Some of the most spectacular scenery in the world can be found in the national parks of the United States. Throughout the nation, you can find national parks with unique geography, from glaciers to mountain peaks to desert. While some national parks are famous, quite a few are less familiar and under-appreciated. The following are four national parks you should make sure you visit at least once.
Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, located on the island of Hawaii, is the home of two large volcanoes, one of them active. Geologists recognize these volcanoes as being responsible for the creation of the islands of Hawaii millions of years ago. This national park consists of more than 300,000 acres where people can drive, hike and camp. One of the park’s highlights is Crater Rim Drive, which is on the summit of Kilauea volcano and provides a variety of dramatic scenery, including deserts and tropical rain forests. At times, visitors may get a chance to see active lava flows. For safety reasons, people visiting Volcanoes National Park should stay informed about current conditions regarding volcanic activity.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Utah’s Bryce Canyon offers a variety of exciting places to visit, infkacluding Bryce Canyon National Park. Located in southern Utah, his park features scenery that has an otherworldly look. As you gaze at thousands of hoodoos, which are pillars and pinnacles of red rock, you might think you’re visiting another planet. Many of the park’s trails were used in the Old West and haven’t changed much since that period. This amazing national park is open for hiking, camping and horseback riding throughout the year. In winter, winter sports such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular. The scenery in Bryce Canyon National Park is truly one-of-a-kind and gives visitors a picture of how the western part of the country looked in centuries gone by.
Acadia National Park
Some of the most unspoiled wilderness on the East Coast can be found in Maine’s Acadia National Park. This 47,000 acre park is located on the Atlantic coast, providing amazing views of the ocean. This park is also home to the tallest mountains on the Atlantic coast. Popular activities include hiking, biking, kayaking and camping. A large portion of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, the largest island off the coast of Maine. This island has both fresh and salt water beaches. Because of its remote location, you can find both rugged natural beauty and a variety of plants and animals in this park, including mammals, birds, fish and amphibians.
Denali National Park and Preserve
One of the most remote national parks in the country is Alaska’s Denali National Park. Denali, at over 20,000 feet, is the tallest peak in North America and the central feature of the park, which consists of more than six million acres of wilderness. Denali National Park and Preserve has a diversity of landscapes, including forests, tundra and glaciers. The park is home to a wide variety of animal species, including grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves, sheep and many varieties of birds. The higher elevations of the park are usually covered with snow, making access challenging. This is a park that attracts seasoned mountain climbers who test their skills against the mountain’s vertical rock and ice walls.
You could spend many months exploring America’s national parks. There are national parks worth exploring in all regions of the country. The above, however, contain features that are especially noteworthy. Whether you want to explore a volcano in Hawaii, a glacier in Alaska or the bizarre hoodoos of Utah, you can find incredible diversity in the national parks of North America.