February 21st 2020


Of all the places in the US, the National Parks around the Grand Canyon, and the lush landscapes of New England couldn't be more different. But that's what is so wonderful about America: the sheer variety!

When we plan a US Walk, we try to give our Wayfaring friends a glimpse of another side to the country, perhaps that they hadn't dreamed was there.

Take a look below to find out more about the hidden wonders on America's doorstep.

From the cradle of southwestern culture in Arizona and a chance to explore three National Parks near the Grand Canyon; to coastal Maine and famous arts towns in the Berkshires, each Walk offers its own take on Americana, and I can tell you, the results are glorious.

Walking in America is a bit different than our UK and European Walks.

In some areas, the towns are more spread out and trails can take us to rather remote places, especially out West. On these Walks, we think the scenery and possibility to see rare wildlife more than make up for occasionally less luxurious accommodations. But even then, in true Wayfarer style, we do our best to limit any inconveniences.

Our Walks in the US hit the trails right across the country.

From the vermilion deserts and mountains of Utah to the downeast Maine coast, and New England's arts capital in The Berkshires, we get off those well-beaten paths and explore a very different America. Why not make this the year to get a little lost in America's big backyard?


Bryce Canyon trail

Utah

Like nowhere else on earth

It's no surprise that Utah has more than its share of National Parks - the Beehive state is, quite simply, stunning!

Our Walk makes the most of (only!) three of them and we get to places that the crowds don't find.

For anyone who enjoys the road less traveled, the Grand Canyon's North Rim, or the "other side", is explored by just a tiny percentage of the Canyon's visitors.

The North Rim is very different from the South Rim too; it is higher and more densely forested.

For classic views, we head out to Bright Angel Point and spend a day hiking through pine-scented forest seeking out the very best lookouts. The North Rim has a short opening season and it's very difficult to get reservations at the famous Grand Canyon Lodge - but don't worry: we're booked in!

Onward to Bryce Canyon - and here the mountains and deserts really open up. There's nothing like this landscape anywhere else on earth.

Imagine a vast area of brightly-hued sandstone carved by wind, water and ice into a profusion of pinky-orange spires, towers - the famous hoodoos - and seemingly impossible arches. It's as though the world as we know it has disappeared.

Stand on the canyon rim in the early morning, watching the amphitheatre ahead of us illuminate as warm yellows and oranges radiate from the deeply pigmented walls and rays of light illuminate the pale spires. Quite unforgettable.

And there's more. Of Utah's five national parks, Zion stands out for its geological wonders, a place where water and sand meet resulting in peaks, mesas, hoodoos, sheer-sided cliffs and deep canyons sculpted over millions of years by nature and the elements.

We walk to the Emerald Pools - three tiers of glowing natural ponds and tackle The Narrows, following the river through the canyon as the walls get taller and narrower opening out to yet more amazing views.

If you put nothing else in your daypack for this Walk, do not forget your camera!


Arizona - Sonoran desert

Arizona

Cactus and Conquistadors

Arizona is inextricably linked with the history of the American Southwest and our new Walk nudges aside the centuries to tell the story of this extraordinary place.

From the native Americans who called it home, to the Spanish Conquistadors and the frantic search for gold and copper in this sometimes harsh, but beautiful environment, we head away from the crowds and into the remote desert.

We look out for the flora and fauna that thrives here and discover how the landscape was formed. We stay on a very special ranch too, which has its own fair share of pages in the history books!


Maine - Bass Harbor lighthouse

Maine Coast

Lobster and so much more

Come downeast and discover a salty New England coastline redolent with history and natural charm.

"DownEast" was traditionally the direction the sailing ships traveled from New York and Boston, downwind and to the east. Yes, the ocean is everything in these parts.

Acadia National Park protects a patch of coast where the north woods tumble down to meet the wild Atlantic. This is one of the first places in the States to see the sunrise. Worth an early start one day?

Mount Desert Island and Bar Harbor became fashionable as wealthy New Yorkers followed the example of the Rockefellers and fled New York for seaside summers.

Now Bar Harbor mixes its colonial fishing history with a jaunty nautical air and a laid-back, arty vibe.

A world apart, but just a boat-ride away, the Cranberry Isles are an archipelago of five gorgeous islands lying just south of Mount Desert. No crowds. No traffic jams. Just the slow pace of island life-with Acadia's mountains as a stunning backdrop.

Add to the mix exotic gardens; strolls along the famed carriage roads; drinking tea and eating hot, fresh-from-the-oven popovers overlooking Jordan Pond - and of course, trying the wonderful local seafood, and we bet that you won't want to leave!



Berkshires countrysideBerkshires Arts Walk

Culture and countryside

For anyone looking to combine culture and countryside, the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts are a dream come true.

Extending from the highest point in the state - Mount Greylock - southward to the Connecticut state line, the Berkshires have been a summer refuge for more than a century, when the rich and famous arrived to build summer "cottages" of very grand proportions, many of which survive.

Artists, writers and musicians followed, creating a vibrant and creative enclave.

Our new-for-2020 Arts Walk takes in the landscape and the culture. We drop in at famous art museums, visit a Shaker village and, on our July Walk only, we attend a concert at Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Our full Walk is a six-night stay, but we are also offering a three-night weekend option too.



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