This leaves just 2 miles until you reach your campground.

On the first day, you will pass by three of the five major waterfalls found in this area: Rock Falls, Fifty Foot Falls, and Havasu Falls.

Day Two & Three:

Here you explore the falls area with some epic day hikes. You’ll have a chance to check out the 200 ft tall Mooney Falls, one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the area.Beaver Falls is also not to be missed. Take your time to explore the canyon and the seemingly endless number of waterfalls along the stream.

Time to say goodbye to this desert oasis and you will follow the same trail you used on your way into the canyon. Keep in mind, you descended some steep switchbacks on the way in so that means you’ll be climbing them on the way out. The journey out is 10 miles.

The trailhead is within a 5-hour drive from Phoenix, AZ, Flagstaff, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV. Depending where you’re coming from, the routes will be different. For specific driving directions, visit the Wildland Trekking website  here .

This hike requires a permit. All campground reservations are made for 3 nights / 4 days. They are $100 per person per weeknight and $125 per person per night for the weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday Nights). This would make it between $300-375 for a 3 night /4-day stay. You can stay longer than 3 nights but you will have additional nightly fees. All reservations for permits are non-refundable. For more detailed information on making reservations, visit the  Havasupai Reservations website .

Havasupai Falls is closed December-February every year. When deciding what time of year you’d like to hike to the falls area, you need to consider your experience and ideal temperature.

If you choose to hike in the Spring, snowmelt will ensure that water will be flowing. You will also have good daytime temperatures with longer days and even some swimming weather!

Summer hiking is not recommended for most backpacking trips in Arizona. The bottom of the canyon can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You will want to spend early morning hiking, and afternoons in the shade or swimming. July and August are also monsoon season so check weather reports. Monsoons can cause flash flooding and make the falls area extremely dangerous.

The autumn certainly has potential for a fun backpacking trip to the falls area. Keep in mind that August is still within monsoon season so check the weather. By the time late November rolls around, temperatures are much lower and might not be suitable for swimming.

All-in-all, spring and autumn will be your best bet as the temperatures will not be dangerously hot. Some people hike the falls in the summer, but it is important to heed heat warnings and pack enough water to get you to the campsite. Even though the falls are surrounded by water and swimming areas, heat is a real danger.

Hike Havasu Falls With A Guide

This is undoubtedly one of the absolute best backpacking trips in Arizona, and we’d love to share the wonders of Havasu Falls with you on a guided trip. Unfortunately, commercial groups are no longer permitted due to new regulations that came into effect in 2019. If this changes, check out our  Havasu Falls trips  to arrange an unforgettable trip. But in the meantime, you have all the information you need to plan an epic adventure on your own!

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Paria Canyon

guided backpacking trips arizona

Paralleling the Arizona-Utah border, the Paria Wilderness area is most famously known for a breathtaking rock formation known as The Wave. Getting to The Wave requires a permit and is a fantastic day hike if you’re fortunate enough to get a permit. Nearby is amazing Paria Canyon, which has a thru-hike that follows a one-way route starting at White House, Buckskin Gulch, or Wire Pass Trailhead and ends at Lees Ferry.

Throughout this  backpacking trip , you will gradually lose around 1,130 feet of elevation making it a relatively moderate hike. The majority of the trail follows the riverbed, making it easy to follow. As there are parts of the trail that require you to wade through water, it’s important to know that your hiking pace will likely be slower – and wetter – than normal. Also take note of weather conditions before heading into the canyon as flash floods occur at certain times of the year.

Most backpackers will take 3-4 days to hike the trail. But this is very much a build your own adventure as there are many campsites along the route. Your personal hiking pace and water levels will dictate your daily mileage, and you may want to take your time on trail! You’ll be hiking between Navajo Sandstone walls reminiscent of  Zion’s Narrows . So slow down, take a breath, and simply bask in the wonder of these rock formations. You’re likely to be basking in complete solitude as well, as this hike offers fantastic remoteness as you meander through the riverbed and canyons.

Important Instruction:  Anytime you’re backpacking specifically in or near a source of water – or a wash that water could flow through – you will need to pack out your trash and practice Leave No Trace guidelines. Not only that, but you will need to pack out your toilet paper and human waste in  Wag Bags  as the use of catholes is not allowed.

