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America's Southwest: A Grand Circle Road Trip

Updated on November 07, 2014

Experience America's Genuine Southwest via Road Trip in the Four Corners Region of the USA, the Grand Circle

The area of the United States that includes northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, southern Utah, and southwest Colorado is often known as the "Grand Circle" of the southwest. The Four Corners region of these states provide a concentration of some of the world's best National Parks, ancient ruins of civilizations gone by, deep canyons, wildlife, and wind weathered sandstone formations. The best way to get around this area is by car. A road trip through the Grand Circle will bring you to spectacular sites Arizona's wonderous Grand Canyon, the famous Cliff Palace dwellings, the spikey hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, and even the undeground caves of Great Basin National Park.

As seen on the map:

A. Grand Canyon

B. Sunset Crater National Monument

C. Petrified Forest National Park

D. Canyon de Chelly

E. Chaco Culture National Historic Park

F. Mesa Verde National Park

G. Black Canyon of the Gunnison

H. Arches National Park

I. Canyonlands National Park

J. Capitol Reef National Park

K. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

L. Bryce Canyon

M. Cedar Breaks National Monument

N. Zion National Park

O. Great Basin National Park

Arches National Park

Thousands of natural sandstone arches in the eastern Utah desert

Near the Colorado - Utah border lies Arches National Park. Thousand of sandstone arches have been created via a long process of erosion. A large salt bed just underneath Arches pushed up the rock sandstone layer thousands of years ago, causing the layer to become exposed to the windy, dry elements of the Utah desert. Over time, wind and water carved strange formations like famous Delicate Arch, or the world's longest arch, Landscape Arch.

Arches is adjacent to the town of Moab. This small town is the ideal stopping point on your road trip to see both Arches and Canyonlands. Like most of the southwest, this area can be extremely hot in the peak summer months, so plan light early morning and late afternoon hikes during that time of year.

Learn More About Arches:

Arches National ParkYour curiosity will be aroused as you explore the elusive arch formations of Utah. Bring your camera and lots of water, there are many long, memorable hikes here.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Explore the hoodoos and rock formations of Bryce

As your journey around the circle continues, you'll enter the region of southeast Utah, and the Bryce-Zion region. These two parks are almost always coupled together in trip booking because of their proximity. Bryce Canyon is a large ampitheatre, a product of water and wind erosion, that has resulted in thousands of red-orange rock spires called hoodoos.

The rocks of Bryce are best seen during dawn or dusk, as the colors best compliment the rocks. This park can get very busy during the peak summer months as kids get out of school, so plan your trip before mid June or after Labor Day if possible.

Learn more about Bryce Canyon:

Bryce Canyon National Park

Hike the nature trails around the rim of the hoodoos of Bryce to get a glimpse of the canyon from all angles, or find out where to stay near the park.

DK Eyewitness Southwest USA and Las Vegas - The perfect guide for the Grand Circle

If you've read any of my other travel lenses on Squidoo, you know that I'm a fan of DK Eyewitness' travel guides. They're small, convenient, illustrated, perfect for road trips, and they have an easy flip through format that highlights everything worth visiting.

Southwest USA & Las Vegas (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
Southwest USA & Las Vegas (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

This guide will go into the Four Corners and Grand Circle region, but also Las Vegas and southern Arizona and New Mexico. You may want to include places like Salt Lake City, Tucson, Phoenix, Saguaro NP, and Sedona into your trip, which this guide will detail. Where to stay, when to go, and travel tips for the region are invaluable for planning and during the trip.

 

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The deep canyon of Colorado's Gunnison River

Black Canyon of the Gunnison was just made a National Park in 1999, so it's a rather recent addition to the National Park system. A giant slice in th earth can be found at Black Canyon, with the Gunnison River a massive 2700 feet below. The deep, black marbled walls look very different than other canyons in the area. The top of the canyon is surrounded by grass and trees, and the width of the canyon almost makes it hidden from a distance.

