Explore Arizona, the Grand Canyon State
I couldn’t get Sam to leave the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He loved hiking the Timeline Trail. Finally, after a few days of rafting and riding mules, we set off for the town of Sedona.
Known for its beautiful red rocks, Sedona is nestled between the walls of Oak Creek Canyon. A narrow winding road took us to the bottom of the deep gorge covered in tall pine trees. Sam was so excited to see another amazing canyon up close. No wonder! Dozens of Hollywood films have been filmed here. At one time, Sedona was known as “Arizona’s ‘Little Hollywood.'”
We went on a geology hike to the Red Rock State Park. We wanted to know what made these cool rocks red. A park ranger told us that about 300 million years ago, Sedona was under water. When the water receded, layers of sandstone with their numerous marine fossils became exposed to the winds and streams. With the exposure, minerals in these rock layers produced iron oxide. Iron oxide is the same thing as rust, which is red!
The ranger also told us that there are many marine fossils behind the reddish face of the rocks, such as clams, snails, fish and corals. Check out the Activities below to make a fossil!
After Sedona, we decided to head down south to see a park called the Organ Pipe National Monument. It is the only park in the United States where the organ pipe cactus grows wild. This cactus gets its name from an old-fashioned musical instrument called an organ.
The stems of the organ pipe cactus can grow up to 25 feet high and 6 inches in diameter. In these stems, the cactus stores water to survive the desert heat. I wanted to see the beautiful flowers on the cactus, but they mostly bloom at night and close up in the morning.
There are more amazing cacti in Arizona! Look through the Photos and Favorites below to see what else we loved about the Grand Canyon State!
Sofia and Sam
Cactus: Violet Prickly Pear
The violet prickly pear cactus grows in south-central Arizona. The cactus developed a violet hue to repel animals like javelina from eating it.
La Placita Village, Tucson
La Placita Village in Tucson features brightly colored restaurants, offices and shops built in the style of a Mexican market. We had lots of fun exploring the village!
Sedona Rock Formation:
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most famous rock formations. Just look at its distinct shape! There are many trails winding up around the rock’s conical slopes.
Cactus: Teddy Bear Cholla
The teddy bear cholla cactus only looks fuzzy and soft like a teddy bear. Prickly to the touch, the teddy bear cholla thrives in Arizona’s rocky flatlands.
Horse Fountain, Scottsdale
Created by artist Bob Parks, Horse Fountain features five horses playing in the water. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in Scottsdale, a popular resort town close to Phoenix.
Sedona Rock Formation:
Cathedral Rock’s towering rock spires look amazing from a distance and up close. It is one of the most photographed spots in Arizona!