There are three trailhead options to choose from when hiking Paria Canyon, but we will be detailing the hike starting from White House Trailhead. This keeps the distance to 38 miles. Other starting points will have longer mileage, so keep that in mind when choosing your route.

There are designated campsites along the trail, and three reliable springs as a water source. Most hikers won’t make it to the first spring to refill water until the second day, so pack accordingly. Despite the fact that you will be hiking down a river, it is not advised that you drink directly from the stream. Most water filters will not be able to properly filter out the silty grit and other water pollution coming from upstream. Filter water directly from springs.

Starting from White House Trailhead, you will follow the Paria River about 8 miles to reach your campsite for the night. It will be just below the confluence of the Paria River and Buckskin Gulch. You will, however, pass three campsites before you reach mile 7. So if you are extending the trip to more than 4 days of hiking, you can choose to stop at one of these earlier campsites. If you choose to hike to the first source of water, you can add 5.2 miles of hiking on the first day.

The second day will be a hike of 12.5 miles towards a campsite across the river from Wrather Canyon. You will pass Big Spring (first reliable water source) this day so be sure to fill up on your way. The next spring is just under two miles beyond your campsite. If you need more water, hike to this second spring and you’ll find camping there.

If you stick to the itinerary, you should have only 9.5 more miles to reach your third and final campground. It will be located on the right-hand side of the river just past Bush Head Canyon. You will pass the Last Reliable Spring at mile 25 on this day. Be sure not to miss it and fill up all the water canisters you have. The rest of the trail out of the canyon lacks shade.

This will be your last  day hiking . Continue to follow the riverbed for your final 8 miles until you reach Lees Ferry Trailhead.

You of course have the option to stick to the campsites that are across from the springs. This may make it easier for you to manage your water, especially with cooking in the evenings. Make a plan that works best for you and your group. Just remember to bring a map with you. There are a number of campsites to choose from so you can stop whenever it’s practical for you.

The trailhead for this hike is not far from  Paria Contact Station  located just outside of Kanab, Utah. You will start the hike in Utah, but the majority of your time will be spent hiking in Arizona. The Paria Contact Station is located between mile markers 20 and 21 on Highway 89 between Kanab, UT and Page, AZ.

You will need to arrange a shuttle to bring you back to your car once you finish the trail. There are a number of different shuttle companies but most shuttles from Lees Ferry back to White House Trailhead will be $200-300. If you are hiking with a group, many groups will leave a car at Lees Ferry and then drive one car up to Paria Contact Station to skip the shuttle. This method works depending on where you are coming from.

Paria Canyon requires a permit which can be  applied for online  or over the phone. Advance permits are required for overnight trips and cannot be paid for at the Contact Station. You can, however, purchase permits for day hikes at the station. Keep in mind that your permit application is a lottery system and they only distribute 20 permits per day.

Permits cost $5 per person per night. Dogs can be brought into the canyon for an additional nightly charge of $5. If you wish to change a permit, you will be charged $30 per transaction.

You can visit the  BLM website  to see open dates and permit availability.

Like most of the best backpacking trips in Arizona, Spring and Fall are the ideal times to go. There is a chance of flash flooding in the canyon from July until early September so it is best to avoid hiking during that time period. If you do choose to hike in early Fall, check the weather before your trip and ask the ranger’s advice on current conditions before setting out.

You can hike in the summer months, but you will likely need more time in order to avoid hiking in the hottest parts of the day.  As for winter, you need to keep in mind that you will be hiking in water for a significant portion of the trail. Fires are not permitted in the canyon, even at campsites, so if you do need to dry gear out, it may be difficult due and highly dependent on weather conditions.

Hike Paria Canyon with a Guide

Wildland Trekking offers a guided  Paria Canyon Backpacking Trip . This trip is all-inclusive, which means permits, gear, meals and transportation are included. It originates and ends in St. George, Utah and is offered in the spring and fall months. Going guided is an adventure you’ll never forget!

All Inclusive Backpacking Trips

White Rock Springs – Superstition Mountains

guided backpacking trips arizona

The Superstition Mountains are littered with amazing hiking and some of the best backpacking trips in Arizona. Many of the backpacking trails often connect with a number of different side-trails to make a unique route. With 160,200 acres, the Superstition Wilderness consists of over 170 miles of trail networks. This doesn’t imply that they will all be well-maintained, but there are still plenty to choose from.

