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  • Writer's pictureAlaina

Road Trip Week 4: Armchair Explorer

This week we're heading west and visiting Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. These are just a few of the amazing places that are in these four states. Don't forget to do some exploring on your own - there's lots more to discover!


We have to start with the Grand Canyon! Photos and videos will never do this magnificent natural wonder justice, but we still recommend visiting the Grand Canyon National Park website and checking out their photo galleries, virtual tours and Ranger Programs, and In Depth video series. Definitely check out their history and culture section to learn more about their museum collection, preservation efforts, the Native American tribes with links to the Grand Canyon, and more.

Located on the Arizona-Utah border is the iconic Navajo Nation's Monument Valley Tribal Park. Monument Valley will be especially familiar to you if you're a fan of western movies, including Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Lone Ranger.

A really cool place to explore is Biosphere 2. Part of the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2 has five different biomes: ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savanna grassland, and fog desert. You can learn more about the history of Biosphere 2 and some fun facts about the research facility, take a virtual tour, and explore the abundance of research taking place in this facility.

New Mexico

At Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde, AZ you can learn about the Sinagua, explore the Montezuma Castle archeology collection and virtual museum, and take a virtual tour.

If you're a fan of them movie Contact, you'll probably recognize the Very Large Array, located near Socorro, New Mexico. You can learn more about the VLA by watching their movie "Beyond the Visible: The Story of the Very Large Array" (which is narrated by Contact star Jodie Foster!). You can also take a virtual tour, take a guided trip through the Milky Way, and learn all about radio astronomy.

If you're an art lover, you'll recognize Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico from Georgia O'Keeffe's famous landscapes. You can also explore the life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.


Utah is an incredibly beautiful state that is home to five national parks: Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef, and Zion National Park.


The Stanley Hotel, of The Shining fame, is located in Estes Park, CO. Fans of King and ghost stories can learn about how this haunted hotel inspired Maine author Stephen King to write his famous story.

Colorado is home to Rocky Mountain National Park - you can visit the park virtually through their videos, photo galleries, podcasts, and more, as well as learn about the history and culture surrounding the park.

Mesa Verde National Park, which is dedicated to preserving Pueblo Heritage, contains 600 cliff dwellings. As part of the park website, you can watch Ranger videos, listen to podcasts, and virtually explore some of the cliff dwellings.


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