- Category: Top 10
Top 10 National Parks
One of the very best ways to enjoy all that the country has to offer is to visit the National Parks found throughout the states. Each of these parks offers visitors a view into the natural features of the region as well as the history. Here are ten of the top National Park's you won't want to miss.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon is one of Utah's amazing natural features. The Canyon extends down 2000 feet in elevation, and has unique rock formations called "hoodoos" which are spires formed by the freeze and thaw cycle. Visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park can drive to scenic viewpoints to see the amazing spires, or can enjoy hiking through the canyon. In addition, Bryce Canyon is an amazing destination for stargazing, which can be enjoyed on full moon hikes, at the Night Sky Program or at the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
Located in southeastern New Mexico this park is one of many amazing locations in New Mexico. Throughout the summer visitors can enjoy the night sky events hosted at the park. Carlsbad Caverns are a great place to explore an amazing cave. The cavern has guided tours as well as areas open for self-guided tours. Carlsbad Caverns also has Ranger led programs emphasizing astronomy and nocturnal creatures.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
This national park is a beautiful destination within Ohio. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Cuyahoga River, as well as the many different natural habitats in the area. The Towpath Trail is a great spot to enjoy some hiking. This trail follows the route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. Visitors can also hike on the Ledges Trail, or visit the Brandywine Falls. Another fantastic activity within this park is the train rides on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which gives visitors a look into the history of the Cuyahoga Valley.
Denali National Park, Alaska
This National Park is a stunning place to enjoy Alaska's Wilderness. Denali National Park is located about 240 miles north of Anchorage and 120 miles south of Fairbanks. Visitors can reach the park by the Alaska Railroad, by bus or on the single road entrance to the park. Once in the park visitors should stop at the various Visitor Centers. Denali Visitor Center is the main source of information for the park and is the starting point for most ranger-led programs. The park has 6 million acres of wild land and is open year round, but only in the summer months do the snow and ice loosen their hold on the park. Visitors to Denali National Park can visit the Savage Day-use Area, enjoy backpacking, mountaineering, wildlife viewing and much, much more.
Everglades National Park, Florida
The Everglades are one of the United States true treasures and visiting the National Park is a great way to enjoy some of Florida's most unique environments. Everglades National Park stretches over 1.5 million acres, or 2,400 square miles, making it the largest park in the lower 48. The park features winding waterways, banks of seagrass and mud, oyster reefs and sand bars as well as an amazing diversity of habitats and wildlife. Visitors to the Everglades can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, canoe and kayaking trails as well as boating. Those visitors wishing to boat should be aware that boating in the Everglades can be tricky and is limited to experienced boaters. The Shark Valley Trails pass through what is considered by many to be the heart of the "True Everglades," and it stretches for 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee. Boaters can explore Whitewater Bay, Ten Thousand Islands Area and Florida Bay. Visitors can also participate in guided tours, including boat tours and Tram Tours. The Tram Tours naturalists guide explores the Shark Valley Slough over a 15 mile loop, participants learn about the ecosystems and see the amazing wildlife. Throughout the Everglades visitors can enjoy the unique ecosystems and of course the amazing wildlife.
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
This national park provides visitors with a look back in time to the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War. The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is a good starting point for visiting the park. The museum has an impressive collection of exhibits about Gettysburg during the Civil War. After learning about this spot's significance, visitors can take a tour of the battlefield, including bus tour options as well as self-guided auto tours. the Living History programs at Gettysburg National Military Park are another fun point of interest.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Mount Rainier National Park protects one of the most stunning and iconic images of Washington State. Mount Rainier is an amazing destination, especially during the summer. Campers will find many beautiful places to enjoy within and around Mount Rainier National Park. Although the park is covered in snow for much of the year, the summer months are particularly beautiful with wildflowers blooming, fascinating wildlife, backcountry recreation and more. Mount Rainier also offers a great view into the past through the lodges and other historic buildings around the park. Another way to experience the beauty of Mount Rainier National Park is to take a trip on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. This railroad is the longs continuously operating steam train in the Pacific Northwest, and offers its riders stunning views of beautiful forests and scenery of the Pacific Northwest.
National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, DC
This is one of the most well known and one of the premiere parks in the country. The Mall is a beautiful grassy area lined with trees and some of the monuments honoring our nation's most important figures. You can see the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and many more. These important landmarks are open all day and into the evening, and some of the memorials are even more spectacular in the evening with all of the lights.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park is a stunning introduction to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. During the summer months, when the weather is at its best, the Rocky Mountain National Park really allows visitors to Colorado to experience all of the nature and wildlife of the Rocky Mountains. The park has an amazing array of trails that take hikers into the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains, even trails that are great for the whole family. Children will love the Ranger-led programs, including guided horseback tours, and the After Dark program. Campers should be sure to look out for elk, bighorn sheep and many other species of wildlife.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Shenandoah National Park is 105 miles long, and it stretches from Front Royal to Waynesboro-Charlottesville. The Skyline Drive, the scenic drive through the park, is a fabulous way to enjoy the beautiful park. Shenandoah's visitor centers have plenty of fascinating exhibits, and the park has plenty of hiking opportunities. There are over 500 miles of trails, and much of the parks 196,000 acres are open to backcountry camping, nature viewing and more. Old Rag Mountain is also in Shenandoah National park, which happens to be a very popular, challenging and dangerous hike, great for the more adventurous hikers.