The White Rock Springs figure-eight trail follows a network of trails to take you 23 miles round trip. This hike will have 3000 feet of elevation gain and sections with loose rock. Hiking poles may be useful and this hike should be considered strenuous.

Important Information: Before you embark on any backpacking or extended day hike in the Superstition Wilderness, be sure to contact the Tonto National Forest Mesa Ranger District to get an up-to-date backcountry water report.

This backpacking trip is referred to as White Rock Springs. However, you will not be following a trail by the same name. The name comes from the destination you are intending to reach and camp near. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy amazing views of Weaver’s Needle, an iconic 1,000ft high figure in the Superstition Wilderness.

The first day will be a trek of 7 miles. Register at First Water Trailhead, where the route begins. You will follow this trail only for a short time (0.3 miles) before you reach a fork. The recommended route is to follow Second Water Trail (1.5 miles) to Black Mesa Trail (3.3 miles) leading you past Dutchman’s Trail up Bull Pass and around Black Top Mesa (1.5 miles). You will meet up with the Dutchman’s Trail again, but do not follow it. Continue straight on a slight descent (0.4 miles) to get onto Calvary Trail. This will lead you to White Rock Springs and a number of backcountry camping options.

Perhaps one of the best parts of this backpacking trip is that you have a basecamp. You can leave your camp set-up and take a day pack out for day two’s 10-mile hiking loop. It is recommended that you hike this loop counterclockwise so you can stop by Charlebois Spring on the last mile of the hike. Start back the way you came and follow Dutchman’s Trail (1.2 miles) until you meet up with Terrapin Trail (2.8 miles). Follow this to Bluff Springs Trail until you intersect Dutchman’s Trail once more until you’ve reached the Spring (5 miles). Then just one more mile back to camp for the night.

On the way out, you will start back the way you came, but you will want to take the Dutchman’s Trail all the way to First Water Trailhead. This will be a 6.8-mile hike out. Descending this route may have loose rock and hiking poles are suggested.

See an online map  here  to follow the trail progression.

The First Water Trailhead is located just outside of Mesa, AZ past the Lost Dutchman State Park. Coming from Mesa and Apache Junction area, follow Highway 88 (N Apache Trail) until you can make a right turn onto N 1st Water Road. This will lead you to the trailhead.

Certain recreational activities may require a pass and you generally need a permit/pass for a multi-day trip. More information can be found on the  Tonto National Forest website .

It is recommended that you hike anywhere in the Superstition Mountains in either the Spring or Autumn. Shade is not prevalent and water is scarce so summer hiking is not recommended, just like most backpacking trips in Arizona. Daytime temperatures are comfortable in the winter months, and the evenings are usually around 40 degrees. It can snow in the Superstition Mountains, but rarely. As always, please keep a weather eye on the forecast!

Arizona boasts an absolute plethora of hiking opportunities. We’d love to list them all for you, but we’d have to grow this post into a multi-volume novel! But for now, you know our favorite  backpacking trips in Arizona  and have all the information you need for an incredible trip. Where to go, when to go, permits, itineraries, and more are all right here at your fingertips. So what’re you waiting for? Get out there and explore.

Wildland Trekking Hiking Adventures

guided backpacking trips arizona

As the world’s premier  hiking and trekking company , Wildland believes in connecting people to fantastic environments in amazing ways. Arizona offers an array of incredible hiking and trekking experiences, including the incredible  Grand Canyon . Wildland Trekking provides many different multi-day hiking and backpacking adventures throughout some of the State’s most breathtaking regions. Read more about our  Arizona trips .

To learn more about our  guided backpacking trips  and all of our award-winning  hiking vacations , please visit our website or connect with one of our Adventure Consultants: 800-715-HIKE

About Dan Purdy

Dan Purdy, Wildland Blog Contributor

Dan is an avid traveler and adventurer. From guiding in Norway, to studying wilderness medicine in Scotland, to leading volcano trips in Nicaragua, and – most recently – guiding with Wildland Trekking in the Pacific Northwest, he loves to share his love of the outdoors with others in every way he can.

guided backpacking trips arizona

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Grand Canyon Permit System

Grand Canyon National Park issues backcountry permits through a lottery system. All commercial outfitters are subject to this lottery system the same as the public is.

