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A little planning (and bribery) goes a long way.
Slot canyons, narrow passages between soaring sandstone walls, are rare natural beauties. Only a tiny handful of places in the world have the right combination of desert, geology and flash-flooding to carve the earth so precisely. In the U.S., these labyrinthine mazes of light and shadow are concentrated in the high-elevation desert along the border between Utah and Arizona. Each slot is a little different—some are tame and the distance between the walls never narrows more than a few feet, others are treacherous, filled with giant boulders to scramble, ice-cold pools to swim through and palisades so narrow that the average hiker can’t fit through without turning to the side and sucking in the gut. These 14 Southwestern canyons will, quite literally, take your breath away.
Even in their simplest forms, beaches are spectacular places. Some, however, claim an even more magical level of excellence thanks to peculiar properties boasted by their sands.