the american west

My wife had the week off between Christmas and New Years, so as a fun change of pace we decided on a roadtrip. The American Southwest was my first thought, as it's a place we both have never really explored. So we packed up the car and the GoPro and set out to enjoy some of the most iconic landscapes in the USA. 

We drove from LA to Flagstaff as a stop over to the Grand Canyon. After a white Christmas all over Arizona, we were in luck to see most of the popular sights dusted with snow. The Canyon was amazing. The pictures and video just don't do it justice. There's no wondering why it's one of the most visited National Parks in the United States. 

Next up was the iconic Monument Valley. The Valley is part of the Navajo Nation, and it costs $20 to get in and drive the loop around the Monuments. It's a picturesque western movie setting. A perfect place to leisurely explore and enjoy the wondrous rock formations. 

After Monument Valley, we posted up in Page, AZ. From there we hit the Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and the Lake Powell Dam. All easily doable in a day.

The slot canyon was fantastic. It's also part of Navajo Nation, so they require tours to visit the most popular Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. So for $30 a person, we spent an hour walking and learning about the canyon. Very much worth the cash as the canyon is spectacular in person. 

Horseshoe bend was only a 15 minute drive and 15 minute hike away. We had lunch on a tall bluff with a panoramic view. It is a beautiful portion of the Colorado River Canyon. It's all free, but be weary if you're woozy with heights. It's a full on natural valley with no guard rails. 

And before we headed home, we couldn't resist squeezing in one more National Park. So we set off for Zion, and were blown away. Zion National Park is a gem of the National Park System. It has sheer valley cliffs, wildlife, and awesome hikes. I would definitely recommend a winter visit.

The American Southwest offers up some of the finest eternal landscapes. They're all accessible by car, and won't put a giant dent in your wallet. Well, unless you include Las Vegas in the itinerary. 

Here's a video highlighting some of the best the American West has to offer. 


- Taylor