Want to see the world? If you live in North America, you might want to start close to home with America’s national parks. Protected natural landscapes that span the country’s land, the national parks have long been frequented by tourists and hikers alike, giving people from all across the world the chance to get up-close and personal with mother nature. Celebrating its one hundred year anniversary, the country’s National Park Service is well and truly in America’s spotlight this year and, as a result, the best possible time in which to take that long trip might just be now. With hundreds of different parks to choose from, however, making your selection can be more than a little tricky; even nature can be overwhelming. Need a little guidance? You’re in the right place.
Want to be seriously impressed? Head to Yosemite. Packed full of more natural wonders than most other places on the planet, this National Park is unlike anywhere else and is worth seeing at least once. As well as being home to America’s highest waterfall, Yosemite boasts glaciers, mountain ranges, and the world’s tallest graphite monolith. There’s plenty to do at the site, too, giving you adventurous options for days on end.
Those brave enough to venture up to Acadia before the sun rises are in for a serious treat; looking out over the Atlantic seaboard, this National Park is the first place in the country to be touched by the sun’s rays as it rises over the horizon. Dotted with tiny coves and ragged cliff lines, Acadia is quite unique in its landscape and offers a huge amount of natural beauty to be discovered. If you want to try and take it all in, you can take on the twenty mile Park Loop Road, which will present you with some unforgettable views.
Frozen landscapes are unique in their beauty, offering a part of the world largely untouched by human hands. Frozen tundras are plentiful across America, but Denali might just be the best there is. Located in Alaska, this National Park is accessible only through one ninety-two mile strip, upon the majority of which cars are not allowed to drive. Once you’re in, you can expect to spot some of the most rugged wilderness in the country; snow capped mountain ranges give way to crystal clear lakes and wild animal groups. Denali really is wild America at its best.
Hawai’i Volcanoes (Hawaii)
Earth springs into life at Hawai’i Volcanoes, one of the most geologically active places on the earth’s surface. Home to two active volcanoes, this National Park is changing constantly; what a visitor sees one time could be completely altered before the next trip. While lava is a big feature of the park, there are a number of other natural sights worth seeing. Whether tropical birds, mountain craters, or rainforests are your thing, Hawai’i Volcanoes can accomodate.
A National Park as dry and vast as they come, Arches looks like it could be from another planet entirely. Filled with two thousand sandstone arches, Arches is practically an American icon, having served as the backdrop to countless classic Western movies. Geologically, the place is quite unique; constantly being slowly whittled away by wind and water, it’s forever changing.
With hundreds of different landscapes to choose from, America’s national parks are like no others around the world and might just change your perspective of the country. Rugged, wild, and untamed, its parks offer a view of the rural world that you may have never seen and might never again; the parks change day by day. Now is the time to embrace that natural landscape.