USA Radio
August 13, 2014

The Southern Rockies: Utah & Colorado


The American West—its history, its landscapes, its spirit—is the stuff of legend. If you really want to get a feel for what it’s like out here, Utah and Colorado are great places to start. Which is exactly what we did this past month. With bikes—moto and mountain—in tow, we hopped in the truck and traced our way from central Utah, onto the Colorado Plateau, and then east via I-70 to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

In Utah, two of the state’s Mighty 5 National Parks are clustered around the small city of Moab, where people from all over the world come to climb, mountain bike, and paddle. Hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails crisscross a landscape of red sandstone, snowy peaks on the horizon. To the north of town lies Arches National Park and to the south Canyonlands, both showcasing the power of nature to shape brittle stone. The West doesn't get much better than this. The rest of Utah’s National Parks—Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion—are all within reasonable striking distance, but turn east and you’re off to a new state and a new adventure.

The Rockies are the USA’s great mountain range, and you can think of Rocky Mountain National Park, just northwest of Denver, as their official welcome center. In addition to high peaks, pine forests, and frigid mountain lakes, the park is one of the best places in the country to observe wildlife—bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and black bears are just some of the species you'll see. There are 350 miles of trails running throughout the area, from day hikes to strenuous multi-day treks, giving plenty of options for exploration.

The West is big, in size and imagination, and you’d probably need a lifetime to see it all. But for a short-term visitor, Arches and Rocky Mountain National Parks will bring you up to speed in a hurry.

Many thanks to the National Park Service for making this trip possible. To learn more about these and other spectacular U.S. National Parks, visit www.nps.gov.

Filmmakers and Outdoor Enthusiasts Yancy and Wyatt Caldwell



Welcome to Visit The USA!

Now that you have registered, you can save trip ideas to your suitcase.

Start exploring

Enter your email address and we’ll send you a link to reset your password.

Please check your email.

Start exploring

The password on your account has successfully been changed. Please use your new password to login.

Start exploring

This website is set to 'allow all cookies' for the best user experience. By continuing without changing this setting, you are consenting to this. You may change your settings at any time at the bottom of this page.

More information about cookies

Cookies are very small text files that are stored on your computer when you visit some websites.

We use cookies to make our website easier for you to use. You can remove any cookies already stored on your computer, but these may prevent you from using parts of our website.

If you choose to disable non-essential cookies, the website will:

  • Allow you to log in and remember you are logged in, while in session
  • Determine your country of origin in order to serve you the most relevant version of the site

This website will not:

  • Restrict welcome messaging to the first time you visit the site
  • Track any activity on the site for analytics purposes

More information about cookies