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Arizona is a state full of vast deserts and open expanses reminiscent of the wild west portrayed in movies. It’s a conservative state, with a no-nonsense border patrol to the south near Mexico. You can do things like go out and shoot rifles or motorcycle without wearing a helmet. While there’s not much water there are many hidden springs and canyons tucked away for the explorer to discover.

Most of southern Arizona is made up of the Sonoran desert with the iconic saguaro cactus. As you drive north of Phoenix you gain elevation and in a couple hours you come to a mystical swathe of red rock and evergreen bush surrounding Sedona. The Grand Canyon has majestic views that change with the day’s lighting. You can hike 6000 feet down to the Colorado river flowing at the bottom but the effort isn’t for everyone.

Arizona is the type of place one could head out into the desert with a canteen and either uncover a lost Dutchman’s gold or never come back at all. The cities, Tucson and Phoenix, aren’t so much to speak of, but Arizona has a western feel distinct from the attitude of Southern California a few hundred miles further out to the Pacific.

Some of the well out of the way places to see in Arizona include Aravaipa, Havasupai Falls and Fossil Springs. Crystal clear soothing water and camping in places of complete silence and endless stars bring on mystical experiences, or it could just be that stuff you smoked around the campfire.