Black Canyon is nearest to the towns of Aspen and Grand Junction in southeast Colorado, tourist attractions in their own right. Wineries and skiing resorts keep those areas bustling with activity all year, and would make an enjoyable side trip on your Grand Circle route.

More about Black Canyon of the Gunnison:

Black Canyon of the GunnisonDeep, black canyons leave a lasting impression as the dark granite walls plunge into the Gunnison River 1/2 mile below.

Canyonlands National Park

Vast, wide canyons and incredible hiking in Moab's Canyonlands

The scenery goes on for an eternity into the horizon, and it almost seems imaginary. You can't help but be reminded of prehistoric times in this vast, deserted land that's been carved over millions of years by the Colorado River into four distinct areas. The regions are Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze and the rivers regions. Some of the best mountain biking and hiking in the country can be found here, as well as photography.

Canyonlands is located in southern Utah, near Arches National Park, and just outside of Moab. Plan to spend a day at Canyonlands itself, and also a day at Arches. The parks are too big to glance over in just an hour or two, and are best experienced through hiking.

Learn more about Canyonlands:

Canyonlands National ParkIf you've ever wondered how the Grand Canyon was created, you can get a good idea at Canyonlands. The Colorado River is in progress of creating another masterpiece of nature in southern Utah.

Chaco Culture National Historic Park

The protected Puebloan Four Corners area of New Mexico

New Mexico's Chaco Culture Historic Park preserves the rich Puebloan people's culture. The area has thousands of historical buildings built by this culture, impressively aligned to astrological cycles of the sun and moon. Tour the ruins of the massive Pueblo Bonita, or view over a millions Chaco artifacts at the Chaco Culture Museum Collection in Albuquerque.

The Chaco canyon area was inhabited until the land experienced a drought, and the people migrated to different areas. This was between 1150-1400 AD, before Spanish explorers came to the continent.

Photo bottom, right: Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Culture Historic Park, sunset.

Grand Canyon

The most famous attraction within the Grand Circle

The beautiful Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, and the perfect destination on your Grand Circle road trip. The National Park contains the majority of the gorge, but the northern rim affords even more dramatic panoramic views. The southern rim is largely viewable via major roads that run near the rim, with pulloffs and scenic roads to explore, hike and camp.

The Northern rim is a remote destination, and at least 1/2 day drive from the southern rim. Hooking around the canyon, you will see some of the great views of Marble Canyon and skirt close to Lake Powell along the way.

Learn more about the Grand Canyon:

The Grand CanyonThe Grand Canyon is one of the wonders of the world, with an unforgettable hiking, photography, and road trip experience.

Photo bottom, right: Grand Canyon from South Rim Near Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.

Great Basin National Park

A land of big extremes in southwest Nevada

Great Basin National Park is located on the Utah border in Nevada, and is an area of great extremes. The massive Mount Wheeler sits over 2.5 miles above sea level, and is capped with snow much of the year. At the base of the mountain, the land turns into arid desert. Beneath the ground, an eleborate system of caves of stalagmites and stalactites grow from the ceilings and floor of Lehman Caves.

Learn more about Great Basin:

Great Basin National ParkGreat Basin National Park contains the beautiful underground Lehman's Cave, and the mammoth peak of Mount Wheeler. Hike the area from its 13,000 feet peak, to beneath the earth's surface.

Photo bottom right: The underground Lehman caves in Great Basin NP.

Desert Travel Tips

Tips for traveling in the desert extremes of the southwest

Driving in the desert is usually easy driving, but there are a few precautions you should take.

1. Always have enough water for yourself with you at all times. Long stretches of desert often have no water in the area of hundreds of miles. Stock up!

2. You can get burned even in the car. Lather up on the sunscreen if you're driving for a long time!

3. Tell someone where you're headed if you are traveling into a deserted area.

4. Use the pulloffs to let other people by if they want to pass you.

5. Don't take anything with you from your environment -- just photos.

6. Check your brakes before mountain driving.

7. Carry a cellphone. The wide open desert usually has good reception in most areas.

8. Make sure your car is properly maintained, especially in hot weather. If your car is an antique, you might want to consider getting a rental for your trip.

