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.

West's amazing places: Cedar Mesa, Utah
Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

Cedar Mesa, Utah

Southeast Utah is crowded with natural wonders: red rock canyons and arches, soaring mesas. And with manmade ones: centuries-old rock art and cliff dwellings. But even here, Cedar Mesa stands out. The 410,000-acre area southwest of Blanding, Utah, has amazing archeology and views and not many visitors.

Despite its size and rugged remoteness, Cedar Mesa can be enjoyed by the casual traveler. For the first time visitor, one sure bet is Natural Bridges National Monument, on the north edge of the mesa. Another good stop is the trail to Butler Wash Ruins, off of Utah Highway 95: a half-mile stroll leads to impressive, 800-year-old ancestral Pueblan ruins.

To venture deeper into the mesa, consider joining up with one of the companies that lead guided trips into the area: these include North Wash Outfitters and Four Seasons Outfitters. More

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