Collected by Emily K
Gates Pass, Arizona 85745, USA
Residents and visitors alike drive out to the western edge of Tucson on most evenings. The area averages 350 sunny days a year, so viewing the sunset is almost always a possibility. Summer evenings are predictably hot, but you're in for a...
Mt Lemmon, Arizona 85619, USA
On the northern edge of Tucson, you can drive through a condensed version of western North America's ecosystem in about half an hour. On the way up the Mount Lemmon Highway (also known as "Catalina Highway" or "Sky Island Scenic Byway"), you...
Hohokam Road, Tucson, AZ 85745, USA
Just beyond the western edge of Tucson, you'll find these Hohokam petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park. No one knows precisely when they were carved into the rocks, but Hohokam settlements in the Sonoran desert date back almost two thousand years....
Page, AZ 86040, USA
I saw this place in so many photos before but when I got there and saw it in person it was such an overwhelming experience. Getting there is easy. You take the Interstate 89 South from Page and after 7 minutes you get to the parking lot. The road...
Payson, AZ, AZ, USA
Petroglyphs are always worth a stop. About 40 minutes north of Globe, on US 60/AZ 77, as the highway winds down through its hairpin curves to the bottom of the Salt River Canyon, stop at 'Hieroglyphic Point.' (It'll be on your left.) This pull-off...
6 Main St, Bisbee, AZ 85603, USA
In the backstreets of the mile-high mining town of Bisbee, Arizona, some unlikely art: a stencil of Mona Lisa? blindfolded? framed by Buddhist philosophy? This is some of the street-art that inspires residents in this SE Arizona town to display...
Dateland, AZ 85333, USA
In an otherwise flat and forlorn section of desert between Tucson and San Diego, exit 67 on I-8 is a sweet pit stop: Dateland! A grove of date palms was planted beside the railroad tracks here in the 1920s. Today, it's more than just a typical...
37615 E US Highway #60, Superior, AZ 85173, USA
An hour east of Phoenix, or just 90 minutes north of Tucson, is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Arizona's oldest and largest botanical garden. No matter which city you might be visiting, this desert oasis is one of the best day-trips you can take....
Crazy symphonies of prickly arms--nowhere else in the United States can you find these unique living sculptures, Unlike their more well-known Saguaro cousins, Organ Pipe cacti branch out from ground-level. They can grow to the height of nearly a...
Marble Canyon, AZ 86036, USA
Bordered on the south by its eponymous deep-red cliffs, the national monument is home to broad plateaus, endangered California condors, and some of the oldest petroglyphs in the United States. But the area’s greatest hit is the Wave, a...
Lake Powell, United States
My uncle and I stood with my tripod on the lakeshore behind our houseboat, trying desperately to capture the massive red rock wall before us. It was one of my first lessons in night photography, and it wasn't going great: there just wasn't enough...
Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536, USA
Nuzzled up against the Arizona border about 100 miles west of Four Corners are some 30 square miles of the most iconic scenery in the American West. Monument Valley is one of those places that you’ll recognize as soon as you see...
403 N 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705, USA
One of the best iced coffee drinks you will ever have is waiting for you at Exo. This Tucson micro-roastery has been voted as runner-up for best local coffee roaster in this desert city... but as you indulge in caffeination here, you'll agree that...
18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465, USA
Just outside of downtown Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheater is the only naturally-occurring acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. Since it first opened in 1941, it has been home to iconic music performances, from opera to rock. The stage is...
CO-14, Bellvue, CO 80512, USA
It is a rash weekend escape plan, hatched by my friend Jeff Christiansen, with an e-mail late last night: "I hope the summer has treated y'all well. This nice weekend weather has us thinking about heading up the Poudre tomorrow night for an...
Mesa Verde, CO, USA
For anyone who believes that truly historic architecture doesn’t exist in the states, Mesa Verde National Park will make you think again. Still standing in the park are cliff dwellings built in 600 CE by the ancestral Pueblo people who once...
44029 N Spur Cross Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331, USA
You haven't seen the desert until you've explored it at dusk. One of the best kept secrets about living in Arizona, are the moonlight hikes in the desert. Exploring the terrain at night is my favorite part about living here. If you can't beat the...
228 Old Santa Fe Trail #10, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
The Turquoise Trail is a National Scenic Byway in New Mexico linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. If you plan to drive to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, avoid the interstate and take this well beaten path instead. You will be rewarded with majestic...
Socorro, NM 87825, USA
Featured in the 1997 Jodie Foster film, Contact (based on the Carl Sagan book), the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) is an impressive, stunning radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin. The massive dishes are arranged...
622 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Everyone who visits Santa Fe walks along the famed Canyon Road. Originating as an old footpath that once accessed water, it now primarily showcases an expansive range of shops and galleries with Native American art and landscape paintings. A...
Tent Rocks, New Mexico 87025, USA
Forty miles southwest of Santa Fe, you find the awesome, magical Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, a series of mind-blowing, conical sandstone formations that resemble indented ocean waves. Chose from one of two trails—one on ground...
15 Entrance Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
I’m not sure at what age humans develop the skill to stand still and appreciate scenery, but based on a scientific survey of kids who live in my house, it’s not age seven. (On a trip to the Canadian Rockies, as my wife and I snapped photos of the...
El Prado, NM 87529, USA
10 miles north of Taos (you head out of town and turn left at the "blinking light"), the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, recently renovated in 2012, will give you a dizzying sense of vertigo and the opportunity to take pictures that will make you look...
White Sands, NM 88002, USA
Once a month there is an opportunity to camp under the stars and witness a full moon in White Sands, NM. But rarely do rain clouds fill the sky making for a spectacular display of a gray sky against the stunning white sand. I was lucky enough to...
Espanola, NM, NM, USA
Georgia O’Keeffe called the grouping of weathered rock outcroppings near Abiquiu “The White Place” and immortalized it in paintings. The land is so arid, and so little changes in New Mexico, that the location and signature V shape have survived. A...
San Ildefonso Pueblo, NM 87506, USA
La Capilla de la Familia Sagrada sits at the base of Black Mesa, a sacred mountain on the San Ildefonso Pueblo reservation. It is one of the most photographed buildings in New Mexico. The little adobe chapel, against the backdrop of the Sangre de...
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