The first national park in the world was established in Wyoming when legislators passed the Yellowstone National Park Act of 1872, protecting more than two million acres of public domain. From then to now, the number of national sites has increased to 450!
The idea has expanded from natural parks to historical, recreational and cultural sites including national monuments, national memorials, national seashores, national Military parks and more. In the U.S. over 25 states are proud to showcase their jewels encompassing fascinations like the Everglades in Florida, mountain and valley ranges in California, wilderness in Alaska and volcanoes in Hawaii. Here’s is a taste of some of best in the States.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
This park is a scenic mountain paradise with over 100 peaks all above 11,000 ft- the highest is Longs Peak at 14,259ft! Some parts of the mountain range cross over the continental divide. Meaning snow melting off the western side will find its way to the Pacific Ocean while on the snow on the opposite side will eventually melt into the Atlantic. Hikers and skiers here enjoy hundreds of miles of trails. For a favourite local hit Eldora Ski Resort. Eldora offers full services including ski rental, lessons, groomed slopes, and night time shredding. While enjoying the slopes you might encounter the park’s many local inhabitants. Maybe passing Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Marmot, or Moose, even a rare occasion a Mountain Lion or Black Bear – beware!
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The canyon was the U.S.’s 17th National Park. The physical make-up is of layered bands of red rock stretching across a staggering 1,900 square miles- 277 miles long and 18 wide. The Grand Canyon is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world and visited by an annual 5 million people. In the past it was inhabited by Native Americans- some considering it a holy site, making pilgrimages. Now it is a haven for animals and lots of rock. For the adventurous few some trips can be done through the canyon. One provided by Western River Expeditions has been around for 50 years. They offer a week-long rafting trip down the almost 300-mile river- food and camping provided.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
Although not a park is known for its natural appearance, Chaco is still worth mentioning. It is considered one of the most important pre-Columbian areas in the U.S. It was deemed a national site in 1980 and is the location of an intricate assembly of Pueblos. Coined by Spanish explorers, Pueblos refers to stone and mud built communities by Native American. The ancient Pueblo ruins seen as a sacred ancestral homeland to both the Hopi and Pueblo people. Today it is a hot spot for hiking, biking, camping, and stargazing. There is one campground in the park that holds 51 sites. During special seasons the park rangers open up the area to a stargazing party- lending telescopes and offering advice. There is also an observatory open to the public with a 25″ telescope displaying a jaw-dropping view into the heavens.
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
Haleakala located on the island of Maui, surrounded by 33,265 acres of land including a dormant volcano with the same name as the region. Haleakala translates to “house of the sun”. The park also is home to the Haleakala Observatory, responsible for surveying satellites and debris orbiting Earth.
This region is another great area for stargazing as light pollution is low and the volcano sits 10,000 ft. Above sea level. The road to the summit is a 38-mile drive and while ascending climates drastically change. From a humid subtropical at the base to subalpine deserts higher up. On the east side of the park, visitors can view the Kīpahulu Valley. In this area, some of the rarest birds exist. To name three: The Hawaiian Petrel, the Hawaiian Goose, and Honeycreepers.
There are many more beautiful enchanting parks in the United States that we are happy to share with you. Planning a trip abroad? Why not talk to us at email@example.com.
Hello! I’m Josh and I’m a journalism and business student from the U.S. I grew up near Boston but now I’m living in Thailand. In the past I’ve been a ski instructor, waiter, and camp counselor. Now I’ve taken up the pen and want to develop my skills as a writer. I got hooked on traveling last December. I found the microscopic image of my town and realized how much of the earth I hadn’t seen. Since then I’ve had a fire in my belly to see and do as much as I can. My experience here in Thailand has been so great and now I’m eager to share and inspire others to get out, it’s worth it! You can keep in contact with me at LinkedIn, Upwork or Facebook.