Arizona is the land of cowboys and Indians and Wild West towns! Among its many natural wonders, the all pervasive color red is displayed by the awe-inspiring rock formations of its mighty canyons.
A thousand years ago, the highly-cultured Anasazi Indians and Hohokam culture lived here, planting maize and vegetables in the meagre valleys and building walled towns into the cliffs of the canyons. They used the natural environment and had protective caves in natural rock walls, which were accessible only by simple wooden ladders.
For the past century, scientists from all over the world have investigated evidence that a gigantic meteorite crashed here, leaving behind a huge crater, Meteor Crater. As the central and inner walls of the crater are similar to the landscape of the moon, preparation and training for the APOLLO space missions took place here.
Located in northwest Arizona is the 378 square kilometre Petrified Forest National Park, with a surrounding desert which shimmers in all the colors of the rainbow. There’s the Agate Bridge, a huge fossilised tree trunk which spans twelve metres wide across a gorge and the amazingly beautiful Canyon de Chelly.
Situated in the Navajo Indian Reservation, the Betatakin Ruins are the remains of historical dwellings which were carved into the rock by their original inhabitants from the 13th Century B.C.
Wild West fans instantly recognize Monument Valley where, between 300 metre tall monoliths and sky-high rocky needles, John Wayne and countless other screen heroes fought off Indians and battled with ‘baddies’.
A natural sculpture formed from undulating waves of stone, Antelope Canyon is a palette of color which teases the eye. From the surface, a gaping crevice is the only means of access, tempting the curious to enter.
In bold contrast, the Grand Canyon is 1600 metres deep and 16 kilometres long, the most colossal gorge in the world. The sight of this gigantic natural wonder is an exciting climax of any trip to the magnificent and majestic land of Arizona.