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.
Our Wonderful National Parks
Some of America’s most iconic national parks are in the West. In fact, our first nine parks are all Out West. Yellowstone, Sequoia, Yosemite, Mount Ranier, Crater Lake, Wind Cave, Mesa Verde, Glacier and Rocky Mountain have all been national parks for more than 100 years.
The West is a very big place, but so worth the time and effort to get there. Our family loves going there via roadtrip, partly because the scenery is so different than here in Minnesota.
There’s so much to see and only one lifetime to see it! Better get going 🙂
(This post has been updated. It was first published 4/15.)
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Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.