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.

Mount Carmel Highway in Zion National Park

Sedona, Arizona

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

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  1. These photos are beautiful! The American Southwest does have some stunning locations. Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon are a couple of my favorites.

      Both very beautiful places! There are so many spots in the Southwest I love – and so many that I still haven’t seen yet!

    Gorgeous! I really need to explore more of this part of the country.

      It’s a very special part of the US!

    Zion is my favorite, too! I have been twice, both times in September, so I’m feeling nostalgic for the SouthWest right now…especially as my Facebook memories keep popping up! I can’t wait to explore more of this area next year!

      It’s such a beautiful part of the U.S. I have no doubt I’ll be back again before too long!

    The southwest is the one little corner of the US that I still haven’t explored! I am hoping to get out there sometime soon. These photos are certainly fueling my wanderlust.

    Kaili

      It’s most definitely a corner worth exploring! 🙂

    Stunning photos! I would love to do a road trip through the US one day. 🙂

      It’s one of the best countries for a road trip, in my opinion!

    The Southwest is really an interesting place. I agree that there’s more to the country than meets the eye. Also, the rock formations and landscapes you’ve shown in your photos are very stunning.

      It’s certainly an amazing part of the country – and even better if you enjoy photography like I do!

    YES! So glad I found your blog! I am a recent solo traveller (have a small camper). My first thoughts were travelling foreign countries, then I realized I haven’t travelled the US hardly at all. Last year I did a Civil War tour through VA and PA, this year I’m going to finally make it to Maine and eat lobster, driving through New England to see foliage on the way. But my next destination will definitely be west, and after seeing your gorgeous photography I’m so inspired! Will definitly be keeping up with you:-)

      Awesome to hear, Kim! Those all sound like amazing trips!

    these photos are stunning. europe is where i most love to travel, but recently i feel like it isn’t the safest destination. we were in austria in june and i just felt uneased in vienna (less so in the countryside) so next year we are planning a national park road trip. antelope canyon is number 1 on my list, and i’d love to see horseshoe bend. what’s the skill set for these hikes, to get these views? that’s my concern. glad you went to sedona, i am obsessed after only one visit and always talk about going back!
    thanks,
    b

      A national parks road trip will be AWESOME! And the skill level for some of the hikes varies. Angels Landing (which you can read about on my site) is incredibly tough. But other spots (like Horseshoe Bend, for example), are really easy to get to!

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