10 Most Underrated Places To Visit In Arizona

10 Most Underrated Places To Visit In Arizona In 2023

Most people know the state of Arizona is home to spectacular natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. But did you know this picturesque Southwestern state also has many lesser-known attractions to explore?

Below, we’ve listed ten of the best, most under-appreciated places to visit when you’re in the area.

Petrified Forest National Park

Tucked away in the northeastern part of the state lies the Petrified Forest National Park. Because of its less-than-convenient location, not as many people visit this park as other tourist sites in Arizona.

Still, it’s a pity that nobody pays any attention to these pastel wastelands; Petrified Forest National Park is a must-see for everyone who values either history or natural beauty.

The Park’s environment is otherworldly, but it also has a deep historical legacy. There are thousands of pieces of petrified wood and Indian petroglyphs scattered across the barren landscape.

Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument, nestled in southeastern Arizona, is a geological wonderland of towering rock formations, hoodoos, and spires. Often referred to as the “Wonderland of Rocks,” this national monument offers visitors a chance to explore a unique landscape shaped by volcanic activity millions of years ago. It’s a hiker’s paradise with numerous trails winding through this dramatic terrain, allowing you to marvel at the natural sculptures and take in panoramic views.


Tombstone, Arizona, is a classic frontier town that embodies the history of the American Wild West.

Just over an hour’s drive southeast of Tucson, Tombstone is the ideal destination for a day’s journey into living history. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1880s, when Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday walked these streets.

Tombstone still has many amazing sights to see today. Some of the town’s most renowned residents are buried at the Boothill Graveyard, and the ancient Tombstone Courthouse and the Bird Cage Theater serve as museums today.

Numerous local gift stores and souvenir stands sell unique items with a Western motif. There’s so much to see and do in Tombstone that you’ll have Western nostalgia for weeks after you leave.

Canyon de Chelly

The Grand Canyon isn’t the only impressive gorge in Arizona. Canyon de Chelly is another stunning natural attraction not far from Petrified Forest National Park.

The Navajo community’s ancestral home, which is an integral part of the tribe’s continuing legacy, can be found at the base of the Canyon’s towering red cliffs.

This valley has been continuously inhabited for the last five thousand years — longer than any other region on the Colorado Plateau.

The Canyon’s White House Ruins hike is the only trek in the area that doesn’t require a guide. However, a private tour conducted by a knowledgeable Navajo guide can provide a far richer experience if you choose to take it.

The Anasazi remains, which have been well maintained, are nestled into a niche in the steep canyon rock. And just down the road a bit is Spider Rock, an incredible work of geological sculpture.

Youngsberg Ghost Town

Youngsberg Ghost Town, situated in the arid landscapes of Arizona, offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. This abandoned mining town, once teeming with life during the late 19th century, now stands as a haunting reminder of the Old West’s boom and bust. Visitors can explore the eerie remains of structures, envisioning the lives of miners and settlers who once called this place home.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon, located in the heart of the Arizona desert, is a natural wonder that never fails to leave visitors in awe. Carved by centuries of wind and water erosion, this slot canyon is famous for its narrow, winding passageways and the striking interplay of light and shadow that dances along its sandstone walls.

Cibecue Falls

Cibecue Falls is another one of those strikingly beautiful places that many people in Arizona have never heard of.

The Falls are situated on Apache tribal land. A permit to enter costs $30 and can be obtained online.

The trail to the Falls is two miles long and runs parallel to the river through a breathtaking gorge. Just bear in mind that despite its relative flatness, the trail involves several river crossings and rock climbs.

Window Rock

Window Rock, Arizona, is a multicultural and dynamic tribal community that often goes overlooked. Located in the very center of the Navajo Nation, it’s deeply steeped in history and tradition.

Window Rock is known for having some of the most significant historical landmarks in Arizona, including the storied Tribal Council Chambers and the Tribal Government Complex.

Window Rock is a haven for those who love the great outdoors, with an abundance of hiking routes, fishing sites, and bike paths. The mountainous landscape and canyons provide a stunning backdrop for any outdoor adventure. In this area, you’re able to see the famous rock formation called “The Fortress,” as well as a few others.

Watson Lake

The beauty of Watson Lake easily surpasses that of any other lake in Arizona. However, you might be shocked to learn how few residents of the Grand Canyon state have actually been there or are even aware that it exists.

Many Arizona residents spend years living in the state before learning about this beautiful, tranquil reservoir. But whether you’re a state resident or just passing through, you should definitely spend some time here.

The granite dells that cluster around the lake are fascinating and attractive. It’s also a lot of fun to climb on them and explore.

You can spend a full day exploring the lake by renting a kayak, doing rock climbing, or fishing on the Peavine Trail. There are also picnic spaces and campsites to use. But if you do visit, bear in mind that swimming isn’t permitted.

The distance from the nearby municipality Prescott to Watson Lake is around four miles. Visit the charming historic plaza in the heart of town for a bite to eat.

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (Cochise County)

Image Source: Ron S (TripAdvisor)

In 1988, Congress recognized this verdant strip of desert riparian ecosystem, which lies just above the international boundary between the United States and Mexico, as a National Conservation Area.

There are several places to go for fun, including a Presidio built by the Spanish, archeological sites dating back 40,000 years, and trails that are perfect for biking, hiking, and birdwatching.