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Places to visit in Arizona during National Park Week

Saguaro National Park
Posted at 9:23 AM, Apr 24, 2023

From April 22 to April 30, the nation recognizes National Park Week — and there are many ways Arizonans can honor the occasion to enjoy nature in its purest form.

Saguaro National Park

This expansive 92,000-acre park is known for having the largest cacti in the world. The saguaro cactus only grows in the Sonoran Desert and it supports a diverse ecosystem with unique organisms from lizards to creepy-crawlers to birds and everything in between.

There are actually two districts of Saguaro National Park to the east and west of Tucson, respectively. Both sites feature hiking trails, bicycle routes, and areas for horseback riding.

Visitors can walk or bike through the park 24 hours per day but for vehicles, the parks are open from sunrise to sunset. Entrance costs $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, or $15 per person/bicycle.

Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

If you're looking to take a road trip, be sure to add the Petrified Forest to your list. Take a walk through millions of years of history surrounded by the titular petrified trees. The Painted Desert sweeps through this park, offering stunning views.

Humans first inhabited the area around this national landmark over 13,000 years ago, so there's plenty of history to learn about — including petroglyphs that are hundreds of years old. That's according to the National Park Service.

The Petrified Forest is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and sits between Interstate 40 and Highway 180 just outside of Holbrook. Entrance costs $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, or $15 per person/bicycle.

Grand Canyon National Park

Arguably one of the most famous parks in the world, the Grand Canyon encompasses over 1,900 square miles to the north of Flagstaff — that's larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Nearly 6 million people every year flock to see the millions-year-old landmark carved into the desert landscape, according to the Department of the Interior.

Visitors can check out the South Rim for a stunning hike or take a stroll on the Skywalk, a glass platform that allows guests to look down over the canyon. The North Rim is currently closed until June 9.

Entrance costs $35 per vehicle, $30 per motorcycle, or $25 per person/bicycle.

Arizona Highways Grand Canyon photo

Emma Miller is a producer for KGUN 9. Originally from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Emma graduated from Fordham University in 2021 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. In April 2021, Emma became the first woman researcher in MLB and NHL Network history. She joined the KGUN 9 family in August 2022 after falling in love with Tucson.