48 wonders of the West

These national monuments and other treasures will make you fall in love with the West all over again

14 national treasures in the West

These unique landscapes have been suggested for national monument status. But you don't have to wait for Washington, D.C., to decide. Here's where to go right now.

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West's amazing places: Owyhee Desert, Idaho and Nevada
Photo courtesy of the Idaho Division of Tourism Development

Owyhee Desert, Idaho and Nevada

First the name. It comes from Hawaii—a tribute to the native Hawaiians who accompanied Donald McKenzie on his 1818 exploration through this remote part of the West.

Tropical paradise it may not be, but the Owyhee is gorgeous in its own austere, sculptural way—the canyonlands of the Owyhee River are some of the most beautiful anywhere in the country.

The Idaho portion of the region was set aside as a wilderness last year; a proposed monument would extend protection into Idaho and Nevada.

The Owyhee lies about 125 miles south of Boise, Idaho, or 100 miles north of Elko Nevada. ROW Adventures leads kayak trips down the Owyhee. More

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