8 Most Beautiful Valleys In The US You Must Visit

The United States is home to many scenic landforms, including some of the world's most beautiful valleys. Having formed over tens of millions of years, these eight valleys come with diverse landscapes and opportunities to suit any taste for adventures. 

Kalalau Valley, Hawaii

The Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali coast of Kaua'i Island, Hawaii
The Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali coast of Kaua'i Island, Hawaii. 

Set on the northwest side of the Kaua'i island in the Na Pali Coast State Park, this beautiful valley has an unfriendly environment that is impassable by any vehicle. The Kalalau Trail, extending from Kee Beach to the Kalalau Valley as an 11-mile scenic path, is one of the world's most picturesque yet dangerous trails. The brave and the curious who make the trek to the valley are rewarded by some of the most spectacular natural views. Once there, one must keep hiking the harsh terrain to explore everything the breathtakingly wild Kalalau Valley offers. 

Monument Valley, Arizona

Amazing sunlight near Monument Valley, Arizona
Amazing sunlight near Monument Valley, Arizona. 

Set in the Valley Navajo Tribal Park, the Monument Valley is one of the most photographed locales on Earth. Impassable to motorcyclists, one can access the beautiful valley via a 17-mile loop road in a well-equipped vehicle for harsh terrain. Upon reaching the destination, the valley exposes one to the majesty of Mother Nature and her constant work. Formed over 50 million years of erosion, the sandstone masterpieces dominate the valley at varying heights between 400 and 1,000 feet. Overwhelmingly beautiful and grand, they are just fragile pinnacles surrounded by miles of mesas, buttes, shrubs, and trees. The sun's angle accentuates the formations, with the light dancing around to change the scenery from one minute to the next. Clouds cast their shadows to frame the spectacle on the windblown sands and harmoniously combine the magnificent kaleidoscope of shifting colors.

Napa Valley, California

Beautiful sunset sky on autumn vineyards in Napa Valley, Wine Country, California
Beautiful sunset sky on autumn vineyards in Napa Valley, Wine Country, California. 

Located fewer than 40 miles from San Francisco, Napa Valley is a great escape into the beautiful wine heart of California's countryside. Known for the rich reds and whites produced by the region, the valley is a popular choice for a scenically-hoppy romantic getaway or a full-blown vacation in seclusion. Comprising over 400 wineries and tasting rooms, the area is covered in vineyards with easily-passable landscape and trails to spend days traversing through the surrounding beauty. The heaven is framed by picturesque hillside chateaus, boutique hotels, Michelin-star restaurants, and spas that harmoniously blend into the natural environment to offer rest and relaxation, along with an array of activities. 

Olympic Valley, California

View of the aerial tram gondola going to high camp above Palisades Tahoe in California
View of the aerial tram gondola going to high camp above Palisades Tahoe in California, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Editorial credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Set northwest of Tahoe City, the valley was named after hosting the 1960 Winter Olympic Games organized by the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Continuing to attract visitors each year, the beautiful valley is great for scenic explorations and outdoor activities. The breathtaking ascent via the famous Squaw Valley Aerial Tram offers the best panoramic view of everything around and below for a captivating experience. The resort and natural environment work symbiotically to fabricate great adventures within amazing scenery for a getaway of a lifetime. The valley gets especially busy in wintertime, with travelers coming for the chance to descend down the same "ski-steps" as the Olympic champions. Many also come to the valley to hike the scenic Eagle Falls Trail after the snow melts.

Santa Clara Valley, California

Colors of autumn in a vineyard in Santa Clara Valley, California
Colors of autumn in a vineyard in Santa Clara Valley, California. 

Overtaken by Silicon Valley over the years, Santa Clara Valley also shares the same geographical border with the high-tech innovation zone. Despite the probability of getting bombarded by businesses, the booming valley is still one of the most beautiful, with rich culture and nature. Set just a short distance from the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Diablo Range, the vibrant town of San Jose offers a perfect base for tourists to start exploring the valley. Aside from all the modern comforts, one will find tours, as well as information for self-guided adventures in the great outdoors. Santa Clara Valley transports one from a major city to the scenic countryside in minutes for a unique experience to immerse into nature in style.

Verde Valley, Arizona

Bell Rock showing vegetation growing on the red rocks and red soil in Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona
Bell Rock showing vegetation growing on the red rocks and red soil in Coconino National Forest near Sedona, Arizona.

Set in central Arizona with the Verde River striking through, the beautiful Verde Valley comprises a vital ecosystem for local fish and wildlife. Home to an incredible collection of natural rock formations, the Bell Rock and the Cathedral Rock are some of the most photographed in the nation. The active will enjoy trekking the scenic Devil's Bridge Trail that bypasses the gigantic namesake monolith. The history fans can head to the Montezuma Castle National Monument to learn about the region's natural formation over time, while the Jerome State Historic Park is full of sights. For an absolute "blast from the past" and a feel of what it was like to live in the area over a century ago, one must visit the Douglas Mansion museum, with many exciting and intriguing artifacts.

Waipio Valley, Hawaii

Group of tourists enjoying the amazing view in Waipio Valley, Big Island, Hawaii
Group of tourists enjoying the amazing view in Waipio Valley, Big Island, Hawaii. 

Historically known as the "Valley of the Kings," the beautiful valley proudly sits on the Big Island, marking the home of the early Hawaiian rulers. One can reach the remote and challenging destination by a four-wheeler via a precarious road, while those who wish to attain thrills elsewhere can still admire the valley from a scenic viewpoint near Honoka'a. Black sands border the valley on one side, and tall, jagged cliffs extend upwards on the other for a whole other-worldly appearance. At sea level, its rough landscape is overlooked by a steep and rugged terrain with several large waterfalls cascading onto the ground and into the cracks. Having found value in its rich soils, a small number of Taro growers live in the area. The valley also sees the few weathered surfers who once discovered the prime location to take on the waves in solitude. The brave everyday tourists come for the excellent beach access with unsurpassed views anywhere else in the nation.

Yosemite Valley, California

Classic view of the scenic Yosemite Valley, California
Classic view of the scenic Yosemite Valley with the famous El Capitan rock and the idyllic Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. 

Set within the Yosemite National Park's 1,200 square miles and protected since 1864, Yosemite Valley is home to many diverse landforms. It is one of the most amazing and accessible valleys on Earth. Seeing hundreds of thousands of tourists, they come for the endless sights and hiking ops through the green meadows and dense forests dotted with streams and waterfalls feeding into the Merced River. Extreme-seekers enjoy the torrential waters of the renowned falls and canyon descends, while the High Sierra region, full of lush meadows, giant sequoias, and untapped fauna, is a paradise to the adventurous. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Yosemite Valley stretches for twelve kilometers in the surroundings of granite summits. The famous Half Dome is one of the most photographed monoliths in the world, while the rock climbers particularly enjoy attempting the face of the El Capitan. 

From remote and dangerous to friendly and giving, these valleys are the most beautiful in the United States. Offering various ways to explore and different adventures, they all brim with sights for memories that will last a lifetime.  

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