America has a legacy of preserving national parks across the country. Because of this there are numerous opportunities for you to plan a wonderful vacation around a nature preserve and get a glimpse at stoic wildlife in their natural habitat. From Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Acadia National Park in Maine, there are numerous places to choose from. Take some time to plan a trip around hiking and picnics and let your family enjoy the great outdoors. Read further to get an idea of the many different parks and what they have to offer and then begin packing because you're in for an adventure.
There are plenty of reasons why Yellowstone tops this list. It is certainly a national park of superlatives. It has the biggest public herd of bison in the United States, and one of the best examples of North American wildlife in the country. There are threatened lynx, grey wolves, grizzly bears and mountain lions to spot. The park also suffers thousands of earthquakes year round that constantly change the scenery, creating new lakes, for example. Old Faithful is another famous part of the park that draws yearly visitors, although there are other geysers in Yellowstone that are definitely worth visiting.
This park has been named an Arizona UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for good reason. The Grand Canyon, one of the natural world wonders resides in the park, and is undeniably breathtaking and necessary to see if you're in the state. No other park offers the same kind of experience that Grand Canyon can, with its many tributary canyons and their colors thanks to the many layers of Precambrian era rocks that have been exposed. The views here are simply the best, so forget about your fear of heights and bring the camera.
Yosemite falls is the highest waterfall in North America. It is located in Yosemite National Park of California. It is the 6th highest waterfall in the world. The thing which makes it attractive and natural wonder is its beauty and the way it is created by the God. Yosemite Falls actually consists of three separate falls: Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet), the middle cascades (675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet). There are countless waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley and it looks best in the spring season when most of the snowmelt occurs.
This park gets its name from its location within Washington's Olympic Peninsula, and for this reason has part of its boundaries sharing the rugged but beautiful Pacific coastline. If you're into hiking more forested trails, there's an entire impressive network of hiking trails, some more remote than others. If a good hike is what you're looking for then there's the Alpine forests, the temperate rainforests and the dry forests in the eastern region.
Address: 3002 Mt Angeles Rd
Port Angeles, WA 98362
One of the most striking features of Acadia National Park is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. But this park's adjacency to the ocean isn't its only attraction- there are numerous pristine lakes, mountains, and woodlands to explore. Mount Desert Island is another unique and gorgeous option to hike around if you go. If you're yearning for the adventure of all adventures, then there's Cadillac Mountain, which with its far eastern location and extreme height is actually one of the first places in the United States that sees the sunrise.
Here's the park that has some history to appreciate: it's the fifth oldest state park in the United States. The Crater Lake that we see today is actually a caldera, the remnant of what was once a volcano, now destroyed. This is the only park in the state of Oregon and it also houses the United States' deepest lake. Many flock to the caldera for pictures of the many colors that the lake can turn from the sun and the weather.
Zion Canyon is a menacing but breathtaking force that cuts powerfully through the whole of Zion National Park. Up by the Virgin River you can see how the canyon cuts through the beautiful red, orange and tan colors of the Navajo sandstone. The Colorado Plateau and the Mojave Desert areas add a unique and varied amount of wildlife to the park. It's truly a diverse area full of colors and intense landscapes, perfect for picture taking and exciting hiking experiences.
Montana's Glacier National Park is the meeting place of various geographical entities as well as many different species of wildlife. Glacier is comprised of two different mountain ranges, over 100 lakes, and hundreds of kinds of animals as well as thousands of kinds of plants. Chief Mountain is one of the many iconic parts of the park, as well as the two threatened species that call the park their home: grizzly bears and Canadian lynx.
Sequoia National Park and Preserve is pretty upfront about what it offers: the giant Sequoia forests dominate the park with their size and beauty. The world's largest tree is also found here, named General Sherman tree. If you've never been out to California to see these natural wonders, then this is a must-see. Set aside enough time to get over your initial shock at their grandeur, then time to walk, touch, and explore these magnificent trees the rest of your time in the park.
Address: 47050 Generals Hwy,
Three Rivers, CA 93271
The focal point of this park is Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. There are over 6 million acres of forests, tundra, rock, glaciers and on the mountains you can of course always find snow. It's quite the diverse environment which offers plenty of recreational activities in the winter including dog sledding, cross-country skiing and snowmachining. Kahiltna Glacier is another spectacular reason to see the park, no matter what season it is when you visit.
Address: George Parks Hwy, Denali National Park and Preserve, AK