To the early European pioneers, the deserts of the Southwest appeared to be lifeless, inhospitable terrain, good-for-nothing places where nothing could survive. Today, this corner of a North America has become one the most popular nature destination of all.
Several of this region’s most famous parks can be seen by following a clockwise route through Utah and Arizona on a two-week-long visit to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches, and Grand Canyon national parks. Unfortunately, the desert’s fragile environment – a hiker wandering off the trail can cause damage that will last decades – is threatened by the vast numbers of visitors heading to these areas. Many eco-travelers are therefore seeking out equally beautiful but less visited destinations such as Escalante Wilderness in southeastern Utah, Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico, and Colorado National Forest in Arizona.