Mesa Verde National Park

View the ancient ruins of Cliff Palace in Colorado

Near the southwest corner of Colorado's border, the Mesa Verde National Park area was preserved to protect the ruins of Cliff Palace, and the other surrounding Puebloan ruins of the area. Sitting high atop a mesa, the area is remote, and was not protected until the early 1900s. Before that time, the ruins were prone to much pillage and vandalism. Today, the ruins have been partially restored and cleaned to resemble the way they looked prior.

Learn more about Mesa Verde National Park:

Mesa Verde National ParkRemnants of a long lost culture can be found in the Colorado ruins of Mesa Verde National Park. Visit to gaze upon the incredible Puebloan Cliff Palace and ancient petroglyphs.

Photo bottom left: The ancient Cliff Palace dwellings of Mesa Verde.

Zion National Park

Southern Utah's enclosed canyon carved by the Virgin River

The Virgin River has done some spectacular work, leaving us with the giant canyon of Zion, in southern Utah. The canyon extends deep within the mountain range surrounding the river, as it gets slimmer and slimmer as it heads into the section known as "The Narrows." This section is one of the ultimate challenges for hikers, as parts of it may require swimming.

The canyon extends outside of the park boundaries into nearby Springdale Utah, which has extraordinary views of the canyon walls and red rocks. Directly before or after your trip to Zion, you will most likely want to head to Bryce Canyon, which is only around 72 miles away.

Learn more about Zion National Park:

Zion National ParkThe majestic Zion region has been eroded over time by the Virgin River, which slims down to the challenging hiking area of the Narrows.

Southwestern Travel Guides - Some of the best guides to traveling the southwest states of the USA

The Southwest is a huge, wide expanse of America. To make the most of your trip, it's a good idea to get a guide or two to plan your journey, and to take with your on your trip.

Deep in the heart of Utah lies Capitol Reef National Park, a 100 mile long wrinkle in the earth's crust. This elevated plateau-like area is recognizable from quite some distance, as the flat desert rises from the ground abruptly. Canyons, domes and buttes can be found in this undisturbed southwestern gem. Few roads lead through the actual park, except State route 24. This makes the park a true representation of what Utah looked like long ago, and remains. You won't find crowds making your stay uncomfortable, since the majority of the park is accessible only by hiking.

Learn more about Capitol Reef:

Capitol Reef National ParkA 70 mile wrinkle in the earth's crust resulted in the massive Capitol Reef area and National Park. Giant sandstone domes line the tops of this beautiful Utah plateau.

Whether you've been there or not, it's most likely that you've seen Monument Valley on television advertisements or in magazines. The gigantic "mitten" buttes lie in the desert expanse known as Monument Valley (which actually isn't really a valley). The tall sandstone buttes have been carved by wind erosion over thousands of years to their current towering shapes.

Getting to Monument Valley is an easy straight ride, but a long one. On Highway 163 in Arizona, the area is northeast of the Grand Canyon, and south of Canyonlands.

Learn more about Monument Valley:

Monument ValleyAn iconic image of the southwest, Monument Valley is now under Navajo rule. The park has extraordinary views of the awe inspiring Mittens and surrounding desert.

Right: The famous long, desolate road leading to Monument Valley.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/isherwoodchris/326444...

The Four Corners, A Guide by Moon Books - Because the Four Corners region NEEDS its own book

There are far too many attractions in the Four Corners area to cover in-depth along with other southwestern attractions, and that's why this book is a helpful if you're headed to the Grand Circle. Monument Valley, Chaco Culture, Mesa Verde, and other Four Corners landmarks are gone over in detail in this book, from where to stay, where to camp, the best routes to take, and interesting smaller destinations worth checking out.

