Surrounded by red rock monoliths and cut by the dramatic chasm of Oak Creek canyon, Sedona is a Mecca for a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking and four-wheel drive and air tours. Sedona is also internationally known for its rich arts and culture, including arts and film schools, a museum, 80 galleries and more than 500 local artists and performers. For more information: visitsedona.com
Kingman/Route 66, AZ
Route 66 has become a destination in its own right. Keep your eyes open for quirky little holdovers from the past like Hackberry General Store, Grand Canyon Caverns or the living ghost town of Oatman. Kingman, the “Heart of Route 66“, is conveniently located between the Grand Canyon Skywalk and Grand Canyon National park. Check out the Powerhouse Route 66 Museum and don’t miss a tour at the little rum factory Desert Diamond Distillery. For more information: kingmantourism.org.
Moab is the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and home to some of the most stunning red rock landscapes on Earth. Moab’s access to beautiful scenery, two national parks, and the cool waters of the Colorado River have made it one of the most sought after destinations in the Southwest. Let Moab be your base camp for world famous mountain biking, hiking, canyoneering, four wheel driving, or river trips. For more information: discovermoab.com.
Cedar City, UT
Cedar City is a convenient gateway to Southwest national parks including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon North Rim, Kolob Canyons and Cedar Breaks National Monument. In the summer, Brian Head offers chairlift and shuttle service to 200 miles of downhill mountain bike trails and cool alpine hiking trails featuring red-rock vistas of Cedar Breaks National Monument. For more information: scenicsouthernutah.com
Located in the scenic southwestern corner of Colorado, Alamosa is surrounded by sweeping landscapes. Visit nearby Great Sand Dunes National Park, ride a scenic railroad, camp, fish, and hike on a wealth of surrounding national forest trails. For more information: alamosa.org.
55. Grand Canyon North Rim
The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is open from mid-May through mid-October. Lodging, including rim-side cabins, hiking trails and scenic drives are located here. The closest gateway town with services is Jacob Lake.
56. Grand Canyon West/Hualapai Tourism
Hualapai Tourism offers cultural experiences at Grand Canyon West, Eagle Point, the glass bridge Skywalk, Guano Point and Hualapai Ranch. Visitor activities include helicopters to boats on the river, one-day white water rafting trips in Grand Canyon, and Hualapai Lodge on historic Route 66. For information: grandcanyonwest.com.
57. National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitor Center, Tusayan
Located 7 miles south of the national park entrance, National Geographic Visitor Center is an excellent starting point for a trip to Grand Canyon. Watch the “Grand Canyon Movie” in the center’s IMAX theater or browse the extensive bookstore. For more information: explorethecanyon.com.
58. San Francisco Peaks/Mt. Humphreys
Located in the Coconino Forest north of Flagstaff and en route to Grand Canyon, the San Francisco Peaks is also a sacred site to 14 different Native American tribes and is often covered with snow in winter. A network of national forest trails lead through high meadows and aspen groves.
59. Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry located upstream from Grand Canyon is the launching beach for Grand Canyon river trips and the only place where you can reach the Colorado River by car. A world-class trout fishery is here, along with a campground and boating. Lodging and dining are nearby at Vermilion Cliffs. For more information: nps.gov/glca.
60. Lake Powell
Lake Powell is just north of Grand Canyon in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and offers loads of water recreation, plus dozens of slickrock canyons that can be explored on foot. Use Page, Ariz. as a base for Lake Powell day trips or rent a boat from Wahweap Marina for a multi-day camping trip. Contact: lakepowell.com.
61. Hopi Mesas
The Hopi Nation in northern Arizona includes villages on First and Second Mesa where tribal members have lived in the same communities for thousands of years. Guided tours of the villages are available as well as traditional Hopi crafts. For more information: experiencehopi.com
62. Havasu Falls
This and other famous Grand Canyon waterfalls are located on the Havasupai Nation. For more information: havasupaitribe.com.
63. Papillon Helicopters
Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters offers bird’s eye views to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Over 40 unique excursions feature spectacular sights of the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Monument Valley, Page/Lake Powell, and unforgettable views of the Grand Canyon. For more information: papillon.com.
64. Zion National Park/Kane County
This corner of Utah boasts crown jewels, including Zion National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and is convenient to Grand Canyon North Rim. For more information: kaneutah.com.
65. Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon City with its convenient hotels is the gateway to Bryce Canyon National Park. Located next to the entrance to the park, the community offers a variety of visitor services. Stay at Historic Ruby’s Inn or Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. For more information: brycecanyongrand.com and rubysinn.com.
66. Monument Valley/San Juan County
Located at the heart of Four Corners, San Juan County is full of cultural and natural attractions– including Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park, and Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, and Rainbow Bridge national monuments. Learn of the Navajo culture at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Or examine ancient culture at Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum. For more information: utahscanyoncountry.com.