southwest scenery

The desert at sunrise seems so peaceful and still, but if you look closer, the sights and sounds of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona reveal a remarkable community of plants and animals. Human stories echo throughout this desert preserve, chronicling thousands of years of desert living. A scenic drive, wilderness hike or a night of camping will expose you to a living desert that beautiful and thriving. Photo by National Park Service.

As you enter Zion National Park from the east, Mt. Carmel Highway offers spectacular views and ever changing landscapes as you zig-zag your way down into the park’s canyon. Ian Barin captured this pic from above the winding road at sunset this past June. Photo courtesy of Ian Barin.

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Saguaro Trail Arizona by Thomas Aleto
Via Flickr:
Morning light in the Arizona desert

As if Fantasy Canyon isn’t already a great name, this remote wonderland in Utah has also been called “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit.” Off the beaten path of more famous Southwestern sites, Fantasy Canyon is protected by the Bureau of Land Management and boasts some of the most amazing erosional features you will ever see. Sunrise photo courtesy of Brock Slinger.

Happy Fathers Day! A father’s love runs as deep as the Grand Canyon. Thanks to all the dads for being such great teachers, providers and comedians. Enjoy your day (and if you’re heading outdoors, be sure to bring plenty of water – it’s going to be HOT)! Photo of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona by W. Tyson Joye, National Park Service.