The Desert's Best
Collected by Serena Renner, AFAR Contributor
Furnace Creek, CA 92328, USA
hiking through mesquite dunes in death valley is an amazing communion with mother nature. One knows civilization is directly south once out in the middle if dunes, but the feeling of being completely lost is overwhelming among the high dunes and...
Cannonville, UT 84718, USA
Within striking distance of Bryce Canyon lies a landscape full of monolithic stone spires known as sedimentary pipes. Here, the stone towers complement multicolored sandstone layers, hinting at 180 million years of geologic time. In 1948, a...
745 U.S. 89, Kanab, UT 84741, USA
If you don’t win a coveted lottery permit to visit “the Wave” off Highway 89 in Utah, consider the nearby Buckskin Gulch. Covering more than 15 miles, Buckskin is a backpacking paradise for many avid hikers, but all you really need is an afternoon...
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...
White Pocket, Arizona 86036, USA
Didn't get your permit to see The Wave? Have no fear. You can have the same experience (some say better) at White Pocket, part of South Coyote Buttes. Although you do need a permit, you don't need to win the lottery to do it and the experience is...
After three hot (108) and dusty days filled with settlements, refuge camps and conflicts, St.George's Monastery looked like a heavenly mirage. The mystical, sixth-century hermitage hangs off the side of a cliff. The complex looks as though it...
Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Rd, Jagdish Colony, Prem Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302031, India
Situated on 32 acres of land on the outskirts of Jaipur—but still a quick drive from the city’s historic forts and palaces—this massive hotel mixes traditional Rajasthani style with modern amenities. Although there are a number...
Thar Desert, Rajasthan
So long as you don't mind a little bit of sand in your knickers, a night in the Thar Desert under a star lit sky is an experience unlike anything you've experienced in your entire life. We rode out into the desert on ill-tempered camels, bouncing...
5700 North Sabino Canyon Road,, Tucson, AZ 85750, USA
Many who have not visited Arizona think that its saguaros grow in a Sahara-like setting...but the mountainous desert around Tucson hides many lush spots, like this riparian canyon on the NE edge of the city. Late fall paints the cottonwoods along...
Sossusvlei, Namib desert, Namibia...a beautiful land where you can find the oldest and probably the tallest sand dune on earth... One of the magical moment I experienced there was when I joined a hot air ballooning trip over the Sossusvlei. When I...
Petermann NT 0872, Australia
San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile
Chile’s Atacama Desert is one of the best places on the planet to stargaze, thanks to its nearly cloudless skies, high altitude, and low light pollution. On QuasarChile’s Highlights of San Pedro and the Atacama Skies tour, take day trips to such...
Barrio Viejo, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA
Adobe streetfront: door...window...sky. Color. Much of Tucson, like most western U.S. cities, is devoted to strip malls and parking lots, but the historic core still has blocks of 19th-century Sonoran-style row houses. In the 1960s, acres and...
1303 - CONTROL TOWER, Motor City - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
It's 3:30 in the morning, and the alarm clock goes off. In the distance, I can see the shape of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. I struggle to remember why I'm waking up so early when on holidays and remember the exciting day...
White Mesa, New Mexico 87053, USA
I love mountain biking! I am basically obsessed with the activity, have been racing for half my life, and spend the majority of my disposable income on bike related activities. I would do it every single day if I could and at times I do. There are...
1950 San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746, USA
Just to the southwest of Tucson, on the San Xavier Reservation, sits the late XVIII-century Mission San Xavier del Bac, one of the finest examples of Spanish colonial architecture in the U.S. The combination of late Baroque and Moorish-inspired...
It was our last day in Namibia and we decided to sign up for a sandboarding lesson in Swakopmund. Our two guides took us out to the desert where, after a strenuous hike up the dune, we strapped on snowboards and helmets and rode down the orange...
An hour's drive from the densely packed skyscrapers and shopping malls of Dubai, Al Maha, which opened in 1999 as the UAE’s first luxury desert resort, lies within a 55,600-acre nature reserve. Al Maha operates on the African safari model,...
Disi, Aqaba, Wadi Rum, Jordan
Everyone I met in Jordan was engaging, interesting and polite, including the children. If you find yourself in an old bedouin town, make sure to engage with the kids, who often speak english better than adults. Here they're playing with an...
Inland Ave, Modesto, CA 95357, USA
Google as much as you want but you won't find an address for this secret desert diorama in the middle of nowhere Joshua Tree, CA. You will, however, get directions e-mailed to you, but only if you book! Walking into the grounds you enter a...
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...
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