Every American knows the Grand Canyon as the granddaddy of all canyons and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, but what about the rest? You can find a large number of gorgeous canyons in the US, but the best of the best have distinct wow factors. They vary in size, depth, shape, and scenic views, but each of these natural canyons is bound to take your breath away. Without further ado, here's a mini list of the most breathtaking canyons in America.
Peek-a-Boo: A Wonderous Slot Canyon
The Southwestern state of Utah has the largest culmination of slot canyons in the world, and the best part is that the majority of them are easily accessible. Slot canyons aren't your typical canyons. Natural forces such as water, wind, seasons, and geologic time have crafted and shaped these slot canyons into existence. One such masterpiece of a desert slot canyon is Peek-a-Boo Canyon.
Peek-A-Boo Canyon has curves that flow like rivers among smooth sedimentary sandstone. The slots of the canyon are narrow, and the forces of nature that carve it are ongoing, which can be dangerous. But if you're not a claustrophobe and you have a good guide by your side, you can experience everything it has to offer and see its most stellar views on a novice-level hike.
Franconia Notch: The Grand Canyon of New Hampshire
One of the most breathtaking canyons in America is found not out West but in the far Northeast. This region draws flocks of crowds from the New England area for hiking—and all for good reason. It's known mainly by locals, but any nature-lovers, hikers, explorers, and photographers who visit will see why this V-shaped area is so breathtaking.
Franconia Notch Park is located near the White Mountains in the northern part of New Hampshire. To see the canyon component of Franconia Notch, you'll need to climb up to Franconia Ridge. The hike is challenging for sure, but it's well worth the reward of the view of the gorgeous landscape—it's almost like the Alps of America.
Hells Canyon: An Untamed Region
Despite the name, the views at Hells Canyon are much more like heaven. Hells Canyon is located in the Pacific Northwest, a truly magnificent gorge of wild and rugged terrain in parts of Idaho and Oregon. Besides offering the most breathtaking of vistas, Hells Canyon is also popular for fishing and rafting. Straddling both sides of the Snake River, which is one of the best places to see in Hells Canyon, this river canyon is also known as the deepest gorge in America—yes, even deeper than the Grand Canyon.
But depth doesn't matter as much as natural beauty in geology. Canyons don't need to be national landmarks in order to be admired, either. Our planet is home to many canyons that are just as grand and well worth the visit.