National Park Experiences in the U.S.
Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
I can't think of a better way to honor the U.S. on Independence Day than to celebrate its national parks--beautiful, peaceful, raw, one of the country's most special features.
Hike, bike, or ride at your leisure up through Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Colorado. For photographers, I recommend taking Trail Ridge Road for its vast opportunity to stop off and take pictures of beautiful views. The trip begins in the...
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...
Yellowstone National Park is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. Yellowstone is one of America's most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason; there few places in the country where you can rub shoulders with grizzlies, smack...
Mormon Row, Moose, WY 83012, 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,...
Utah's famous license plate landmark, Delicate Arch, sits on the edge of a spiral rock wishing well, a massive replica of those that you throw a coin into at the mall. Hike the 1.5 miles to the rim just before sunset to watch the orange sandstone...
Having never been to the Rockies before this trip and having never seen an actual real-life in-the-flesh buffalo before, it was a pretty overwhelming moment to come across an entire herd of them crossing the main road to graze in the Snake River...
The inspiring powers of nature are truly on display at Joshua Tree National Park. Cap Rock is easily found, accessible by car and has a little loop trail that provides some nice shady spots for animal and human alike. This spot in Joshua Tree is...
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, USA
Pass through Canyon Village and take the North Rim Drive. Park at Lookout point and take the paved trail down to Brink of Lower falls. As you descend you will indulge yourself in the sounds of rushing water and the smell of fresh pine. Butterflies...
Lover's Ln, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
If you are looking for a great walk in San Francisco, try the Presidio National Park. Lover's Lane is a nice one to start with. If you drive, just after entering the southeastern gate (Presidio Blvd. Gate), you can make a left and park your car in...
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...
36000 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33194, USA
Our national parks are such wonderful destinations for some fun adventure. So when I visited my friend in Miami earlier this year I got her to agree to go to the Everglades with me. We decided to do the 15 mile Shark Valley trail by bike. That...
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI 96718, USA
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,...
Point Reyes Lighthouse, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
I practically got "blown away" at the Point Reyes Lighthouse because it was so incredibly windy the day I visited. In fact, this is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place in North America, making it very dangerous...