Arizona is truly a remarkable place to visit. Given that a lot of travel articles uploaded in the web are mainly about the Grand Canyon, you must be wondering, does Arizona have something else to offer? We tell you, the Grand Canyon State has a lot of beautiful spots! For instance, there is a secret hike that leads to lush greenery and dreamy hanging gardens. There is also a spot famed for its beautiful wildflowers. If you want to go somewhere you’ve never heard before, let us guide you to some of the underrated spots in Arizona:
Here are 6 underrated spots in Arizona that you shouldn’t miss for the world:
1. Harding Spring
If you are looking for the freshest water you can find out there, Harding Spring is here for you. A lot of tourists and locals go there to get water from this tapped-off spring. This free natural mountain spring water source is maintained and regularly tested by the city to meet ADEQ standards. In fact, it is probably one of the best drinking water in the whole country! But before getting some water, make sure to ask locals if the water tastes okay at the moment.
Other than water-picking, Harding Spring has a moderate hike trail. What makes it more convenient is that it is in a forest, which makes the temperature suitable for hiking. The trail lets hikers enjoy a gradual climb to the canyon rim while treating them to wonderful views all throughout. Since this was one of the several ways cattlemen drove their stock in and out of Oak Creek Canyon, you’d have to think they probably enjoyed walking around here.
One of the best things about the Harding Springs Trails is that it is in the shade of a mixed conifer forest. That is why it is reasonably cool even during the summer season.
When you top the rim, you can also opt to make your hike longer and make it a loop hike by continuing north to Cookstove Trail or south to Thomas Point Trail. But if you are contented with the original trail and your experience, just go back to the route you came in. This is a moderate hike and it will only take you an hour for a roundtrip hike. It is best to hike from April through October.
Location: AZ-89A, Sedona, Arizona
2. El Portal Sedona Hotel
If you want to go to the Grand Canyon and other famous attractions in Sedona, we suggest you stay for a night here. The El Portal Sedona Hotel is one of the underrated spots in Arizona. This upscale adobe Arts and Crafts hotel delights many hotel guests because of its impressive way of providing an extraordinary lodging experience for guests and their pets in unpretentious luxury. Once you come here, you will see individually decorated, rustic-chic rooms that feature period furnishings. The suites will possess the “feel” of ages past, with some walls of exposed adobe brick and rich oak floors. If you are keen on having a stunning view, there is even a suite with a generous corner of bay windows so you can see the beauty of Oak Creek treetops from your room.
Think of Egyptian beds, cashmere blankets, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, pet yards, and unusual vaulted ceilings. You will certainly feel like a VIP here. El Portal Sedona Hotel is located in the heart of the arts district. It is also close to Oak Creek, as well as other dining, shopping and hiking spots. Once you are done relaxing in your suite, you can simply come out to the courtyard and chill by the juniper fire pit for an evening of relaxation.
Not to mention, the hotel staff cater to daily tours and the tours are guaranteed to give you an unforgettable experience. If you’re looking for a place to stay where you could bring your furry best friend along, don’t think twice and choose El Portal Sedona Hotel! This dog-friendly hotel has suites that are fit for you and your pet.
Location: 95 Portal Ln, Sedona, Arizona
3. Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park
Did you know that this park is a vortex stop? If you don’t feel like visiting other famous vortices like Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, and Bell Rock, because you want to avoid the crowd, then, by all means, come here! Amitabha Stupa Peace Park is located within a landscape of red rocks surrounded by pinion and juniper pines. The place is deemed holy by many people. It also attracts spiritual seekers of all faiths because it is believed to bestow blessings upon all its believers.
What can you find here? You will see the Amitabha Stupa and White Tara Stupa inside. For those who are not familiar with the terms, the Amitabha Stupa is the 36-foot enlightenment stupa filled with hundreds of millions of prayers for peace, sacred relics, and ritual offerings. It is nestled in the faceplate of the stupa. Many people believe that you will have an enlightened feeling when you stay near this stupa. On the other hand, the White Tara Stupa is the six-foot White embodiment of long life and compassion.
Aside from the stupa, you will see the Medicine Wheel, which represents the Circle of Life. Many guests meditate in the middle of the wheel for you to feel empowered and healed.
When you come to check out this sacred park, remember to observe proper behavior because people from all walks of life visit here to pray and meditate. You should also be sensitive because some people come here to experience solitude. Do not be so noisy as to not disturb those who are praying or meditating.
Location: 2650 Pueblo Dr, Sedona, Arizona
4. ChocolaTree Organic Eatery
Whoever says chocolate is unhealthy is wrong on so many levels! Apparently, one of the most underrated spots in Arizona has the best raw cacao chocolate that is good for your health and mood. It has antioxidants that help you have a more positive outlook in life and even helps remedy cough. They also offer other meals that are gluten-free. There is no mistake. ChocolaTree Organic Eatery is the best place to go to if you are in need of healing foods, including chocolates, 8 immortals shot, green goddess salad, smoothies, and more. You will even find the Spring Dragon longevity tea in this place.
The holistically-minded restaurant is great even for people who are not really vegetarians or spiritually-inclined. The authentic and conscious atmosphere of ChocolaTree Organic Eatery will make you feel a certain kind of peace while eating your fresh and healthy food.
All of the dishes prepared here are made in celebration for the divine experience in gratitude for Earth’s abundant gifts. Its owners believe that the gifts are made by each element: Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Spirit. Don’t forget to try their specialties which are Buckwheat Waffles and Tonic Drinks.
Location: 1595 AZ-89A, Sedona, Arizona
5. Bear Mountain Trail
If you love hiking and you want to challenge yourself to conquer a 3 to 4-hour roundtrip hike, then this one of the trails that you should try! Your efforts won’t go to waste because every step of the way will leave you breathless, not just because it is a tiring hike but because of how beautiful the view is. Still, remember that the Bear Mountain Trail can be a strenuous hike because of the elevation of the incline, but it will still be fun and worthwhile!
Novice and intermediate hikers will find themselves glued to the beautiful views, yet tired because of the incline. If you are a beginner, we suggest you bring a gallon per person, and also come wearing good hiking shoes.
The tough trail has inclines for a majority of 2 miles. It also has minimal shade. Make sure to bring sufficient food and water when planning to go here. We are sure you will feel like Wonder Woman or Superman when you reach the End trail sign and see the stunning views from the top.
Location: Bear Mountain Trail, Sedona, Arizona
6. Watson Lake
We know what you’re thinking. I can’t believe that this natural wonder is an underrated spot in Arizona! This lake is uniquely beautiful and very picturesque as well. Swimming is not allowed at Watson Lake but there are a lot of activities you can enjoy with your families such as rock climbing, kayaking, picnic, and camping.
This lake is actually one of the epic kayaking spots in Arizona. While it is relatively small, going here will still feel amazing! You’ll also find that one end of the lake is surrounded by large granite dells. Some kayakers stop from time to time to admire its beauty. Depending also on the water level, you might get to kayak around and in between many of them.
Location: Yavapai County, Arizona
Have you ever been to these underrated spots in Arizona? Which one is your favorite? Please feel free to share it with us in the comments below.
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