Rides Around America's Wild West

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Quintessential image of the America's West.

Wast open spaces, big sky, preserved wilderness, solitude, freedom... These are but a few words that come to my mind when I think of the America's west. The best way to see the US is on a road trip and no place is more appropriate than the West.

Route 66 may be the most famous road trip for Americans and visitors alike. But it goes through only a small section of this grand country. There is a lot more to be seen and experienced in the west.

Before the white man got a chance to destroy the natural beauty of the place, large areas were designated as national parks, national monuments and national forests, preserving the natural beauty for the future generations.

Colorado Plateau

Bottom of the ocean once, uplifted over eons and cut by rivers, shaped by rain and water, today's Colorado Plateau is arguably the most unique scenery found anywhere. This is my favorite part of the US and I can't get enough of it.

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Hard to reach, and therefore without visitors, part of the Grand Canyon NP.

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Lake Powell, the heaven for boaters, dirt riders and anyone else seeking solitude.

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Grand Staircase Escalante NM, very few roads and almost no pavement.

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Scenic highway near Bryce Canyon NP.

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Hard to avoid riding at least some section of route 66.

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Follow dry creek washes for miles to a secret spot.

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Vertical walls line canyons.

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Heaven for solitude seekers.

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John Wayne would ride a horse instead.

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Road to the Monument valley.

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Road-side gift shop.

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Feeling at home outside Capitol Reef NP.

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A pole along the road to Dollhouse, Capitol Reef NP.

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Totem pole, Monument Valley.

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The sun can be brutal.

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The "reef" of the Capitol Reef NP.

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Camping on a cliff edge.

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Lake afternoon on a mesa by Lake Powell.

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100 miles of dirt and no other vehicles.

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Extraterrestrial highway through Nevada desert.

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Desert art in Nevada.

Pacific Crest

It's not all desert in the west. There is a chain of mountains running from Alaska down to Mexican border - The Pacific Crest. It is still geologically active and responsible for many earthquakes and even volcanic eruptions.

The jet stream carries moisture from the northern Pacific down along the western coast. The mountains block most of the storms, hence the desert on the east side of the Pacific Crest. The west side gets all the rain and is very lush. There is even temperate rainforest on the Olympic peninsula.

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Yosemite - the most famous of California's national parks.

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Camping high above the clouds covering the Pacific ocean.

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Yosemite Valley carved by glaciers.

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Yosemite falls.

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Giant California Redwoods grow only in a narrow strip near the ocean.

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Grand Tetons NP.

The Rockies

Rocky mountains are the spine of the North American continent. There is plenty of alpine scenery to be had in this 4,000+ meter mountains

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Rainbow in the Colorado Rockies.

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Rockies are rich in minerals and many roads were built to remote mining sites. Today, they are heaven for off-road enthusiasts.

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There is still snow in San Juan mountains even in July.

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Beautiful alpine scenery near Telluride.

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Just opened section of a road in San Juan mountains.

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Climbing high above Telluride.

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Old mining town in the Rockies.