Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons

Lower Antelope Canyon

Having traveled to some amazing places in the U.S., we often see ads with jaw-dropping outdoor photos, and we know exactly where the photograph was taken. Nearly every shot of a grizzly bear standing at the top of a waterfall trying to catch salmon as they fly past his muzzle was taken at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. And when a woman with a bottle of shampoo in hand flicks her luxurious hair in front of a sandstone backdrop that looks like it’s from another planet, we know the ad agency photoshopped her into Upper Antelope Canyon.

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Buckskin Gulch

After our first visit to Buckskin Gulch, we looked at each other and asked, “How could there be a place this amazing that we’ve never heard of before?” Dumb luck was on our side when we hiked it for the first time; the canyon was bone dry, which saved us from having to wade through the pools of stagnant water that usually greet hikers on their trek through the longest, deepest slot canyon in the southwest.

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Guadalupe Mountains National Park – The Top of Texas

Big Bend National Park

A trip to Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the perfect complement to visiting Big Bend National Park, which is less than a four-hour drive away, or Carlsbad Caverns National Park, only 30 miles away. The park sits on the northern border of the state and boasts the highest point in Texas: Guadalupe Peak (locals call it Guad Peak) at 8,749 feet above sea level. We’ve been to the park twice, once in May and once in October, and found both spring and fall were great times to visit.

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Endless Summer in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Every autumn when the rain starts falling in the Pacific Northwest, and the wind turns chilly, we can’t help but think of our trip to Big Bend National Park. It was the end of October when we visited, and hiking in the desert heat taught us that if we ever felt that fall had come too soon, all we have to do is visit Big Bend to get back to summer. The temperature reached 98 degrees on Halloween that year. (November through March are the park’s busiest months because daytime temperatures are mild.)

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It’s Bison Roundup Time

No other scene says “wild west” like a cavalcade of horseback riders kicking up dust as they bring a buffalo herd in from the range. Before the glow of our Bison Tour wears off, we’re making notes about the bison-related activities we weren’t able to do this time around but would like to experience in the future. Officially now on our bucket list is attending a bison roundup.

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