The American West discussion

Travel in the West > Favorite western historic site or natural area?

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message 1: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 8 comments What is your favorite trans-Mississippi national park, state park, natural area, or historic site?

I love the Black Hills of South Dakota and I also like the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona, which is a cliff wall of about a hundred miles or so at the point where the greenery of northern Arizona begins to transition to the desert land that the rest of the state is famous for.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I have not been to many parks. Saguara national monument - but was too young to appreciate it; Glacier National last year on motorcycle -- was nice, but we didn't wander off the road to the sun as we were on a tight schedule, so lots still to see there. Mt. RAinier National Park - I grew up with.

Interested in the desert and canyons, probably since that's the opposite of the lush forest I've been surrounded with all my life; Joshua Tree; I'm just not sure on this one. I guess I'll find out along the way. Suggestions appreciated.

message 3: by Patrick (new)

Patrick | 8 comments b4u,

I can only speak for SoCal and Arizona, as that's where I was stationed. But in addition to the unbelievable Grand Canyon, I also highly recommend Zion and Bryce Canyon National parks in Utah. I have also always wanted to get to Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeast AZ...lots of history there.

San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles County have some wonderful state and city parks in addition to the national parks in those areas. I highly recommend Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside counties (SD County is a huge county that comprises a lot more area than just the city of SD). It's a massive park than many people aren't aware of.

Haven't been to J-Tree myself, but I used to spend some time at a base near there, and I think the area's beatiful if you like the desert and you can handle the extreme weather.

Are you planning on coming this far south on your 18 month trip?

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

My partner spent a few nights in Anza Borrego on a recent motorcycle trip through California. We are definitely going there on our trip. He loved it.

Really the only rules we have are to try to stay off freeways. We won't hit big cities, for the most part. We are going to tow a SmartCar I think, so we might go into San Francisco and Portland, but mostly, we're wanting to get away from that stuff.

We should get as far south as one can get and still be in the US. (Maybe a future trip, farther south than that.)

message 5: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 4 comments Cypress Hills, Writing on Stone, Waterton Lakes Park, Fort Sam Steele.

message 6: by fyc (new)

fyc (fvonne) | 1 comments I love the Cliff Dwellings. As for national parks, I'd go with Mesa Verde.

message 7: by ☼Bookish (new)

☼Bookish pam in Virginia☼  (ren_t) I want to go to Cahokia and Ste. Genevieve.

message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (retronatrix) | 1 comments My favorite will always be Yellowstone, but the Beartooth Highway is quite a sight as well.

message 9: by Coalbanks (new)

Coalbanks | 4 comments Going to the Sun highway, Montana for one.
Great views of mountains, creeks, forests. From the East to West is best for me, down to Lake MacDonald into the Kalispell, Flathead country.

message 10: by Kim (new)

Kim M-M (KimM-M) | 2 comments This is a really hard question! How are you supposed to choose when everything is beautiful there?!
But, because you asked, I'll say Monument Valley at sunset, Arches and Bryce Canyon. I thought Bryce was breathtaking!- even better than Grand Canyon.
Something about those red stones and hills...
Joshua Tree (if it qualifies) was like dropping into a dream- a somewhat prickly one, but when you're in the valley and see the Joshua tress all around and listening to the U2 album- surreal!

message 11: by Rick (new)

Rick Marceau | 1 comments I agree with Kim. This is like choosing a favorite among your children - impossible. I'd have to say a walk in the redwoods on N coast of California is up there along with Banff, Glacier, Yellowstone, Arches, Bryce, and Point Lobos (state park in CA) for natural

message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan Eubank | 2 comments Big Bend National Park

message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Barko (steffercat) | 3 comments me too

message 14: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I'm a big national park dork, but I think my favorite is Arches NP in Utah. My inlaws actually live in Castle Valley, UT right next to Moab and Arches/Canyonlands. I currently live just a couple hours outside of Yellowstone. The west definitely got dealt a great hand when it comes to natural wonders and things to gawk at.

message 15: by Nomad (new)

Nomad | 1 comments I am retired and have travelled to all the national parks and have worked at several. The most beautiful area that is home to more national parks and monuments than anywhere else is Northern Arizona And Southern Utah. Nomad

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