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Canyons, Mesas and Hoodoos: Road Trippin' USA

Does a winning balance of flashy lights, excitement, exploration, wide-open spaces, and awe-inspiring landscapes sound like something you want to get involved in? Immerse your senses in this epic virtual road trip through Nevada, Utah, and Arizona and lose yourself in the beauty of the USA.

Does a winning balance of flashy lights, excitement, exploration, wide-open spaces, and awe-inspiring landscapes sound like something you want to get involved in? Immerse your senses in this epic virtual road trip through Nevada, Utah, and Arizona and lose yourself in the beauty of the USA.

The “Canyons, Mesas, and Hoodoos” itinerary is the adventure of a lifetime, encompassing both meanings of the word ‘wild’. Allow yourself to marvel at the excitement and temptation of Las Vegas, run free through wondrous national parks, and explore unique gems you never knew existed.

Nevada, Utah, and Arizona will each remind you of what it feels like to truly live; and one thing’s for sure, your eyes will be wide-open with awe on this remarkable journey.

Explore all of Brand USA’s 31 Amazing Self Drive Road Trip itineraries here.

Canyons, Mesas and Hoodoos: Route Highlights

1. Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas Strip

As Elvis once said, “Viva Las Vegas”, and you certainly will ‘Viva’ Las Vegas on this trip, that’s for sure.

Your adventure begins under the neon lights of Vegas. Lose track of time along the Strip, which is packed full of 24-hour casinos, innovative dining options, bars, shows, and concerts starring legendary headliners.

Whether you choose to stay in a luxury resort or save your pennies in more modest accommodation, excitement is 100% in-store. Treat your inner shopaholic with a stroll through The Forum Shops at Caesars or The Shops at Crystals and Via Bellagio. Grab a bargain at the Fashion Show Mall or to the Las Vegas Premium Outlets.

If the bright lights get a bit too much, Valley of Fire State Park, located less than an hour from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, features spectacular attractions of a very different sort. It’s the oldest state park in Nevada and boasts magnificent sandstone formations, ancient petroglyphs, and abundant wildlife; bobcats, jackrabbits, and coyotes are nocturnal and give a whole new meaning to ‘nightlife’.

2. Las Vegas, Nevada > Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon, Utah

We hope your head isn’t too sore, but if it is, some good old fashioned fresh canyon air will sort you out!

Travel to Bryce Canyon National Park through Virgin River Gorge and the natural amphitheater of Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Once in Bryce Canyon, set off on the park’s 61 kilometre scenic drive to acclimate yourself and select where to return to sightsee or hike. Keen walkers can stretch their legs and take a hike to the expansive Bryce Amphitheater. This impressive natural landscape sits below the Rim Trail hiking path and is filled with hoodoos. No idea what a hoodoo is? They’re brightly coloured, tall, thin rock spires. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

The park is incredible and offers heaps of experiences, so plan to spend several days there.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera… epic shots can be captured from Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point. When the sun goes down, wish upon a star, or five thousand, under the sparkling night sky.

  • DRIVE TIME: 403kms: 4 hours 12 mins drive time

3. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah > Moab, Utah

Turret Arch in Moab, Utah

Next up, travel through Capitol Reef National Park, famous for its white sandstone domes and the towering monoliths of ‘Cathedral Valley’.

Then, head to Arches National Park, which is home to more than 2,000 natural arches, hence the name.

Many of the natural arches are accessible through a variety of hiking trails that accommodate all levels, so there really is no excuse to get out there and take a pic for the ‘Gram’ under a spectacular natural arch.

If you fancy getting wet and trying your hand at river rafting, Moab is at the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers and is an epicentre of this exhilarating experience.

  • DRIVE TIME: 403kms: 4 hours 20 mins drive time

4. Moab, Utah > Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Your road trip will now take you to explore Canyonlands National Park, carved by the Colorado River and featuring a dramatic desert landscape of mesas and canyons, before visiting Natural Bridges National Monument with three natural bridges viewable from Bridge View Drive or from hiking trails to the bridges themselves.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is known for its towering sandstone buttes and has been the location for many Hollywood movies, so reenact your childhood dreams of being a star and pretend you’re on the big screen next to the buttes.

