California has some of the country's prettiest landscapes...but nothing the Golden State has can compare to Utah’s Red Rock Canyon Country! Trade in beach views and redwood forests for the practically indescribable rugged beauty of the Utah desert with this epic road trip, once you've experienced Canyon Country, you'll understand what makes it so special. 


Start off in Los Angeles, and make your way to one of the most iconic road trip attractions: Wigwam Village #7 Motel. Even if it's not time to stop for the night, you'll want to take advantage of the photo op. From there, head to the kitschy Calico Ghost Town—revel in its authentic Gold Rush history where you can stay the night and get rustic in their campgrounds. You'll be traveling along part of what was once Route 66 passing by retro roadside stops such as Delgadillos Snow Cap Drive-in in Seligman, AZ. Stop for an old-school burger, or a drink and a chance to stretch your legs. 

The route to Canyon Country isn't all Route 66 kitsch; you'll drive right past the Mojave National Preserve, and if you're willing to go a little further out of your way, you can check out the natural waterslide at Slide Rock State Park or even hit up the South Rim of The Grand Canyon. Walnut Canyon National Monument combines nature and history with a trail system that lets you explore the site of an ancient Native American village. Continue to travel on Highway 191 and you'll get to drive through the famed landscape of Monument Valley as you cruise into Monticello, Utah, right in the center of Canyon Country. 

Once you reach Utah, the adventure is only just beginning! Start your morning with a sunrise visit to the ruins surrounding the cliffs of Hovenweep National Monument one of the uniquely positioned landmarks of the ancient people. Stop for a late breakfast or lunch in Monticello, Utah as you make two great stops - Frontier Museum in the visitor’s center in downtown to see unique pioneer history relics. Enjoy visiting the Canyon Country Discovery Center to explore their campus, bouldering wall, natural playscape, picnic pavilions, and trails to get you warmed up to take one of their epic excursions. 

As you begin your afternoon you can take a day hike from Newspaper Rock or take your lunch to go and travel through Indian Creek, and back out for the sunset at Canyonlands National Park Anti-incline Overlook, for a sunset view of the Canyonlands National Park Needles District.  Keep the night going with local night sky programs in the park or at the observatory at the Canyon Country Discovery Center to view the majestic night stars, in one of the darkest skies in the country-- the perfect end to the trip.

Header via Four Corners School