The call of the Sierras was irresistible to naturalist John Muir and obviously irresistible to you as well. Take advantage of the boundless acres of rugged wilderness and be sure to check out the Great Sequoias, the largest trees on Earth, after scaling El Capitan or Half Dome.
The world’s first National Park, Yellowstone is tucked in the northwest corner of Wyoming an spreads into Montana and Idaho as well. The massive park is famous for it’s geysers and other volcanic features but is home to numerous species of wildlife and thousands of acres of pristine Rocky Mountain wilderness to help you get a good dose of fresh air.
Of all the American national parks, Hot Springs in Arkansas is by far the most unique. It’s small in area and located in the middle of the town of Hot Springs. While the park has a few hiking trails, the shining star are the turn-of-the-century spa houses. Several of the facilities still operate so it’s like going to the spa and going to a national park at the same time.
Located on the coastline of Down East Maine, Acadia is one of the most beautiful places in the entire continent. Enjoy a popover as you overlook Jordan Pond before taking a scenic boat ride to the Cranberry Islands. Be sure to get up early to see the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain, which is said to be the start of the day in the USA.
Behold the power of wind as you walk among the naturally carved formations of this park located outside the small town of Moab, Utah. Arches National Park probably has one of the most alien landscapes found anywhere on Earth and is begging you to bring your camera along for the ride.
Your mandate is to visit Glacier, arguably the most beautiful spot in the whole of the United States. Get there soon, because it’s only a matter of time before this park’s name is going to be irrelevant as a result of climate change.
You will walk to the edge of the Grand Canyon, located in Arizona, you will look down, look around, try to see the other side and then take a donkey ride all the way to the bottom to visit with the Colorado River that carved the whole thing.
First things first, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is in Hawai’i, which has got to be on your list of places to visit, and, there are few other places on Earth where you are practically guaranteed to see a volcano actively erupting. Sounds like a trip to me and apparently you too.
If you aren’t a fan of rain, check out Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park, which houses one of the world’s largest cave systems. You can take an easy guided tour of some of the larger spaces or, if you are an experienced spelunker, see if you can find a portal to Jules Verne’s Center of the Earth.
Washington State’s Olympic National Park has just about everything you might want from a national park: snow-capped mountains, pristine coastlines and a rare endemic species of marmot and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound.
Tucked in the middle of Alaska, the final frontier, Denali National Park and Preserve will certainly keep you occupied with the continent’s highest peak, Mount McKinley, and with close to 24 hours of daylight, the party doesn’t stop (in the summer anyway)!