National Monuments and Parks in Northern Arizona
If you’re looking for National Parks and Monuments in Northern Arizona as something to do prior to or after your Grand Canyon rafting adventure with us, here is a list and some details about them all!
National Parks near Flagstaff, AZ
Obviously Grand Canyon National Park will make this list! The South Rim is located about 1 hour and 45 minutes Northwest of Flagstaff, and is a beautiful, scenic drive through Coconino National Forest and Kaibab National Forest. The South Rim offers iconic views of the grandest vistas. There are a plethora of hotels available through Xanterra Parks and Resorts, as well as restaurants, bike rentals, many hiking opportunities, camping amenities, etc. The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is roughly 4 hours Northwest of Flagstaff, and the drive there is also spectacular. The North Rim is much more remote, and offers just as breathtaking views. Do note that the North Rim is open seasonally.
Petrified Forest National Park is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes west of Flagstaff, and offers beautiful views, as well as hiking and biking opportunities. You can see petrified wood, Puebloan ruins, among much more.
National Monuments near Flagstaff, AZ
Wupatki National Monument is located just right outside of Flagstaff, and offers a really beautiful view of Native American archaeological sites.
Sunset Crater National Monument is a cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in the U.S. state of Arizona. Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks. There are many hikes to choose from in the monument, ranging from short hikes to a few miles long.
Walnut Canyon National Monument offers an up close and personal exploration of Native American archaeological sites. You can hike down into some of the old homes of the Native Americans that used to inhabit there, and it’s surrounded by the beautiful forest of Flagstaff. It’s located 10 miles from downtown Flagstaff.
Canyon De Chelly National Monument is a vast park in northeastern Arizona, on Navajo tribal lands. Its prominent features include Spider Rock spire, about 800-feet tall, and towering sandstone cliffs surrounding a verdant canyon. Inhabited by several Native American peoples for millennia, the area is dotted with prehistoric rock art.
Montezuma Castle National Monument protects a set of well-preserved Native American dwellings located in Camp Verde, Arizona, about an hour south of Flagstaff, AZ. These dwellings were built and used by the Sinagua people, a pre-Columbian culture closely related to the Hohokam and other indigenous peoples of the southwestern United States, between approximately 1100 and 1425 AD.
Navajo National Monument is located within the northwest portion of the Navajo Nation territory in northern Arizona, about 2 hours from Flagstaff. It was established to preserve three well-preserved cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people: Keet Seel, Betatakin, and Inscription House.
Not far from Flagstaff, but not an actual National Park or Monument, Meteor Crater is a neat, giant hole in the ground left by a meteor. You can do guided tours, and learn a lot about the science behind what caused the meteor and so much more.
We are very lucky here in Northern Arizona to have so many beautiful Parks and Monuments to visit. We would recommend any of these to you if you’re traveling through the area, or if you’re looking for things to do before or after your Grand Canyon raft adventure.