If you are planning a dream car trip to the American Southwest, you probably know where you would like to go. Lots of nature reserves, national monuments, historical parks, and other attractions are scattered along your entire route.
To help you create the perfect road trip around the States, we're going to take you around California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. Before starting your trip you need to choose the right car for your trip. The leasing company is almost as important as the vehicle itself. Pay attention to the company you choose.
Let's take a look at the attractions that are close to large parks:
California is full of national parks like Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia. If you are already in this state, you will most likely look at at least one of them. Where to go?
Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie is an old mining town founded in 1877. It became a "ghost town" in the forties of the twentieth century when the inhabitants left it. The place received the official status of a protected area in 1962. Boarded up benches and thoroughly rusted cars. There is a good place to stay one day.
Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve
This place is 45 minutes by car from Bodie. The water in the Mono lake there is twice as salty as in the ocean, and you will definitely feel a fantastic surge of energy. Take a ride between the "tuff towers", peaks and hills of calcium carbonate, which are lapped at the confluence of freshwater sources and lake water with a high alkali content.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur Park stretches along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. It’s a great place to hike through incredibly beautiful redwood groves. Pfeiffer Beach is also near the park, a small but stunningly beautiful sandy cove with crystal clear waters and surrounded by sharp jagged rocks. In the park, you can pitch a tent and go hiking in the surrounding area, or you can simply stroll along the beach and plunge into the ocean waters.
Las Vegas is a city in which you can see several fascinating places:
National Atomic Testing Museum
Check out the Nevada National Security Test Site for upcoming tours and head to the Atomic Test Museum. This place is extremely interesting. A small number of free tours are available each month at the Nevada National Security Site itself but are known to fill up almost instantly and are not booked through the museum. But the National Atomic Testing Museum is open seven days a week and ready to fill that noggin with all the Atomic Nevada history you can imagine.
Valley of Fire State Park
The Valley of Fire Park is a cluster of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nesting between gray-limestone cliffs. You can drive through the park by car or you can go out and walk on foot.
Nearby is St. Thomas, a former Mormon settlement formed in 1865 and then flooded when Mead Reservoir was created. The artificial lake itself has not gone anywhere, but years of droughts and natural shallowing, coupled with an increase in water consumption, led to the fact that after 70 years of being under water, the ruins of the town reappear on the surface. Now they are easy to reach.
Cathedral Gorge State Park
Cathedral Gorge is a valley formed as a result of geological processes that developed after the period of volcanic eruptions. Centuries of erosion have transformed the pointed rock formations into cathedrals. This amazing landscape is cut by narrow gorges.
Utah is a trekking paradise. The state has sheltered the entire "The Mighty 5" (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion). Basically, Utah is the perfect outdoor playground. You can spend an eternity here, but if you don’t have a lot of time, then go to Bryce and Zion.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges became Utah's first National Monument, and eighth in the U.S. Natural Bridges is the first International Dark Sky Park: the sky is the darkest and clearest there - and all the stars are in full view.
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Scientists still don’t know how the Kodachrome Basin has occurred. This is an eminently beautiful place. The park is dotted with paths that wind around high spike-shaped stone erosional pillars and monolithic red rocks. Here you can also arrange horseback riding.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Highway 89 smoothly curves around Coral Pink Sand Dunes, an impressive cluster of pink sand dunes formed by the erosion of a geological formation called the Navajo Sandstone (located at the edges of the park). You can walk up and down the dunes.
The Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, Canyon des Shay National Reserve, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are all located in Arizona. The state is rich in all sorts of attractions that any car traveler must visit.
Meteor Crater Natural Landmark
The Meteor Crater is the best-preserved meteorite impact site in the world. Entering the interior of the crater itself is not permitted, but you can wander along the edges of the earthen bowl and gaze at the big hole. The asteroid was small in astronomical terms just 150 feet (45.7 m) across.
Route 66 and the Hackberry General Store
Route 66 or the Mother Road -- holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road.
Hackberry General Store, located in the former mining town of Hackberry, Arizona, is bypassed by many Route 66 travelers, oftentimes because they simply blink and miss it. Unannounced by signage and isolated in the middle of the desert, this hidden gem may be driven by countless times, but those who have decided to pull in know it to be a must-stop for all Route 66 travelers.