The American Southwest is a diverse and beautiful region. From the red rock of Southern Utah to the cactus deserts of Arizona, there are thousands of gorgeous trails with views that you will never forget. Here are ten of our favorite trails.
Location: Red Rock National Park, Nevada
Length: 2 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Massive red rock formations tower on either side as you hike over and through the canyon. This trail is best experienced in spring and fall months.
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Length: 5 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Zion is one of the most impressive national parks in the U.S. This trail is not for the faint of heart or for unsteady hikers. The final half mile of the steep trail follows a narrow ridge with drops on both sides. Chains have been added for comfort and safety when navigating difficult sections. You’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views at the end.
Location: Big Bend National Park, Texas
Distance: 1.4 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Venture further into the canyon and the immense stone walls make a narrower passage. You’ll feel small hiking next to the quiet but mighty river. The shoreline of the Rio Grande can rise quickly during heavy rain or floods. Keep an eye on the weather while you’re in the canyon.
Location: Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
Difficulty: Very Easy
Distance: .6 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: The slot canyon’s impossible shapes and story make it a must-see even for the most ambitious adventure-seekers. Local tour guides can be found in Page and other surrounding towns.
Location: Coronado National Forest, Arizona
Length: 8.2 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: This trail is nestled in the stone canyons of Tucson’s Mount Lemmon and features several waterfall and swimming holes. It is a popular destination for locals to cool off when weather gets warm.
Location: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, New Mexico
Distance: 3.1 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Great stone pillars have eroded to create smooth cones that resemble tents. Stick to the trail and observe the beauty of the area responsibly. This trail is located on sacred grounds.
Location: Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
Distance: 6.1 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: It’s a dizzying feeling walking through the massive stone washes. Curved rock layers create a warped view of the trail ahead. Bring water; the Vermillion Cliffs are exposed to the sun and can be hot in summer months.
Location: Grand Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona
Distance: 1.2 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: The hike is short, steep and finishes with a view that you’ve seen on countless calendars. Stand thousands of feet above the water below and take in the beauty.
Location: Arches National Park, Utah
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Distance: 3 miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Go early in the day. Busy seasons can lead to a crowded trail. The iconic arch marks a breathtaking end to the trail, but many other stone features can be seen along the way. The trail takes you directly beneath the arch. Be sure to bring a camera.
Location: Zion National Park, Utah
Distance: 2+ miles
What makes it awe-inspiring: Hike from the bottom of the canyon. The trail eventually disappears into the water, where you can continue hiking up the impressive slot canyon for as long as you like. The chilled water will rise as the canyon walls close in. The colors and water-formed shapes create a truly unique hiking experience.
Getting a good night’s rest is an important way to make sure that you enjoy every step of your big hikes. Find a Best Western Hotel & Resorts property near your trailhead and enjoy modern amenities like Wi-Fi, breakfast and more.