The American West: Still Wild After All These Years.

By Posted in - Photos & U.S.A. on June 8th, 2012


Western highways are littered with broke down palaces—homes, motels, gas stations and the occasional water park. Reclaimed by the intense landscape, most of these places, unlike Los Angeles, California, and Wall, South Dakota, were never designed to last. Instead, they were stepping stones for dreamers and entrepreneurs who saw the West as a chance to get a piece of America on their own terms.

And who can blame them? Drive through the U.S. on any of these interstates—10, 40, 70, 80 or 90—and it is easy to see the allure of the west: it’s vast, diverse (geographically speaking), and overwhelmingly beautiful. Sculpted through rocky corridors, evergreen forest and desert lowlands, these highways are a great primer to the natural, untamed beauty of the American West, like a Greatest Hits collection that will have you longing for deeper tracks.

From the giant boulders at Joshua Tree to the Grand Tetons, the American West is a schizophrenic landscape where everything seems super sized. And despite centuries of migration to the region, this section of the United States remains largely untouched, enabling visitors to view areas of the western frontier as Lewis and Clark did nearly 200 years ago during their western expedition.

There’s an awakening that occurs when you venture from the highway into the empty spaces of the Wild West for the first time. A normally silent wind can sound like a freight train swirling around your head as you look out from a vista towards the horizon. With no noise from the highway, city or even your neighbors, you’re free to be wild again.

My love for the Americas doesn’t end in The West. In fact, that is just the beginning.  The Americas—North, South and Central—are full of mesmerizing places that are literally in our backyard. If you’d like to journey deeper into the continent, be sure to check out National Geographic’s new high-definition miniseries, Untamed Americas. The show premieres this Sunday (June 10) and Monday (June 11) at 9 p.m. (est) and is narrated by one of my favorite actors, Josh Brolin. If you want to read more stories about travel bloggers recounting their favorite Untamed Americas be sure to check out the write up on National Geographic.

Please enjoy these photos from some of the U.S. National Parks. Photos are from the following parks (listed in order): Bryce Canyon N.P. , Badlands N.P. , Zion N.P., Yellowstone N.P. , Yellowstone N.P. , Yellowstone N.P. , Bryce N.P. , Joshua Tree N.P. , Joshua Tree N.P. , Badlands N.P. , Grand Tetons N.P.

National Parks

National Parks

National Parks

Yellowstone Syndrome - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming - USA  National Parks

National Parks

Yellowstone Road - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Brothers of the Rock - Joshua Tree National Park - California, USA   National Parks

Halcyon Dreams - Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA

National Parks


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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(18) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Andrea -

    June 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

    These are incredible photos. I’ve always wanted to do a road trip out west – someday…

    • Bethany -

      June 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Thank you so much Andrea! There is nothing better than a good old fashioned American road trip – the west is unbelievable!

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica -

    June 9, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I’m with Andrea. I actually had a US road trip planned before I left on my Latin America travels, but it didn’t work out. I think I need to dust off my road trip itinerary when I get back home.

    • Bethany -

      June 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Definitely do it Stephanie – you won’t be disappointed. Old West road trips are really travel magic!

  • James Shannon -

    June 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Long live the west, it’s the best! Wonderful photos, thanks for posting them!

  • Ruth (Tanama Tales) -

    June 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Agree with you girls (Andrea and Stephanie). I should plan a good road trip for this summer. I will start in California.

  • Jenna -

    June 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Beautiful description and photos. I live in California and am constantly impressed by the beauty that is right in my “backyard.” I have been on road trips through the west but it’s been a while. This post inspires me to do it again soon.

  • Tracey – Life Changing Year -

    June 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    These photos are gorgeous!! We are in the middle of 3 months in the west and have been amazed at the size and beauty of this landscape!!

  • Linda -

    June 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    It’s always been my dream to see these places, ever since I watched The Lone Ranger as a child! The dream is, as yet, unfulfilled, but you just confirmed I need to keep it at the top of my bucket list! And it needs to be a road trip too. That dream came later, with other movies, most of which I now forget. Wow but you have awakened my dream with this! Thank you.

  • Tom -

    June 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I haven’t been to The States yet, but these really make me want to go there and start exploring 🙂

  • Mark Hodson -

    June 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Beautiful images and an inspiring piece of copy. Makes me realise that almost all my travel to the US has been to cities. Must put that right some day

  • Ayngelina -

    June 11, 2012 at 6:06 am

    The Americas are my favourite as well, there is so much diversity that we don’t appreciate because its close to home.

  • […] at Beer and Beans takes us to the American west through a photo essay of U.S. national parks.  She shares, […]

  • Bree -

    June 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Breathtaking! That’s all I can say after looking at those magnificent photos.Now I know where to go for my next road-trip.

  • Amanda -

    June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    The West is SO amazing. My sister and I loved road tripping out there so much last year, that we’re planning to do it again next summer.

  • Jose – Tierras Patagónicas -

    June 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Great stuff, and great pictures. The North American Wild West looks pretty similar to Patagonia down here in South America: big empty spaces, stunning landscapes and wild nature at its best. Looking forward to go and take a road trip there someday.

  • ash -

    June 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Absolutely stunning photos! What kind of camera do you use? I’m pretty luck to live in the Wild West in the summer (coeur d’alene, id)…but these photos make me want to head out and check out what else the west has to offer!

  • Regal Ride -

    June 22, 2012 at 7:17 am

    These photos are incredible. Inspires me to want to travel the west!