West is the Best

a straight section of the road going towards spires of Monument Valley in the distance

Iconic view of the spires and mesas around Monument Valley.

Vast 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 mother road that beacons both Americans and foreign visitors. But it traverses only a small section of the amazing American Southwest. There is a lot more to be seen and experienced. On this page, I will try to mention and show photos of many amazing places, not that off from the Route 66.

Most of this page is devoted to the Southwest and Colorado Plateau because I believe it's the most unique scenery in the US. Pages about enduro motorcycle rides and van life cover more of the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Canada.

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.

Sun setting behind mountains

Sunset over Lake Powell from Mesa Romana.

posing high above a lake and mesas in the distance

Celebrate a good day of riding with a drink and million-dollar view.

Colorful walls of a slot canyon

Buckskin gulch is hands down, the best long slot canyon around.

Colorado Plateau

motorcycle parked in an old-western town

Oatman - well-preserved old western town on route 66.

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.

Sunrise over Lake Powell

Sunrise over Lake Powell.

Pastele colors of after-sunset at Lake Powell

Even after the sunset, mother nature's show goes on.

motorcycle and rider by the side of a road with a tunnel through red rock behind

Scenic highway 12 near Bryce Canyon NP. The stretch between Escalante and Boulder is one of the most beautiful roads of the Colorado Plateau.

rider on a motorcycle posing behind route 66 painted on the pavement

The famous route 66, from Santa Monica, CA to Chichago, goes though parts of the Colorado Plateau.

Old, rusty Ford car

Route 66 is all about automotive relics from the time long gone.

old police car parked next to a burger place

Stuck in the 50's - Kingman, Arizona.

route 66 painted in front of the entrance to a motorcycle store

Bikers, Harley riders in particular, love route 66.

an old police car

Old cars in Seligman.

a dirt road going through a colorful canyon

Cottonwood canyon road.

a person inside a slot canyon

One of numerous slot canyons near Lake Powell.

a person taking photos inside a canyon

Trying to capture the beauty of the canyon.

a person looking up steep wals of a slot canyon

Admiring the walls.

a person taking photos inside a slot canyon

Narrows of a slot canyon.

a person stradling canyon walls

Mike playing a gymnast.

a person squeezing through a narrow canyon walls

Awkwardly tilted walls..

a person in a canoe

Floating down Green River.

a person laying on a canoe

Dumb and happy, also, too drunk to bother with the paddle.

person in a canoe

Overjoyed with the scenery.

a person hiking down a steep slope towards river

It's a steep hike from Colorado river to Dollhouse. Dollhouse section of Canyonlands NP is near the Confluence of Green and Colorado rivers. One day we hiked up and explored this, otherwise hard to reach, part of the national park.

a person with rock spires behind

Exploring the Dollhouse.

a person posing in front of rock spires

It is possible to reach the Dollhouse by road. Once I rode there from Hite marina. The last section is in deep sand and it wasn't fun on a heavy motorcycle. Many people ride bicycles, but it's a long way from any water source.

person posing at the endge of a cliff

The green meadow ends at the Cataract Canyon.

person next to steep rock walls

Trail goes through narrow passages between towering rocks.

person posing high above a river and valley

Ancient ruins next to Green River.

a white flower

After heavy rains, desert flowers are blooming.

magenta flower

Another blooming cactus.

Mike took following photos and kindly let me use them on this webpage.

a red flower

An amazingly red desert flower.

a  flower a  flower motorcycle and rider next to a big teepee and huge arrows

Road-side gift shop near Durango=, Colorado.

rappeling down a steep canyon

Utah is blessed with countless canyons to be explored.

standing high at the edge of a rock high above vercial wall canyong

Angel's landing, Zion National Park.

three riders by ancient rock dwellings

Rock Hotel above Comb wash, off Hwy 95.

rider and bike with high waterfall coming down steep rock face across a green valley

Sunset at an old campground at Monument Valley.

sitting on the edge of a cliff looking over grand canyon

Grand Canyon is probably the most well-known feature of the Colorado Plateau, but there are countless other places just as amazing.

standing at the edge of a cliff high above a 180 degree curve in a canyon

Horseshoe Canyon, just outside Page, AZ.

standing at the edge of a cliff high above a 180 degree curve in a canyon

Colorful Bryce Canyon NP.

sitting at the edge, high above canyon

Zion NP may not be as famous as Yosemite, but it is every bit as beautiful.

posing on red rocks

Coyote Buttes is an area of exceptional beautify and access is stictly controlled.

hiking through a canyong

The Narrows is the most popular hike in Zion NP.

posing on red rocks

The Wave.

posing on red rocks

Delicate arch at twilight.

natural bridge

Natural Bridges monument is easily accessible from highway 95.

standing atop an arch

Back when it was legal to walk anywhere.

standing next to rock outcrops

Sunset in Grand Staircase Escalante.

standing next to rock outcrops

Towering walls of buckskin gulch.

standing next to rock outcrops

Hiking in Paria river canyon.

colorful rock reflected in water

White Pockets after a summer storm.

colorful rock reflected in water

White Pockets.

