Ship Rock

New Mexico, USA – July 2017

The name couldn’t be more fitting. Like a ship on the horizon, this rock formation sails over the waving steppe landscape of the prairie. This remainder of an eroded volcanic vent rises 483 meters above the surrounding plain. For the Navajo the “winged rock” is of great religious and cultural importance.

Ship Rock
Ship Rock

Painted Desert

Arizona, USA – July 2017

The “Painted Desert” lies at about 1,800 meters above sea level on the Colorado Plateau and stretches in an arc over about 250 kilometers. It consists of a variety of colored sediment layers, which are exposed by erosion. As if drawn by a ruler, the color stripes run through the various rock formations.

Painted Desert

“The Tepees” remind in their form of the tents of the prairie Indians. They show very clearly the different layers of rock.

Tepee

The “Blue Mesa” consists of rounded hills which are predominantly blue-gray and white.

Blue Mesa

The “Petrified Forest” is an extensive area with sites of silicified wood. In some areas the landscape is covered with broken tree trunks. As this wood was very popular for jewelry and was exploited, some sites were placed under protection in 1906. In the meantime, this protected area has become a national park whose area has been extended several times.

Petrified Forest

Mesa Verde

Colorado, USA – July 2017

Mesa Verde is a national park located on a densely forested and rugged table mountain in Colorado. The mountain rises to more than 600 m above the surrounding countryside and reaches altitudes of about 2,600 m. This area was inhabited long before the Europeans discovered America and is particularly known for the settlements built into steep cliffs known as “Pueblos”. Since 1978, the National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mesa Verde

These dwellings were built around 1200 AD. However, they were only used for about 100 years and were already abandoned around 1300 AD. The reasons for this are unclear. Possibly an increasing drought could have been the cause.

Square Tower House

One of the largest settlements is “Cliff Palace”.

Cliff Palace

Valley of the Gods

Utah, USA – July 2017

About 40 km northeast of Monument Valley lies the Valley of the Gods. In contrast to the Monument Valley, it is hardly touristically developed and instead of a visitor center, there is only a notice board that explains that on the approximately 27 km long, unpaved road through the valley, one is largely on one’s own and that four-wheel drive is recommended.

After a short time you realize that you have left civilization behind you. Not a soul far and wide and absolute silence that is only occasionally interrupted by the chirping of a lonely bird.

Valley of the Gods
Only a few vehicles leave their traces …
… in the Valley of the Gods

Monument Valley

Arizona & Utah, USA – July 2017

On our one-week tour across the Four-Corners region, in which the four states Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico border each other, we (my wife and I) reach Monument Valley at about 1,900 m above sea level. It is located on the border between Arizona and Utah and looks breathtaking and as not of this world. No wonder it has served as a backdrop for many film and television productions.

Monument Valley

These striking rock formations, which are called “Butte” in English, are known from several wild west films. One almost expects John Wayne to come around the corner on horseback. Fascinating is the endless expanse and desolation of the desert landscape shimmering in the heat.

The Mittens and Merricks Butte

This breathtaking view of Monument Valley shows the beauty and dimensions of this spectacular desert. In the film “Forrest Gump,” it served as the backdrop for the end of his three-year run across the United States.

Monument Valley

Kaibab Plateau

Arizona, USA – July 2017

The way to the northern edge of the Grand Canyon leads over the Kaibab Plateau, which towers like an island over the desert-like Colorado Plateau. Green and wooded, it reaches a height of about 2,800 meters and is thus almost as high as Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze.

Kaibab Plateau

Grand Canyon – North Rim

Arizona, USA – July 2017

This photo was taken from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon towards the South Rim. The green Colorado River, which formed this magnificent gorge, can be seen at the right edge in the middle of the picture. The northern edge is about 300 m higher than the southern edge, cooler and in contrast to the south green and wooded.

Grand Canyon, North Rim

Cloud Burst

Arizona, USA – July 2017

In the southwest of the USA, a regional monsoon can occur between July and September. Heavy cloudbursts and thunderstorms are the consequence and in the otherwise very dry desert areas a large part of the annual precipitation falls in this time.

Cloud Burst
Private Property

Navajo Nation

Arizona , USA – July 2017

We are on a road trip for one week in the Southwest of the USA.

The road leads us through wide country and the largest Indian reservation in the USA. The landscape is breathtaking – but the living conditions of the population are poor.

Navajo Nation