My wife and I are hoping to spend a week in AZ possibly the first week of March. We are avid backpackers who love to see wildlife, historical areas, different ecosystems, and so on. We're both foresters by trade and have only spent time in the SW on wildfires (we are from Michigan), but have always wanted to come back to the west at our leisure.
We've been lurking on this site for a couple of days and first off.... what a fantastic site!!!! Like, wow!!! you all know how to pull a site together.... We are so grateful and impressed. AZ has many phenomenal things to do as we happily found out and which also caused us to instantly become overwhelmed and bogged down.
We need help with building an itinerary.... We don't mind driving some, but definitely prefer to spend more time hiking, exploring, and so forth. Below is a brainstorm itinerary I threw together to get things rolling...... Besides what I have, how would you spend 8-10 days as a AZ newbie to explore nature's bounty with the knowledge you hold now? Specific things that we think that would be cool to see are cacti/succulents, canyons, ridges, critters, ruins, pictographs, great vistas, and fossils. What everyone wants basically, lol!
Day 1: Fly in to PHX, (Depends on arrival time) - lodge in town or jump in rental and go straight to the superstition mtns, base camp there, maybe day hike too
Day 2: the SUPES either day hiking or backcountry for 2 nights
Day 3: SUPES
Day 4: SUPES or packup and head to Petrified Forest N.P. and stay night there (don't mind drive)
Day 5: Packup and head towards Sedona, check out historical areas enroute, or if coming from P.F.N.P. check out crater, walnut canyon enroute to either Flagstaff or sedona area for lodging
Day 6: Sedona hiking
Day 7: Sedona hiking
Day 8: Sedona hiking
Day 9: PHX to fly out same day or next morning.
Your wisdom and insight is greatly appreciated!