Glen Canyon Recreation Area

The man made lake derived from the Colorado River

Glen Canyon Recreation Area is an artificially created damned up section of the Colorado River that has formed the giant Lake Powell. With little to no vegetation, the area is unique in appearance for its crystal clear blue water and contrasting bright red rocks. The area is a huge attraction for Arizona and Utah residents for boating, with marinas directly on the lake. The artificial lake is evaporating, with the shoreline receding. North of Grand Canyon and south of many of Utah's National Parks, the area is definitely worth the visit for its beautiful appearance and boating.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Utah's 1.7 million acre wilderness

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was just declared in 1996 as a National Monument. The area is 1.7 million acres of fossil rich territory, with high cliffs, low canyons, and desert wildlife. The monument can be seen on a drive to Bryce Canyon along the backroads, and explored by foot. The area is well known for its multicolor sandstone walls, which have stripes of red, purple, brown, yellow and white, indicating different periods of time in the earth's history.

Arguably, Antelope Canyon is one of the most photogenic areas of the southwest. These narrow corkscrew slot canyons are part of the Navajo nation, and are divided into two sections, Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. Beams of light shine down into the canyon during the middle of the day during the summer months, as the walls display beautiful red and brown earth tones.

The Upper Canyon is where you can witness these beams of light, while the Lower Canyon is less visited and a more strenuous hike. Flash floods are a threat in this canyon, so precautions must be taken to avoid rainy days, even when rain has fallen recently in the area.

Canyon de Chelly is an area of Navajo Nation of Arizona, including Canyon de Chelly, del Muerto, and Monument canyons. The area is part of the NPS, however, the Canyon de Chelly floor is only accessible through guided ranger hike. The main attraction of the park is towering Spider Rock, a huge rock tower in the middle of Canyon de Chelly.

Marble Canyon

The Colorado River's gateway to the Grand Canyon

Marble Canyon is part of Grand Canyon National Park, and is famous for its Navajo bridge, which spans the gap of the Colorado River, allowing Route 89A to pass over it. The Grand Canyon starts just down the river. The walls of the canyon looks like stacked bricks, with a near vertical wall that heads down to the canyon.

Sunset Crater National Monument

A rich volcanic history at the Arizona cinder cone of Sunset Crater

If you hadn't known better, you would think that the cinder cone of Sunset Crater National Monument had just erupted last year. The last known eruption occurred around 1064 AD, making the rock very young at only 950 years! Located north of Flagstaff, Sunset Crater National Monument is located close to the Petrified Forest National Park, and Grand Canyon.

In the northeast of Arizona, you won't find any living trees in the Painted Desert badlands of Petrified Forest National Park. Millions of pieces of petrified wood line the desert floor, some large, some small. This area was once a lush tropical region, and also a bed of volcanic activity. The logs from some of these trees (which are extinct in the northern hemisphere) over time were washed into ravines and buried under volcanic ash and gravel. Other volcanic rock replaced the buried wood, and over millions of years, became the petrified wood (which is actually now rock) that you can see in the park. Remarkable brightly "painted" hills line the outside of the desert area. Also in the park is the Agate House, a Native American house made of petrified wood, and petroglyph panels dating back to approximately between 1000 A.D. and 1300 A.D.

Looking for a true, rustic southwest experience off the beaten path? You can't get much more rugged or rough than the Valley of the Gods. Small canyons, buttes, cliffs, and sandstone mesas can be found in this deserted area which can only be accessed via a 17 mile long dirt road north of Bluff, Utah.

Havasu Falls is a set of waterfalls found near the Grand Canyon. The colorful brownish orange rocks contrast beautifully with the crystal clear blue-green water, which is tinted by algae. The area can be accessed via a long hike to the remote area, but is well worth the strain!

Window Rock

The headquarters of Navajo nation

Window Rock is the the headquarters of present day Navajo Nation, and the scenic landmark of the giant sandstone rock seen below. The sandstone has a giant window in the middle of it, and has the town of Window Rock named after it. It can be found on the Arizona - New Mexico border, northeast of Flagstaff, and northwest of Albuquerque.

