American Southwest

The American Southwestern United States features landscapes unlike anywhere else on Earth. From the bizarre landscapes on the Colorado Plateau to the sky islands of southern Arizona, to the heat of the Mojave Desert and beyond, the southwest is a treasure trove of landscapes and iconic features. Of course one of the most prominent features in the area is the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. Carved by the Colorado River, the canyon is one of the largest gashes on the planet. Upstream from the Grand Canyon, numerous national parks and national monument highlight the Colorado River’s mighty power. These include Canyonlands National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and much more. Completely different landscapes are formed from the Chihuahuan Desert, stretching northward from Mexico in west Texas and New Mexico. Several more parks protect that stretch of desert as well. A long-distance thru-hike, the Arizona Trail, also traverses through the wilds of Arizona for 800 miles, stretching from Mexico to Utah.