Bryce National Park, Utah
Many consider Bryce one of the most other worldly landscapes. Towering hoodoos that look like giant mud people and brilliant red cliffs, Bryce offers an unforgettable step into another dimension. Great cross country skiing lets you skim just to the side of the canyon’s edge. Yovimpa Point is at the end of a scenic 18-mile drive with spectacular views. Other key overlooks include Rainbow, Bryce, Natural Bridge View, Fairyland and Sunset points.
Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona
The Grand Canyon is truly one of the wonders of our world, a wonderful escape from urban jungles and the pace of city life. The South Rim is what immediately springs to mind to most travelers.
Yellow, gold, red rock cliffs towering above, miles visible on the horizon, and nerve-wracking sheer drops. It’s an experience you won’t forget. A must-see is Bright Angel Point.
That said, don’t neglect to visit the North Rim. Access to the North Rim is right outside of Zion, through Hurricane (pronounced “Her-ick-cun”). Here, the 100-foot cliffs are covered in lush flora, trees, bushes. It’s nothing like the South Rim, but the drops are still impressive. Unlike the South Rim, there are no barriers or fences to prevent you from walking right up to the cliff edge. If you’re brave enough to look down, you can glimpse kayakers and rafters– and perhaps even the top of an eagle as it soars below. Watch where you’re walking, and don’t let the accessibility of the cliff edges let down your guard.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
American’s first national park still remains one of it’s most beloved. Hot pots, mud pots, geysers, and abundant wildlife characterize this national wonder. Take the Grand Loop Road to pick your favorite scenic stop. With a figure eight design, it takes you to most of Yellowstone’s top views.
Death Valley, Nevada/California
Death Valley is one of the hottest places on Earth, which might at first glance seem to scare people off. In fact, the heat is a draw, attracting millions to prove themselves against the elements.
The annual Badwater Ultra Marathon, held in the hottest week of the year, covers 135 miles through blistering heat, from below sea level to the top of Mount Whitney. Gorgeous flowers litter the desert landscape in the springtime. Zabriskie’s Point and Dante’s View are two of the park’s most popular overlooks.
Zabriskie hangs on the edge of the Funeral Mountains and looks over the pale badlands that seem to be always changing with the height of the sun or the weather. Dante’s View presides like a distant overlord over panoramic views of the desert and badlands.