One of the greatest parts about living in Arizona is the diverse climates. Although the Valley gets hot in the summer, in just a few hours, you can find a cool retreat in the higher elevations. Here are some great spots to get away for the weekend.
The southern rim of the Colorado Plateau provides for some great sightseeing in the Coconino National Forest. It’s about two and a half hours away from Phoenix to the Northeast and extends for nearly 200 miles across central Arizona. The campgrounds are on a first-come-first-served basis and it’s a very popular spot. While you’re there, take in some trout fishing at Woods Canyon Lake. There’s a nearby store and boat rentals, and Aspen and Spillway campgrounds are nearby. Just be sure to be generous with the sunscreen and pack plenty of water.
Grand Canyon North Rim
Although it’s a longer drive from the Valley than the South Rim, and it’s only open from mid-May to mid-November, the North Rim is a far more relaxing Grand Canyon experience than fighting the crowds. Since there is far less development there, prepare to see the most stars you’ve ever seen when night comes. The next day, you can have lunch at the Grand Canyon Lodge and take in the view. The North Rim is also full of scenic drives and overlooks. Cabins, motels and campgrounds are available, but reservations go fast.
Located about 25 miles south of Springerville, Arizona, Big Lake is one of the most popular lakes in the White Mountains. Since it sits at an elevation of 9,000 feet, the temperatures are cool and refreshing all summer long. There are also diverse campsites that can handle up to an 82-foot rig. The lake, itself, is stocked with rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout and there are plenty of great hiking trails to take in.
We are truly fortunate to live in such a beautiful and diverse state. If you’re new to the area or just haven’t explored much, plan a great getaway this summer. You won’t regret it!