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Our Favorite Desert Destinations in Pictures

The tall swirls of pinks and reds carve out an immense landscape. Dive into this complex world of Navajo sandstone and you’ll be transported to another world. Smooth, curving walls let in the tiniest amount of light in these micro-landscapes. Emerge into a vast wash with towering cliffs marked with the stories of ancient civilizations.desert in pictures

You are both everywhere and nowhere

In the American Southwest, you feel both tall and small. Old and new. Connected to the earth, yet transported to another place. Slot canyons emerge from the space between towering books of rock, lazily leaning into one another. As you peel back the pages and wedge your way between sandstone monoliths, you realize that you can never truly wrap your head around the scale of this place.

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It’s a magical world where your senses are bombarded by the ancient sands of old seas. If humans were around when the deserts of the American Southwest were underwater, tourists would flock with their snorkel masks and fins to discover the wildlife. Now there is not a drop of water to drink (unless you know where to look). All that remains of these ancient reefs is history laid out in the layered sand.desert in pictures grand canyon

Time is relative

Strange symbols dot the landscapes. If you look closely, you can spot a watchtower of civilizations passed. Shards of ancient lives litter the sandy floor. If you’re lucky, you may even spot an ancient road, traversing a never-ending sea of sand.

canyons of escalante

Geological time is now. With every rain comes vast change. Cliffs erupt into cascading waterfalls. Rivers are born from sandy washes. Canyons squeeze water through narrow channels, cutting rock like butter. The desert transforms into an oasis, only for a few hours.

Defy Gravity

These rocky landscapes defy gravity. Rocks balance like ballerinas against brilliant blue skies. Towers teeter in the distance while arches frame the landscape. Strange formations of rock and sand pop out of nothingness, only to disappear a few moments later.

desert in pictures escalante

The desert is a place where fantasies come true. Where the rules of space and time bend ever so slightly. A place where we can see across time. Where we can feel truly connected to earth. There is nothing else quite like it.

About the Author


Meg Atteberry

Meg ditched the 9-5 world as an architect in pursuit of adventure. Now a freelance writer for the outdoor industry, she’s made it her life’s work to inspire others to say “yes” to adventure. From the remote wilderness areas of Colorado, to exploring a foreign country, Meg specializes in off-beat destinations for the intrepid soul. You can find her in the backcountry searching for the perfect camp spot in her home of Colorado.