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Introduction & Places by Name Places by State  Places by Type  Road Trips!

US-89, From Montana to Arizona

US89.jpg
I dunno, I just find this funny...

Montana

Glacier National Park
Glacier Link Glacier National Park is one of the premier parks in America, named after the carved valleys the glaciers in the last Ice Age dug out. It's a majestic mountain park, complete with one of the best drives in North America, the Going To The Sun Road.

It's in my list of must visit parks, but it is one of those parks far enough out of the way that you really have to want to go there. But it's worth the trip...

Near Kalispell, Montana / 263 Images. Visited Sep 2001, Jul 2006.
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Great Falls L&C Interpretive Center, Montana

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (Great Falls, Montana)
Lewis And Clark GF Link The area around Great Falls on the Missouri River was the first serious obstacle the Corps of Discovery had underestimated about the West. Mile after mile of un-navigatable rapids and waterfalls, where they had to portage hundreds of pounds of canoes and supplies by foot.

The Missouri River's been long tamed now, even more so during the fall when I was there, months after the mountain snowpacks had melted. But even 200 years later, it was easy to see how this area of the Missouri would be hell by canoe...

Near Great Falls, Montana / 15 Images. Visited Jul 2006.
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Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Link Yellowstone National Park tops my list of favorite parks. It doesn't matter if you want waterfalls, lakes, geysers, hot springs, river canyons, glacial valleys, mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, or interesting roads to drive, Yellowstone has all if it.

Its world famous icons, such as Old Faithful, the Lower Falls and Mammoth Hot Springs, all point to a very angry Earth below the surface, a super volcano which has the potential to wipe out much of America. So enjoy the park while you can!

Northwest Wyoming, Idaho, Montana / 555 Images. Visited Sep 1998, Sep 2001, Jul 2006.

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton NP Link Grand Teton National Park got the short shrift the first two times I was there. It was just a transit between someplace else and Yellowstone.

That changed in 2006 when I spent three days in the park, and it impressed enough to make me give it equal time with Yellowstone if I ever get back there...

Near Jackson, WY / 194 Images. Visited Sep 1998, Sep 2001, Jul 2006.
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Utah

Golden Spike National Historic Site
Golden Spike Link Golden Spike National Historic Site is where that final spike (made of gold, hence the name) was driven, completing the Transcontinental Railroad. That single event tied a geographically divided nation together, transforming a treacherous six month trip by wagon or ship to a five day, sightseeing adventure.

They have seasonally operated replicas of the Central Pacific Jupiter and the Union Pacific 119, the locomotives present when the final spike was driven. It's a must for any train buff...
Near Promontory, Utah / 19 Images. Visited Sep 1998.

Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks Link Cedar Breaks National Monument has a problem. It's a beautiful place, almost a mini-Bryce Canyon. But that's its problem. It's located about 60 miles North of Zion National Park, and 60 miles West of Bryce Canyon National Park. If you drove here (and you probably will if you visit), it is dwarfed by the majesty of either (or both) of the other parks.

So if you visit Cedar Breaks, try to see it first. :-)

Near Cedar City, Utah / 16 Images. Visited Sep 1997.

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon NP Link Bryce Canyon is just magnificent. The park isn't really a canyon, but a series of amphitheaters of sandstone formations, carved by erosions into pillars that look more like sculptures.

It's on my list of must visit parks. Unfortunately, it's also on many other people's list of must visit parks, too. Located a dozen miles from US-89 on Utah-12, it sits on top of the Grand Staircase that descends to the South.

At Utah-12 and Utah-63 / 156 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Zion National Park
Zion NP Link Zion National Park is another victim of its own success. It's a decent sized park, but its premier attraction, Zion Canyon, is narrow and confined. During certain times of the year (which might be all year now), you can only get in via a shuttle bus.

That said, it is a beautiful park. And don't forget there's another entrance to the park, the Kolob Canyons.

Near Virgin, Utah / 81 Images. Visited Sep 1997.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah
Coral Pink Link Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park isn't that far off US-89 between Zion and Glen Canyon.

Should you choose to stop there, you'll find a very, very fine, pink sand, eroded from the neighboring cliffs and shaped by the wind into large dunes. Should you choose to walk into the dune field, you'll find your shoelaces pink, your socks pink, with sand between your toes, and will track inside your car and follow you around for days...

Near Kanab, Utah / 13 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase-Escalante NM Link Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is actually larger than the state of Delaware, but has a population close to the number of visitors in the park.

The GSENM page starts with an overview of what the Grand Staircase actually is, a geologic wonderland stretching from the Aquaritus Plateau at Bryce Canyon to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This 8,000 foot drop in elevation in almost discreet steps holds some of the most breathtaking scenery in America.
Near Escalante, Utah / 33 Images Visited Sept 1997, Sep 2008.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon Link The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses and products the Colorado River (and many of its tributaries) from Canyonlands to Grand Canyon National Park. It is mostly a creation of the Glen Canyon Dam, which creates a reservoir behind it (Lake Powell) a hundred miles long.

Included on this page is the Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon and the Lees Ferry Unit of the park, river level access a dozen miles below the dam.

Arizona, Utah / 102 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Glen Canyon Dam, Glen Canyon NRA
Glen Canyon Dam Link Glen Canyon Dam is a 600 foot high thumbnail that holds back the Colorado River creating the massive reservoir named Lake Powell.

I took the Dam tour, and it was a dam... It was an impressive tour which takes you all the way down to the generator room via two sets of elevators. No stairs, but there is some walking involved.

Near Page, Arizona / 56 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

Lake Powell, Glen Canyon NRA
Lake Powell Link Lake Powell is created from the Colorado River (and its tributaries) by the Glen Canyon Dam. It's approximately 140 river miles (100 linear miles) long, and provides water, power and entertainment to millions in the Southwest.

Using it as a water route is also the only convenient way to get to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. These images are of the 50 river miles from Wahweep to Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Arizona, Utah / 48 Images. Visited Sep 2008.

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Arizona

Little Colorado River Gorge, Navajo Tribal Park
LCRG Link If you're heading to Grand Canyon from US-89, the Little Colorado River Gorge is a side-stop along the way.

You can step up right next to the gorge, and if the sheer cliff face doesn't bother you... Then you're a better man than I.

Near Cameron, Arizona / 16 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon Link Grand Canyon National Park is the premier National Park in America, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and many consider the park bucket-list-worthy.

In addition to the South Rim, there is a North Rim, which is 10 miles as the crow flies, but over 200 miles by car.

I won't mention the crowds. If there was ever a need to plan ahead for a trip, Grand Canyon is it.

Near Tusayan, Arizona / 163 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.
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