Mesa Verde was the first major park on our way from Santa Fe, Taos, San Pueblo, Chama, Ship Rock. After a night in Glen Canyon we headed for Grand Canyon passing by Monument Valley. Wupatki Sunset Crater was a nice surprise. When returning from the west coast we drove to Death Valley. Lake Mead, and world famous parks like Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands and Arches National Park followed. To cool off from the deserts we drove up to the Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado. Mesa Verde is known for its Aztec ruins.
Glen Canyon with its marvelous red and orange colors.
Grand Canyon is a majestic place. I recommend everyone to go there, stop talking, turn off the mobile and just look down the canyon for an hour. If you do this, no matter how crazy it sounds, you’ll be thankful you did when your journey is over. Camping space is limited and the large number of tourists takes away from the experience somewhat.
Wupatki National Monument around the Wupatki Sunset Crater is an area with thousands of inactive craters and lava covered hills. The crater erupted in 11th century, covered the area with volcanic ash, which supported agriculture on the fertile soil. Nice video is shown in the visitor’s center there.
Death Valley is an out of this world place. With its minimal rainfall I count myself lucky we actually had a short shower on the arrival. Death valley has a fauna different from anything you might have seen. Remember to pack enough water and get up earlier than the sun to do any hiking as it gets a bit hot during the day. 😉
Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the United States. It is formed by the water empounded by the Hoover Dam, which was built in 1936 with 3.33 million m3 concrete.
Zion with thrilling narrows and beautiful views. On the photo you can see the Zion National Park visitors’ center and the Zion National Park from the Angel’s Landing, the best hike in Zion. I highly recommend going into the Narrows and walking in the cold water a bit, but be warned that this may be lethal if the water is too cold and you stay in for too long. 😮
Bryce is a true natural museum. Over time erosion has created spectacular rock formations, which look like statues aligned in a museum. Like Grand Canyon, this park is enjoyed comfortably from the top, but I recommend everyone younger to actually go hiking as this reveals yet another perspective not to be missed! The top rim is about 2,700m above sea level. By the way, the rock formations are called Hoodoos in geology.
Arches as the only place on earth with such a number of natural arches. The big arch on the photo is the Landscape Arch and it is believed we’ll not be able to enjoy it for much longer as it keeps getting thinner and will eventually break apart. I couldn’t take this picture with my 35mm lens, but another guy with a Nikon was kind enough to let me use his lens.
Rocky Mountains where the deer literally eats off of your hands was a nice chillout after the high temperatures we had to endure during the journey. I’ve got a few photos of me knee-deep in snow from there.