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Best Arizona National Parks to Visit in the Winter

Winters in Arizona are considered one of the best times, as there is much to do here. Despite being a high desert, a common perception for North Arizona, there is so much that this part of the US can offer to tourists. Those who visit it once will keep coming back for more!

Here we will share the best Arizona National Parks that can be visited during winter.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

A picture of red rocks in Grand Canyon National Park, covered in snow and clouds as the sun sets.

Grand Canyon National Park, situated in Arizona, is truly remarkable to explore. The Colorado River and patterned bands of vivid geological formations chiseled this truly stunning scenery over millions of years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ranks among the World's Seven Natural Wonders. Furthermore, Grand Canyon is among the most popular destinations for travelers worldwide, making it one of the bustling National Parks in the United States.

People who have already been to the national park highly recommend the Grand Canyon South Rim as it has more beautiful landscapes than any other part of the canyon. It is an excellent spot to begin the trek for hikers, nature lovers, and photographers. This part of the canyon is open 24 hours with restaurants, lodgings, shops, and many other facilities for hikers. In contrast, the northern part of the canyon is closed because of extreme snowfall during the winter season.

Petrified Forest National Park.

An image of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. This photo shows the mars-like landscape and the petrified trees.

The park, named after its huge reserves of petrified wood, covers at least 346 square miles (900 square kilometers) and encompasses semi-desert shrub grasslands and strongly eroded and colorful flatlands. The park is open every day except for Christmas, with a seasonal schedule that varies slightly.

Petrified Forest National Park's cool attractions continue beyond stone stumps. People visiting the park’s treks can see bluish clay hills and the remains of a Puebloan habitation constructed over 600 years ago. Travelers may also come face to face with tiger salamanders, prairie dogs, ornate box turtles, and other park wildlife.

Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monuments

An image of ancient ruins at the Wupatki National Monument in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Historically, Wupatki National Monument is very significant for the people of Arizona as it has the remains of five pueblos, built using red-colored slabs, which are an identity to Arizona. The majority of the sizable pueblos at Wupatki were constructed after the violent volcanic activity of the nearby Sunset Crater volcano in 1085. The volcanic ash covered 800 acres of land, forcing momentary rescue operations in the area, and evacuating the residents.

Nearby is the sunset crater which is an excellent spot to witness sunset and sunrise. People camp here, have bonfires, and enjoy other activities in Flagstaff.

Sunset Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona. Surrounded by green pine trees with the volcano in the background.

Walnut Canyon National Monument

A bench overlooking Walnut Canyon in Flagstaff Arizona. The canyon is filled with vibrant green pine trees.

Walnut Canyon, including its profound, serpentine curvatures through striking white Kaibab limestone, would be a point of interest within itself, even without the innumerable cliff dwellings. The majority of the formations in Walnut Canyon can be toured via a paved one-mile trail system that devolves 55m from the rim's welcome center. The park has no outdoor activities or lodging infrastructure, but camping is open in the nearby Kaibab and Coconino national forests, and hotels abound in neighboring Flagstaff.


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