As a midwesterner, when I think of Out West destinations I think of the Rocky Mountains. Of course the West is a lot more than just the Rockies, but that’s where I’ve been personally, so that’s where we’ll start.
The Rocky Mountain range starts way up in northern British Columbia, Canada, and extends down into New Mexico…more than 3,000 miles long.
Much of the range is protected by national parks, and therefore set aside for us to visit and recreate in. Camping, hiking, biking, paddling, riding and of course skiing in the winter…all surrounding by stunning beauty.
The Rockies host such well-known and visited Parks as Jasper and Banff National Parks in Alberta, Canada…Glacier National Park in Montana…Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming…and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Other mountain ranges
There are several other mountain ranges — Sierra Nevadas in California, The Cascades in Oregon and Washington. The Bighorns in Wyoming and the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Then there’s the Southwest portion of the US, with such famous National Parks as Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Death Valley, Mesa Verde and Canyonlands.
Each of these Parks — as well as dozens of state parks — makes a memorable destination for outdoor adventure, photography, relaxation and inspiration.
Beyond the millions of acres set aside for public access are private ranches, resorts and campgrounds.
So much to see in so short a time!
Here are some places to start with:
Wind River Range, Wyoming
Black Hills, South Dakota
(PHOTO: The Teton Range, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, early July)