Between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the gigantic stretch of land that is the United States is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural attractions. The 50 states that make up America encompass almost every natural attraction whether it be a volcano, mountain, cave, or waterfall. These natural beauties have resulted in the creation of 58 National Parks which aim to preserve the ecological and historical integrity of the parks while also making them available for public use and enjoyment. These National Parks are the perfect way to discover the real beauty of America unlike ever before.
1. Great Smoky Mountains
Within the Appalachian Mount Range in the states of North Carolina and Tennessee are the Great Smoky Mountains. Also, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this mountain range is the most visited National Park in the country with a yearly average of more than nine million people. What makes these mountains such a huge attraction is the multiple options it has to offer. With 850 miles of trails, hiking is undoubtedly the main feature, but the park also has great opportunities for fishing, horseback riding and bicycling.
Photo courtesy | Jody Claborn
2. Glacier National Park
Located in northern Montana on the United States-Canada border, Glacier National Park stretches more than one million acres as it is home to gigantic mountain peaks and glaciers. With only 25 glaciers remaining worldwide, this National Park is a must-visit as it will soon be without its main feature. The park is famous for its wooden tour boats which give visitors the ability to see the breathtaking scenery from the water.
Photo courtesy | Rex Brown
3. Mammoth Cave
Quite possibly one of America’s greatest hidden secrets, Mammoth Cave in central Kentucky is one of the most unique parts of the country. Being the longest cave system in the entire world with more than 400 miles of underground passageways, it is more than twice as long as any other cave. The National Park Service offers several different tours of the cave. Most are only during daytime so that they are visible due to light, but there are a few tours that go into the narrow, muddy and dark areas.
Photo courtesy | Jeff Kubina
4. Yellowstone National Park
Primarily located in Wyoming, but also extending to Montana and Idaho is Yellowstone National Park. Declared a National Park by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, Yellowstone is the oldest National Park in the country. Comprised of many geothermal features, Old Faithful Geyser is most likely the most famous geyser in the world. Old Faithful can shoot up to 8,400 gallons of boiling water to up to almost 200 feet for up to five minutes. The park also has a tremendous amount of wildlife within its habitat. Specifically the collection of bears, bison, wolves, and other large animals that live in the park. Like most parks, Yellowstone allows camping, hiking, fishing and other recreational activities.
Photo courtesy | Kevin Vance
One of six National Parks in Alaska, Denali is the most popular tourist attraction in the state. There are several camping areas and lodges with shuttle service giving you access to most of the park. Within the park is an area of wilderness named “The Denali Wilderness”, this area is larger than Massachusetts and includes Mount McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America.
Photo courtesy | Gregory Smith
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Cover photo courtesy | Rex Brown