The Most Scenic Places in the US Southwest - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!
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Saturday, March 05, 2022

The Most Scenic Places in the US Southwest

Inside the lower antelope canyon, Arizona, USA

If you’re gearing up to travel and you haven’t visited the southwestern region of the U.S., it might be a good time to consider it.

Whether you’re picking one spot, or you’d like to take a long-distance motorcycle trip or road trip, the southwestern part of the country has amazing scenery unlike anything else in the world.

The following are some scenic places in the southwest you might think about adding to your itinerary.

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is in Arizona. You can walk through the sandstone walls of the canyon, which were formed by erosion from flash flooding primarily.

The slot canyon includes five sections that are on the Navajo Reservation. These include Upper Antelope Canyon, Rattle Snake Canyon, Owl Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Mountain Sheep Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular spots in the country for photographers, thanks to the stunning orange and red tones. There are unlimited lighting changes and angles, so you can get images that no one will have ever captured before.

Since Antelope Canyon is inside sacred Native American land, the only way to see it is on a guided tour.

The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon covered in snow, Arizona, USA

It’s impossible to talk about the scenery of the southwest without mentioning the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon attracts visitors from all over the world. This natural wonder has ribbons of colorful stones, and it shows some of the oldest geological history on earth. Plus, the sunrises and sunsets are amazing here.

Most people visit the South Rim, or you can go to the west entrance to try out the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a glass walkway that’s 2,000 feet above the floor of the canyon.

There are lodging options inside the park at hotels and campgrounds that give rim views and easy access, although they do fill up quickly, so book ahead.

Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA

Horseshoe Bend is outside of Page, Arizona. There’s a river that tightly curves with a cliff that’s 800 feet above the canyon floor.

Visitors can reach the bend by taking a short hike on a sandy trail, bringing them to the edge of the canyon.

Zion National Park

Zion Canyon, Utah, USA

Many people say Zion National Park is their favorite of all the national parks and is the most scenic place in the southwest, if not the entire country. There are a ton of hiking options and colorful rock formations.

The Narrows lets you hike along a winding river through the narrow walls of the canyon.

You can also go to Angel’s Landing for a complete view of Zion.

Sedona

Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona, USA

A lot of the scenic places in the southwestern area of the country are pretty remote, but Sedona uniquely gives you access to shopping and dining, along with one-of-a-kind scenery. Located in the middle of the desert of Arizona, Sedona is known for its spas and resorts and for its red rock formations.

Some of the places most popular with visitors include Oak Creek Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock. The Red Rock Scenic Byway and Broken Arrow Trail are similarly popular.

Devil’s Bridge Trail is the largest natural sandstone arch in Sedona, and you can walk across it if you’re feeling daring.

The spiritual vortex sites and stargazing opportunities are other reasons people often visit Sedona.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA

Bryce Canyon has the most spired rock formations in the world. They’re called hoodoos, and you can hike in and around the canyon to see them all.

Bryce Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the country, and it’s not actually one canyon. It’s a set of natural bowls that are filled with hoodoos. Hoodoos are essentially tall rock columns.

You will have a long drive to Bryce Canyon. It’s around four hours from both Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.

Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls at Night, Arizona, USA

Finally, Havasu Falls is located on the Havasupai Reservation. The water that flows from the falls and into the canyon below is a stunning shade of blue because of the mineral presence and the Havasu Creek that washes silt away. The contrast of the baby blue water against the orange canyon is incredible.

The only option to visit the falls is to get a three-day permit. You can’t do a day hike or anything shorter or longer. The permits tend to sell out immediately when they become available online.

The hike to the falls from the trailhead is 10 miles and easy to navigate. It’s mostly flat, but hiking out is pretty difficult.

Note: The photographs in this article are courtesy of wikipedia.org and have been borrowed under the creative commons license. Each photograph has been linked to its host page on wikipedia.org.


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