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Grand Circle

Photo: DTLV

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.


In 2018 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 of 2017 differ from 1917?
  • What are upcoming events of interest?

Visits to Indigenous-owned and community-driven with soundscapes and bike share initiatives across the Grand Circle.


Grand Canyon National Park

Zion National Park

States and Cities




New Mexico


Las Vegas

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