We offer a 5% discount for registering 5 or more months in advance and early registration means you can pick any dates.

  • We are required to have at least one registered guest to apply for a permit.
  • We apply for permits 4 months in advance on the 1st of the month (see table below).
  • We have a good success rate with securing permits if you register before the dates as specified in the table below.
  • If unsuccessful your deposit is fully transferrable or refundable.
  • Groups of 5 or less have a higher success rate than large groups.
  • The more flexible you can be in your planning, the better our chances are of securing your permit.

guided backpacking trips arizona

10 Small Towns In Arizona With Beautiful Backpacking Trails

  • Oro Valley, Pima County: A stunning location with mountain views and a 2.7-mile trail through cacti.
  • Chino Valley, Yavapai County: Offers a 3.5-mile trail with breathtaking views of lakes and mountains.
  • Gold Canyon, Pinal County: Explore the 3.7-mile Shaka Cave trail in the Superstition Wilderness for a unique adventure.

Arizona has some of the most breathtaking desert landscapes and mountain scenery. A road trip through Arizona with scenic stops is the best way to explore and experience the Grand Canyon State. Other than all the grandeur and natural beauty of the state, some truly strange things are found in Arizona's deserts , making it a land of wonder, history, and mystery.

Along with the mountainous rocky terrain, an abundance of lakes and rivers mark their presence in the state, and the combination of these has resulted in many rugged, scenic, and famous trails along cities, towns, and small towns. With top-rated off-road trails and beautiful Arizona hikes , the state is one of the top trail destinations in America. This is a list of 10 small towns in Arizona with beautiful backpacking trails.

Most trails are in rocky, muddy, and/or forested areas, and roads and trails may become quite muddy during and after periods of thunderstorms. Visitors must dress appropriately, especially in footwear.

10 Best State Parks In Arizona With Scenic Hikes

Oro valley, pima county, picture rocks wash loop, saguaro national park.

On April 15, 2024, the Town of Oro Valley turns 50 years old ! Oro Valley means "Valley of Gold" in Spanish, a reference dating to when prospectors searched for their fortune. Today, the riches of this bedroom community refer to its stunning location with views of the rugged Santa Catalina and Tortolita Mountains that flank the town. The small town is rich in natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and public art.

The 2.7-mile Picture Rocks Wash Loop is best visited between January through April. One of the many hikes and trails inside the Saguaro National Park , this trail requires a fee to enter the park . Cutting through a narrow field of Cacti, this trail has fantastic views of the Picture Rocks.

  • Population: 49,094
  • Distance: 2.7 miles
  • Time: 55 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Best time to visit: Between January through April

Chino Valley, Yavapai County

Prescott circle trail: segment 09, prescott.

Fifteen miles from Prescott, Chino Valley is the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona . It lies in the Central Highlands of Arizona with vastly wide open spaces, big blue skies, and a culture defined by friendly people, unique eating establishments, and outdoor adventure.

The 3.5-mile Prescott Circle Trail: Segment 09 trail is an easy route and is popular for backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking. It is one segment of the 54-mile Prescott Circle Trail segments that crosses and presents breathtaking views and experiences in Prescott National Forest, the City of Prescott, Yavapai County, and state lands. The trail skirts Watson, Willow, and Goldwater Lakes, cuts through Granite Dells and offers close-up views of Granite Mountain and Thumb Butte.

  • Population: 14,061
  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Best time to visit: From January through November

Gold Canyon, Pinal County

Shaka cave via lost goldman trail, superstition wilderness.

Gold Canyon is a small town referred to as Gold Camp in weather statements issued by the National Weather Service. Located at the foot of Superstition Mountain and adjacent to the Superstition Mountain Wilderness, Gold Canyon's weather is terrific, with plenty of sunshine, no snowfall (except on the peaks of Superstition Mountain), and beautiful days and nights.

The 3.7-mile Shaka Cave via Lost Goldman Trail is famous for backpacking, camping, and hiking, so many visitors are here year-round. It is a lightly traveled primitive trail and shares the same route as the Wave Cave for the first 1.4 miles. Caves and mines in the Superstitions are intriguing because of the legend of the Lost Dutchman's gold . The cave has relics like broken pottery, so everyone should follow the "Leave no trace" principle. The hike begins in the State Park but crosses into the picturesque Superstition Wilderness with plenty of wildflowers, wildlife, and beautiful views at every point.

