Discover the Expansive, Stunning Terrain of Southwestern America
From snowcapped mountains and lush forests to red rock canyons, starry desert skies and teeming coral gardens, there is wonder to be found from sea to shining sea.
Looking to explore the vast, scenic beauty of the Southwestern United States but not able to travel? Safely visit some of the national parks and monuments that define this rich region in the meantime to get your fill of the great outdoors while at home.
The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon encompasses just over one million acres and three distinct forest environments, measuring 277 miles long. From Grand Canyon Village, the drop measures a vertical mile, or approximately 5,000 feet from Rim to River. (No, there is no elevator to the bottom!) The width ranges 10 to 18 feet across. Putting that in practical terms, if you hike the canyon or go down by mule, it takes two days. If you hike from the South to North Rim, the trek is three days one way. For a real adventure, raft through the Canyon; the trip can take up to two weeks. That said, the park offers a variety of sight-seeing opportunities for people of all ages and fitness levels. Scenic rim tours by motor coach are an excellent way to maximize your time and see the key viewpoints.
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
For a quieter, less crowded visit, make the 4.5-hour drive to the North Rim. North Rim is open May 15 to October 15 and there is only one lodge in the park, so reserve well in advance. The North Rim offers numerous hiking trails and mule rides from 1 hour long to 2.5 days.