If your wild heart yearns for adventure, exploration and freedom, your feet will be itching to take this virtual road trip through the fascinating landscapes and indigenous culture of Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The “National Parks and American Indian Cultures” itinerary is one of the most epically stunning road trips; harnessing the magic of four majestic national parks and much, much more.
From dusty red deserts and bustling city vibes to spiritual oasis’ and rugged edges with breathtaking views, these road trip destinations will have you feeling refreshed and revived, with a new perspective of life and a newfound appreciation for the power of nature and the people who call these places home.
Explore all of Brand USA’s 31 Amazing Self Drive Road Trip itineraries here.
National Parks and American Indian Cultures: Route Highlights
1. Phoenix, Arizona
There is quite literally something for everyone in Arizona.
From the splendour of the Sonoran Desert to the varied trails of the Desert Botanical Garden, nature lovers will be delighted with the distinctive flora and fauna unique to the Southwest desert.
For art and culture aficionados, the Heard Museum is a must-visit, or if you’re a lover of a spectacular mountain view, be sure to head to Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain Park.
Those looking for exercise and adventure can challenge themselves on two difficult summit trails at the rust-coloured Camelback Mountain in the Echo Canyon Recreation Area.
2. Phoenix, Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Today, explore Montezuma Castle National Monument, the ‘spiritual oasis’ of Sedona, with its local healers and artists and historic Flagstaff, on famous Route 66.
Then, marvel at the Grand Canyon National Park. There are only a few places in the world that can top the stunning natural beauty of the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Choose to tour the park’s landscapes by car, bus, mule, helicopter, raft or on foot.
- DRIVE TIME: 360kms: 3 hours 30 mins drive time
Are there even any words to describe how awesome these road tripping destinations are?
3. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona > Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Put your cowboy hat on for a day in the movies.
First up, experience the towering sandstone “sculptures” of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, famous as the location for many Western movies.
Then, travel into Colorado and visit the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, which has more than 6,000 archaeological sites of the Puebloan and American Indian cultures.
Continue learning about ancient times with a visit to Mesa Verde National Park, famous for having some of the most well-preserved and largest Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in North America.
If you’re a history buff, choose to explore the park’s museum collection of more than 3 million objects or for a more active option, set off on a hike and take in some of the most spectacular views of the canyons and landscape.
- DRIVE TIME: 410kms: 4 hours 15 mins drive time
4. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado > Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico > Chinle, Arizona
Expand your mind in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, considered to be one of the most important ancient ancestral homes of both the Hopi and Pueblo people.
Your cultural senses will be tingling, when you stop at the Navajo Nation to learn about art and culture at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Arizona.
Then, continue to Canyon de Chelly National Monument, where people have lived for nearly 5,000 years. Explore the fantastic landscape of canyons and Ancestral Puebloan and Navajo ruins.
- DRIVE TIME: 241kms: 2 hours 30 mins drive time
5. Chinle, Arizona > Phoenix, Arizona
Located along the famous Route 66, Petrified Forest National Park is a unique stop. Step back in time and take a moment to imagine life as it was. The national park is known for its fossils, especially fallen trees, from the late Triassic Period, about 200 million years ago.
Along the way, stop off and enjoy rugged hikes, bike outings, or drives that include bluff overlooks, buttes, hoodoos, and petroglyphs.
- DRIVE TIME: 473kms: 5 hours drive time
Download the complete ‘National Parks and American Indian Cultures itinerary here!‘
Get the Road Trip Playlist
This playlist is a vast and varied one; infused with the sound of the untamed open road.
Get your kicks on Route 66 with Nat King Cole, see the sublime whilst listening to traditional Navajo songs, and rock out with the Eagles and Wilco.
There’s also some American Indie and Blues thrown in for good measure, to give you the full enriching musical experience.
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 50 hours of viewing from over 400 locations featured from all 50 states, five 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
The USA Discovery Program is Brand USA’s official trade training platform for the USA. The National Parks and American Indian Cultures itinerary features two destinations with training badges.
Get clicking and complete your Arizona and Colorado 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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