Great American Parks
Collected by Andi Fisher , AFAR Local Expert
America the Beautiful. The United States is vast. The size of our country brings us a unique advantage over a lot of countries in the world in that we have a lot of beautiful national and state parks just ready to be explored!
Upper Geyser Basin, Wyoming 82190, USA
The Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park is best known for Old Faithful, one of the most regular geyser spouts in the world. This area is home to at least 26 named geysers as well as many more geothermal pools. The area has boardwalks...
Driving into Yosemite National Park, you make your way through a narrow tunnel. When you emerge, this is the view that greets you. It was winter time, and a blizzard had just blown through. While driving into the park, I had slipped on the ice,...
Furnace Creek, CA 92328, USA
hiking through mesquite dunes in death valley is an amazing communion with mother nature. One knows civilization is directly south once out in the middle if dunes, but the feeling of being completely lost is overwhelming among the high dunes and...
As someone born and raised in Austin, Texas I was shocked that West Texas had so much to offer and that I had not visited sooner. The small, but cowboy chic, Terlingua Ghost Town just outside the National Park made a great place for brunch before...
North Rim, AZ 86052, USA
If you are in the area its definitely a place one needs to see, you will be impressed by the scale of it all. if you go to the SKYWALK, the horseshoe configured walkway above the Canyon you will be able to look through the glass floor at the...
The colors in Bryce Canyon were astounding. I've never seen reds, greens, and blues quite so vivid in my life. The dazzling sun there intensified the colors so much that I felt as if I had somehow dropped into a Photoshopped world, where all hues...
The Hayden Valley, where this picture was taken, is known for some of the best wildlife viewing in Yellowstone National Park. Thousands of bison, elk, grizzly bears, and coyote call the valley home and can be seen on the stretches of open land,...
Big Bend National Park, TX, USA
One my favorite short hikes in Big Bend National Park is the Window Trail which leads directly to "The Window", a large rock canyon that cuts through the Chisos Mountains rim, allowing drainage from the Basin to the Chihuahuan Desert. The V-shaped...
If you have never had the opportunity to see Crater Lake in person, nothing can quite prepare you for the intense azul waters reflecting the sky. The deepest lake in the US, it is made up completely of collected water from melted snow and rain...
Mormon Row, Wyoming, USA
One of the most exciting facets of life on the road is finding new ways to look at frequently photographed locations. Mormon Row is iconic Americana, right up there with the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, and the Welcome to Las Vegas sign,...
11450 State Hwy Park Rd 5, Canyon, TX 79015, USA
A half hour south of Amarillo lies the second-largest canyon in the United States. Palo Duro offers lovely hiking and camping along its 120-mile length. Georgia O’Keeffe painted landscapes inspired by what she called the “burning, seething...
For several summers, I just couldn't seem to get the timing right for wildflowers while hiking around Mt. Rainier: too early, too late, too cold, rain...Finally, one summer, although the skies were grey and getting lower on the glaciers, I arrived...
Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
Driving south from Reno, Nev., my then-fiancée and I were slightly anxious. We were on our way to the wedding of one of Kate’s best friends to a Patagonia-sponsored rock climber who had completed first ascents and other impressive feats throughout...
675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, USA
The sweeping view in Utah's Dead Horse State Park was made famous by the final scene in Thelma and Louise. The park is mostly comprised of a small overlook area, but the grand scenery of the valley below is breathtaking. It is a quick and worthy...
3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, USA
My daughter didn't label this part of her photo album "Mirkwood" for no reason. Not a giant spider in sight (thankfully), but if we had seen an elf behind a tree in Hoh Rain Forest, we hardly would have found it unanticipated. Despite the other...
17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, USA
We couldn't find the signs for Bull Creek Trail. We asked other hikers. They couldn't find it either. We wandered for a while, finally gave up, and wandered aimlessly, crossing the creek. The idea of finding the trail evaporated from our minds as...
Phelps Lake, Wyoming 83014, USA
Jackson Hole in the summer is one of the most beautiful places in the US and Phelps Lake in Grand Teton National Park is an example why. Hike about an hour down to the locals favorite "Jumping Rock" where you can jump 20 feet into this pristine...
Oljato-Monument Valley, UT 84536, USA
Past the "No Public Allowed" signs, our Navajo guide granted us special permission to access the backcountry of the Navajo Nation reservation in Monument Valley, Utah. This access afforded us beautiful views that are rarely seen by the general...
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