5 Places That Need To Be On Your Southwest Bucket List

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Phoenix has always been a favorite of mine, however this past week I got to explore some more of the southwest. My boyfriend and I road-tripped from Phoenix up to Salt Lake City, and got some mind-blowing views along the way. To make a long story short….I’m more in love than I thought possible. I love the red rocks and how they contrast with the blue sky. I love the rich history of these places. My words and pictures can’t even begin to do these places justice. I can’t wait to make my way back here in a couple of months. Below I’ve created a list of my most loved places in the southwest. 

Monument Valley 

Monument Valley is on the Navajo Reservation on the border of Utah and Arizona. It’s basically a 17 mile drive through the desert that has amazing monuments that are thousands of years old. There’s hotels here if you’d like to catch this place at sunrise, but I only did the drive. 

Glen Canyon 

Glen Canyon is on the border of Utah and Arizona, but is mostly in Page, AZ. We took kind of a different route and decided it would be fun to kayak around the Lone Rock area of Glen Canyon. We totally loved it, it was very private and we got to explore the areas that literally no one sees. Once you kayak across Lake Powell, you’ll come along a little hidden canyon that you can hike around. My favorite part though was the white rock, and the soft waves created by water in the formations along the shore. Plus the blues of Lake Powell made us feel like we had taken a little trip to Greece. 


Everyone knows about the famous Arches National Park in Moab, but WAYYY too many people forget about Canyonlands, which is also in Moab. This place has me at a loss for words. We watched sunset here, and the colors along the canyons created one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. The reds and orange compliment the bright sun and leave this burst of fire within the canyons. We hiked the Mesa Arch and it did not disappoint. It’s about a mile hike roundtrip and it’s super family friendly. 


Sedona, known for it’s mystic vortexes filled with energy is equally as home-y as it is beautiful. Sedona is a cute little town about 2 hours outside of Phoenix. The rocks are white and brown with giant red streaks running through them almost as if someone had done it with a paint brush. We did a 4×4 trail for sunset with my boyfriends Toyota 4-Runner and had a wonderful time off-roading on a mountain while the sun set in the distance. Sedona has hikes for people of all abilities and ages, plus the quaint town is worth checking out. 

Horseshoe Bend

Pretty much everyone knows this place, or has seen a picture of it. Tourist traps aside though, this place is worth seeing. Looking at pictures you think you know what it looks like until you get there, and then you do and it’s like the only thing that comes to mind is “this is massive.” The blue and green swirls of Lake Powell wrapping around the canyon below are seemingly endless and mesmerizing. On top of it all, it’s free and close to so many other attractions like Antelope Canyon and Glen Canyon.

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21 thoughts on “5 Places That Need To Be On Your Southwest Bucket List

  1. Salt Lake City is def. a place I need to visit, so many great canyons for special hike and brilliant for photography, time lapse, etc…


  2. I am actually planning a midwest/southwest road trip for my birthday in September so I need to see if I can work these stops into my route. Something about natural beauty like this just tugs on my soul!


  3. Sedona is one place that I want to visit. I am trying to make it to all of the states in the US at least once. Traveling is so much fun and I need to do more of it.


  4. I just saw the movie book club with a friend of mine last weekend and they featured Sedona in the movie and it looked beautiful I’d love to visit there


  5. It is a picturesque place. Only that it is a desert. I haven’t been to a place like this. But it gives me an eerie feeling, imagining that I am left alone in those sands.


  6. I live on the East coast and so have never been to this part of the country at all. I would love to be able to travel farther to the west!


  7. I live on the east coast where it is all green fields. I love seeing pictures of the west, especially of canyons, deserts, and rock forms. I want to travel to the western side of the U.S. because scenery there is so different than what I am used to here on the east coast.


  8. I must have been living under a rock because I’ve never heard of Horseshoe Bend but it looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s definitely made its way onto my travel wish list


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