  • Population: 10,064 (2010 census)
  • Distance: 3.7 miles
  • Time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderately challenging
  • Best time to visit: From October through April

These Three Scenic Arizona State Parks Are Picturesque To Hike In December

Village of oak creek, yavapai county, girdner trail, coconino national forest.

Seven miles from Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek is a small community that is based on tourism and service to retirees and second-home owners. It is set among scenic red-rock buttes and canyons and surrounded by the Coconino National Forest .

The Girdner Trail is an out-and-back trail near Sedona, famous for backpacking, camping, and hiking. The trail is open to visitors year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Most of the creek crossings on the trail have been re-routed to higher levels, giving great 360-degree views of the red rocks around it. A Red Rock Pass is required to access this trail in Coconino National Forest.

  • Population: 5,915
  • Distance: 9.9 miles
  • Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Best time to visit: During October and November

Dewey–Humboldt, Yavapai County

Trail #311 - west lynx lake, prescott national forest.

Gold was discovered on Lynx Lake in the spring of 1863 , and the Dewey area was settled around it to supply the miners. The town of Dewey–Humboldt was finally incorporated in 2004. Today, Dewey–Humboldt is a low-density residential area. Nestled in the Bradshaw Mountains and surrounded by beautiful scenery, the town has plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, or camping in nearby Prescott National Forest.

The 2.4-mile Trail #311 - West Lynx Lake trail is a trendy area for backpacking, birding, and camping, so there's a strong likelihood of encountering other people while exploring. A day-use fee or NPS Access Pass is required to access this trail. There are benches and picnic tables along the route for resting.

  • Population: 4,557
  • Distance: 2.4 miles
  • Time: 46 minutes
  • Best time to visit: From March through October

This route is for hikers/wheelchair users only. No cycling allowed.

Cordes Lakes, Yavapai County

Big dipper via poland creek, castle creek wilderness.

Close to the Agua Fria National Monument , Cordes Lake is a small community of just over 2,000 people. It is a charming desert town that offers a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful mountain views while still being close enough to larger cities. The area is known for its excellent hiking trails, scenic drives, and abundant wildlife.

Near Crown King, the 4.3-mile out-and-back trail to the Big Dipper and back via Poland Creek is an old existing trail into the bottom of a deep canyon, then follows the canyon downstream to a waterfall. The scenic beauty throughout the trail and at the waterfall is worth going down the deep canyon. Poland Creek is a unique and beautiful place. The variations in rock forms, plants, and large pools make this canyon a gem worth visiting, especially in the fall. New hikers can take breaks on the way up.

  • Population: 3,308
  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Best time to visit: Fall season

Star Valley, Gila County

Willow springs canyon trail, apache sitgreaves national forest.

At approximately 5,150 feet, Star Valley is nearly surrounded by the Tonto National Forest and located south of the Mogollon Rim and north of the Sonoran Desert . With hundreds of miles of trails, the area around Star Valley is a perfect place to ride, walk, and explore the wild.

The 6.1-mile out-and-back Willow Springs Canyon Trail is located near Forest Lakes and runs along the beautiful and calm waters of Willow Spring Lake. It is quite popular for backpacking, fishing, and hiking. Wildflowers, birds, elk, and deer are often seen along this system of old logging roads, especially in the summer.

  • Population: 2,578
  • Distance: 6.1 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Best time to visit: From May through September

10 Top-Rated Campsites In Arizona For Glamping Under The Stars

Fort valley, coconino county, bismarck lake trail, coconino national forest.

Fort Valley remains what it has been forever: an open meadow at the base of what is now the Snowbowl Road. Much of the past wildlife, such as deer, herons, raptors, and elk, remains in the area. It is a historical settlement at the base of Mt. Agassiz near Flagstaff , Arizona, and gained its name as a fort established to defend against Apache tribes .

The 2.4-mile Bismarck Lake Trail is an out-and-back scenic trail at approximately 8,500 feet in a large meadow with excellent views of the San Francisco Peaks . Bismarck Lake is an important water source for wildlife in the area but is often dry during the driest months of the year. A Red Rock Pass is required to access this trail in Coconino National Forest.

