Call of the Wild West
Home » Downloads » arches national park » Call of the Wild West

MAGNIFICENT PUEBLO BONITO (CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK): IMAGE CREDIT: ANDREW MARSHALL

These natural, cultural and historical parks in America's Southwest are worth hitting the road for...

The deepest, the largest number, the oldest, you name it - as far as unbelievable natural and historical wonders go, the United States of America packs them in. An amazing system of national parks, national monuments and historical parks preserve an unrivalled beauty and diversity of environments and truly stunning landscapes, and nowhere is the concentration of parks greater than in the wild Southwest.

For the itchy footed traveller who yearns for the freedom and space of the open road, for wild places that inspire, these convenient green sectors marked on touring maps across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, create marvellous stepping stones that highlight the very best of what this region has to offer. Here's 7 of the best to get you started....

UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES

The gravity-defying wonders of rock formations have always sparked the human imagination, and Arches National Park in Utah is the place to be if you want to be awed by simply amazing landscapes. Here you will discover more than 2,000 natural stone arches - the greatest density on earth. A 5-km return trail leads to leads to the park's main drawcard that appears on every Utah car number plate and in countless American television commercials - Delicate Arch. Straddling a ridge of glowing red sandstone between an ancient pothole and a sheer cliff face, with panoramic views to the east over the snow-capped La Sal Mountains, Delicate Arch framed in the sweeping span of Frame Arch literally has the power of presence to stop you in your tracks.

MONUMENTS TO MANKIND

Spanning the Arizona-Utah border, magnificent Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park has attracted movie makers ever since John Ford first directed the John Wayne western Stagecoach here in the late 1930s. As John Wayne put it so rightly, "TV you can make on the back lot, but for the big screen, for the real outdoor drama, you have to do it where God put the West." This most iconic landscape of America's 'Wild West' is home to the native Navajo Indians, and is also known for its red desert crowned with distinctive mesas and towering sandstone buttes. A 27-km graded dirt road leads from the visitor centre and incorporates the key points of interest such as The Mittens, Three Sisters, John Ford’s Point, Totem Pole and Teardrop Arch.

JOURNEY BACK IN TIME

If there's one place in America's Southwest where there's a tangible feeling of the past, then Chaco Culture National Historical Park in north-western New Mexico is it. Between roughly AD 900 and 1150, remote Chaco Canyon was a major centre of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Today, dozens of ruins dot the windswept plains of this UNESCO World Heritage site, testifying to the centuries that the Chacoans lived here. Most impressive are the huge house complexes like D-shaped Pueblo Bonito, with its distinctive round ceremonial chambers called kivas. The park has a visitor centre which features the Chaco Museum Collection, information desk, theatre and book store.

A GRAND DESIGN

Somewhere across the north-western Arizona state line down Route 66 is the Grand Canyon National Park, whose star attraction is the Grand Canyon measuring up to 29 km long and 1.6 km deep. One of the best places to appreciate the canyon's vastness and grandeur is Yavapai Point, near the South Rim visitor area, offering a stunning, up-and-down panorama of the inner canyon and Colorado River. Other ways to experience one of the 'Seven Natural Wonders' include hiking trails and mule trips into the canyon, helicopter tours, rafting trips down the Colorado River, and Skywalk – a horseshoe shaped cantilevered glass walkway jutting 22 metres past the rim of the Grand Canyon.

ADOBE PHOTO STOP

Situated in the valley of a small tributary of the Rio Grande just outside the modern town of Taos in New Mexico, this Pueblo Indian settlement, consisting of adobe dwellings and ceremonial buildings has housed a Native American community since the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark, and today, around 150 people still live traditionally in adobe homes (made of a strong mixture of earth, water and straw) in the pueblo. The Taos Pueblo welcomes respectful visitors and is open daily but sometimes closes for tribal rituals. Visitors must pay a fee for photography and ask villagers before taking their picture.

A LAND OF EXTREMES ...

Download the full story below.....


(1010 WORDS)

See more stories by Andrew.

WANT TO LICENSE THIS STORY? ADD TO CART TODAY!

No contract | No membership fees | Pay per download






Attached Files

Call-of-the-Wild-West.rtf
Call-of-the-Wild-West.rtf
Taos Pueblo, the oldest adobe pueblo in the U.S.A - Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Taos Pueblo, the oldest adobe pueblo in the U.S.A - Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Magnificent Anasazi 'Whitehouse Ruins' (Canyon de Chelly National Monument)- Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Magnificent  Anasazi
Magnificent Pueblo Bonito (Chaco Culture National Historical Park): Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Magnificent Pueblo Bonito (Chaco Culture National Historical Park): Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Canyon view, west rim (Grand Canyon National Park) – Image credit: Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Canyon view, west rim (Grand Canyon National Park) – Image credit: Xanterra Parks & Resorts
Death Valley's fiery cauldron from Dante's Lookout (Death Valley National Park)- Image Credit: Andrew Marshall
Death Valley
Spectacular Delicate Arch (Arches National Park)- Image Credit: Andrew Marshall
Spectacular Delicate Arch (Arches National Park)- Image Credit: Andrew Marshall
Beautiful 'West Mitten Butte'- one of the many stunning natural monuments in Monument Valley (Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park): Image credit: Andrew Marshall
Beautiful