Canyoners certainly have a pulse on some of the most beautiful places in America. Canyons are a testament to the awe-inspiring power of time and nature. So if you’re looking for some canyons to explore that aren’t the Grand Canyon and don’t know where to start, look no further! This article is all about hidden gems and stunning American canyons to explore.
Canyons are formed by rivers cutting through the terrain, but they come in different shapes and sizes despite their similar origins. Box canyons are defined by their relative narrowness with a flat bottom and vertical walls due to continuous collapse. For instance, Hells Canyon is a box canyon and one of the most popular in the United States due to its record-breaking depths.
Some other gorgeous box canyons include:
- Closed Canyon in Texas
- Canyon de Chelly in Arizona
- Labrinth Canyon in Utah
Quite a few of these canyons will have beautiful plateaus in the middle, which is why they are also referred to as Plateau Canyons.
Slot canyons consist of long, narrow channels that have eroded over time. A slot canyon is a gorge with steep walls, typically formed of sandstone or basalt. You can see the layers of beautiful sedimentary bedding that snake throughout them.
Famous examples of slot canyons are:
- Antelope Canyon in Arizona
- Little Wild Horse Canyon in Utah
- Pastel Canyon in Nevada
If you’re a diver, you can enjoy canyons too! Submarine canyons often slope into the seabed with tall vertical walls and usually cut into the edge of the continental shelf. They form over long periods of time due to mass wasting events such as mudslides, debris flow, and turbidity currents.
To name a few:
- La Jolla and Scripps Canyon off the coast of Southern California
- Hatteras Canyon off the coast of North Carolina
- Hudson Canyon extending out of the New York Hudson River
These stunning American canyons to explore are just a few of many. So if you’re looking for what American nature has to offer, book your next trip today, and you might just get to visit one of the hidden gems mentioned!
Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.