5 Places That Need To Be On Your Southwest Bucket List

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 a scenic 17-mile drive located on the Navajo Reservation between Utah and Arizona. On this drive you get the chance to get up close and personal with some of Utah’s giant rock formations. At the visitor center you can stop in to get to know more about the history of the place, or see the monuments via horseback with the help of a Navajo guide! On your way out of the scenic drive, you also have the chance to stand at the the famous “Forest Gump Point.”

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. 

Canyonlands National Park

Most people know 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.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is easily my favorite national park, which says a lot. Stepping out of the car, and walking to the over look I was immediately transported into the mystical land of orange creamsicle hoodoo’s. Hoodoo’s are the spiral like rock features you can see all around the park. Although the park is absolutely beautiful when blanketed in snow, if you want the chance to go down into the canyon it’s best to visit in the summer when the snow has melted. My favorite trail here is the Queen’s Garden Loop as it gives you a chance to get really up close and personal with the hoodoos.

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.

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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