15 Of The Trippiest Sights In The US

Vermillion Cliffs NM | © Bureau of Land Management/Flickr
Vermillion Cliffs NM | © Bureau of Land Management/Flickr
Mother Nature has always had a knack for astonishing us. Whether it’s the majestic mountains towering high above the clouds, vast forests painted green with moss, or underground caves studded with Earth’s crystals, the most grandiose expressions of wild beauty and awe are those created by our own planet. Surreal, mind-boggling, unreal, here are America‘s wildest sights.

The Wave, Arizona

The Wave is well known to esteemed hikers and photographers. Situated in the Coyote Buttes of the Colorado Plateau, this rock formation – although fragile and visited frequently – is open for exploring along its rolling ‘waves’ of colorful sandstone.

The Wave, UT/AZ Border, USA

Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave, Alaska

Formed by glacial melt, the Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave is only reachable by kayak, after which visitors must ice climb to reach the entrance to the partially hollowed-out glacier. Once inside, find shimmering blue walls: an otherworldly vision, but a testament to our rapidly changing climate.

Mendenhall Glacier Ice Cave, AK, USA

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

The sandstone walls of Antelope Canyon have been formed by thousands of years of erosion – most of which is caused by flash flooding. As rainwater rushes down the basin, it picks up sand and debris, entering the various passageways and carving the flowing shapes of its walls visible today.

Antelope Canyon, AZ, USA


Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

The Bonneville Salt Flats were once covered by water, known as Lake Bonneville. Although the flats still flood occasionally, the area is marked by miles of white salt and strangely flat terrain known for its reflections of the cloud-studded skies above.

Bonneville Salt Flats, UT, USA

Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the US and the third largest in the world. But it isn’t the hot spring’s size that is remarkable – it’s the myriad of colors it exhibits.

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA

Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas

Carved into the Texan landscape just 23 miles outside of Austin is the Hamilton Pool Preserve – a natural pool created by a collapsed underground river thousands of years ago. Swim, sunbathe or bask in its natural charm.

Hamilton Pool Preserve, TX, USA

The Banyan Tree, Maui

The banyan tree was planted in Lahaina after receiving it as a gift from missionaries in India. The tree has grown to a whopping 60 feet since it was planted in 1873 (at just eight feet) – the largest tree of its kind in the US. It has 16 major trunks aside from the main trunk, and its canopy spreads over half an acre.

Lahaina Banyan Court, Front St & Canal St, Lahaina, HI, USA

The Maze, Utah

Within Canyonlands National Park, find a dramatic desert landscape carved by the Colorado River. The remote canyons of the Maze, the least accessible district of the park, is strikingly beautiful, wild, and largely untamed, characterized by miles of winding walls.

Canyonlands National Park, UT, USA

Kelso Dunes, California

California‘s Mojave Desert, stretching across 47,000 square miles of arid lands, is the driest desert in North America. Kelso Dunes, the largest area of eolian sand deposits in the Mojave, is ideal for sandboarding, off-roading, or photo-opping.

Mojave Desert, CA, USA

Wind swept sand dunes line a valley with a large mountain range on the opposite side | Public Domain/WikiCommons

Kelso Dunes | Public Domain/WikiCommons

Devils Tower, Wyoming
Natural Feature
Devils Tower

Devils Tower | © SpaceTrucker/Flickr

Devils Tower, a solitary rock formation rising 1,267 feet into the air, is America’s first national monument. The igneous stump-shaped rock is climbable, but many Native American tribes – like the Lakota – hold this structure as sacred, with ancient legends aplenty surrounding the tower.

More Info

Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

Deep within the Carlsbad Caverns National Park are over 100 underground caves, stalactites magically clinging to the roof. Inside these caverns find the chromatic limestone walls and underground chambers that make the Chihuahuan Desert so special.

Carlsbad Caverns, NM, USA

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Located just outside Grand Canyon National Park, this horseshoe-shaped bend in the Colorado River is defined by emerald waters and vivid mineral-rich canyon walls.

Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ, USA

Horseshoe Canyon | Public Domain/Pixabay

Horseshoe Canyon | Public Domain/Pixabay

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce National Canyon

Bryce National Canyon | Public Domain

Thousands of orange- and red-colored spire-shaped rock formations, known as hoodoos, fill the amphitheater at Bryce National Canyon. Take the park’s main road for sprawling views of the formations, best seen at sunrise and sunset.

More Info

Sequoia National Park, California
Forest, Park
Sequioa National Park | Public Domain/Pixabay

Sequioa National Park | Public Domain/Pixabay

Upon entering Sequoia National Park, visitors drive through the Tunnel Tree, a toppled tree carved out to allow passage. The General Sherman Tree, the park’s most famous of the bunch, is the largest tree in the world. Another four of the ten largest trees in the world also grow in the Giant Forest.

More Info

Nā Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii

This state park covers over 6,000 acres and is the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island. But the rugged coastline – strikingly beautiful – resembles cliffs of a Jurassic age more than that of a tropical destination.

More Info


Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Scenic