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The Desert Backcountry of Nevada and Utah

200907-a-weekend-getaways

Photo: Buff Strickland

WELCOME TO THE GREATEST EARTH ON SHOW, declares one highway sign. Those words couldn’t be truer about this drive from Las Vegas through Nevada and Utah—where the sky is vast, the landscape is alive, the cowboy hats are big, and the pickup trucks come caked and splattered with red dirt. This is the real American Southwest, with a wildness and emptiness that allows you a taste of frontier life. It’s a trip through the land of the Marlboro Man and Thelma and Louise.

Read the article

Inspired by: 3 Southwestern Weekend Getaways — by Katie Arnold, Published Jun. 2009

Hotels (3)

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    Flanigan’s Inn

    A spa, a hilltop labyrinth, and the popular Spotted Dog Café make the property feel like its own little village. Several rooms have decks or patios

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    Red Mountain Resort & Spa

    Secluded deep in southwestern Utah’s Grand Circle area, Red Mountain Resort’s 82 southwestern-style rooms and 24 suites take full advantage of the ... More
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    Zion Lodge

    Staying here lets you roll out of bed and onto a trail (it’s right across from the Emerald Pools hike). Ask for one of the historic 1920’s cabins w

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Restaurants (3)

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    Oscar’s Café

    This laid-back spot has been around for more than 20 years. Don’t miss the slow-cooked-pork burritos—and make sure to eat them on the patio, which

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    Twentyfive Main

    Long live the cake parlor—thanks to this lovely spot and its daily selection of house-baked cupcakes, from orange blossom to peanut butter cup. Sav

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    Cosmopolitan Restaurant

    The hidden restaurant is worth finding, even on the darkest nights when you’ll have to watch for wildlife crossing the road. The Western-saloon ext

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Activities (3)

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    Snow Canyon State Park

    Should Zion ever get overrun (and it does), this park is a much better kept secret. The kid-friendly, two-mile round-trip Butterfly Trail brings yo

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    Valley of Fire State Park

    Walk the red sandstone formations. Nevada’s oldest state park is made up of some 35,000-odd acres of petroglyphs and dramatic rock formations. Look

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    Zion National Park

    Head to Zion National Park’s Visitor Center at the Zion Canyons entrance, where you can get oriented, and board the shuttle that goes into the stun

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