Many non-locals think of Arizona as a dry desert, but they don’t realize that Arizona has its own beauties. Whether it’s a looming mountain top or a sweeping sunset, there is always something breathtaking to see on the Arizona landscape.
If you want to hit the road and check out some of Arizona’s most amazing scenery, check out these top scenic drives.
Passing through the Tonto National Forest, this incredible drive begins at Apache Junction. The first section of the trail is narrow with sharp turns, but it provides many lookouts.
As you continue your drive on AZ-88, you pass by many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. You can hike, camp, or rock climb at Lost Dutchman State Park, which is located by the stunning Superstition Mountains. Legend says that in the 1800s a gold mine was discovered in these mountains.
As you continue on AZ-88, you drive through the Tonto National Forest. You soon come upon Canyon Lake, where you can bike, ski, or fish. You can then drive on to Tortilla Flat, where you can explore old Western movie sets.
If you’re brave enough to continue your drive, the road continues on a 1,000-foot cliff face. The road leads to Apache Lake and on to Theodore Roosevelt Dam. End your drive at the Tonto National Monument, where you can view the ruins of Indian cliff dwellings.
If you’ve always wanted to get your kicks on Route 66, Arizona is a good place to do that. An impressive 173 miles of this historic highway pass through Arizona.
To maximize your time on Route 66, start at Topock and drive towards Holbrook. On your way, you’ll see sights that befit the Old West—cacti, tumbleweeds, and Western-style gift shops. You’ll eventually reach Grand Canyon Caverns, where you can take an underground tour.
As you drive on to Seligman, you can stop at interesting shops and eateries. One of these is the Roadkill Café, which offers elk and buffalo burgers. Continuing on, you’ll make it to the Meteor Crater, which is called the “world’s best-preserved meteorite impact site.”
You can end your drive in Holbrook, which is home to many interesting sites. These include the Wigwam Hotel, where you can stay in a teepee. They also include the Navajo County Courthouse and Museum downtown.
Salt River Canyon
This amazing drive gives you the opportunity to see a wide variety of scenery, from looming mountains to sparkling water. Start the drive in Globe. As you gain elevation, you’ll pass through Tonto National Forest.
There are several interesting places to stop. You can hike around Chrysotile Ghost Town, the site of a former worksite for the Hoover Dam. You can also enjoy hiking around the gorgeous Seneca Lake and Seneca Falls. Next, stop at the Salt River Canyon Overlook, where you can gaze down 2,000 feet at this awe-inspiring canyon.
As you travel down the Salt River Canyon, you’ll encounter tight turns at the cliff’s edge. There are two stops worth taking here: Cibecue Falls and Becker Butte Overlook. Cibecue Falls is a great spot for hiking and rock climbing. As you continue to drive into the White Mountains, you’ll reach the iconic town of Show Low.
This is just a sampling of the many amazing drives available through Arizona. If you’re looking for an extended vacation, you can find plenty of things to do by hitting Arizona’s roads.
Before you head out, though, make sure your car is ready for the drive. Extreme Wheels offers high-quality wheels, tires, and accessories to outfit your vehicle for tough road conditions. Visit us any time.
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