Our 20th Annual Celebration of the Absolute Best of the West

During the 1871-72 Hayden Survey of Yellowstone, photographer William Henry Jackson dared great heights and broke many new trails to photograph the natural wonders of Yellowstone, including the spectacular Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River. William Henry Jackson, 1871, Courtesy USGS

The year 2021 was a year of both reflection and celebration. Once again, as spring became summer, travelers began packing the highways, hotels, historic sites and museums across the West. In many places, masks were required indoors (and still are in some places, including airports and airplanes), nevertheless,  eager tourists began going out and exploring the many wonders and wonderful towns, parks and monuments of the Western United States. The hard-working men and women who own small businesses, run galleries and shops, manage and volunteer at museums, operate historic railroads and sites, and national and state parks were excited and ready for tourism to return to pre-COVID levels.We may not yet be back to pre-pandemic numbers, but states across the West are open for business and ready to provide you with the best service possible.

One of the highlights of our annual Best of the West issue is the awarding of the True Westerner of the Year, which in 2021 is being given to True West’s very own Phil Spangenberger. Since the August-September issue of 2003, Phil has been regaling us with his insightful tales of firearm and weapon history, informative articles on trends in modern Old West firearm reproductions and detailed behind-the-scenes stories on firearms in film and television. (Don’t miss his feature on how he has kept history real in the movies on page 28, our profile of him on page 48 and his Best of the West column on page 58). We are proud to call Phil a close friend of True West and grateful for nearly two decades of columns and features. 

True West dedicates this 20th Annual Best of the West issue to the men and women who work and volunteer every day to make travelers feel welcome as they explore the wondrous region we all love so much, the American West.

Best of the West 2022 Articles

Best of the West 2022: True Westerner of the Year

Best of the West 2022: Firearms

Best of the West 2022: Heritage Travel

Best of the West 2022: Western Movies

Best of the West 2022: Western Books

Best of the West 2022: Western Wear

Best of the West 2022: Western Preservation

Best of the West 2022: Western Fare

Best of the West 2022: Art & Collectibles

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