PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - When people think of Arizona, vast desert landscapes, beaming sunshine and exotic wildlife may come to mind. But Arizona is also home to some of the most striking and serene sunsets in the country -- hard to match in other states.
Whether you're looking to take a memorable photo, searching for a romantic backdrop or going for a scenic hike, there are several destinations in Arizona you don't want to pass up.
1. FOUR PEAKS
In eastern Arizona lies one of the most unique collections of mountain tops in the Southwest. The Four Peaks, named for its four protruding points, is a must-see in Tonto National Forest because of its strong presence in the skyline, which also happens to complement the Arizona sunset.
2. PHOENIX AREA MOUNTAINS
Pretty much any mountain in the Phoenix metro area is a great place to catch a sunset - Camelback, Piestewa, South Mountain, The McDowells, Papago Buttes, Thunderbird and the Superstitions.
3. SAGUARO & ROOSEVELT LAKES
Saguaro Lake on the Salt River is an excellent spot to cruise the water against a glimmering, orange sunset in Maricopa County. Pair a trip to Saguaro Lake with a boat tour or kayak excursion to make for an unforgettable experience.
4. TEMPE TOWN LAKE
If you like the water, but want to enjoy cityscapes, Tempe Town Lake, just east of Phoenix, makes for a romantic and photogenic palate only a few miles southeast of central Phoenix.
5. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
A list of Arizona sunsets wouldn't be complete without the amazing and awe-inspiring Grand Canyon National Park. Its cavernous and layered rocks with orange-red hues are a fitting canvas for the glowing sunsets. The Grand Canyon is one of the most storied and researched sites in the world, and offers arguably the best views of the sunsets in Arizona.
It's hard to find a spot in Sedona that isn't beautiful during sunsets, but these spots are breathtaking - Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa and Chapel of the Holy Cross.
7. CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT
This "Wonderland of Rocks" is an 8-mile paved scenic drive that also has 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty of the area and of course, take in an amazing sunset!
8. LAKE POWELL
It's truly hard to put into words the beauty and serenity of Lake Powell. Surrounded by pink rocks, the turquoise water fills stunning canyons that look different in every different light of morning, day or evening.
9. HORSESHOE BEND
The meandering Colorado River creates what looks like a horseshoe near Page, AZ and seeing it for yourself is breath-taking.
Arguably, few towns in Arizona invoke feelings of Arizona's past like Jerome. This central Arizona town just east of Prescott and situated in Coconino National Forest maintains many remnants of Arizona's mining past due to its well-known copper deposits. Often considered a ghost town (there's the annual Jerome Ghost Walk in October) its wineries are among the many attractions that lure tourists.
11. MONUMENT VALLEY
People describe the area as breathtaking, spiritual and serene. And, you know it's special as it's the location of many Hollywood movies, such as The Lone Ranger and The Searchers.
12. ORGAN PIPE NATIONAL MONUMENT
This reserve is located in southern Arizona and shares a border with Mexico. This park is the only place in the United States where the organ pipe cactus grows wild.
13. MOUNT LEMMON
This summit is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. Mount Lemmon is about 30 degrees cooler than Tucson and is surrounded by the Coronado National Forest.
14. GATES PASS, TUCSON
This is a mountain pass located along the crest of the Tucson Mountains. This scenic road is lined with scenic overlooks. It's a narrow and winding road, so be sure to drive this road with caution.
15. LAKE HAVASU
Lake Havasu is located along Arizona's border with California. Part of the London Bridge was moved to Lake Havasu in the late 60s. The bridge's beauty sets the scene for beautiful sunset photos and is always a great conversation starter.
16. SALT RIVER
The Salt River is just minutes from Phoenix and offers great views as well as plenty to do from hiking to kayaking to tubing. If you're heading to the river in the 'golden hour' (that's sunrise or sunset) you may even see a herd of the famous Salt River wild horses!
[READ MORE: 9 best places to see the Salt River wild horses]
They frequent the river in the few hours before dusk and dawn. So grab your camera and get a shot of a beautiful sunset with a wild horse in the foreground!