Sitting on the edge of a desert cliff

My favorite camping spot high above Colorado river.

red and purple walls of a slot canyon

Zebra slot canyon - easily approached and very scenic slot canyon just outside Escalante.

a trail winding through a verdant canyon with steep walls

Upper Esalante canyon is another popular hike that starts at the edge of the town.

dead tree with canyon and cloudy sky behind

Mother Nature's art along the trail to Bighorn canyon.

long shadow in a canyon

Early morning start of the Little Death Hollow hike.

narrow passage through a slot canyon

Picturesque narrows of the Little Death Hollow canyon.

standing at the endge of a canyon

Toroweap - little visited part of the Grand Canyon.

mushroom looking rock formation

Toadstools between Page and Kanab at sunset.

trail through a slot canyon

Buckskin gulch, one of the best slot canyons to hike.

clolorful walls of a slot canyon

Buckskin gulch.

hiker in a slot canyon

Admiring colorful walls of a slot canyon.

hiker in front of a waterfall

At the lower calf creek falls.

standing at the edge of a cliff

Island in the sky, Canyonlands NP.

The Rockies

Rocky mountains are the spine of the North American continent. The brathtakingly beautiful alpine scenery of this 4,000+ meter mountain range can be explored on foot, motorcycles and in Jeeps thanks to Colorado's mining legacy'.

motorcycle next to an old wooden cabin and bright yellow aspen

An abandoned mine along the Million dollar highway between Ouray and Silverton.

motorcycle next to an old wooden cabin and bright yellow aspen

Old mining town in the Rockies in early fall. The best time to experience autumn foliage is around third week of September.

rider, motorcycle and tent with jagged mountains in the background

Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains near Salida, Colorado.

rider, motorcycle and tent with jagged mountains in the background

First snow on Pikes peak outside Colorado Springs.

rider on a motorcycle with a rainbow around him

Rainbow at Taylor reservoir in Colorado, a giant playground for anyone enjoying the great outdoors. This place is a paradise for hiking, fishing, hunting, dirt riding, camping, etc.

blue water lake surrounded by baredn peaks

A deep blue-colored lake on Ice Lakes trail.

green lake surrounded by steep talus slopes

One of many lakes high up in San Juan mountains.


A waterfall along the Ice Lakes trail.

motorcycle rider on a dirt road with steep forested mountain slope behind him

Rockies are rich in minerals and many roads were built to remote mining sites. Today, they are heaven for off-road riders. In this photo, I am descenging the Ophir pass in early summer

Yellow aspens leaves against deep blue sky

Fall in Colorado is the best times to visit this place.

clouds above a mountain peak

A peak next to Independence pass.

jaggedy peaks flanked by yellow aspens

Jaggedy peaks near Owl pass.

sitting by the fire under a stary sky

Campfire under the stars in San Juan mountains.

curvy road descending into a valley

Million dollar highway snaking its way down to Ouray.

ice climber scaling a frozen waterfall

Ice climbing in Canadian Rockies.

The Desert

motorcycle parked in front of a big sign for ET jerky

Extraterrestrial highway through Nevada desert.

motorcycle in front of a pick-u and schooo bus half-burried vertically in the ground
             with milky way in the background

Desert art in Nevada.

motorcycle in front of a pick-u and schooo bus half-burried vertically in the ground
             with milky way in the background

US-50 though Nevada is supposed to be loneliest highway in the USA.

motorcycle in front of a pick-u and schooo bus half-burried vertically in the ground
             with milky way in the background

Bristlecone pines high up in the Great Basin NP, are the longest living trees in the world, some over 3,000 years old.

swimming in a canyon with backpack on an inflatable raft

Arizona's desert canyons can be full of life and water.

saguaro at sunset

Arizona sunsets are unforgettable.

walking on a sand dune

Death Valley sand sunes.

sculpture holding a bike

Nevada desert art.

desert plant in the sun

White Sand Dunes, NM.

Pacific Crest

view of yotemite's half dome in the late afternoon'

Half-Dome basking in setting sun.

posing in front of the Golder Gate bridge with San Francisco behind

Golden Gate - Gateway to America, at least for those coming from Asia.

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 this activity is 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.

motorcycle, rider and tent on a mountaintop with clouds below

One of my favorite camping spots along California's Big Sur' - high above the clouds covering the Pacific ocean.

Rider on a motorcycle with Half Dome behind

Glacier point, Yosemite - the best place to admire the glacier-carved valley and surrounding high country.

motorcycle parked in a valley with steep rock walls behind

At the botto, of the valley, with Middle Cathedral rock behing. One of 50 classic rock climbing routes goes up the left buttress.

rider and bike with high waterfall coming down steep rock face across a green valley

Yosemite falls.

climbing a giant tree

California Redwoods.

rider and bike with high waterfall coming down steep rock face across a green valley

Riding towards Tioga pass near Tenaya lake.

rider on a motorcycle peaking from a hole in a giant redwood tree

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

sitting at the edge of an overhanging rock with deep canyong below

Atop the Half Dome, Yosemite.

standing at the edge of a cliff in yosemite

Hi-exposure yoga.

hiker with a backpack high up in the mountains

High Sierras, with many 14,000+ ft peaks is a heaven for hikers.

Climber roped up on a yellow rock

Tahquitz - a premier rock climbing spot just outside Los Angeles.

two climers posing atop a mountains

At the end of a long day of climbing Clyde Minaret.

paraglider flying off a green hill with blue ocean in the distance

Paragliding at the wild coast - a desolate part of the California's coastline.

holding two cup of drinks on a boat moving away from glaciers

Drinks with 100,000 year old ice is just one of the things to do when visiting Alaska's glaciers.