The Amazing American Southwest in Photos

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Despite all the countries I've visited, the cities I've explored, and the natural wonders I've seen up close, I'm still convinced of one thing: the United States is one of the most diverse and most beautiful countries out there.

As an American, I spent most of my life taking this fact for granted. I dreamed of “escaping” the US, and almost always looked to other countries when I thought about travel. But then I started traveling more in my own country. A road trip here, a weekend away there.

And guess what?

I discovered that some of the best landscapes, the coolest cities, and most interesting people were right here in my own country the whole time.

And, after a few years in a row of making a point of traveling within the US, I have identified my favorite part of the country: The American Southwest.

The American Southwest is (like many regions in this country) loosely defined. Usually it includes Arizona, and then parts of New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and sometimes Nevada and the tiniest sliver of California. When I think of this region, I think desert and red sandstone and ties to America's native people. I think of tiny towns and weak cell phone signals. And I think of national parks and sweeping landscapes.

After two separate trips to this part of the US, I'm finally ready to show you all my favorite spots!

The Amazing American Southwest in Photos

Here are some of my favorite photos from my favorite part of the United States:

Zion National Park in Utah – perhaps my favorite national park now!
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park (Utah)
White Sands National Monument in New Mexico
Inspiration Point at Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
Horseshoe Bend in Arizona
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park (Utah)
Desert View at the Grand Canyon (Arizona)
Arches National Park in Utah
Light beam in Upper Antelope Canyon (Arizona)
Taos Pueblo in New Mexico
Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
Grand Canyon National Park South Rim (Arizona)
Monument Valley in Utah
Hiking the Angels Landing trail in Zion National Park (Utah)
Red Rocks in Sedona, Arizona
Sunset at White Sands National Monument (New Mexico)
Inside Upper Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona
Grand Canyon North Rim (Arizona)
Sunset Point at Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
Driving in northern New Mexico
Angels Landing in Zion National Park (Utah)
Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Totem Pole in Monument Valley (Utah)
Fog descends into the Grand Canyon in Arizona
North Window Arch at Arches National Park (Utah)
Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona
Kiva Koffeehouse in the middle of nowhere in Utah
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park (Utah)
The view from Angels Landing in Zion National Park (Utah)
Cliffdwellers in Arizona
Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Mount Carmel Highway in Zion National Park (Utah)

And, of course, even after two road trips through this part of the country, there are still a ton of spots in the Southwest that I still haven't seen! Still on my list is the Four Corners, Mesa Verde, The Wave in Coyote Buttes North, Canyon de Chelly, Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, and Havasu Falls, among others.

The landscapes here are just so stunning and so different that you could spends months in the American Southwest and still probably not see it all.

Interested in reading more about some of the spots featured in these photos? Check out these posts:

Which of these places are you adding to your US bucket list now? Are there any you didn't know about before?


Inspiring photos from the American Southwest


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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