Petrified Forest National Park is a remarkable place where visitors make new discoveries at every turn. World-famous for its plentiful and beautiful petrified wood, the park is in northeast Arizona in the spectacular Painted Desert. The park is split by Interstate 40 which makes it very easy to access. Interstate travelers can have an amazing visit in an hour while those who have more time will find many interesting experiences.
Canyonlands National Park, located just outside Moab, Utah, is an interesting park that covers a vast area of inaccessible canyons and mesas. Canyonlands is divided into three units and it’s not possible to visit more than one unit in a day. The Island In The Sky district of the park is easily accessed from Moab and many people first visit Canyonlands by driving through this unit of the park.
Aztec Butte rises above the Island In The Sky plateau in Canyonlands National Park. It’s a prominent landmark visible for miles and must have been well used by the Ancestral Pueblo people who once occupied this region. This entire area was heavily used by various native peoples and there are some ancient granary ruins on the top of the butte.
Little Westwater Ruin, also known as Five Kiva Ruin, is an undeveloped ruin that is easily accessed and interesting to visit. The cliff dwelling is located in the Westwater Creek Canyon just outside of Blanding, UT. Blanding is in the homelands of the Ancestral Puebloans and this ruin is practically part of the town. In fact, many residents tell stories of childhoods spent playing in the ruins all summer long.
The Moki Dugway (also called Mokee or Moqui) is a famous (or infamous) stretch of Utah Route 261 – the highway running north/south that bisects Cedar Mesa. The Moki Dugway is a 3-mile section of gravel road featuring 10% grades climbing through steep hairpin switchbacks straight up the thousand-foot cliff walls of Cedar Mesa. The road tops Cedar Mesa at about 6,400 ft elevation after beginning its climb from the desert at 5,400 ft.