Seven alternatives to the Grand Canyon

Ditching the Big Ditch as part of the Boycott Arizona movement? Here's a baker's half-dozen nearly-as-grand canyons to help fill the void this summer.

Teh Havasu Canyon, Havasupai Reservation, Arizona
Cottonwoods shade Havasu Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.
There has been a "boycott Arizona" movement afoot aver since the state decided, on April 23, to pass xenophobic and blatantly unconstitutional legislation requiring law enforcement officials to insist on seeing immigration papers of anyone they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally.

True, many Arizonans do not support law SB 1070, and many local Arizona municipalities are scrambling to challenge it in court—and in late July, a federal judge put a hold on many of the more contentious provisions so they will not yet take effect. Even the Phoenix basketball team admirably took a stand at the conference semifinals game on May 5 (Cinqo de Mayo) by donning special "Los Suns" jerseys. (They may be on to something; "Los Suns" beat the Spurs 110-102.)

Still, there have been many calls to boycott Arizona from major cities, figures, and businesses across the country and around the world. (In a twist of irony, Mexico has issued a travel advisory for its citizens to steer clear of the state for fear that innocent tourists might become ensnared in the legal morass.)

As a travel writer and avid outdoorsman, the first thing that occurred to me was the fact that one of the biggest marquee sights in the United States happens to be in Arizona—the Grand Canyon. So if people are going to boycott Arizona, they're going to need a substitute giant hole in the ground to go look at on this summer's vacation.

In the spirit of celebrating deep scenic wonders and the amazing diversity of the American wilderness, here are seven substitutes for the Grand Canyon. Each one offers a different spin on the idea of a grand canyon, and while none of them is the Grand Canyon, each is eminently worthy of seeking out on its own merits.

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in June 2012.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.