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    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.

    Jimvallee / Getty Images

    Unsurprisingly, Bryce Canyon is often called a forest of stone.

    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.

    Agaliza / Getty Images

    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.

    Romankhomlyak / Getty Images

    There's a marker in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park indicating the so-called "one square inch" of land where there's little to no noise pollution — no cars, no planes overhead, no roommates complaining about their boyfriend through the paper thin wall next to your bed, nothing that isn't naturally occurring. Sorry about your roommate, though.

    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.

    Kreulen / Getty Images

    I want to make some kind of poignant observation about the persistence of life in the face of desolation, but honestly...these flowers are just really pretty.

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

    Oksanaphoto / Getty Images

    These bears don't *not* look like they're plotting how to make that bear to human ratio a lot more lopsided in their favor.

    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.

    Blewulis / Getty Images

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

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    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.

    Lucky-photographer / Getty Images

    Yellowstone takes up a whole lot of land in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

    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.

    Brianlasenby / Getty Images

    It's also one of the only parts of the world where you're allowed to take a photoshoot in a bold hat and a flowy dress. Don't ask me, I don't make the rules.

    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.

    Zrfphoto / Getty Images

    It's so deep that if you stacked the Eiffel Tower, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty on top of each other inside the lake, there would still be 100 feet of water above Lady Liberty's crown. That's...really deep, and also really rude that no one will actually test this out to prove that it's true.

    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.

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    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.

    Michael Ryno / Getty Images

    And they all make for picture-perfect photo opps, just please be careful when you do it, thank you!!!!!

    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.

    Mbarrettimages / Getty Images

    Its summit, 20,310 feet above sea level, is a truly incredible sight — that is, when it feels like being seen at all.

    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.

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    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.

    Mantas Volungevicius / Getty Images

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

    Dhughes9 / Getty Images

    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.

    Flickr: 138176242@N04

    (The boxwork is made of calcite, FYI.)

    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.

    Ericfoltz / Getty Images

    As author Duane Vandenbusche wrote in Images of America: The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, "Several canyons of the American West are longer and some are deeper, but none combines the depth, sheerness, narrowness, darkness, and dread of the Black Canyon." That's kind of an epic burn, if you think about it.

    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.

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    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.

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    Here's a picture of some people standing at the base of it looking like teeny little ants, for perspective.

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

    Lucky-photographer / Getty Images

    Don't take this picture's word for it, actually, just go see it yourself.

    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.

    Stevenschremp / Getty Images

    Has anyone asked Medusa if she has an alibi for this?

    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.

    Habesen / Getty Images

    Your ombré hair could never.

    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.

    Lucky-photographer / Getty Images

    Just one confirmed photo has ever been taken of it, and park officials are careful to protect its location from climbers and carvers. How thoughtful!

    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.

    Kencanning / Getty Images

    Some never grow any arms, though.

    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.

    Benedek / Getty Images

    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.

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    Listen, naming national parks is a tough job.

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

    Flickr: ravedelay

    It was was named as an International Dark Sky Park in 2012 because it has the darkest measured skies in the lower 48 states.

    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.

    Carmengabriela / Getty Images

    21 miles is really long, y'all! You'd almost have to run a full marathon to get from one end to the other.

    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.

    Nicklustphotography / Getty Images

    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.

    Sean Pavone / Getty Images

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