Overseas Walks- Walk­ing among the mag­nif­i­cent canyon­lands of USA

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By An­drea Liv­ingston

The tour is 25 days long. It sounds a tough ask, but for lovers of daily walks, balmy dry air, mod­er­ate tem­per­a­tures, Au­tumn colours, fewer tourist num­bers and epic desert and canyon land­scapes of the USA to wan­der there wasn’t any­thing tough about it!

You will be im­pressed with the re­laxed tour­ing hours, vari­a­tion of mod­er­ately graded walks and mix of free time keep ev­ery­thing so bal­anced

After 25 days, our tour mem­bers mused they could con­tinue walk­ing for an­other month! Every sin­gle day of­fers up some­thing un­usual and dif­fer­ent.

An enor­mous va­ri­ety of walks in state and na­tional parks each with their ex­otic land­scapes and vast­ness, teem­ing with un­usual plants and wildlife. Em­brac­ing the best trails of Cal­i­for­nia Ari­zona Utah and Ne­vada, this re­ally is the per­fect itin­er­ary for walk­ing en­thu­si­asts!

The Cal­i­for­nia hinterland is first up with a stop in Palm Springs, San Jac­into and its 8,000ft views. Joshua Tree Na­tional Park presents us with our first desert en­vi­ron­ment to walk and rock hop.

Then cac­tus spot­ting and nam­ing can be­come a ‘thing’ as we move to­ward Tus­con and the rich red-rock land­scapes of Ari­zona. The gi­ant saguaro cac­tus dom­i­nate hori­zons and will have you mes­merised with ideas and in­sights to the Wild West and all the hard­ships that would present in such harsh en­vi­ron­ments. John Wayne movie buffs will love it!

There is much to learn about desert life and the crit­ters that dwell within. A day walk­ing the vast Sonora Desert Mu­seum (In­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed and win­ner of nu­mer­ous awards) is time well spent with end­less trea­sures to be found.

We walk an ex­cel­lent river trail show­cas­ing stun­ning Au­tumn beauty amidst burnt and vi­brant red rock mono­liths sur­round­ing the town­ship of Se­dona (the Queen­stown of Ari­zona).

A visit to the stun­ning cliff dwellings of the early na­tive North Amer­i­can In­di­ans and walk­ing amongst small cave­homes pep­per­ing the walls of Wal­nut Canyon is a fas­ci­nat­ing day. Wak­ing up on the South Rim of the fa­mous Grand

Above right: Ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the Grand Canyon views. Be­low left: Spires at Bryce Canyon.

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