Arizona's Best Hidden Gems

12:00:00 PM La Mesa RV 0 Comments

Arizona is a beautiful place to travel with many uniquely hidden, not so famous, incredibly diverse and amazing landmarks in its terrain that is unlike other states. Located northeast of Flagstaff, about 15 miles from Tuba City is one of Arizona's indeed hidden gems.  Everyone knows the Grand Canyon, but in a very untraveled area between the Hopi and Navajo reservations in northeast Arizona lies the Coal Mine Canyon. Coal Mine Canyon is on the outskirts of the painted desert, a 120 mile stretch of very colorful land in the Moenkopi Wash.

Remote and isolated, Coal Mine Canyon is unique because of the rock or land shape and detail - the colors produced from the sandstone and minerals that vary from a deep rust to a light beige and back to a dark charcoal. The formations consist of wildly contrasting bands of color quickly changing from one to another. During certain seasons, patches of green appear at the bottom of the ravine. The views can be rugged, steep and narrow at points and very wide at others. The canyon has a varied layout of eroded spires, cliffs, hoodoos, also called tent rocks, and gullies all in a spectrum of shapes and colors. It's an incredible sight and a great place for landscape photography.

Coal Mine Canyon La Mesa RV Experience Life Blog
Photo courtesy of Your Hike Guide

While hiking is available in the canyon though not advertised, camping is not. RV parks closer to Tuba City can be used as your base camp. Make sure also to bring plenty of food and water as there isn't a restaurant for about 15 miles or so.  Not too far from Coal Mine Canyon is the meteor crater that does come with an RV park. Hit the canyon in the day and the crater at night while falling asleep to a view of the stars as you've never seen.

A few tidbits on the meteor crater: it’s approximately 50,000 years old, and it sits at an elevation of 1,740 m or 5,710 ft above sea level. It's about 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in diameter, and 170 m or 560 ft deep. At The center, is 210–240 m or 690–790 ft of rubble lying above the crater bedrock. It's a site to see and something worth photographing. The stars at night are as visible as visible gets with the open horizon and no city lights to take away from the celestial beauty after sundown. Additional information on the crater can be found at:

Next to the Grand Canyon, Sycamore Canyon is the second largest canyon in Arizona. Sycamore is 56,000 acres of greenery and canyon and is only accessible by foot or horseback. Outdoor lovers have plenty of options including hiking, swimming, horseback riding, fishing and observing the wildlife in one of Arizona's most beautiful yet least traveled areas.

Sycamore Canyon La Mesa RV Experience Life Blog
Photo Courtesy of Arizona Leisure

The land and rock in Arizona are full of color and Sycamore Canyon doesn't disappoint. Formations like pinnacles, mesas, arches, and buttes, make the scenery quite astonishing.

Arizona has some beautiful mountainous scenery as well. One that isn't as widely visited is Mount Graham in southern Arizona.

Mount Graham La Mesa RV Experience Life Blog
Photo Courtesy of Elevation Maplogs

The mountain's elevation reaches an incredible 10,724 feet. It is the highest elevation in Graham County, Coronado National Forest, and the Pinaleño Mountains. Mount Graham's highest peak itself is frequently referred to as "High Peak." It is twentieth of the 57 ultra-prominent summits of the lower 48 states, and the most prominent in Arizona.

While there, be sure to check out the observatory as well. For additional information visit:

Mount Graham Observatory La Mesa RV Experience Life Blog
Photo courtesy of Mount Graham Observatory

From Mount Graham we take you even further southeast to Bisbee. In 1877, tracker, Jack Dunn found signs of mineralization that led to Bisbee's growth as a mining city, and by the 20th century, the mining industry was in a boom! Bisbee was one of the largest cities of the time competing with St. Louis and San Francisco.

Bisbee has some of the oldest and most original attractions, from Warren Ballpark to Arizona's first golf course, and community library. All still in operation today. A big draw to this day is the Copper Queen Mine that produced millions of dollars of wealth, not just in copper but also gold, silver and other minerals. In 1975 the mine closed but you can take a tour of the mine today with a retired miner that will give you the experience of what it was like to work there. Check out more information on the tour here:

Something to consider before making the trip is caterpillar/butterfly season. During the spring months, the area becomes infested with caterpillars and ultimately butterflies depending on the time of year. It’s quite the site if you’ve not seen it before.

If you need a place to stay for a couple of days, there is the Queen Mine RV Park There are some really neat places to eat as well such as Bisbee’s Table The town is full of history and even nightlife if after eating you’d like to hear some live music or check out some art galleries. Also… one last morsel of fun is the Annual Bisbee 1000, The Great Stair Climb. Information on this foot race can be found here: Climb the stairs and the enjoy many other fun events that make the race unique.

Bisbee Table Burgers La Mesa RV Experience Life Blog
Photo courtesy of Bisbee Table

These are some of our favorite hidden gems in Arizona.  What are some of yours?

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