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Otherworldly Places in the American West for Your Bucket List

  • Otherworldly Places in the American West for Your Bucket ListGrand Prismatic Spring | Wyoming
  • Otherworldly Places in the American West for Your Bucket ListThe Wave | Arizona
  • Otherworldly Places in the American West for Your Bucket ListMendenhall Glacier Caves | Alaska
  • Otherworldly Places in the American West for Your Bucket ListThe Racetrack | California

Mother nature has done some truly awe-inspiring things in her day. You don't need a passport to visit these naturally stunning places in the United States.

 

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

When the ancient Lake Bonneville in western Utah dried up, salt deposits formed a hard white crust creating a place so barren and flat it almost feels like you can see the curvature of the earth. At 30,000 acres, this dazzling expanse is now home to Speed Week every summer where professional and amateur racers attempt to break land speed records which have clocked in at over 300 mph. Insider tip: after a good rain and water coats the surface, the Bonneville Salt Flats become a giant mirror, but please stay to designated areas as the salt can be delicate.

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

 

Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming

This colorful hot spring located in Yellowstone National Park's Midway Geyser Basin is famous for bright bands of orange, yellow, and green that encircles the deep blue waters. The colors in the park's largest hot spring come from heat-loving bacteria and organisms that inhabit it. Measuring at 370 feet wide, and deeper than a 10-story building, Grand Prismatic Spring is truly a spectacular sight to behold.

Grand Prismatic Springs, Wyoming

 

Mossbrae Falls, California

Mossbrae Falls is probably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state of California. This spring-fed waterfall, flowing into the Sacramento River in Dunsmuir, California, showers down over moss-covered canyon walls creating the visual of many different waterfalls. While the scene is truly stunning, be forewarned: hiking to the falls is considered trespassing for safety reasons.

Mossbrae Falls, California

 

The Wave, Arizona

Looking like pulled taffy, The Wave is actually massive red-colored sandstone dunes that have become geologically frozen in time. Specifically, Jurassic-aged sand dunes that have turned to rock and calcified into horizontal and vertical layers make up this crazy, cool-looking formation. Located in the Coyote Buttes North Special Management Area of the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area in Northern Arizona, the photogenic destination is definitely something to put on your travel bucket list.

The Wave, Arizona

 

Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska

Just 12 miles outside of Juneau is where you will find something truly special. While hundreds of thousands of people travel to see the Mendenhall Glacier, not many venture inside—which is where the magic really happens. The Caves were formed by water flows that carved out passageways—and once you step inside you will find yourself surrounded by spectacular blue ice walls. But if you plan on visiting, do it soon since the glacier itself is melting and retreating quickly.

Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska

 

The Racetrack, California

The Racetrack is one of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park. In this dried up flat lake bed, rocks weighing hundreds of pounds can be found with long trails behind them leaving a record that they are sliding across the playa. But how do they do it? For years people have questioned whether this phenomenon is caused by soft mud, ancient ice, wind, or other varying factors. The most common theory is a combination of all these factors. Some of the large rocks have moved as much as 1,500 feet!

The Racetrack, California

 

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

At 611 feet, the roaring Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon and it's quite a sight to see. The cascading icy-cold water lets you experience the power of our natural world. According to Native American lore, the falls were created for a young princess who wanted a hidden place to bathe. But today, this not-so-hidden secret gives viewers a mind-blowing perspective as you gaze upon the sheer magnitude of its height and steepness.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

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