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Natural Wonders of the Western US

A Photographic Journey to Capture Natural U.S. Beauty

  • 42
  • 86:24
  • 4,662 mi
  • $374
Take This Trip

Created by Deanna Finchamp - May 9th 2016

My husband and I planned a 40-day roadtrip throughout the Western US to celebrate our 1 year anniversary before we even heard about this competition. We work as photographers/videographers and plan to document our trip and some of the most beautiful places in the western United States. We love and live for the natural beauty of the world and want to see and hike as much of it as possible!

We work for ourselves so funds are very tight and we weren't able to save enough to meet our goal, so winning anything from this contest would be a game changer! By coincidence, we hoped to leave shortly after the winners are announced so this would be a mindblowing surprise.

Anyone that votes for us can follow our adventures on Instagram at @lichenlady or @thespokaneman. Hopefully Roadtrippers or the people that put on this contest will contact us and help us share our adventures in other ways too! We will also add photos and specific tips to this guide as we go along.

A hard place to leave.

356mi 05h 57m
Photo of Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

25 Lewis & Clark Caverns Rd., Whitehall, MT, US

Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park


A quick cave tour is something we'll never pass up, especially one with historical significance.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park features one of the largest known limestone caverns in the Northwest. These spectacular caverns lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites are naturally air-conditioned and lighted for a safe and enjoyable visit with a seasoned tour guide.

24mi 00h 27m

Rr 84, Norris, MT, US

Norris Hot Springs


A beautiful first stop in western Montana. Glamping at it's finest. We will start our trip with a glass of wine in a relaxing natural hot spring. They also have live music some days of the week.

115mi 02h 13m

Mammoth-Norris Road, WY, US

Norris Campground


One of the few campgrounds still open this time of year in Yellowstone. Perfectly central to most of our northern activities and placed right on top of the most active volcanic areas of the park.

15mi 00h 29m
Photo of Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Near Canyon Village, WY, US

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone


A full day's hike will give us great views of this beautiful area as well as the wildlife of Hayden Valley.

We plan to take the Grand Canyon Artist's Point hike and loop around on the way back near Hayden Valley.

15mi 00h 29m

Norris Geyser Basin, Wyoming, United States


We will visit some of the warmest springs here as well as the tallest geyser in the world, Steamboat.

24mi 00h 33m
Photo of Grand Prismatic Spring

Midway Geyser Basin, WY, US

Grand Prismatic Spring


A true wonder, we only hope we can capture the beauty and color of this massive hot spring. It is the largest in the US and third largest in the world.

22mi 00h 29m
Photo of Upper Geyser Basin

Park Loop Rd, Mammoth, WY, US

Upper Geyser Basin


We will take the typical tour of Yellowstone, by Old Faithful and the dozens of other features in the Upper Geyser Basin. There is a 4 mile boardwalk loop that takes you by some of the best, and most-frequently visited features in the park.

19mi 00h 26m
Photo of Lower Geyser Basin

Fountain Paint Pot Trail, WY, US

Lower Geyser Basin


A short hike here will allow us to see some of the hottest springs in the park with steaming mud pots.

35mi 00h 50m

Lewis Lake, WY, US

Lewis Lake Campground


This quiet, lesser-used campground in the southern tip of Yellowstone will give us an early start toward the Tetons in the morning.

47mi 01h 11m
Photo of Jenny Lake Campground

Teton Park Road, Moose, WY, US

Jenny Lake Campground


Next we head south to the Grand Tetons! We will stay and hike in the Jenny Lake area.

The park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. We will keep our canoe in the smaller lakes vs. Jackson Lake, which is very large and subject to heavy winds and waves.

Photo of Leigh Lake - Grand Teton NP

Grand Teton National Park, WY, US

Leigh Lake - Grand Teton NP

Our first day we will rent a canoe and take it accross Jenny Lake, up Shoestring Lake, and into Leigh Lake. The remoteness of the area combined with our quiet canoe travel has us anxious to see some great wildlife through this area. Praying to see a moose!

1mi 00h 08m
Photo of Cascade Canyon

Teton Park Road, Moose, WY, US

Cascade Canyon


We will again take our canoe to across the lake to this trailhead. A 10 mile hike in this area will take us to Hidden falls and Inspiration point. There is a map at the trailhead. If you don't rent a canoe/kayak, you can add 4 miles roundtrip to the hike and just walk around the lake.

72mi 01h 34m
Photo of Ride the Jackalope

404 W Ramshorn rd, Dubois, WY, US

Ride the Jackalope


No one is too cool to stop at comical roadside attractions.

271mi 04h 29m
Photo of Silver Lake Campground

Wyoming 130, WY, US

Silver Lake Campground


A brief stop to break up the drive to Denver. We will take what looks like a beautiful, short hike in the Medicine Bow forest the next morning.

123mi 02h 21m

Loveland, Colorado, United States


Visiting a friend in Loveland.

29mi 00h 44m
Photo of Rocky Mountain National Park

1000 US Highway 36, Estes Park, CO, US

Rocky Mountain National Park


Hiking Mt Ida in the Rocky Mountains in a small and definitely worthy diversion on our way to Denver.

The 10 mile hike to Mt. Ida begins from the Poudre Lake Trailhead at Milner Pass, located 15.7 miles north of the Grand Lake Entrance, and 4.2 miles south of the Alpine Visitor Center. WARNING: On the surface this hike might appear to be relatively easy when compared to other hikes of similar mileage or elevation gain. Numbers, however, can be deceiving. Hikers will be exposed to sun, wind, and potential thunderstorms for most of this route. Additionally, the last 1.2 miles to the summit traverses over fairly rugged terrain that requires off-trail trekking, as well as some route finding.

70mi 01h 23m

We continue our stay in the greater Denver area - visiting friends, climbing as many mountains as we can, and soaking up the city of Denver.

We want to let our local friends show us the local secrets here, so we'll update our activities and suggestions after the trip.

66mi 01h 11m
Photo of Garden of The Gods

1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO, US

Garden of The Gods


Another small detour will take us to what has to be one of the most unbelievable, places you can see for free. A 4 mile walk/hike along the main strip will give us gorgeous views.

104mi 02h 08m

Visiting friends in Breckenridge and exploring Denver's mountains and wilderness.

We love seeing the world and hope this gives us a chance to see and do a little more!

Deanna Finchamp

My husband and I do video and photography for a living. Follow our adventures!