  • Population: 1,734
  • Time: 57 minutes
  • Best time to visit: Between May through October

Wilhoit, Yavapai County

Goldwater lakes trail, prescott national forest.

Sixteen miles south of Prescott, on AZ-89, lies Wilhoit, a small town with a history. Mr. and Mrs. Wilhoit started the little community in the 1920s to service travelers between Phoenix and Prescott, and the town has retained its name since.

The 9.1-mile Goldwater Lakes Trail in Prescott National Forest is a popular out-and-back backpacker trail for camping and hiking. The trail's name comes from the two lakes it passes, the Lower and Upper Goldwater lakes. It has plenty of benches to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of both lakes. The scenery is stunning, with lots of pine trees and wildflowers. The trail system is well-maintained, marked, and open year-round.

  • Population: 1,009
  • Distance: 9.1 miles
  • Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
  • Best time to visit: May, October, and September are the most pleasant months in Wilhoit

Tortilla Flat, Maricopa County

Peters canyon trail, superstition wilderness.

Northeast of Apache Junction , Tortilla Flat is the last surviving stagecoach stop along the Apache Trail . Originally a camping ground for the prospectors who searched for gold in the Superstition Mountains in the mid-to-late 19th century, Tortilla Flat is presumed to be Arizona's smallest official "community," having a U.S. Post Office, voting precinct, and a population of 6 people.

The 4.2-mile out-and-back Peters Canyon Trail is great for backpacking, camping, and hiking, but isn't used frequently. The trail is unmaintained, and bushwhacking over thorny bushes and huge boulders may be necessary. Therefore, visitors must download an offline map to help navigate. With all this, the scenery around Peters Canyon is incredible.

  • Population: 6
  • Distance: 4.2 miles
  • Time: 1 hour 47 minutes

10 Small Towns In Arizona With Beautiful Backpacking Trails

These Arizona campgrounds were named best in the West. Here’s how to enjoy them

guided backpacking trips arizona

Looking to get your kids out of the house and off their screens?

What better way to do that than to take them to the middle of nowhere?

The Grand Canyon State has many beautiful spots to plan your next camping trip. Two spots in Arizona were named the “2024 Best Places to Camp in the Mountain Region” by the Dyrt.

The article states that the “Mountain Region was simply made for camping.” One Arizona campsite took the top spot on the list and the other landed at No. 7.

Curious about what these locations are? Or eager to plan your next adventure? Here are the “2024 Best Places to Camp in the Mountain Region” in Arizona.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Saddle Mountain – Kaibab National Forest

Taking the No. 1 spot on the list is Saddle Mountain in the Kaibab National Forest.

The Dyrt said that what makes this spot a great find is that it’s on a remote side road near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is less visited than other parts of the Canyon and is a free place to camp with “solitude and scenery.”

There are trails to Saddle Mountain or south to Point Imperial, for the more experienced hikers, the Nankoweap Trail leads to ancient granaries in the canyon wall. The nearest civilization is at Jacob Lake and North Rim village.

The Dryt also included comments from its community of campers:

“Stunning,” Shelby C. said. “Every summer I go on a road trip through national forests all over the US and Kaibab is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen, so much wildlife and elk and obviously the Grand Canyon, such a great camping spot and the sunrise there is like nothing you have ever seen.”

“Wow,” Emily said. “This place is truly amazing, you can pitch your tent 5 feet away from the start of the canyon, not to mention the beautiful sunrises and sunsets! It is a long gravel road on the way here, 4WD definitely recommended.”

The price is free and the sites are dispersed. There are RV sites; fires and pets are also allowed.

Lost Dutchman State Park

Taking the seventh spot on the list is the Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction.

The Dryt said what makes it great is that it’s surrounded by hiking trails and epic views. It is just outside of Phoenix but has considerable access to wilderness adventures.

The location is well-maintained, tidy and has a ranger station offering programs for kids. You can explore a network of trails by mountain bikes and 4x4s or hike from the campground to the Superstition Mountains or the Flatiron according to the Dryt.

There is a nearby ghost town and the Lost Dutchman Museum down the road.

“Lost Dutchman State Park isn’t just a campground, it’s an adventure paradise,” Brad said.

“Best camping in the area,” Riley K. said. “Lost Dutchman has amazing views, super clean facilities and spaced out sites. Highly recommend.”

