March 14, 2016 3 min read
Visiting National Parks provides a unique opportunity to see some of the best landscapes that America has to offer! Thanks to the National Park Services, these locations have all been preserved so everyone can enjoy the beauty of nature untouched by humanity. Each of these parks is enjoyable whether you like physical activities like hiking or just want to take some breathtaking photos.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone sprawls through Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and is home to a swath of wildlife you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere! Old Faithful, the most notable of many geysers in the area, is far from all Yellowstone has to offer. There’s also the Mammoth Hot Springs, the Tower-Roosevelt Area, and the Bridge Bay Area situated near Yellowstone Lake. It’s impossible not to find something to enjoy where hiking, horseback riding, camping, cycling, boating, fishing, and even snowboarding and skiing (weather permitting) are all regular activities.
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a striking formation of stone arches found in Southern Utah. The red rock is even more inspiring if you stay for sunset and watch the light shine down on the landscape. Arches will challenge the way that you consider the desert environment. Hiking is possible throughout both summer and winter, with only minimal closures due to snow.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon sits in Northern Arizona where the Colorado River helped form it by erosion. The size of the Grand Canyon is nearly beyond comprehension: over 277 river miles long, 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. Get a grasp of the scenery by driving around to various look-out points. Feeling adventurous? Plan a multi-day hikes all the way down to the Colorado River and then back up out of the canyon—or just ride a mule down the South Rim if you’re tired!
Glacier National Park
Endless forests, snow-dusted mountains, and miles upon miles of hiking trails; that’s just a small bit of what Montana’s Glacier National Park has to offer. The Going-to-the-Sun Road winds through the mountains and ends up offering some of the best sights that the park has available, so definitely bring your camera. Even in the snow, there’s plenty to explore on the cross-country skiing routes! With ranger-led activities designed to share the expert knowledge of the rangers with visitors, there’s no reason not to stop by and get a taste of the Montana forests.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is almost one million acres with multiple distinct ecosystems. Explore one part of the park and you’ll find yourself in dense forest; explore another and you may find yourself looking at glacier-capped mountains! When planning your visit, choose to visit areas of lowland forest, sub-alpine, temperate rainforest, coast, or all of the above! Given the park’s variety, nearly any activity you can imagine is fair game, so you can discover the tide pools on one day and then go mountain climbing the next. A visit to Olympic National Park is what you make of it!
Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego, California. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them on their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by following their adventure travel blog.
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