Like Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks, Goblin Valley is comprised of thousands of rock formations called hoodoos. In this case, the hoodoos are small in comparison to Bryce and Cedar Breaks, but make for an impressive hike and interesting experience. Goblin Valley is a state park in central Utah, near Capitol Reef National Park and the Green River. The sandstone "goblins" make for excellent photography and a moderate hike.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in southern Utah may rival the dunes of Death Valley. These pink sand hills were formed from the eroded cliffs that surround the valley, and are a popular attraction for ATV riders. The warm reddish pink tones are best photographed later or earlier in the day, when the sun will warm the colors even further.

The Four Corners Monument, where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona converge.

The Four Corners Monument, where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona converge.
The Four Corners Monument, where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona converge.

Cedar Breaks National Monument is an easy drive from Cedar City. The colors of the amphitheater are remarkable, and it's another easy stop on your trip throughout the Grand Circle. The hoodoos and rock spire formations are similar to Bryce Canyon, but often not as crowded. Cedar City has many accommodations and hotels to choose from as you plan your trip to Bryce and Zion.

Only miles east of Bryce Canyon you will find the impressive sandstone chimneys of Kodachrome Basin State Park. This is an easy stop on your Grand Circle road trip that won't take a lot of time to complete. These chimneys are thought to be the result of geysers that solidified with hard rock, as the soft sandstone around it withered away, leaving the chimney.

Have You Been to Any of These Monuments, Parks, or Attractions? - Tell us about your trip to a Grand Circle destination!

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    • nebby profile image

      nebby 7 years ago from USA

      I love what you have created! I live in Utah & haven't been to have of the places that you spotlight - now I've got to go.

      Just a bit if trivia - last week they mentioned on the news that that the 4 corners is actually off a bit & might get moved.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Another great one, Kiwi! I always enjoy your lenses, both for content and the visuals. Not to mention the topics.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, beautiful lens! I am so thankful to live in such a beautiful country, which you show here so well.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      Wow, tons of great information. I've been several of these places but certainly not all of them. I would just love to do some exploring there.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 7 years ago

      Wonderful...beautiful...amazing...wow...5*

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Absolutely brilliant lens, makes most others look sad by comparison. 5***** totally deserved. Ok where's the Purple Star for this one? It needs to be on the list... Lensrolled to my Arizona lens.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      What always amazes me is the differences in the colors of the rock and land in that area of the country. Truly beautiful lens. Angel blessings. :)

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Just posted about this lens on http://howlingsquidreview.blogspot.com/2009/05/who... Can you add a comment to talk about how you created some of the effects? Thanks. :)

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 7 years ago

      Wow, this is a superb lens. 5* The southwest is one of my favorite parts of the US. I've been to several of the parks and to the Four Corners National Monument but I learned something new from your lens. I never knew that there was an actual official Grand Circle Tour - how neat. It would be fun to do the tour and see the parks that I haven't been to yet. And of course if I had the time go back again to visit the ones I've been to already, as a photographer, I would love to revisit all of them.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Quite an inviting lens that I'm sure if my hubby saw all these wonderful pictures, that would be our next vacation trip! Well done my dear.

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 7 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Congratulations on your purple star!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Congratulations on the well-deserved purple star!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

      Congratulations on the well-deserved purple star!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 7 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Incredibly breath taking. Congratulations on the purple star!

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      This is such a panoramic representation of the Great Natural Wonders of These United States--

      Thank you for this work of art!! and congrats on the Purple Star!!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      In response to your comment about cracking the top ten, let me say that it is indeed remarkable #1 to have a purple star, let along a second purple star for this remarkable lens. Many of us only have the one purple star. And, to even be able to be honored with a Top 100 lens, now that in and of itself is quite remarkable. Congratulations on all of your fabulous accomplishments! ;)

    • profile image

      seedplanter 7 years ago

      I can see why that pretty purple star graces this lens. What a beautiful trek you laid out for us to enjoy! I lived in Arizona when I was very young for just three years, but I have fond memories of my parents talking about the Southwest, We also traveled through those areas coming or going on trips many times.

