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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    3 underrated places to road trip to in Arizona

    Sydney Richardson
    A view inside Lower Antelope Canyon outside of Page, Arizona, on Nov. 21, 2015. Antelope Canyon is a great destination for UA students to travel to for a weekend trip.

    Let’s be honest here, it’s obvious that we all share a mutual love for the UA with its 80-degree weather and sunny pool days, but sometimes, you just need a break from it all.

    Arizona is filled with so many underrated road trip destinations, so buckle up and put on a fun playlist because adventure is everywhere. After all, the UA will still be there when you get back.

    Part 1: Antelope Canyon

    Antelope Canyon is located in Page, Arizona, and according to MapQuest, it is approximately six hours away from campus, but it is a sight that won’t disappoint. Antelope Canyon has two parts, the upper canyon and the lower canyon, and got its name because Navajo legend had it that there were many antelopes that lived in the canyons.

    Both parts of the canyon are located on Navajo land. These historical caves envelope visitors with beautiful colors and were considered spiritual by the Navajo people.

    Unfortunately, visitors aren’t allowed to go in these caves without a tour guide present. If you are interested in touring the lower part of the canyon, Ken’s Guided Tour offers reservations.

    According to, tours run approximately every 20 minutes, but reservations need to be made beforehand.

    There are also photographer tours for aspiring photographers, but rates may be a little different than the normal guided tour—and these pictures are great for Instagram. This guided tour only takes visitors to the lower part of the canyon, but it is definitely worth it.

    The Powell Museum offers tours that show visitors all of the beauty that the upper part of the canyon has to offer. Reservations are suggested because tours tend to book up quickly. Tours typically last around an hour and a half, and the website has rates for these tours and all the information needed before attending.

    Antelope Canyon is one of many colorful hidden gems camouflaged in a state that is filled with miles of desert and cactuses. Although it may seem impossible to take time off school to visit hidden places in Arizona, visiting thoughtful places like Antelope Canyon allows for you to become more introspective of life.

    These canyons are filled with timeless beauty and historical significance. Spending the day in these eternal caves is an experience that won’t be forgotten, and being able to check it off your bucket list is only a plus.

    Part 2: Havasupai Falls

    It’s time to clear your weekend schedule. Known for its vibrant blue and green shades of water, and spectacular views of the waterfalls encompassing the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls is filled with rich history and everlasting beauty.

    The falls are located in the Grand Canyon in a hidden location for even the most intense hikers. The Grand Canyon is approximately five and a half hours from campus, but with good music and snacks, the time will pass by quicker than you think.

    Once you reach the southwest part of the Grand Canyon, Havasupai Falls is approximately a 10-mile hike each way. Visitors have the option of hiking to the waterfall on their own or with a group.

    The Wildland Trekking Company offers tours to this waterfall over a three- to four-day period with professionals. It is not necessary to go with a tour group to visit Havasupai Falls, but it may enhance the experience. If you do decide to go alone, always remember to take safety precautions and to stay hydrated.

    According to the Grand Canyon website, the most effective way to travel to these falls is “from Highway 66, six miles east of Peach Springs, onto Indian Route 18, a 64-mile road to Hualapai Hilltop.”

    Visitors aren’t allowed to bring animals, drugs, liquor or weapons into the canyon out of respect to the land and its inhabitants. Do not let this discourage you from having the opportunity to experience this amazing place, though—trust me, you don’t need beer to have a good time.

    Splash in the crystal blue waters, watch the sunset and count the stars under the Grand Canyon sky.

    Havasupai Falls is the perfect excuse to invite great company and is guaranteed to provide visitors with even greater moments to reflect on for a lifetime.

    Pack your bags, turn off your phone, bring your camera and enjoy all the beauty that Havasupai Falls and the Grand Canyon have to offer.

    Part 3: Kartchner Caverns State Park

    Words cannot describe how incredible it is to adventure to this limestone cave. According to MapQuest, Kartchner Caverns is approximately one hour from campus, so this short commute is an added bonus and can absolutely account for a study break.

    According to the Arizona State Parks website, amateur cave explorers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts discovered this cave in 1978 and eventually “told the property owners, James and Lois Kartchner, about their amazing discovery.” They kept this discovery to themselves for around four years before telling the property owners.

    The cave was recognized as an Arizona State Park in 1988, and it was discovered to be very fragile because it has calcite, stalactite and stalagmite minerals that are commonly found in caves. It is important to preserve the elements in this cave and the natural beauty that encompasses the colorful ambience of this incredible discovery because these minerals are still forming and will continue to do so.

    Unfortunately, visitors cannot experience this cave without a tour guide. Tours last approximately an hour and a half, and it is encouraged that you make a reservation beforehand. Certain tours are seasonally available and may vary depending on distance and time, so plan accordingly.

    The park also offers hiking trails, a deli, camping sites, picnic areas, museum exhibits and more. There are multiple hikes to choose from, ranging from easy to more difficult terrain. Luckily, though, you can bring your four legged friends. Pets on leashes are allowed on hikes, but only service animals are allowed in the caves. The wildlife is protected so it is important to be aware of your surroundings if you do decide to go on a hike.

    If you are from out of state, you know that for the most part, you only have four years to experience the beauty of Arizona through the eyes of a college student.

    Don’t wait until your senior year to adventure out to new places or to try new things.

    Follow Hannah Djavadi on Twitter.

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