City of Rocks National Reserve

The City of Rocks National Reserve, also known as the Silent City of Rocks, is a United States National Reserve and state park lying 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the south central Idaho border with Utah. It is widely known for its excellent rock climbing and rock formations. The rock spires in the City of Rocks and adjacent Castle Rocks State Park are largely composed of granitic rock of the Oligocene Almo pluton and Archean Green Creek Complex. The City of Rocks is a popular rock climbing area, with over 1,000 traditional and bolt-protected routes. In the 1980s, it was home to some of the most difficult routes in the US, mostly developed by…

Monument Valley

Monument Valley, a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border, is known for the towering sandstone buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The park, frequently a filming location for Western movies, is accessed by the looping, 17-mile Valley Drive. The famous, steeply sloped Mittens buttes can be viewed from the road or from overlooks such as John Ford’s Point. Monument Valley provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The isolated red mesas and buttes surrounded by empty, sandy desert have been filmed and photographed countless…

Grand Prismatic Spring

First discovered in the early 1800’s amidst the geysers and sulfurous bubblings of Yellowstone National Park, the record setting natural wonder has been stunning visitors for over a century. The pool is a piercing blue surrounded by rings of color ranging from red to green. The otherworldly effect is caused by varieties of pigmented bacteria and microbes that thrive in the warm, mineral abundant waters surrounding the hot spring. Changing along with the seasons the colors fade and grow more deep depending on what type of bacteria is thriving in…

Crater Lake National Park

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon, Crater Lake offers abundant opportunities for a memorable road trip. Formed 7,700 years ago by a volcanic eruption, Crater Lake is the deepest and most pristine lake in the country. Because of its mountainous location, winter conditions play a big role in any visit. Due to an annual average of 44 feet of snow, many of the seasonal roads into and around the lake are closed each year from October to June. Plan your visit in the summer for the best chance at…

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of road that weaves through the region’s vibrant living traditions. From Cherokee life and agricultural history to Southern Appalachian crafts and music, the Parkway’s 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina offer many ways to explore rich traditions. Millions of visitors enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway each year. Some think of it as just a motor road or a pleasant drive. But the Parkway is also a place of varied and significant natural resources. Spanning the southern and central Appalachians, the Blue Ridge…

Bryce Canyon

Red Rocks, Pink Cliffs, and Endless Vistas Hoodoos (irregular columns of rock) exist on every continent, but here is the largest concentration found anywhere on Earth. Situated along a high plateau at the top of the Grand Staircase, the park’s high elevations include numerous life communities, fantastic dark skies, and geological wonders that defy description. Plan Your Visit Over two million visitors come to experience the otherworldly magic of Bryce Canyon National Park each year, most between March and early October. Most will visit for at least one full day. However…

The 25 Best Places to Camp in the U.S.

The Northeast 1. Acadia National Park, Maine After a day spent wandering wooded paths, admiring breathtaking views, and dipping your toes into a crystal clear creek, you huddle around a campfire to look up at the glowing stars, crack a beer, and enjoy a some s’mores—ahh, peace and quiet. Then you zip up into your tent, van or RV for a few (mosquito-free) hours and wake to the faint hint of early morning sunlight and the sweet sound of birds chirping in the distance. This is what camping is all…