My Western Bucket List

I love seeing new places. It doesn’t matter if it’s a famous as Yellowstone National Park or a little, out-of-the-way museum hardly anyone has ever heard of. There are so many places I’ve yet to visit that I would love to experience firsthand, but today I’m narrowing my list down to Western locations on my bucket list.

Yosemite National Park — Covering nearly 750,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada of California, this park is known for its granite cliffs and gorgeous waterfalls. About 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness.

U-shape valley, Yosemite National Park. Photo by Guy Francis, used under Wikipedia Creative Commons license.









Grand Canyon National Park  — One of the most impressive natural features on the planet, the canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It has more than earned its name.

Grand Canyon from Pima Point. Photo by Chensiyuan, used under Wikipedia Creative Commons license.

Cheyenne Frontier Days — An outdoor rodeo and western celebration in Cheyenne, Wyoming that has been around more than a century.

Mesa Verde National Park — Home to some of the the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan architectural sites in the country. Can you imagine walking in the footsteps of those who lived there more than nine millennia ago?

Square Tower House at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Photo by Rationalobserver, used under Wikipedia Creative Commons license.

Roswell, New Mexico — It might be kooky and touristy, but I’d love to visit the site of a supposed UFO crash. Plus, I’ll admit I loved the show Roswell, too. It’s also home to interesting history other than the famous UFO incident, including the fact that cattle baron John Chisum’s famous Jingle Bob Ranch, once the largest ranch in the country, was nearby.

Arches National Park — This park near Moab, Utah is home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. I’ve seen the edge of this park in the distance while traveling through Utah on Amtrak, but I’d love to explore the park’s starkly beautiful high desert landscape.

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34 thoughts on “My Western Bucket List”

  1. Trish, I love all the places you’ve mentioned. I’m still hoping to see the Grand Canyon, which I’ve loved forever, and Monument Valley in Utah. In the interim, I’ll just have to make due with our own Canadian badlands that are about an hour’s drive from where I live. Thanks for posting these wonderful pictures and a bit of narrative about them.

  2. Yosemite is gorgeous! I’ve been there 3 times. I would love to see The Grand Canyon and the Pacific Northwest.

  3. Trish- some of your places you listed I’ve always wanted to see. I visited Yellowstone and The Tetons last year. I want to go back they are so majestic. I also want to visit Montana and see its beautiful Glacier National Park.

  4. Trish, all of the above.
    Love to follow the Oregon Trail in a Winnebago and imagine what it was really like. Love to see what landmarks are left.
    We can only imagine what these pioneers went through. Which is a good thing we’re writers, because we CAN imagine it.

    • I’ve only been along part of the Oregon Trail, but it was pretty amazing. To be able to still see the ruts made by the wagons in the rock in western Nebraska was just incredible.

  5. My parents, my sister, and I took a trip out west two summers ago. I enjoyed seeing the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, Sedona, Albuquerque, and other places. Would love to go back!

  6. Great blog. I’ve only been to Roswell and the Grand Canyon on your list and I don’t even remember the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately do to MS and disabilty income I don’t think my bucket list will ever happen.

    • There are so many places I want to go in the U.S alone that I haven’t been and even revisit some because I’ve never been able to vacation with my girls. Let’s just say my life didn’t go as planned. I’d love to read one of your books because books are my adventures and vacations are only in what I read. I do travel through friends social media posts too.

  7. I’ve been to 3 of those places, Trish. Yosemite is one of my favorite places on earth. So beautiful! The Grand Canyon simply takes my breath away every time I see it in person. Pictures simply do not do it justice. And the Arches was a last minute drive by stop on a family vacation years ago. We hadn’t planned to stop, but I couldn’t resist the lure. We only spend a couple hours there, but it became the highlight of the trip. Very few places these days allow you to actual hike and climb on the actual structures, but there were no barriers at the Arches. We hiked in and around them. So much fun! I wish we could have spent more time. I’d definitely love to go back.

  8. All of those places are on my list! I can’t believe I’ve never seen any of them. I need to get traveling!

  9. Hi Trish. Love your blog. I’ve been to just about all of the places you blogged about, but my favorite is the Grand Canyon because of the memories. My DH and I took our three oldest grandchildren there when they we pretty young. We drove to Williams and took the train down to our cabin on the rim of the Canyon. Had some bandits try to rob the train and they came straight to us. My oldest grandson yelled at them and pointed to me, “She has all the money!” I wasn’t sure the bandits could keep from laughing. We got there and had a great time. The girls and I went back to the cabin while PawPa and oldest grandson stuck around a while longer. I was beginning to get a little worried when they didn’t get back on time. Suddenly, the door opened and Alex rushed in, “We got lost in the Grand Canyon!” he yelled. PawPa, slowly in his true Texan twang said, “Alex, we didn’t get lost … we missed the tram back.” Such wonderful memories. Great blog. Hugs, Phyliss

  10. I’ve seen the Grand Canyon from an airplane. I visited a few places near Vegas, but that’s about it.

  11. Like you, I can’t get enough travel in. All of the ones you listed have been or are on our list. We visited Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Mesa Verde in the 1980’s. We lived in Colorado Springs, CO. and Mesa Verde was a favorite trip for us. One we made many times. We were supposed to visit Arches, Monument Valley, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and several other parks a couple of years ago, but had to cut our trip short due to a family emergency. We did find a wonderful Mountain Man museum in a little town on one of our trips. If you ever get a chance, try to attend the Fort Bridger Rendezvous Mountain Man Reenactment. It is great fun. Roswell and Pie City were on our agenda for the trip we cut short. Maybe another trip. We haven’t thought of the Cheyenne Frontier Days, but have wanted to attend the Calgary Stampede. Alaska via the back roads is still a dream for my husband. We had to postpone it last year for health reasons. I had the planning half finished for this summer when a big health issue has made any travel questionable. I will just have to figure out how to get treatments as we travel around the country. I haven’t seen even half of what I want to.

  12. Your bucket list sounds like it was written by me! I dream of seeing the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the Redwood Forest.

    • I did manage to see Mount Rushmore back in the 1990s. I took my mom and sister on our way back from Yellowstone (my first trip there) after my sister was done working for the season there.

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