Welcome to

Southwest USA

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t Sunrise over the flame-colored hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Deep, twisting canyons, towering rock arches and pinnacles, cactus-studded deserts, and rugged mountains – the Southwest and its national parks is as much a state of mind as it is a geographical region, where you can conjure up frontier legends and indulge that bit of cowboy in your soul. Whatever your dream trip to the Southwest USA includes, this DK Eyewitness Travel Guide is the perfect companion.

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The Southwest is distinguished by its dramatic landscapes: the red sandstone mesas of Monument Valley; the sculpted hoodoos of Utah’s Bryce Canyon; the tall saguaro cacti in Southern Arizona; the staggering scale of the Grand Canyon; and the adobe architecture of New Mexico. For more than 15,000 years, the region was inhabited exclusively by Native Americans, who left remarkable cliff dwellings and ancient sites. Many of these natural and man-made wonders are protected in stunning national parks, where you can hike, bike, and explore miles of spectacular terrain.

Today, the Southwest is a synthesis of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo-American traditions, which make up its multicultural heritage. This is often best experienced in the region’s cities. Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe are replete with superb museums and galleries that highlight the fascinating history, art, and culture of the region. Las Vegas, with its glittering casinos, is an oasis of non-stop entertainment. Everywhere, you can sample the Southwest’s distinctive, delicious cuisine.

The Southwest can overwhelm with the sheer number of unmissable national parks, cities, and sights. We’ve broken the region down into easily navigable chapters, with detailed itineraries, expert local knowledge, and colorful comprehensive maps to help you plan the perfect trip. Whether you’re staying for a weekend, a week, or longer, this Eyewitness guide will ensure that you see the very best the region has to offer. Enjoy the book, and enjoy Southwest USA.

1 Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon National Park.

2 Sign at the Tinkertown Museum, Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway.

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