The Best Arizona Day Trips

When staying in the Valley, you’ll find that there are some places that are so close by that you can visit them in the span of a day. There are a few iconic spots that you can see within a few hours’ drive, from historic ruins to breathtaking scenery. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list to help you figure out where you might want to start. Below, we’ve listed just a few of our favorite Arizona day trips. We hope that you will enjoy these unique and diverse sites as much as we do!

Riparian Preserve

A hidden gem in the town of Gilbert, this one hundred and ten-acre preserve offers over two hundred species of birds for bird-watching, extensive hiking and biking trails, a variety of local plant life, and ample fishing in the park’s Water Ranch Lake.

Saguaro Lake

Rent a boat or jet-ski and explore this lake along the Salt River. Alternatively, you can picnic by the lake, attend a sightseeing cruise on the Desert Belle, and fish from a stock of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and other species of fish.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

An extensive set of preserved structures built by the Hohokam more than five hundred years ago in villages that stretched from modern-day Phoenix to the southernmost reaches of Arizona, these ruins serve as a monument to the ancient civilization, who developed one thousand miles of irrigation that supported enough agriculture to feed forty thousand people.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

One of the most beautiful day trips in AZ, Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. The park is home to more than three thousand types of vegetation native to the Sonoran Desert, spanning over the course of over three hundred acres.

Lost Dutchman State Park

Northeast of Apache Junction, the Lost Dutchman State Park has ramadas for picnicking, trails for hiking, and stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape. If you visit the park in the springtime, there are often wide, extensive swathes of wildflowers spread throughout the scenery, adding a vibrant dose of color to an already striking natural backdrop.

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