Before this trip, we had only been as far west as southwest Colorado. We’ve been east coasters our whole life and took on the west on this trip for that reason. The west is a vast and ever changing landscape that has many different environments to offer. Now that we’re getting close to hitting the milestone of making it all the way to the Pacific coast, we wanted to recap and give you our favorites of each state so far.

New Mexico: We both had been to New Mexico before, but mostly just passing through to get to Colorado, so we were excited to explore the Land of Enchantment a little deeper. We made a short stop at White Sands National Monument. This was by far the best part of New Mexico and ranks high on the list for the entire trip for me (Emily). You feel like you have have stepped on to another planet. I’ve never seen anything quite like the rolling hills of gypsum sand, tucked away in the valley between two mountain ranges. It was such a unique place and I look forward to going back.

Colorado: Colorado has a lot to do and see, and we tried to fit as much in our schedule as possible. It being February when we were there did limit our options. We knew quite a few people that have moved to Colorado, so luckily we were able to crash with them for a few days at a time. We were able to catch up with old friends and make new connections during our time in Colorado. Even though we didn’t do much outside exploring, we are looking forward to coming back in June to explore more and see our old pals again.

Utah: We were both very excited to get to Utah to see all of the places we had been dreaming of, a lot of which inspired this very trip. Our first stop in Utah turned out to be our favorite. Arches National Park is a small but well known park. The weather in Moab suited us and our hiking days perfectly. We got to explore the ancient arches of the park and enjoy all the Moab has to offer comfortably. Here we also  did a seven mile primitive trail hike that may have been our favorite hike of the trip so far. We were not let down by the hype of Arches.

Arizona: Last but not lest, Arizona. Arizona turned out to be our all around favorite state yet. Being in the desert for so long, we both have been missing the sight of trees. As we drove into the Grand Canyon we were pleased to find the canyon is surrounded by forest. We found more forest and scenic drives as we made our way into Flagstaff and Sedona. We spent a few days exploring the vortexes of Sedona and then spent a few relaxing days in the heat of Phoenix at a friend’s house. Arizona was very good to us and we’re planning on coming back to dig in a little deeper.

So far our taste of the west has given us many different adventures. Through it all, the most memorable and meaningful moments are the ones we share with people along the way. As California lies ahead, we’re excited for what the rest has in store for us.

Until then,

Macy and Emily, The Van Babes

@van.babes on Instagram