This is John Wayne country: crumbling plateaus, impossibly tight slot canyons, open plains, and sandstone spires. Driving through the dynamic landscape it's impossible not to become overwhelmed with the deep red hue clashing against a baby blue sky. Deep within desert canyons are rivers snaking each which way, cutting deeper with no direction except downhill. This is the country legends are born in. The wild, wild west.
Utah is a special place. At first glance the state appears baron and void of moisture. But upon closer inspection Utah is rich with geological activity and smooth red rock caverns. Traveling through Utah it is imperative you stop at Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon National Park. But our favorite place here at MyRockyMountainPark.com is Zion National Park, a dramatic canyon cut deep by the Virgin River flowing aimlessly through the Park. Zion is known best for it's tight slot canyons and towering sandstone cliffs. A wide variety of activities can be found in Zion including world class climbing, fishing, hiking, and canyoneering. On a clear day the blue sky unzips overhead clashing against the sandstones deep rich color taking visitors breath away.
Just go here: Grand Canyon National Park. At first glance it's not uncommon for visitors to drop their jaw and proclaim they have never seen anything so beautiful before. The mile deep canyon stretching up to 18 miles wide is a sight to be seen. Most people visit the south rim where the Bright Angel Trailhead and Grand Canyon Village is found. But we have another idea. Raft the canyon's 277 river miles. Trips can extend for nearly a month, and after crashing through world-class rapids like Lava and Crystal, the sky becomes reduced to a thin ribbon of stars. We promise you won't be disappointed.
Wyoming is cowboy country at its finest. Dramatic mountain ranges jut haphazardly out of the low-lying plain, casting ominous ridgelines connected by steep narrow canyons and vertical chutes. But one canyon simply cannot be missed. The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park is exactly what it sounds like: a miniature Grand Canyon. Cut up to 1,200 feet deep by the Yellowstone River the canyon is a dramatic tight slice in the Earth's crust averaging only 4,000 feet across. Some even call it the most breathtaking place in Yellowstone National Park.
Several national monuments and recreation area's featuring spectacular canyons can be found in New Mexico. Wild Rivers Recreation Area, is a massive 800-foot canyon cut deep by the Rio Grande River as it charges south to the Texas/Mexico border. Visitors to Wild Rivers can explore the area's extensive backcountry, while some of New Mexico's most stellar whitewater can be found through the canyon itself. Other canyons to check out include Bandelier National Monument and Cimarron Canyon State Park in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.