      Gorgeous photos! Makes me want to pack up and go.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Whoaaaaa! What incredible pictures you have here! Makes me want to pack up the kids and go right now! 5 stars!

    • profile image

      Cassandrology 7 years ago

      Awesome lens, wow its great I like all of that destination that you featured here from window rock to the cedar breaks national monument, but I like the most is the Antelope Canyon amazing this is my first time to see a a beauty made by nature like this. Hope to visit this destination someday.

      Thanks for this great info. and sharing the pictures.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Impressive work, kiwi! Blessed by a Squid Angel today. :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      5* for the nice lens and lovely photo's and a happy belated birthday to you. :D

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

      The one trip we took to the four corners was spectacular and your photos bring back all the wonderful memories of those days.

      Happy Birthday!

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 7 years ago

      Truly wonderful lens/guide to the four corners. High on my bucket list to spend more time there. Big fan of Louie Lamour who staged many of his novels there and actually lived there. I've been to Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon... Aspen, Grand Junction and the Colorado National Monument...passed through Flagstaff on a motorcycle 38 years ago, but it's an area I'd love to spend more time in. Well deserved purple star- congratulations!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      Just by visiting this lens I feel that I have been on a road trip...drop dead gorgeous photography and all around design. 5 *'s and a big high five!

    • profile image

      QueSea 7 years ago

      Wonderful photographs. This is an inspiring lens.

    • Kolibri profile image

      Kolibri 7 years ago

      Fantastic Lens! Please check out my lens: "Granite Dells - Prescott Arizona" and consider using it in your lensroll. Thank you. Susanne

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      My goodness one could put this lens in a pipe, smoke it and drop over from enlightenment. Stunning. Love Darcie

    • profile image

      mitchking 7 years ago

      You did an excellent job of covering this area. I lived in Telluride for 10 years and loved the diversity in the mountains and desert in the Four Corners region.

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 7 years ago

      As always a brilliant lens. I will hope to use this as a guide next year for my road trip. These are all areas I want to see. Squid Angel Blessings to you

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      amazing lens! blessed

      can't wait to drive the grand circle

    • ruilevi profile image

      ruilevi 7 years ago

      What an amazing place!...great lens with beautiful pictures,5*!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I think Utah is so beautiful so would like to take the Grand Circle Road Trip some day. Another great traveling lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • Infonitum profile image

      Infonitum 7 years ago

      I lived in New Mexico for several years and had the opportunity to experience some of these places, but not all of them. I'd love to go back for a Grand Circle trip. Beautiful!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Just gorgeous, this is my favorite part of America. If and when I get to the USA it will be the place I visit. The buildings of nature are far superior to those of man. Stunning pics and nicely commented and presented. Top marks, lens rolled and featured on Fun n The Great Outdoors.

      Norma

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Breathtaking scenery and awesome photographs. We have traveled through parts of Arizona but I would love to see more...especially Monument Valley. :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Once my husband and I retire we plan on spending an entire summer touring one state after another. We go on road trips all the time, but we're on the east coast. It will be fun to head west.

      Thanks for sharing

      Lizzy

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 6 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      I've been the the Grand Canyon, but I have done a bit of camping and traveling along the Colorado river. I love that part of the country

    • NickOng profile image

      NickOng 6 years ago

      hey i really would love to see all these places especially Arches National Park , but im abit afraid of driving in the U.S because im a foreigner and im just quite paranoid that something bad might happen to me .. what do you think?

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      @NickOng: No, I don't think anything bad would happen to you in this part of the USA. This area is very low key and quiet. The only areas of the U.S. that you would have to worry about traveling to are the rough neighborhoods of the big cities, and you'll have plenty of warning before you get into those areas. Overall travel in America is relatively safe.

