|Award-winning Trek run lively, low-cost, small group adventure tours of USA. West Coast (camping); Deals; Canyons BLT (budget best canyons); Canyon Adventure (activities); Best of the West; Western BLT|
North and South Windows in Arches National Park, Utah.
The massive lands of the USA offer unbelievable variety, so much so that 40% of Americans do not own a passport as all their diverse travel needs are met at home. Landscapes are not always spectacular, of course, ranging from endlessly, terminally dull to totally incredible, while outdoor activities run from the simple to extreme in thousands of well-supported recreation areas.
South West America's Grand Circle embraces many of the country's most magnificent natural attractions that we have attempted to capture. Needless to say, there are many more out there that we missed!
The Grand Circle is a commercially-coined term, but a useful one nevertheless, tying together southwest USA's most spectacular national parks, monuments and roads into a huge circle encompassing much of Utah, part of Arizona and smaller sections of Colorado and New Mexico. This area is geologically known as the Colorado Plateau and 300 million years ago used to be seas and dunes that dried and solidified into wild coloured sandstone that was then eroded into weird shapes - buttes, spires, arches, canyons and cliffs - by rivers and rains.
Geologically speaking the Plateau's youngest rocks can be seen at Bryce, the middle-aged at Zion and the positively geriatric at the base of the Grand Canyon.
The Plateau's first residents, known as the Anasazi ( aka Ancient Pueblo Peoples) arrived around 2,000 years ago, building into caves and alcoves of canyon walls. Examples of their structures and art can be seen in Canyon de Chelly pictures.
Here is a suggested two week SW US National Parks self-drive tour, preferably in an RV.