“We really enjoyed this park,” Mike T. said. “Sites were nicely spaced. Beautiful view of mountain and amazing sunsets. Great hikes right from the campground.”

The campground costs $25-$35 and there are 138 sites. Those include RV sites and allow fires and pets.

New to the Valley: Is there a Buc-ee's in Arizona? Here's when the massive new travel center will open

Reach the reporter at   [email protected] . Follow   @dina_kaur  on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Planning a road trip? Stop at one of these 18 uniquely Arizona roadside attractions

guided backpacking trips arizona

While the nearest rest stop or fast-food chain restaurant may be the most convenient place for tired travelers searching for a reprieve from the open road, it would be remiss of road trippers to ignore the unusual roadside attractions scattered along the Arizona highways.

If life-sized cartoon characters near the Grand Canyon or exotic animals on the way to Tucson sound like better pit stops than the local gas station, you're in luck when driving in Arizona.

Here are some of the most notable Arizona roadside attractions you can check out the next time you cross the Grand Canyon state.

Bedrock City at Raptor Ranch

As if Fred Flintstone's prehistoric town had always been set in Arizona, visiting Bedrock City at Raptor Ranch will make baby boomers (and anyone else who watched reruns of the popular '60s cartoon) nostalgic for their childhood. Colorful statues of familiar characters and the iconic brontosaurus slide have been essential roadside attractions off State Route 64 in Valle.

Details: 332 S. State Route 64, Valle. 928-635-3072. www.raptor-ranch.com .

Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park

Less of a roadside attraction and more of a cool fun fact you can share, the Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park recognizes the only place in the U.S. where the borders of four states meet. After visiting, you can finally join many Southwestern residents in saying you have been in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all at the same time.

Details: 597 NM-597, Teec Nos Pos. 928-206-2540.  www.navajonationparks.org.

Meteor Crater

Over 50,000 years ago, an iron-nickel meteorite approximately 150 feet wide collided with what is now northern Arizona. According to the site's website, the impact hit the Earth with a force 150 times greater than an atomic bomb. The crater this meteor left is now the best-preserved meteorite site on Earth and a historic landmark to visit if you are driving near Flagstaff.

Details: Interstate 40, Exit 233, Winslow. 928-289-5898. www.meteorcrater.com .

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

If you are heading south near Picacho Peak, it is hard to miss the billboards advertising Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. Seemingly the only place you can find stingrays, donkeys, deer, parrots and dozens of ostriches in the middle of nowhere, this roadside attraction is a great spot for adults and children to make memories.

Details: 17599 E Peak Lane, Picacho. 520-466-3658.  www.roostercogburn.com .

Take the scenic route: This stunning Arizona roadway was ranked most scenic drive in the US. See why

Standin' on the Corner Park

You don't have to be an Eagles groupie to be familiar with the nod to this Arizona town in one of their most popular songs, "Take it Easy." "Standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona ..." is a line memorialized by Winslow residents at Standin' on the Corner Park. A bronze statue of a young musician is a salute to the troubadours who put Winslow on the classic rock map.

Details: Corner of Kinsley Avenue and Second Street in Winslow. 928-289-2434.  www.visitwinslow.com .

Without spoiling the enigma that can be uncovered in Benson, The Thing is a worthy roadside attraction to consider as you head down the I-10. The various billboards that line the highway are hard to miss as you get closer to the "Mystery of the Desert." Located next to a Dairy Queen and a Shell gas station, you can take care of your hunger, gas tank and curiosity at the same time.

Details: 2631 N. Johnson Road, Benson. 520-586-2581. www.bowlinsthething.com .

Arizona's 'world's largest' roadside wonders

According to a map created by  blog.batchgeo.com , more than 195 roadside attractions in the U.S. consider themselves the “world’s largest” something. These are Arizona's "world's largest" wonders and where they are located.

  • World's Largest Cow Skull, Amado.
  • World's Largest Petrified Tree, Holbrook.
  • World's Largest Map of Old Route 66, Meteor City.
  • World's Largest Kokopelli, Camp Verde.
  • World's Largest Kachina, Carefree.

Find out more: Arizona is home to 5 of the 'World's Largest' things — do you know what they are?

