When we think of canyons, there’s a good chance the Grand Canyon comes to mind, right? It turns out Arizona’s hidden canyons that aren’t the Grand Canyon offer up arguably even more breathtaking views without the crowds that come with the famous original on the list.
Oak Creek Canyon
If you want to enjoy somewhere filled with color and wonder, then you might want to add Oak Creek Canyon to the list of places to see in Arizona that aren’t the Grand Canyon. Believe it or not, but it’s the second most popular location in the state, falling short to the famous canyon itself. Areas of the canyon are protected by various parks and are filled with plenty of things to see and do, including hiking, fishing, and swimming.
Animal and plant life fill Ramsey Canyon, making it one of the most diverse canyons in the world, let alone Arizona. Here, it is filled with 14 species of hummingbirds who have all adapted to the unique area of the world. The grasslands are covered with abrupt mountains that create sky islands filled with rare species of animals and plants, including the lesser long-nosed bat, ridge-nosed rattlesnake, and the lemon lily. A trip here is unlike any other place on the planet.
You might want to ensure you don’t have a fear of small space before heading into Antelope Canyon. Thankfully, the canyon is filled with some of the most breathtaking views for anyone brave enough to take a look inside. The light coming through the cracks from above and cascading over the colored rocks are like nothing else on the planet. It can be easy to forget we’re still on Earth once we’re lost within the twists and turns of Antelope Canyon.
The main stretch of Aravaipa Canyon is 11 miles long and is often filled with streams, creeks, and springs throughout the years. The wilderness has thrived here for centuries, including seven different species of desert trout, desert bighorn sheep, and at least 238 different bird species. One of the must-experience things at Aravaipa Canyon is the bed and breakfast Across the Creek that offers views of the canyon, spots to birdwatch, and access to one of the local creeks to cool off.
Canyon X is unlike the Grand Canyon, thanks to being the most photographed slot canyon in the world. The best bit? It’s still one of the lesser-known spots across Arizona, meaning people have the space to enjoy it for themselves. Just four people are allowed to visit at a time, meaning it’s almost like being in complete isolation while inside. There are plenty of tours on offer through Canyon X, including short treks, customized tours, and six-hour photography hikes.
Arizona’s hidden canyons that aren’t the Grand Canyon go to show there is so much history throughout the state that can often be overlooked by the famous attraction. Thankfully, each canyon offers up its own incredible mark on the landscape for us to explore and enjoy.