You know a place is tough to get into when there’s a long line, a velvet rope and someone at the door with a clipboard.
Yet the most difficult places to visit in Arizona have none of that. Some don’t even have indoor plumbing. What they have are stunning views and extremely limited access.
Fortunately, you have alternatives. The backup sites may not be quite as spectacular as the originals, but it beats staying at home and moaning about life’s inherent unfairness.
In fact, officials at the Arizona Office of Tourism urge visitors to explore those paths less taken, as some destinations are too popular for their own good.
“Those areas with a tough ticket to get into are over-loved,” said Scott Dunn, AOT’s senior director of content and communications. “And lesser-known locations are just as visually spectacular.”
Here are five Arizona destinations that are difficult to get into, with comparable alternatives.
1. Havasu Falls
Why it’s so popular: Hikers find a string of waterfalls along a creek running through the Grand Canyon, each plunging into a shimmering turquoise pool. The unique landscape draws travelers from all over the world.
Why it’s difficult to visit: Each February, the Havasupai Tribe opens reservations for campsites in one of the most wondrous places on Earth, and those precious reservations go quickly. Within hours, all that’s left are a few times in the less desirable winter season (November and the following February; campsites are closed December and January).
Alternative: Aravaipa Canyon
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