Giganticus Headicus

Art is completely subjective. To Kingman residents, Giganticus Headicus is one of the most iconic art pieces off Route 66. Created by local artist Gregg Arnold, the tiki-style head is 14 feet tall and bright green. If taking a picture isn't enough, you can further memorialize your time with the head with a miniature from the local gift shop.

Details: 9855 AZ-66, Kingman. www.antaersvisitorcenter.com .

Wigwam Village Motel

Need a place to stay overnight? Have you considered a wigwam? This quaint village off Mother Road may be just the eccentric place to spend a night while traveling through the state. Constructed in the 1950s, a night in a wigwam will make you forget why you would want to sleep anywhere else.

Details: 811 W. Hopi Drive, Holbrook. 928-524-3048. sleepinawigwam.com .

Lumberjack muffler man

A familiar face to Northern Arizona University students, the 25-foot-tall muffler man resembles the school's mascot, Louie the Lumberjack. Before being moved outside of the Skydome, the lumberjack was located outside the Lumberjack Cafe and appeared in the background of the 1969 movie "Easy Rider."

Details: 1701 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff.

Rainbow Rock Shop Dinosaurs

If you're in search of more prehistoric creatures to gape at, stop at the Rainbow Rock Shop as you drive along Route 66. Fans of geodes and other pretty rocks will be able to admire the variety of concrete dinosaurs while searching for their next gem.

Details: 101 Navajo Blvd., Holbrook.

Located near the Mexico border, Dateland is a necessary stop on Interstate 8. A major producer of the Medjool dates, the dry heat provides the perfect climate for cultivating the fruit. Dates are fiber-rich, sweet as candy and contain more potassium than a banana. Try Dateland's world-famous date shake when you visit.

Details: 1737 Ave. 64 E., Dateland. 928-454-2772. www.dateland.com .

London Bridge

You don't need to travel across the world to experience a little European history. As a result of a strange series of events, the London Bridge , which once crossed the River Thames, was broken down and rebuilt in Lake Havasu City by Robert P. McCulloch. This British import attracts tens of thousands of travelers every year.

Details: 1340 McCulloch Blvd. N., Lake Havasu City. 928-453-3444. www.golakehavasu.com .

Take a break from speeding down the highway by cruising through the ponderosa pine forest. An attraction you don't need to get out of your car to enjoy, Bearizona has over three miles of road surrounded by picturesque nature and North American animals. If your legs need a break from sitting in a cramped car, the park also has a 20-acre walk-through area.

Details: 1500 E Route 66, Williams. 928-635-2289. www.bearizona.com .

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COMMENTS

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    Paria Canyon. Difficulty: Difficult. Distance: 38-mile thru-hike. Elevation Gain: 1,750 feet. One of the most stunning canyon hikes, this one spans the Utah/Arizona border and is worth the shuttle you have to set up beforehand for this one-way hike. Due to overuse, you need to book a permit to hike through the canyon.

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    We confront you with the grand scale of decision. Our guided Grand Canyon Hiking and Backpacking tours are full-service with top-of-the-line gear, great food, and expert geologist/guides. Backpacking trips into Grand Canyon are a special and wild experience. Choose from trips to the popular South Rim, or the wild and beautiful North Rim.

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    Arizona has some of the best and most famous backpacking trips in the United States with adventures that can last from one or two nights to weeklong escapes. Whichever Arizona backpacking trip you choose, it is absolutely a decision you won't regret. Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Backpacking. Over 277 miles long, ten miles wide, and a mile deep ...

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    Charlebois Spring is a great Arizona backpacking trip within the wilderness, as it provides a scenic oasis in a rugged environment, but other destinations like Hackberry Spring are also great choices for an overnight stay. The stats. 16.8 miles (without the Cavalry side trip) 3199 ft elevation gain. Best seasons: winter, spring, and fall.

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    Cabin Loop Trail. 18.82 mi / 2028 ft gain. People think Arizona is all just desert, but this hike will show you otherwise. Up on the Mogollon Rim, this trail takes you past old cabins, through lush forest, and near many creeks. Day 1: (10 miles) Drive on Rim Road to the General Springs Trail Head.

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    The 3.5-mile Prescott Circle Trail: Segment 09 trail is an easy route and is popular for backpacking, hiking, and mountain biking. It is one segment of the 54-mile Prescott Circle Trail segments ...

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