The American Southwest is a sprawling amalgamation of desert and mountainous landscapes, with large swaths of uninhabited land that serve as wonderful viewing points for stunning sunsets. Whether you’re in Colorado or California, here are some of the best sunset spots in the American Southwest.
Yavapai Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is the Crown Jewel of the USA’s Southwest, and for good reason. Whether you’re taking 4 days to hike down to the Colorado River and back or just driving around the Rim to take in the beautiful vistas, the Grand Canyon has something for everyone. Skip the crowds and head to the lesser-known Yavapai Point along the South Entrance Road at sunset for a dazzling view over the canyon.
Sunset Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The name speaks for itself, but even in high season Bryce Canyon National Park doesn’t get too crowded. Watch the sun rise or set over the park’s characteristic rock formations, called Hoodoos from Sunset Point. Be sure to take your camera to capture the vibrant purple light cast across the canyon at dusk.
Keys View, Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Trees are known to grow in only two places in the entire world, the Mojave Desert, in Joshua Tree National Park and Jerusalem, Israel. If you’re near the park, take this rare opportunity to see the sunset over a landscape populated with such unique and rare trees. Climb to Keys View for the most spectacular views.
Airport Mesa, Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is a desert town in northern Arizona with red, rocky views in every direction. Though largely a destination for tourists just passing through, there is plenty to see and do in the quaint little town. The best view for sunset is near the airport and lends itself to gorgeous golden vistas over the whole valley.
Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Here, the Colorado Rivers meanders around a bend in the shape of a horseshoe, creating a strange and unique scene. The cliff above the river where you can watch the sunset reaches a tall 4,200 feet above sea level with the river rushing by 1,000 feet below. The hike is an easy 1.5 miles off the highway but be careful not to get to close to the edge.
Torrey Pines, San Diego, CA
There are few things more beautiful than watching the sunset over the ocean. The aqua blue color and often rough seas of the Pacific Ocean make it an especially wonderful view. Catch the sunset from the ledge at Torrey Pines and watch the waves crash below or climb down the steep cliffs and view from the beach.
Red Rocks Amphitheater, Colorado
Attending a concert or even a yoga class at Red Rocks Amphitheater is an experience in itself, but catching the sunset while you’re there as well… get ready for a breathtaking evening. The rock formation is naturally formed and has made a world famous venue that attracts top performing artists across all genres. Get yourself a drink and watch the scene unfold before you.
Moab is a small town in southeast Utah that sits on the Colorado Plateau over 4,000 feet above sea level and has an amazing rocky, desert landscape. From Moab you can explore Arches National Park or catch the sunset from the drive on 191, each will give you vibrant orange and gold scenery at dusk.
Whether you’re just in the area for a few days or are taking an epic road trip through the American Southwest, you’ll not be short of beautiful places to catch the sunset.