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The American Southwest - National Parks

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The American Southwest - National Parks

The glorious American South West was our spring 2017 destination. We were fortunate enough to visit the 'Four Corners' area where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet. This is a very special area rich in native American culture and history as well as being home to some of the most beautiful national parks and monuments America has to offer.

Hopefully the photos below will provide you with a good feel for this exceptional part of America. Although the pictures are illustrative of the natural beauty they cannot even begin to capture the vast size of many of the locations we visited. Try to imagine yourself standing on the edge of a part of the Grand Canyon that is rarely visited and peering from your perch to the riverbed over 3000 feet (1km) below you. This was an area called Turoweep which took us a 60 mile/3 hour (100 km) drive on the dirt road and a 4 mile hike to reach. You've also undoubtedly seen pictures of or seen Monument Valley in the movies or on TV. We have some iconic photos of that area as well. One of the highlights was a visit to Upper Antelope Canyon and Arches National Park.

Other highlights included the beautiful Canyon de Chelly and Canyon Del Muerto in North East Arizona where you will notice a rock pinnacle being bathed by the setting sun. We took a trip into the canyon with an Indian guide and were able to not only experience the canyon from ground level but also to learn a bit about the history of the Navajo Indians during their good times and also bad times. You'll see some cliff dwellings as well as petroglyphs.  Also up in Utah was the two part National Park called Canyonlands divided into the southern portion called 'The Needles' and the northern section 'Islands in the Sky' both breathtaking in their unique fashions. Based on a recommendation from a local we embarked on another long dirt road through the backcountry to the eastern portal of the always beautiful Bryce Canyon (our third visit there)

All in all this was a terrific adventure spread over about 10 days starting basically in the desert around Phoenix progressing up to an area of snow-capped mountains and traversing an indescribable amount of tremendous physical beauty.