Visit the American West for free... through 10 pictures
You know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"?
Here are 10 photos that will transport you to the heart of the mythical landscapes of the American West.
But be careful: you just might want to start planning your next USA road trip right after reading this article!
1. The Wave
"The Wave" is a real gem of the American West, about 50 kilometres west of the town of Page, Arizona (known, among other things, for Antelope Canyon).
This spectacular rocky sandstone formation sculpted by wind and water is particularly famous among photographers and seasoned hikers.
The site is in an ecologically sensitive area with strictly controlled access. A special permit is required, which can be obtained through an online permit lottery.
Only 20 people are allowed to visit the site each day.
2. Havasu Falls
Heavenly Havasupai Falls is south of Grand Canyon National Park, on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.
The most beautiful waterfall in Havasupai is without a doubt the 30-metre-high Havasu Falls.
There is no day hiking: visitors must spend at least one night in Havasu Canyon.
The site has two accommodation options, a campground and a lodge, and reservations are necessary.
3. Angels Landing Trail
If you're an experienced hiker and aren't afraid of heights, this is THE must-do hike in Zion National Park.
With an elevation gain of 450 metres and narrow sections, this trail is rated as difficult.
The final kilometre before reaching the top of Angels Landing is particularly dangerous.
This section is extremely narrow and there are chains bolted into the cliff to provide secure handholds and prevent hikers from falling more than 300 metres.
Your efforts will be rewarded by stunning 360-degree views of Zion Canyon.
4. Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is a famous meander sculpted by the Colorado River in the form of a horseshoe.
6 kilometres south of Page, Arizona, this dramatic feature is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the Southwest.
An easy 30-minute walk leads to an overlook with a spectacular view of the Colorado River flowing 320 metres below.
5. John Ford's Point
Named in honour of American film director John Ford, this viewpoint offers one of the most beautiful vistas in Monument Valley.
This is where the iconic photo of a Navajo man on a horse was taken.
It is probably one of the landscapes that best represents the American West!
6. Tunnel View
Tunnel View is the best viewpoint for iconic photos of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, the third largest park in California.
On the right you can see Bridalveil Falls.
Across from the falls is the sheer face of El Capitan, one of the largest granite monoliths in the world.
In the background, Half Dome looms over the end of the valley from a height of 2,693 metres.
7. Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is the symbol of Utah and the most photographed feature in Arches National Park, which is home to 2,000 natural arches between 90 cm and 91 m wide.
The arch can be reached by a 4.8 km trail without shade.
The best time for this hike is at the end of the day, when the light is at its most beautiful.
8. Sunrise Point
This is the most accessible viewpoint over the amphitheater of hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Amphitheater of what? Hoodoos are irregularly-eroded rocky spires and pillars topped by a rock "cap". The Bryce Amphitheater contains hundreds of them!
As its name indicates, Sunrise Point is one of the best spots to watch the sun rise.
The sun's early light bathes the landscape in hues of orange for an unforgettable sunrise experience.
9. Dante’s View
Death Valley... such a morbid name. And yet...
You will be charmed by this mysterious place with its mountains, canyons and sand dunes.
Dante’s View outlook soars more than 1,670 metres above one of the largest national parks in the U.S., offering breathtaking views of the valley below.
Kingman is the heart of the mythical Route 66 and relies heavily on tourism.
Visitors won't want to miss a visit to Hackberry General Store, which houses so much Route 66 memorabilia that it is practically a museum.
The exterior is quite photogenic with its old road signs and vintage Mobilgas pumps.
Road trip in the American West
Discover the mythical landscapes of the American West at the wheel of your rental car.
And now what are you waiting for? Time to take a trip to Western USA!
Don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.