This summer I am heading out with three friends to galavant through the American west on little more than gas money and a dream. The trip is looking like 2 weeks or so. Assuming I already know about major attractions (national parks and such) and that I'd like to avoid commercial experiences, does anyone have any unmissable places we should hit?
We're mainly looking for natural beauty. Hot springs, mountains, favorite trails, cool lookouts, small towns, communities, geological oddities, caves, ruins, forests, canyons! Looking for it all! Even if you know an area or a forest or a stretch of road that's just pretty, Do tell! While I want to avoid over-planning (road trip ruiner), I'd also like to avoid missing out on good scenery!
Here is the VERY tentative map: Mid colorado, through the mountains to lower colorado, into the four corners area, Run all around utah, hit the north rim of the grand canyon, maybe go as far south as flagstaff, az, up to northern-ish new mexico and done.
Depending on the amazingness of the idea, 100 miles out of the way is not out of the question. The plan is to mold the route around areas and destinations.