If you’re looking for a trip full of adventure and breathtaking views, then Grand Canyon National Park is the perfect destination. From its steep cliffs with incredible colors to its rich wildlife, this vast canyon is a sight to behold.
But if you’re looking for similar experiences without the crowds, there are plenty of Grand Canyon alternatives in the United States. From majestic canyons and rustic trails to hidden gems and remote destinations, there are plenty of places to explore and discover.
Whether you’re searching for an adrenaline rush or just want to take in some epic views, these locations offer unique experiences that rival those found at Grand Canyon National Park. So come explore some of the best places to visit across the US and find your new favorite destination.
Similar Places & Alternatives to Grand Canyon National Park
There are several national parks and other natural areas in the United States that are similar to Grand Canyon National Park in terms of their geological features and landscapes. Some of these places include:
1. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Antelope Canyon, located in Arizona, is a slot canyon, carved out of sandstone and limestone by the Colorado River over millions of years. It is located on Navajo land, just 10 miles from Horseshoe Bend (we’ll get on to that later).
The canyon walls are pretty steep, ranging from heights of 30 to 120 feet tall. While hiking through the canyons one can marvel at the grandeur of the scenery and appreciate how nature has formed a masterpiece in this area.
What makes Antelope Canyon so special is its coloration which changes as light passes through different parts of the day, giving visitors an ever-changing experience when they visit. The colors range from dark reds to oranges and purples, making it a beautiful sight to behold.
With its grand size and unique beauty, Antelope Canyon is not only a popular tourist destination but also an iconic symbol of Arizona’s natural beauty.
See Related: How to Find the Perfect Travel Destination
2. Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is a spectacular national park that offers visitors the rare opportunity to explore ancient dwellings crafted into the sides of cliffs. This park is rich in archeological sites and artifacts, making it an ideal destination for any history buff.
Visitors can choose between self-guided tours and ranger-led hikes around the south rim of the park. The self-guided tour allows visitors to explore at their own pace, while ranger-led hikes provide more detailed information about the local culture and history.
Alternatives to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde National Park is an interesting place to learn more about the Native American cultures of the region. For those looking for a unique experience, Mesa Verde National Park should be top of your list.
See Related: Saint George
3. Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park, located in Arizona near the Grand Canyon, is an otherworldly experience. With its vast landscapes and strange rock formations, this park easily rivals the grandeur of the Grand Canyon.
Visitors to the park can explore a variety of trails ranging from short hikes to longer backcountry treks. The views from many of these trails are breathtaking and offer a unique perspective of the area.
The Petrified Forest contains many fossils, such as tree trunks and petrified wood, that have been preserved in the sandstone for millions of years. The park also offers visitors the chance to explore ancient ruins of civilizations long gone, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to discover a piece of history.
4. Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona
Aravaipa Canyon is an alternative to places like the Grand Canyon. It is a 10-mile-long canyon located in the Arizona desert, and it is filled with grandiose scenery that will leave any hiker in awe. While not as large as the Grand Canyon, Aravaipa still provides a unique and exciting experience.
The canyon walls wind through the desert, providing plenty of shade throughout. Hikers are able to explore 2,000 acres of land containing a variety of vegetation, wildlife, and even waterfalls! This canyon truly offers something for everyone; whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or an adventurous hike, Aravaipa can provide you with an unforgettable experience.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to places like the Grand Canyon, why not check out Aravaipa?
See Related: Most Romantic Places in the World
5. Canyon de Chelly, Arizona
Canyon de Chelly is a breathtaking canyon located within the Navajo Nation in Arizona. It is one of the most scenic places similar to the Grand Canyon, and its sandstone cliffs reach over 1,000 feet in height.
The floor of the canyon is filled with dwellings built by ancient Puebloan people, providing a unique look into their culture. Within the canyon, visitors can explore and take in the beauty of the sandstone walls rising up from the canyon floor.
Not only are these walls home to many ruins of dwellings, but they also hold several petroglyphs and pictographs that tell stories about those who lived there centuries ago. The stunning views combined with the rich history make Canyon de Chelly an incredible place to visit and explore.
6. Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is another alternative to Grand Canyon National Park which is also located in Arizona, USA. It’s a popular must-see destination for tourists, as it features the dramatic horseshoe-shaped formation thanks to the Colorado River. The cliff walls of the canyon rise up to 300 feet above the river and canyon floor.
