10Best Visits Grand Canyon & Red Rock Country

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    The Wave in Coyote Buttes, AZ

    No, there's no dinosaurs, but this Jurassic Age phenomenon (on the Arizona/Utah border), accessible only by hiking in 3 miles, is a Mother Nature wonderland.  GPS systems are strongly encouraged and touring is limited to small groups, required to make reservations through the Bureau of Land Management with plenty of advance notice.  Multi-colored bands of sandstone rock create many different fascinating shapes at this natural attraction, which has increased in popularity.

    Photo courtesy of gregmote

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    Grand Canyon, AZ

    An iconic travel destination for decades, the Grand Canyon never loses its appeal.  Standing at the rim and soaking in its vastness can almost leave one dizzy, the mind barely grasping its enormity at almost 300 miles long, over a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide.  Rafting, hiking, mule riding and helicopter tours are the variety of ways one can experience the Canyon.

    Photo courtesy of B Rosen

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    Arizona's Horseshoe Bend

    Looking 1,000 feet down, the effects of thousands of years of erosion (caused by the Colorado River meandering near the town of Page, AZ and Lake Powell) can be witnessed at the incredible Horseshoe Bend. Walk along a 3/4 mile trail to get to the rim, just 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam.  Wear good shoes and take water in the hot summer months!

    Photo courtesy of bhanu.t

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    Sedona's Red Rocks

    'The Red Rocks' is how many people refer to the spiritual area of Sedona, a small city of 10,000, located north of Phoenix about 100 miles, but a world away.  See popular rock formations such as Cathedral Rock and Coffee Pot Rock, and the beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross built right into the red rocks.  New Age enthusiasts purport the effects of energy found at local vortices.

    Photo courtesy of Arizona Parrot

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    Havasu Falls at Grand Canyon, AZ

    When people think of the Grand Canyon, they usually think 'desert,' but surprisingly, there are a number of waterfalls, including the most photographed in the area: Havasu Falls.  It's a full 120 feet tall, and it's possible to swim behind the falls and enter a carved-out shelter behind it.  Some like picnicking on the opposite banks to enjoy the gorgeous views.

    Photo courtesy of Trail Sherpa

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    Lake Powell's Rainbow Bridge

    300,000 people come each year to see the world's largest natural bridge, Rainbow Bridge, located near Lake Powell, Arizona.  Considered sacred by Native American tribes, 2010 marked the 100th anniversary of this marvelous sandstone formation becoming a National Monument.

    Photo courtesy of outofsocks

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    The Subway, Zion National Park

    For backcountry hiking enthusiasts, The Subway, a beautiful canyon located in Zion National Park is the most popular spot.  So popular in fact that tours to see it are managed by a lottery system, so put your name in early.  The Subway, named for its tunnel appearance, can be reached by those willing enough to rappel and even swim to get to it.

    Photo courtesy of sufw

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    Monument Valley Road in Utah

    Located near the Four Corners area of the Southwest, on the Arizona/Utah state border, Monument Valley is home to a family of red sandstone buttes, some as tall as 1,000 feet.  Seen in many an Old West movie, Monument Valley is famous.  Part of the "Grand Circle," which includes many nearby national parks, Monument Valley offers self-guided and guided tours.  Horseback riding and hot air balloon rides are also available in the summer months.

    Photo courtesy of eMiSeVeN

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    Slot Canyon in Page, AZ

    Located on Navajo Land, the slot canyons of Anetelope Canyon near Page, Arizona, are the most famous and most photographed in the world.   Choose the Upper Canyon (known as "The Crack") or the Lower Canyon ("The Corkscrew") and plan to be amazed.  During monsoon season, rains from miles away can cause dangerous flash flooding, which is why tour guides are employed to escort you.

    Photo courtesy of markbyzewski

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    Arches National Park in Moab, UT

    Arches National Park is home to a variety of red rock geological wonders, such as Balanced Rock and Dark Angel, but is known for its more than 2000 preserved sandstone arches, Delicate Arch being the most famous.  Sitting atop a salt bed 3,000 million years old, Arches National Park is located just outside Moab, UT at a desert elevation of over 5,000 feet.  The Park's Junior Ranger Program is a fun way for kids to learn about the formations.

    Photo courtesy of MoabAdventurer

About Jennifer Boren

A native of Oklahoma, by way of New Mexico and now Utah, Jennifer Boren makes her home in Salt Lake City.  A total lover of Park City, she spends many weekends there, especially in the summer for all the outdoor activities.  A thrill this past summer was seeing the cyclists in the Tour of Utah cross the finish line right on the historic Main Street. A former professional ballet dancer, she now teaches at the University of Utah and another local studio and enjoys seeing Ballet West performances.  Her son is also a professional dancer. 

Read more about Jennifer Boren here.

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