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Southwest Destinations

The Southwest is dominated by the Colorado Plateau. Here, tectonic activity has pushed a huge section of of the southwestern up thousands of feet above sea level. Eons of erosion from water, wind and ice, along with continued uplife and an arid climate have resulted in geologic formations that are both beautiful and fascinating. More recent human history -- both Native and European-American -- adds a layer of cultural interest to the plateau. The national and tribal parks of the Grand Circle allow visitors to immerse themselves into these stunning landscapes and experience the culture of the people who live (and have lived) here.

Below the plateau, the region is dominated by desert, which offers a beauty of its own. Stately Saguaro cactus stand sentinel in southern Arizona. The volcanic Valley of Fire stuns visitors in southern Nevada. And rising up out of the desolation, Las Vegas is a modern playground that exists in defiance of seemingly uninhabitable landscape that surrounds it.

 Las Vegas
The last 20 years have been transformative for Las Vegas. Once the site of smokey card rooms and seedy lounges, Las Vegas has become a family-focused destination resort with something for everyone. 

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Sedona is one of those places that has a certain something you can't quite touch, but can feel deeply.

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 Grand Canyon National Park

Superlatives fall flat against one of Earth's most dramatic backdrops. The Grand Canyon can be appreciated from above over the course of a day trip or overnight, or thoroughly explored by horseback, raft or on-foot.

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 Zion National Park
The red and coral sandstone cliffs of Zion rise out of the Virgin River Canyon like the walls of a cathedral. They surround what is a unique oasis in the arid region, fed not only by the Virgin River, but also by purified water seeping from the sandstone.

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 Arches National Park

A natural museum of sandstone erosion, the park features more than 2000 naturally formed arches, along with a variety of other impressive formations, including sandstone fins, spires, balanced rocks, and imposing monoliths.

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 Mesa Verde National Park

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 Grand Staircase Escalante

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 Saguaro National Park

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 Bryce Canyon National Park
...Spend some time among the thousands of hoodoos that are the iconic features of Bryce Canyon National Park, and you'll likely form your own more personal, and perhaps spiritual definition of "hoodoo."

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 Canyonlands National Park and Deadhorse Point
...The resulting erosion has created a dramatic, sprawling landscape of buttes, mesas and canyons that stretches over more than 500 square miles.

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 Capitol Reef National Park
Lesser known than other national parks in the region, Capitol Reef features swirling sandstone canyons, prominent domes and imposing cliffs.

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 Canyon de Chelly National Monument
The striking geology of this Navajo homeland is a backdrop to thousands of years of cultural history

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 Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
...Once you enter Antelope Canyon, you find yourself immersed in a swirling geometry of sandstone and light, sculpted by millenia of flooding, and continually altered by the shifting sunlight.

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Lake Powell
Antelope Canyon
Horseshoe Bend
 Carlsbad Caverns National Park

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 Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Monument Valley is a place that holds a certain allure to people worldwide. A sacred place to the Navajo, who still inhabit the valley today, the valley offers a certain peacefulness; a quiet power that most people can't, or don't wish to put into words.

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