    • profile image

      GranCanariaHolidays 6 years ago

      Oh my God, the pictures you use is amazing. i love to visit these places. will read more to find out how much it costs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a trip that I have always wanted to take. Now I want to go even more. Ringing my little Squid Angel bell with a blessing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is why I love, and live in, the desert Southwest. The scenery is breathtaking and the natural history is written in the rocks.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 6 years ago from London

      What gorgeous pics!

      I sketched my way across Arizona and New Mexico when I visited - and a lot of my sketches have the temperatures marked on them because we were travelling during a heatwave in July! Your points about driving in the desert are very well made. Another useful tip is to turn off the AC if you are loaded down before you start a long steep climb - because you definitely want to make sure you get to the top!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love this part of the country! The vibe there is so mystical...

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 6 years ago from Hisar

      Good lens..

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      I have been to the spot where the four corners meet a few years ago. My favorite was Utah with its natural rock formations and arches - just took my breath away. Your photos are so inviting and spectacular of some of the other places I have not been to. A road trip now an item in my bucket list.

    • profile image

      Znakomstva 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the great information. I do have a question though, near the top, you state that the official inauguration date is March 31, 1989. Did you mean 1889?

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Came back to bless this lens- I love the pictures- breathtaking. Great job!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Another amazing travel lens. This area is definitely on my must see list. I can't believe that there is so much incredible beauty in just this one area of the country. ** Blessed by a Squid Angel **

    • profile image

      HughSimpson 6 years ago

      No but I think you will enjoy my new lense at http://www.squidoo.com/native-american-museum-qual... which features my friend's high end Native Am bricks and mortar store in Atlanta. Jay has been to numerous mines in the areas here.

    • monarch13 profile image

      monarch13 6 years ago

      beautiful lens! Blessed!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      I did some consulting and in that period I spent 3 years in CA, so a Visited a part of them.

      You have a great lens with fantastic pictures and with useful info, Blessing for your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have seen many of these places over the years and am now planning a return trip to all of them on an extended road trip.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      You have some great pics on this lens, I would love to go on a road trip, to bad I am stay in the Bahamas. Great job on the lens.

    • dogodor profile image

      dogodor 6 years ago

      I love all the pretty pics on this lens!!!!

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      We have been to the Grand Canyon but we would love to take the Grand Circle!

      Thanks for the info and inspiration. Favoriting, lensrolling, and blessing.

      ***Blessed by an Angel***

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      ***Blessed by an Angel***

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Stop by to sprinkle some angel dust. Wonderful pictures and presentaton.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Yes, I have been to all of them, including 5 times to the Grand Canyon both rims.

      This amazing lens is blessed and will be featured on my Natural Wonder lens along with a few of your other ones:)

    • Laura Schofield profile image

      Laura Schofield 5 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      I've spent the night in Jerome and Flagstaff and driven through northern Arizona and New Mexico. I've never been to Utah though and it looks fantastic. This may well be our family's next road trip!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      We've been to Grand Canyon, but would love to do this trip in our RV.

    • derekawalker lm profile image

      derekawalker lm 5 years ago

      Zion National Park is my favorite. Call the station and reserve a day to hike South Fork! It's the best hike.

    • CHalloran LM profile image

      CHalloran LM 5 years ago

      The entire Southwest is breath taking but, Arizona is probably the most beautiful place on earth... by far! Thank you for this lens, amazing pictures, so relaxing to even look at them.

    • profile image

      NYThroughTheLens 5 years ago

      Phenomenal lens. So useful and informative. Excellent!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      I really hope to see the Grand Canyon some day.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      Countryluthier 5 years ago

      Sadly no I haven't but I certainly will should I visit their home states. Quite interesting lens

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      Had to come back for a visit...so long to get back out west to see these beautiful places. Some are familiar. The best thing I did besides marrying a wonderful guy was marrying a wonderful guy from Colorado who has taken me out there many times over the 32 years we've been married. We're due for another trip:-) Blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      the great basin was my favorite reading, all around great lens, 'thumbs up' from this reader to you.

    • KathyZinn profile image

      KathyZinn 5 years ago

      Great lens, great snapshots. No vacation is complete without a camera.

