31 Pictures Of National Parks You Might Not Believe Are Real

    Mother Nature did not have to go this hard, but she did! She did it just for us.

    1. Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah is filled with hoodoos, aka rock formations created by erosion that can be up to a staggering 200 feet tall.

    2. That can be hard to visualize, especially if you're like me, a five foot small human, so here's an idea for you — that's a whole person at the bottom of this picture, just left of center.

    3. Parts of Olympic National Park in Washington look like an enchanted fairy forest — and the park also houses what's believed to be the quietest spot in the entire country.

    4. Death Valley National Park in California is known for, well, its harsh weather conditions that make it difficult for most creatures to survive — but when the weather conditions are just right, it comes alive with a sea of gold, purple, pink, or white wildflowers.

    5. This scene is pretty typical in Alaska's Katmai National Park, where more bears (about 2,200) than people are estimated to live.

    6. This isn't the Sahara Desert, it's Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, where the tallest dunes in North America are located.

    7. Look at 'em next to the Sangre de Cristo mountains! Haters will say it's Photoshop!

    8. You're probably familiar with Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful, but you might not know about Grand Prismatic Spring, which is just seven miles from Old Faithful. It's the largest hot spring in the U.S., and it looks like an actual rainbow without any Instagram filters.

    9. These Seussian-looking trees are Joshua trees, a signature part of Joshua Tree National Park in California. The park is one of the only parts of the world where you can find those trees.

    10. Crater Lake National Park in Oregon consists of a caldera — a crater formed by the collapse of a volcano — that took 740 years to fill in from snow and rain water. Today, the captivating azure blue lake is almost 6 miles in diameter and 3,900 feet deep.

    11. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park in Alaska is jaw-droppingly huge. At 13.2 million acres, it's the biggest national park by area, and is the same size as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the country of Switzerland combined.

    12. There are more than 2,000 natural stone arches in Utah's Arches National Park, the highest density of natural arches in the world.

    13. Denali in Alaska's Denali National Park isn't just the highest peak in the National Park System, it's the highest peak in North America.

    14. These are the dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park. They're literally tucked into the side of a cliff in Colorado, where the Pueblo people lived for more than 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE.

    15. Here's another view of the dwellings, just to give you an idea of how stunning and low-key terrifying the setting is if you have any fear of heights.

    16. This is Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, a network of more than 119 underground caves that look straight from another planet.

    17. And this is a fascinating feature of South Dakota's Wind Cave National Park is called boxwork, a honeycomb-like formation that's found nearly nowhere else in the world.

    18. Here's a view of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado, a place filled with such craggy, remote cliffs that some parts of it only receive 33 minutes of sunlight a day.

    19. Here you're looking at the magnificent El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California, which is 350 stories above the Yosemite Valley, making it the largest exposed granite monolith in the world.

    20. This here is the base of California's General Sherman, the world's largest tree as measured by volume. Located in Sequoia National Park, it's 275 feet tall, and more than 36 feet in diameter at the base.

    21. General Sherman is so tall that it's pretty hard to get a picture of the entire thing — although this one tried.

    22. This is wood that's been turned into stone, the feature that gave Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park its name. The area it encompasses used to have an entire forest that was turned to stone.

    23. And here's another section of the national park that includes part of the Painted Desert, a stunning, multicolored rocky landscape that looks like a work of art.

    24. Redwood National Park in California is home to the tallest trees on earth, but Hyperion tops them all. It's 379.1 feet tall, but you won't see it in this photo because its location is a highly guarded secret.

    25. Look at all of these cacti in Arizona's Saguaro National Park! They can live for as long as 200 years, and they usually don't grow their first arm until they're around 70 years old, not that their age is any of your business, ma'am.

    26. Zion National Park in Utah is notable for how many different features it contains. In this photo alone, you can see rivers, canyons, and mountains. What you can't see are slot canyons, monoliths, buttes, mesas, and natural arches.

    27. Big Bend National Park in Texas was named for its location at a large turn in the Rio Grande River. It's the only national park that straddles the border between Mexico and the U.S.

    28. It's also incredibly wide and open, making it an ideal spot for stargazing.

    29. While many glaciers around the world are retreating at an alarming rate, Margerie Glacier in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park, seen here, is holding steady at 21 miles long and 350 feet thick.

    30. Pinnacles National Park in California is one of the newest national parks, and it's named after the ancient remains of an extinct volcano.

    31. And I'm guessing you already know about Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, so here's a gorgeous photo of it at dusk.