Fun Summer Ideas For Escaping the Arizona Heat!


With the settling in of the infamous Arizona heat, many city natives are hustling to get up north to enjoy the cooler air of pine-covered Northern Arizona. However, the heat has only just started, and monsoon season is still underway for the months of July and August. Many summer plans have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation, leaving people in exasperation over how to spend their summer (especially Arizona natives, because who wants to spend the entire summer in 110 degree weather?). Without further ado, I present to you a short list of what to do this summer while staying away from the heat and being mindful of social distancing.

Day trip to Sedona

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Sedona is pretty famous throughout the country for its red rocks and old Western films. You can visit Slide Rock State Park, a fun water slide formed by nature and only seven miles north of Sedona, or take a hike on one of the popular trails, such as Bell Rock Pathway, Devil’s Bridge, or Fay Canyon. Experience one of Sedona’s energy vortexes (the town and it’s outskirts are rumored to be mystical) or walk through the town itself. Sedona is popular when it comes to spas, shopping, and golf, so make sure to check each of those out!

Hike around Woods Canyon Lake

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Located only two hours from Phoenix and 3o miles from Payson, Woods Canyon Lake is a fun day trip if you want to visit the Mogollon Rim. The lake is one of my favorites: you can take an easy five mile hike around the lake (I did it only yesterday!), go fishing for trout, rent a kayak, canoe, paddle board or boat, and bird watch. The lake has camping ground with picnic tables so make sure to pack a nice lunch to bring with you!

See Kartchner Caverns in Southern Arizona

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Kartchner is another favorite of mine; I’ve visited the cave a gazillion times, with my family and on school field trips. Located near Benson, Arizona, Kartchner Caverns is a series of caves discovered in the 1970s by two hikes and kept secret for years before becoming a state park. You might be wondering what’s so special about this cave, but it’s simple: it’s alive. Kartchner Caverns is still growing and breathing, which is why administration is strict on tours. Participants of the guided tours are not allowed to touch anything, as human (outside) bacteria could kill the cave. I highly recommend visiting the Caverns and seeing the longest soda straw stalactites in the world, along with Kubla Khan, the world’s tallest and most massive column.

Explore the Grand Canyon

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The Grand Canyon is probably the most popular attraction in Arizona. You can take the Grand Canyon Railway, visit Havasu Falls, hike on Bright Angel Trail, see Grand Canyon Village, or just simply enjoy the topography. Make sure to lookout for scorpions and rattlers!

Walk through Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

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Antelope Canyon is a lesser known attraction Arizona has to offer. Located near the Utah-Arizona border in Page, the canyon is a scenic wonderland. Orange, red, and pink sandstone stands out and creates pathways throughout the canyon, while Horseshoe Bend is seven miles away. The Bend, where you can see the “end of the world”, is an easy hike and Lake Powell is close by. The Vermilion Cliffs and the Wave (requires a permit!) are also located in the area, along with Marble Canyon, Navajo Bridge, and Waterholes Canyon.

Traverse through Flagstaff

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A quaint little college town, Flagstaff is known for the Snowball, but can be a fun summer trip. Nestled in the foothills of the San Francisco Peaks, you can visit Humphrey’s Peak (Arizona’s tallest mountain!), Sunset Crater (one of the younger volcanos in Flagstaff), Walnut Canyon (it’s a fun, but exhausting hike!) Lowell’s Observatory, Route 66, and Wupatki National Monument.

Drive to the Petrified Forest

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Near the border of Arizona and New Mexico, the Petrified Forest National Park rests in a deep slumber. Petrified wood of thousands of colors lays in the south, while the Painted Desert is in the north. Native American culture and history encompasses the park, along with paleontology exhibits. Puerco Pueblo, the Painted Desert Inn, Historic Route 66, Newspaper Rock, and Agate House are only some of the famous attractions.

Hopefully some of these ideas stuck out to you! Have a fun summer and make sure to stay hydrated in the Arizona sun!