The Grand Circle is a 1,400-mile loop encompassing parts of the southwestern USA — Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.
The route connects eight national parks – Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Arches and Mesa Verde – and national monuments, recreation areas, state parks, historic sites and attractions.
History: the term “Grand Circle Tour” was introduced in the 1920s by the Union Pacific Railroad to market a multi-day trips. The offer was very popular and contributed to the tourist development of the sometimes quite remote national parks of the Southwest with its natural wonders. Afterwards, car trips were marketed as well.
For the most part, the Grand Circle runs along the National Scenic Byways, a national program established in 1991 to conserve significant secondary roads of historical, cultural or scenic value.
Planeta.com will be revisiting some of our favorite places and people along the route. We will be updating guides to cities and parks. Suggestions are welcome.
- What is the history of the Grand Circle?
- How does the Grand Circle today differ from 50 years ago? 100?
- What are upcoming events of interest?