    • Northwestphotos profile image

      Northwestphotos 5 years ago

      Such a great lens! I love landscapes and haven't been to these desert areas yet except for the high desert areas in the Pacific Northwest.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      Wow, the canyons and cliff dwellings look beautiful. Imagine having lived back in that time and seeing all that natural beauty around you. I'll have to put this down for the calendar.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Will Borden, photographer and my husband both loved the Grand Canyon area. We didn't get to the Northeastern parks but are planning trip there next summer. Beautiful country, beautiful lens. Blessed by this angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been to Arches National Park. It is one of the most spectaular place in Utah. This will completely re-write your concept of desert.

    • ronberry lm profile image

      ronberry lm 5 years ago

      My wife and I spent a couple years out there some time back. While we did make it to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, I always regretted not doing more... Great excuse to go back out there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Did a gigantic road trip around the circle in two weeks (2000 miles) several years ago. Wish I had more time, but it was exhausting. Spectacular , colorful scenery...so different from the rest of the country. In most places it is so wild and remote. Be sure to pull over and set out on foot, too. Listen for canyon wrens. For grandeur: Canyonlands NP, Arches NP, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley. More intimate experiences: Antelope Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and Zion NP. It's a pleasure and a privilege to visit Navajo and Puebloan lands; be kind and courteous to Native Americans. I'm now planning a trip to Chaco Culture NHP in spring, and can't wait.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      A truly visually stunning lens!

    • sarahrk lm profile image

      sarahrk lm 5 years ago

      I have lived in the Southwest and traveled much of it. You have a really good lens here. I really enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      These are our favorite places. We visit at least one of them every year.

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 5 years ago from Ireland

      This lens really makes me want to visit so many of these beautiful places, hopefully, one day.

    • SandyORiley profile image

      SandyORiley 5 years ago

      Great lens, helped me plan our trip.

    • equilibria profile image

      equilibria 5 years ago

      If you have kids and visit 4 Corners, definitely have the kids place a hand and each foot in all four states and get a picture. You will all love that picture forever!

    • profile image

      Light-in-me 4 years ago

      Wow , beautiful pictures and great information. I would love to visit Mesa Verde and Great Basin National Parks!

      Nice job,

      Robin :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have come back to bless this lens and let you know that I have submitted this lens for LotD for July 4th. It truly is a beautiful lens and well deserving!

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      You definitely hit the best spots. I've been to most but I live in AZ.

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 4 years ago

      Great Lens. the type of grand trip that needs to be done one day.

    • profile image

      RocklawnArts 4 years ago

      I've been to Arches, Capitol Reef, and Petrified Forest. Would love to go back and check some more out!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We just did this loop last week of Sept, first of Oct. We didn't know it was the "Grand Circle", but was, indeed, GRAND! We visited Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon, Arches, Mesa Verde Canyons, Monument Valley, Capitol Reef, Canyons of the Ancients, Montezuma's Castle...maybe more. Best trip ever!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful area to explore and photograph! Well worth the visit!

    • Isabellas-cabin profile image

      Isabellas-cabin 4 years ago

      Great pictures from what I seen. I know some of these pictures did not load or were supposed to be in a stream, though, because they loaded up a bunch of URLs.

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 4 years ago

      I am from southern Utah and still love looking at some of the most beautiful places on the planet that I call home. Very well done!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Jillynn: Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      greytdogz 4 years ago

      Nicely done. A thorough review of some of the places that are on my bucket list. Now there are more. I'm going to bookmark this page for when we make the trip. Thank you.

    • worldwidesouven profile image

      worldwidesouven 4 years ago

      Good collection of wonderful places. Thank you for this detailed guide, lovely lens!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @Isabellas-cabin: Looks like I have some work to do. Thanks for letting me know. This page was once loaded with photos.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image
      Author

      Kiwisoutback 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      @LaraineRoses: Thanks for the nomination! Unfortunately no LOTD, but there's always this year (maybe!).

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