Sandstone formation and pools of water in 'The Wave', Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona, USA
© Dennis Frates/Alam
A sea of swirling stone
By showing you this coveted sight, we're saving you a bit of an ordeal. For close-up view like this of 'The Wave', a whorled sandstone formation in the American wilderness of northern Arizona, you'd have to navigate a rugged and mostly trail-free route with a permit in your pocket (only a small number are available, offered via a daily lottery). But that's just one day's hike of many in the expansive Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, which encompasses almost 121,400 hectares of Arizona and Utah canyonland.