The nearby town of Page, Arizona, straddling the border of Utah and Arizona, is the gateway to Lake Powell, popular for house boating, fishing, kayaking, and rafting.

Has nature taken your breath away before? Get ready for those feelings once again, when you visit Antelope and Navajo Canyons, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and Horseshoe Bend – one of the most photographed curves in the Colorado River.

Wanna push the boat out? For a truly memorable experience, opt to take a helicopter or hot-air balloon ride to see it all from above.

  • DRIVE TIME: 439kms: 4 hours 26 mins drive time

5. Page, Arizona > Zion National Park, Utah

Desert Pearl Inn at Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is famous for its steep red cliffs, canyons, and towering rock formations as well as cascading waterfalls and rivers.

Hike along the Virgin River to explore its waterfalls and hanging gardens, and wander through the water in the narrowest section of Zion Canyon, with walls 300 metres tall and the river just six to nine metres wide.

Get your camera ready, as Zion’s narrowest section provides dreamy light and structure, perfect for that winning shot. If you are lucky, you may get to view some of the park’s wildlife, including California condors, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep.

An eight-kilometre scenic drive along the Kolob Canyons Road allows you to experience the crimson canyons and view the dramatic overlooks.

  • DRIVE TIME: 191kms: 2 hours and 23 mins drive time

6. Lake Mead NRA > Hoover Dam, Arizona/Nevada > Las Vegas, Nevada

Hoover Dam, Nevada

Returning to Las Vegas, explore Lake Mead National Recreation Area and
the spectacular Hoover Dam with great hiking trails to the dam’s base or natural hot springs.

This incredible itinerary really does have something for everyone.

Happy exploring!

  • DRIVE TIME: 313kms: 3 hours and 9 mins drive time

Download the complete ‘Canyons, Mesas and Hoodoos itinerary here!’

Get the Road Trip Playlist

This upbeat playlist will have you dancing in your car seat, singing in the bar, and jigging around under the stars with your headphones on.

Featuring icons such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Shania Twain, the Canyon, Mesas and Hoodoos list will take you on a musical adventure to these legendary US destinations.

So what are you waiting for? Get listening ASAP, and be transported to your happy places.

Agents: Download, Escape and Explore GoUSA TV

GoUSA TV is a free premier travel entertainment channel. Watch full episodes, documentaries and films, told from the diverse perspectives of real people across America. 

With more than 400 authentic and short format videos featuring destinations from all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, there’s never been a better time to get online and enjoy some incredible travel entertainment!

Available for download in the App or Play store and on Apple TV.

More info here.

Agents: Join the USA Discovery Program

View from top of Angels Landing at Zion National Park

The USA Discovery Program is Brand USA’s official trade training platform for the USA. The Canyons, Mesas and Hoodoos itinerary features four destinations with training badges.

Get clicking and complete your Nevada, Utah, Las Vegas and Arizona badges and get all the knowledge in a fun and interactive way.

Click here to register and get all the knowledge for the USA.

PLUS! Design your own Road Trip with the USA TRIP PLANNER

The Visit USA Trip Planner is an amazing (and free!) tool that matches your personal travel preferences and style.

With over 230 million data points including the best places & times to visit, reviews and hidden gems, this is one smart piece of travel tech.

This little travel genius optimises your itinerary to minimise travel time, checks when attractions are open and even recommends how much time to spend at each stop off. Brilliant!

Finally, it lets you share & collaborate with your fellow road trippers and is easy to add or revise points of interest as you go.

Find out more: Trip-Planner.VisitTheUSA.com

Get all the tools on Brand USA’s TRAVEL TRADE SITE


From Trip Planners to Itineraries and the USA Discovery Program and Destination information, Brand USA’s Travel Trade Site for agents has you covered.

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