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12 Amazing Adventures in U.S. National Parks

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Now is the time to hit the road and explore the natural world preserved in the U.S. national park system. From Maine to California, there are parks for all travelers. Immerse yourself by camping and hiking, or just get a taste of the wilderness in the form of a glamorous old national park lodge and a leisurely stroll or day drive.
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North Rim, AZ 86052, USA
If you know your flight path is going to go over the Grand Canyon, get a window seat. Even from thirty-some-thousand feet above, the chasms within chasms stretch on to the horizon...
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N Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA
It may look a little like your childhood summer camp, but Phantom Ranch feels like The Ritz by the time you make it to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, whether by foot—a steep 10-mile hike—mule, or boat down the Colorado River. Set near...
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California, USA
“We wanted to go to Yosemite, but didn’t have time.” I’ve heard this refrain from several San Francisco visitors and they all have said it with regret. Yes, the reverent national park is outside of a short-drive comfort...
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Mile Marker 92 Denali Park Road, Denali, AK 99755, USA
A friend from college had worked and lived in Alaska for many years and invited me to come and visit in the fall. Keep in mind, that "fall" in the tundra is mid-August to mid-September (snow will fly by October). I had been to Alaska before and...
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2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park, CO 80511, USA
There are 200 family cabins for rent at the YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center. If you're visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park area and NOT camping, there are plenty of hotels in town, and wonderful B&Bs and big lodges in the mountains,...
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Avon, CO, USA
It was the most beautiful walk to the top. The air was thin and we needed to drink a lot of water the whole day. It was worth the shortness of breath.
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Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
Old Faithful typically erupts every 35 to 120 minutes, and its show usually lasts for one-and-a-half to five minutes. On the day we were there, the 200-degree water reached 160 feet, which is on the higher end of the spectrum. Observers sit on...
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Utah, USA
See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. This is one seriously tough and gorgeous full day on a bicycle in Arches National Park. Here's a quick hit on the route. I'd suggest trying to make this happen on a weekday to avoid the presence of the...
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Utah, USA
View of Canyonlands from Mesa Arch. I placed the polarizing lens from my sunglasses over my camera to capture the details of the landscape and sky.
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Utah, USA
This national park is centered along the spine plateau above Bryce Canyon, which drops to the east from the main park road. Along the road are numerous pull-offs for enjoying views down into the canyon, with its miles and miles of awe-inspiring...
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The ire of Mount Kilauea reforges the world before visitors' eyes. Nicknamed "the World's Only Drive-In Volcano," it’s produced serious lava every day since 1983 with no signs of stopping. Pele—the fire goddess who lives here,...
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Maine, USA
A certain amount of dedication is required to see the sunrise. You have to commit to getting up early, then fight the urge to hit snooze when "go time" comes around. You drag yourself out of bed and to the prime sunrise watching spot - in this...