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: Vermillion Basin, Colorado
Photo by Sam Cox

Vermillion Basin, Colorado

“It’s something that is truly wild,” says Luke Schafer. “Truly a place that has never been tamed.”

Schafer is talking about Vermillion Basin, in far northwestern Colorado. Stunningly beautiful, the basin is a maze of cliffs and canyons, many glowing with the red-orange rocks that give the region its name. Some of Colorado’s best petroglyphs can be found here; it’s also home to endangered species like the greater sage grouse. 

Schafer, of the Colorado Environmental Coalition, and other activists hope to shield the land it from possible oil and gas development.

You can get your best introduction to the basin from Lookout Mountain. From Craig, go north on Colorado Highway 13 about 40 miles; then west on CR 4 for roughly 60 miles, then south on CR 67 for approximately 15 miles. More


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