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10 Breathtaking U.S. Canyons

America is filled with countless varieties of natural beauty. From towering Redwood forests, majestic mountains, and the sparkling beauty of the coasts, this country is definitely not lacking in Mother Nature’s bounty

Some of our most impressive assets, however, must be our dramatic canyons and gorges. Check out these jaw-dropping canyons across the U.S. that will absolutely take your breath away.

1. NINE MILE CANYON, UTAH

NINE MILE CANYON, UTAH
NINE MILE CANYON, UTAH

Some of the most spectacular rock art in Utah is to be found in Nine Mile Canyon northeast of Price. The canyon is actually 40 miles long, do not let the name deceive you. Nine Mile Canyon is remote, hostile, unblemished and roughly beautiful. Called “the world’s longest art gallery” it is home to numerous rock art panels, including the famous “Hunter Panel”. Most of the rock art was created by the Fremont Indians who occupied this area some 1,000 years ago.

2. BRYCE CANYON, UTAH

BRYCE CANYON, UTAH
BRYCE CANYON, UTAH

This place is known for its crimson-colored hoodoos, or spire-shaped rock formations. The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who built his home in the area in 1874. One of the most scenic overlooks is Inspiration Point, where you’ll be able to take in all the incredible texture and rich color of the Bryce Amphitheater from a lofty aerial perch. Prime viewing times are around sunup and sundown, when the sunlight makes the canyon’s rocks glow.

3. ZYON CANYON, UTAH

ZION CANYON, UTAH
ZION CANYON, UTAH

One of the most intimate and favourite parks of visitors from all over the world. Elevations in the canyon range from 1,219 meters at the valley floor to nearly 2,743 meters at the highest point. A favorite of rock climbers and hiking enthusiasts, the vertical climbs and zigzagging trails will take you to pinnacles, domes, arches and spires. Hanging gardens, canyon waterfalls and natural stain-lined canyon walls create a tropical paradise in the middle of an arid desert climate.

4. GLEN CANYON, ARIZONA

GLEN CANYON, ARIZONA
GLEN CANYON, ARIZONA

Encompassing over 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.

5. CANYON DE CHELLY, ARIZONA

CANYON DE CHELLY, ARIZONA
CANYON DE CHELLY, ARIZONA

Located in northeastern Arizona, it is within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation and lies in the Four Corners region. Reflecting one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes of North America, it preserves ruins of the indigenous tribes that lived in the area, from the Ancestral Puebloans (formerly known as Anasazi) to the Navajo. These canyons were cut by streams with headwaters in the Chuska Mountains just to the east of the monument. Canyon de Chelly is one of the most visited national monuments in the United States

6. BUCKSKIN GULCH, PARIA CANYON, UTAH

BUCKSKIN GULCH, PARIA CANYON, UTAH
BUCKSKIN GULCH, PARIA CANYON, UTAH

Located in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness of Utah and Arizona, this spectacular and unique hike winds through one of the deepest and longest slot canyons in the world. Wavy sandstone walls twist their way to the sky for nearly thirteen miles, creating surreal patterns of light and sound. The canyon walls often soar hundreds of feet above the wash and are sometimes only a few feet apart. Buckskin Gulch is truly an amazing place, and visitors are sure to appreciate it’s a stunning beauty.

7. SANTA ELENA CANYON, TEXAS

SANTA ELENA CANYON, TEXAS
SANTA ELENA CANYON, TEXAS

The majestic Santa Elena Canyon is the most impressive in Big Bend National Park – it is visible for over 10 miles away, as the Rio Grande changes direction abruptly after following beneath the straight Sierra Ponce cliffs for several miles and heads due west, cutting through the mountains via a deep, narrow gorge. This sharp bend in the river was formed by movement along the Terlingua fault zone that crosses the park. For many miles upstream the river is trapped beneath the high walls, eventually emerging into a wider valley at the small town of Lajitas.

8. PALO DURO CANYON, TEXAS

PALO DURO CANYON, TEXAS
PALO DURO CANYON, TEXAS

Palo Duro Canyon is the most spectacular and scenic landscape feature in the Texas Panhandle. It was formed by millions of years of water erosion by the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River and the West Texas wind. With a descent of some 800 feet to the canyon floor and more than 16 miles of paved road, Palo Duro Canyon State Park offers fantastic scenic views and historical sites.

9. THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA

THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA
THE GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA

Vast, magnificent and inarguably beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark—a natural wonder you must see to believe. Stretching 277 miles from end to end, its rocky walls descend more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River traces a swift course southwest. Everyone should see the Grand Canyon at least once in their life. In 2019, the Grand Canyon celebrated its 100th birthday as a national park.

10. WAIMEA CANYON, HAWAII

Waimea Canyon, located in Waimea, Hawaii is dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Canyon was formed when the Waimea river carved its way through the lava and basalt formations of the region. The central volcano that lay on the canyon collapsed 10 million years ago, playing a vital role in forming the canyon. Consumed with wild foliage, tropical cliffs, green-and-pink scenery, mesmerizing waterfalls, and striking rainbows, the Waimea Canyon is truly the nature lover’s paradise.

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