by John D’Onofrio
Each year in the spring, I have made it a long-standing habit to send myself on vacation down to the Southwest. Specifically, the Colorado Plateau country of southern Utah, northern Arizona – and occasionally – northwestern New Mexico and eastern Nevada. The red and purple landscapes of these dreamlands are as different from the lush blue-green of the northwest as can be imagined. Viva la difference!
In the thirty-plus years that I’ve been exploring this region I’ve discovered many very special places. Some are well-known and need no elaboration here: the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park. Others are less famous – but no less amazing. Still others are way off the beaten path. Discoveries waiting to happen. Powerful medicine.
These images were taken in some of the least known, off the beaten path spots on the Colorado Plateau. Hiking – sometimes sans trail – is required to reach most of them. Some, however are accessible by road – usually rough sandy tracks requiring 4-wheel drive, high clearance and nerves of steel. A few are to be found right alongside the highway hidden by a hill or canyon.
Information to help you find these special places can be found in the Spring 2013 issue of Adventures NW magazine.