5 of the Best Places to Visit In the American Southwest

Written by Robert Lowdon

Robert Lowdon is an internationally published commercial photographer based out of Toronto, Canada. He spends his time photographing architecture and industrial projects for the most part.

Published November 2, 2014

arches national park at sunset

I thought I would write a short little photo blast of a post. Unfortunately, I don’t get much time for blogging these days. Far too busy with clients and just photography in general. Hopefully, you won’t hold it against me (laughs).

I wanted to give a purely unbiased look at the area. Being a Canadian, from the prairies even, the landscape is completely foreign to me. I’m looking to document the natural beauty as a complete outsider.

So here are 5 of my Favorite Images from my recent American Southwest road trip. (Full disclosure I actually have about 50 favorites).

Grand Canyon North Rim at Dusk

Nothing can make a person feel small like the Grand Canyon. There is a feeling of inner peace that comes over oneself. The Grand Canyon is just one of those places in the American Southwest that really changes your outlook on life.

American southwest
North rim of the grand canyon

The first time I saw the Grand Canyon, I was awestruck. The vastness of the canyon is difficult to comprehend. And the colors! The reds, oranges, and yellows of the rocks are unlike anything I had ever seen before. Even now, after seeing it many times, it still takes my breath away.

For me, the Grand Canyon is a place of spiritual peace. There is something about its vastness and beauty that makes all my troubles seem small. When I am standing on the rim of the canyon, looking out over its expanse, I feel like anything is possible.

Whether you are seeking peace of mind or simply want to experience one of the most beautiful places on earth, a visit to the Grand Canyon is sure to leave you changed.

Canyonlands National Park

Admittedly shooting this image scared me, a lot. I’m not always too comfortable with heights at any given time. I always work through it, but, let’s just say I felt this one a lot more than some of the others. Oh, and by the way, that’s about 5200 feet to the bottom and I’m hanging over the edge of the cliff. Easily one of the best views in the American Southwest.

Canyonlands
Canyonlands, Utah

I’m not sure what it is about heights that scare me. I think it might be the feeling of being so far away from the ground and not having anything solid to hold on to. It’s a strange sensation that I can’t quite describe. When I’m up high, I always make sure to keep my footing secure and my grip tight.

Despite my fear, I love shooting images from high up. There’s something about being able to see the world from a different perspective that is both exhilarating and humbling. Every time I shoot an image like this, I am reminded of how small we are in the grand scheme of things. It’s a beautiful reminder of the fragility of life.

So, even though this image may look calm and serene, know that it was taken with a healthy dose of fear! But it was worth it for the incredible view.

Arches National Park at Sundown

Arches National Park probably blew my mind more than any other park the colors of the soil, rock formations seem completely foreign. Growing up on the prairies, this is as close as you can come to Mars on Earth. Arches is one of the most visited parks in the American Southwest.

Arches national park at sunset
Arches National Park, Utah

The Delicate Arch is probably the most photographed spot in Arches National Park, and for good reason. The massive red rock arch is set against a backdrop of even more red rocks. The contrast is incredible. I hiked to the top of the trail to get a closer look and it was well worth it.

There are so many different kinds of rock formations in Arches National Park that it is hard to believe they were all created by nature. The park is full of fins, pinnacles, balanced rocks, and of course, arches. One of the best things to do in the park is simply to wander around and explore. I highly recommend it!

The Road Between Canyonlands and Arches

Sometimes you just walk off the road and you find something, maybe even yourself along the way. This was located off the highway somewhere between Canyonlands and Arches.

Clouds roll in the utah desert
Road near Canyonlands, Utah

This place had everything I needed and more, it was close to the highway but still felt like my own little oasis. I loved finding new places to explore and this one did not disappoint. There were plenty of places to hike and climb, and the views were incredible. I would definitely come back here again!

On Top of Rocky Mountain National Park

You can drive to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, at one point the road even crosses right over the peak. Not so much as a guard rail on either side, 12,000 ft to the bottom.

Black and white photo of the top of rocky mountain national park
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

The road to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The views from the top are simply breathtaking, and the experience of driving to such a high elevation is truly exhilarating. Despite the dangers involved in such a journey, the rewards are more than worth it. So if you’re ever in the area, be sure to take the drive to the top of Rocky Mountain National Park. You won’t regret it.

National Parks

The National Park Service is a great destination if you are looking to plan a trip to the American Southwest. I highly recommend you start there.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable American Southwest experience, look no further. These five destinations will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. And if you want to be the first to know about our latest deals and announcements, sign up for our newsletter today. We can’t wait to show you all that the Southwest has in store!

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