Find Adventure in the Southwest United States

Find Adventure in the Southwest United States - Sparkle Adventures

Find Adventure in the Southwest United States - Sparkle Adventures

Points of Interest

·         Cadillac Ranch (Texas)

·         Petrified Forest National Park (Painted Desert) (Arizona)

·         Meteor Crater (Arizona)

·         Sedona (Arizona)

·         Grand Canyon West (Arizona)

·         Antelope Canyon (Arizona)

·         Monument Valley (Arizona, Utah)

·         4 Corners Monument (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado)

Dreaming of your next adventure?  Sparkle Adventures offers custom adventure planning services for your next adventure.  Just need ideas?  We have lots of ideas to help you plan your outdoor adventure. 

Find adventure in the Southwest United States – this adventure takes you from Texas through New Mexico to Arizona and Utah, ending at the 4 Corners Monument where you can be in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all at the same time.  Camping, backpacking, biking and hiking, ziplining, or helicopter and river tours are all part of this grand adventure!

This adventure starts in Amarillo, Texas at Cadillac Ranch.  “This offbeat roadside attraction features 10 graffiti-covered Cadillacs standing upright in a row, buried nose-first in the ground. The sculpture is the brainchild of Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh III, who chose classics dating from 1948 to 1963, the "Golden Age" of the American automobile.” 

From Cadillac Ranch travel across New Mexico to the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.  “One of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world is found at Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona, about 110 miles east of Flagstaff and 210 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Scientific studies show that the petrified trees found within the park date back 211 to 218 million years. Add to that dramatic, colorful geological formations and ancient art and you’ll quickly see why Petrified Forest National Park is a must-visit; last year, just over 643,000 people trekked through the park.” – USA Today

On the way to Sedona, stop to visit – “The world's best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth.  Located just minutes from Interstate 40 and the old Route 66 in Northern Arizona near Winslow.  Meteor Crater is the spectacular result of a collision that rocked the American Southwest approximately 50,000 years ago with the energy of more than 20 million tons of TNT.  Situated under the wide skies of the Arizona High Desert, Meteor Crater offers an interactive educational experience for the entire family in a beautiful, natural setting.  The Meteor Crater Visitor Center is located on the rim of the Crater. “

Photo by WindowsObserver from Canva

Photo by WindowsObserver from Canva

From Meteor Crater visit Sedona, Arizona - Red Rock Country.   “With scenery that will make your heart leap, Sedona is nestled among a geological wonderland.  Multi-hued stone formations jut upwards from the high desert floor creating a vivid, mesmerizing setting that changes hourly with the light.  Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, visitors have instant access to recreational activities. Trails for hiking and biking, along with bouncy jeep tracks, weave among the bristling forest of pinnacles, spires, buttes and domes.”

Of course, a visit to the southwest of the United States would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon.   We picked the West Rim for this adventure to the Grand Canyon but the South and North Rims offer lots of adventure choices as well.  The North Rim is the least visited and offers less traffic and more solitude than the South and West Rims.  And for activities like the mule ride down into the canyon or a stay at Phantom Ranch on the South Rim, you will need to start planning at least a year before you visit. 

Grand Canyon National Park - also known as the South Rim - is considered the jewel of the American Southwest. Regarded as the Grandest of the Canyons, the South Rim is picturesque from every viewpoint and every angle. Here the ancient rock walls are surrounded by lush forests of Ponderosa pines - which are home to elk, mule deer, mountain lions, rock squirrels, and California condors. The glorious wooded vision of the South Rim has for decades been a favorite of artists and photographers. In fact, it is likely that the South Rim has been the source of nearly every image of the Grand Canyon seen in one's lifetime. Grand Canyon National Park is open year-round for visitors to experience, along with all of its plant life and wild residents.”  - Papillon

Photo by egorshitikov from Canva

Photo by egorshitikov from Canva

“Just a short distance from the National Park is the wild Western nature of the Grand Canyon's West Rim. Though not nearly as commercially-developed as the bustling South Rim, the West still hosts nearly a million visitors each year. Still, this area is much more peaceful and less-crowded. Here the canyon boasts magnificent, naturally-carved rock formations like Eagle Point - a structure revered by the ancient Hualapai. It is also the only region of the canyon where aircraft can access the floor for landings. Most exciting of all is the Skywalk Bridge - the glass walkway that extends out between the canyon walls and allows guests to stare a mile through to the floor.” - Papillon

“Owned and operated by the Hualapai Indian Tribe and located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, Grand Canyon West will provide you with an experience like no other. See the Canyon from every perspective with our variety of vacation experiences. “Walk the sky” 4,000 feet above the Canyon floor on our Skywalk, or tour the West Rim on a helicopter ride. Take a whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River, hike scenic trails, enjoy our rustic lodging, and learn about authentic Native American culture. All this, and more awaits you at Grand Canyon West.”

 From the Grand Canyon travel north to Antelope Canyon for more breathtaking beauty.  “The mysterious and haunting beauty of Antelope Canyon (also known as "Corkscrew Canyon") awaits the adventurous traveler who seeks to discover one of the most spectacular -- yet little known attractions of the Lake Powell area. A tour to this awe-inspiring sculpture set in stone is a must for amateur and professional photographers alike. Come see nature's surprising masterpiece of color.”

 Finally make your way back east to visit Monument Valley and the 4 Corners Monument

Photo by dassel from Canva

Photo by dassel from Canva

“The brisk march of progress passed right by Monument Valley. Which is great, because in places like this, “progress” has nothing to offer. The southeast corner of Utah looks about like it did 300 years ago, which looked like it did 3,000 years ago: vast, wild and sunbaked, with deep canyons and towering buttes variegating the desert plain. You’ll see the sky, bigger and bluer than you remembered. You’ll see the earth, red, rough and unpredictable. And you won’t see anything else. Monument Valley is what wind and water can make with enough time and creative license. Stand stranded at its center, struck by astounding simplicity. It will never happen again.” 

Four Corners can easily be visited while exploring the Monument Valley area. There is a small visitor center, which is open year round. It features a Demonstration Center with Native American artisans. Vendors sell handmade jewelry, crafts and traditional foods nearby.  The original marker, erected in 1912, was a simple cement pad placed after government surveys showed the location of the terminus of the four state boundaries. The monument was refurbished in 1992 with a bronze disk embedded in granite. Each of the state boundaries radiate from the disk and each state's seal rests within that state's boundary.”

“The area surrounding the Four Corners Monument is Native American land, which includes part of New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Both the Navajo, or Dine, and Ute people live in the Four Corners area. Artisans and craftsmen from both Indian nations are represented at the monument.”

“This area has been home to native peoples for hundreds of years. Archaeologists have recorded numerous ancient Puebloan sites dating prior to AD 1300 throughout the Four Corners area.”

You will surely experience a sense of time traveling – make sure to allow plenty of time to immerse yourself in this grand adventure!   

Sparkle Adventures offers custom adventure planning services for your next adventure.  We do the planning; you have the fun!  Check out  our adventure planning services and pricing at  and get your next adventure started today.