It’s an incredible sight that has been drawing viewers from all over the world since its discovery by Major John Wesley Powell in 1869. From the top of the cliff, you can see a stunning view of the meandering river below and can even spot other formations like the Navajo Towers.
The area is also known for its wildflowers, wildlife, and bird-watching opportunities. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just want to take in some beautiful sights, Horseshoe Bend is an absolute must-see!
See Related: Best Places to Visit for Christmas
7. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a one-of-a-kind experience. Located in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, Yellowstone is famous for its geothermal features like geysers and hot springs. The Yellowstone Caldera is believed to have created the rugged terrain we can still see today, making Yellowstone one of the few places similar to the Grand Canyon National Park.
This unique park houses incredible ecosystems that include old-growth forests, grasslands, and alpine tundra higher up in the area’s mountainous areas. Yellowstone is truly a magical place unlike any other!
8. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is among the most iconic destinations in California. Set among the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite is truly breathtaking with its towering granite cliffs, crystal-clear waterfalls, and accessible trails where visitors can admire the diverse flora and fauna of the area.
Yosemite is often compared to other grand national parks like the Grand Canyon for its unique beauty and stunning landscape.
Yosemite’s accessibility from attractions such as Yosemite Valley along with its vast array of activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and nature-watching offer an opportunity for visitors to explore the Sierra Nevada range’s impressive ecology up close.
Yosemite’s incredible scenery, natural wonders, and endless recreational opportunities make it a must-visit destination in California.
9. Arches National Park
Located in Utah, Arches is known for its unique rock formations, including more than 2,000 natural stone arches. This grand national park is home to the world’s largest concentration of natural stone arches, tall sandstone walls, and stunning vistas.
Visitors can explore more than 100 miles of trails that traverse through the area, offering incredible sightseeing opportunities along the way!
Arches also house several native species such as bighorn sheep, lizards, and bats. Whether you’re looking for a grand canyon alternative, or just want to explore some of America’s most breathtaking views, Arches National Park should not be missed.
See Related: Best Vacation Spots in Florida
10. Canyonlands National Park
Located in Utah, Canyonlands is known for its deep canyons and rugged landscape and is home to a variety of plant and animal species. The grand park offers visitors the chance to explore a variety of trails and overlooks, with some providing stunning views of the Colorado River.
The grand park offers an array of recreational activities, including river rafting along the Colorado River. River rafting at Canyonlands is an experience like no other! With a backdrop of towering sandstone cliffs, winding canyons, and grand vistas, visitors have the chance to see some of the grandest sights in America.
Whether you’re looking for your next adventure in nature or just want to take in the grand beauty of Canyonlands, it’s truly an unforgettable destination.
11. Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and is known for its grand beauty, stunning views, and abundant wildlife. The park offers visitors a chance to explore its many attractions like Zumwalt Meadow, Redwood Mountain Grove, and Hume Lake.
Kings Canyon also houses several unique species of plants and animals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Whether you’re looking for grand canyon alternatives or just want to explore one of America’s most beautiful parks, Kings Canyon should definitely be on your list.
See Related: Best Pacific Islands to Visit
What national parks are similar to Grand Canyon National Park?
Grand Canyon National Park is a grand landscape with stunning views, but there are several other grand national parks that offer just as much beauty. These include Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands National Park.
What are off-beaten-path canyons to visit beyond Grand Canyon?
If you’re looking for Grand Canyon alternatives, there are plenty of other canyons to explore in Arizona. The Antelope Canyon in Arizona is one beautiful spot with its winding narrow canyon of orange sandstone. It’s a great place to take some photos and discover the hidden treasures that nature has in store for you. There are plenty of great hiking trails, biking opportunities, and nearby horseback riding excursions that are equally as cool as Grand Canyon National Park.
Does Europe have anything like the Grand Canyon?
Although Europe does not have a natural feature that is exactly like the Grand Canyon, there are several places in Europe that have similar geological features and landscapes. For one, Cheddar Gorge, which is located in the Mendip Hills in southwestern England, Cheddar Gorge is a deep, narrow canyon formed by the action of water over many years. It is known for its towering cliffs and unique geological formations.
In addition, Gorges du Verdon is another option and is located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region of France, the Gorges du Verdon is a deep canyon with turquoise blue waters and steep cliffs. It is popular for activities such as rock climbing and kayaking.