Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico are the states that make up the Four Corners. Culturally, the region is a combination of Mexican, Mormon, Navajo, Hopi, Ute, and Zuni ancestry. It is a part of the Colorado Plateau, a geological formation responsible for much of the snow and rainfall over the central United States. Citizens of the United States, particularly in this region, have free access to dozens of natural areas. Here’s a preview of all the places to explore in the Southwest. Go to the National Park Service Website or join the travelstoke app to discover information about the region.
Arches National Park, Moab, UT
Arches National ParkMoab, United StatesThis was a great vantage point where I was able to see the Delicate Arch to my left, the canyon in front of me, and the La Sal Mountains in the distance on my right. There are very few areas in the world where you can witness desert, forest, and mountain terrain all from one viewpoint.
Grand Canyon National Park, North Rim, AZ
Grand Canyon National ParkNorth Rim, United StatesThe Grand Canyon can be explored by rental car, bus tour, and helicopter tour from Las Vegas Nevada. In Williams, Arizona the town offers tour explorations of this National Park via the Grand Canyon Railway. #camping #hiking #grandcanyonnationalpark #touristspots #travelphotography #arizona #landscapes
Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos, CO
Highland Mary Lakes, Weminuche Wilderness, Silverton, CO
Highland Mary LakesSilverton, United StatesThis is the valley preceding a 2000ft climb into the Weminuche Wilderness. The climb spans roughly 1-2 miles and opens up above tree line to an alpine plain. If you continue to follow the trail you will eventually link up with the Continental Divide Trail. #wilderness #hiking #extreme #camping #snow
Bridge Campground, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs, CO
Bridge CampgroundPagosa Springs, United StatesThe San Juan National Forest takes up a big part of Southwestern Colorado. This particular region is just north of Pagosa Springs in Poison Park. I’d strongly recommend bringing a GPS or topo map if you plan any extended backpacking trips through here.
#hiking #camping #backpacking #outdoors
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Crawford, CO
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkCrawford, United StatesThis is a remarkable canyon. On the day I visited back in April 2016, we experienced everything including sun, rain, snow, hail, and a rainbow. At its deepest it can fit the Empire State Building plus some.
#camping #hiking #canyon #explore
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Saguache County, CO
Great Sand Dunes National Park and PreserveSaguache County, United StatesDid you know the tallest sand dunes in North America are in Colorado? This place has massive dunes surrounded by snowy mountains and glacial waterfalls — just be sure to bring your adrenaline to climb up 750 feet of sand. #hiking
Grand View Point Overlook, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
Monument Canyon Trail, Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction, CO
Monument Canyon TrailGrand Junction, United StatesThe Colorado National Monument is spectacularly beautiful, and this Trail is the best way to take it in. 11.4 miles out and back Trail, it is heavily trafficked but the views are amazing and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the Grand Junction area.
Navajo National Monument, Kayenta, AZ
Navajo National MonumentKayenta, United StatesIn between Page and Monument Valley I think this spot is often overlooked by people but it shouldn’t be. It’s such a beautiful area. A beautiful canyon in an interesting environment and three different Ancient ruins you can hike to. Some overnight trips. I vow to come back here and do some serious exploration because it was quite icy and snowy when we were there and not prepared for that (not that I ever am). I think you can spend a surprising amount of time in this area and it is just so beautiful with a unique natural environment you don’t see often AND immense amount of history and culture. A special spot. Next time an overnight for sure for me. #hiking #history #camping
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell, UT
Glen Canyon National Recreation AreaLake Powell, United StatesIf you have an interest in canyoneering, Glen Canyon NRA is a prime spot for it. I was lucky enough to repel through a slot called Slideanide which has a rating of 3AII. It involves 2 rappers, 8-9 down climbs, and the potential for multiple assists. #canyoneering #canyon #extreme
Ice Caves, El Malpais National Conservation Area, Grants, NM
Ice CavesGrants, United StatesNice, short hike to stretch our legs between Santa Fe and Flagstaff. One of two stops – the other being Petrified Forest NP. Great for our kids – 7 & 10. Worth the few bucks. If not for kids, maybe a hike at the nearby national monument instead? Saw the ice cave, too. Pretty interesting for a mild geology lesson. #volcano #icecave #science #activekids #route66 #roadtrip
Mineral Bottom Take Out, Green River, UT
Mineral Bottom Take OutGreen River, United StatesIf you start your river trip through Labyrinth Canyon in Green River, a great place to take out is Mineral Bottom. The takeout lies just before the entrance to Canyonlands National Park and has nice open areas for camping. The whole of the Green River is well mapped and full of history thanks to the like of John Wesley Powell and John C Freemont and events such as a diphtheria epidemic and the Mormon Trail.
#canoeing #boating #river #canyon
Painted Desert Rim, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
Painted Desert RimPetrified Forest National Park, United StatesJunior Ranger badge #1 for this trip. A stunning view and very interesting petrified forests. #neverknew #findyourpark #nps100 #stem #roadtrip #arizona #kidslearning #activekids