Canyon country refers to a large swath of land in the U.S. southwest and includes numerous national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and historic sites. In this gallery, Canyon Country, we represent two national parks, a recreation area, and one monument, Arches National Park (Utah), Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Arizona and Utah), Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), and Rainbow Bridge National Monument (Utah).
Arches National Park is beloved for its unique red-rock landscapes consisting of over 2,000 national stone arches, towering pinnacles, and balanced rock formations.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area stretches over 1.25 million acres and offers visitors extraordinary water-based recreation, trails, views, and geologic phenomenon.
Grand Canyon National Park’s most notable characteristic is its size. The Grand Canyon measures 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Its display of unique geologic color and erosional forms creates an unforgettable experience for any visitor.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument, considered sacred to neighboring indigenous peoples, is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges. The tribes whose cultural identities, traditions, and beliefs are part of the Rainbow Bridge include the Hopi Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (White Mesa Band). Inhabiting 160 square acres of land, Rainbow Bridge National Monument’s unique, solitary features and cultural and religious significance cannot be understated.
This gallery includes digitized maps of these parks and monument made available in the University of Kentucky Libraries’ collection. Before browsing the maps, take a look at Charley Harper’s commissioned work, Canyon Country, illustrating the unique geology and wildlife in the southwest region.
Learn more about national park sites in the southwest on the official National Park Service website.