You are forgiven for not having visited Vermilion Cliffs, or perhaps not having heard of the place at all. The name encompasses Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, which sits in northern Arizona, and the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, which stretches up and over Utah’s southern border. There’s a lot of local competition for your hard-earned vacation days around here -- we’re just about spitting distance from the Grand Canyon, Arches, Zion, Bryce, Petrified National Forest, and Lake Powell. Those are all incredible. But Vermilion Cliffs gives you every bit of the feeling that you’ve been swept into a Dr. Seuss illustration. Also, there are dinosaur tracks.
Known for red and white swirls of intricately layered Navajo sandstone from the Jurassic period, Vermilion Cliffs gets its distinct aesthetic from iron-rich oxide pigments within the rock, which over time have been exposed by erosion, and also dinosaurs. It’ll put you in mind of the Badlands -- just more Mars-like, and accessorized with endangered California condors. Vermilion Cliffs might not have benefitted from as much PR as its neighbors, but as breathtaking vistas go it absolutely holds its own. See for yourself.