These national parks are not to be missed!
There’s no doubt that one of the greatest luxuries in America is exploring its rich, rolling landscapes. Nothing beats the fresh smell of a Redwood forest, the steep cliffs of the Yosemite and the rugged valleys filled with roaming buffalo. While we find ourselves sinking deeper into the pillows of our couch while we slowly emerge from self-isolation, there couldn’t be a better time to snake down the dusty trails of one of the country’s spectacular parks.
If you’re not quite ready to venture outdoors just yet, you can always start planning your next road trip or start making reservations. Many national parks are partially open and have a phased reopening plan in place, so check before going and remember to bring your mask and water.
Here are our top ten that are for you to explore!
1. Acadia National Park, Maine
Take one of the most challenging trails of the North Atlantic coast’s “crown jewel”. The Precipice Trail forces hikers up a steep vertical of the Champlain Mountain. While not everyone is up for the task the breathtaking of the rugged coastline views are worth the dizzying heights.
2. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Step into the otherworldly land of twisted rocks and spikey fauna, straddling the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert. Do a bit of the 1.5 mile Barker Dam trail, winding between the serene stacks of beige boulders without the usual queues.
3. Arches National Park, Utah
Lose yourself in the mesmerizing red-hued land of 2,000 natural sandstone arches and stare straight into the North Window’s eye-shaped openings. The Arches National Park has the highest concentration of these unique natural stone arches in the world, along with pinnacles, balanced rocks, fins and other incredible geological formations.
4. Death Valley National Park, California & Nevada
Welcome to one of the hottest places on earth. Dig into the ruins of the 1905 gold-mining town, Rhyolite. The haunting ghost town is made up of a straight open road embedded in volcanic rock and it will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a Western (or Mars).
5. The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The 18-by-277-mile UNESCO World Heritage Site is not to be missed on your virtual adventures. The unmistakable smooth, red layers of rock and dead drops are thrilling. Even from home. Google Earth allows you to trek along the Bright Angel Trail, known as the “superhighway”.
6. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Visit this diverse park’s hottest, oldest and most dynamic thermal areas without the heat. You can wander around the vivid The Norris Geyser Basin which is the tallest in the world! It’s so far above sea level that the boiling point is 199°F.
7.Yosemite National Park, California
With 2.2 million acres of land, this park alone could fulfill every hiking dream alone. The park is filled with diverse geography, natural attractions and phenomena. This trail allows you to take the panoramic views of monoliths, the Half Dome and the sheer granite face of El Capitan.
8.The Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands
The lush, green valleys are a breath of fresh air. Wander through the shady forest passes of the sugar-plantation ruins and marvel at the ancient Taino petroglyphs carvings.
9. Redwood National and State Parks, California
Redwood National and State Parks have some of the world’s tallest and oldest trees. The park is made up of protected forests, coastline and grasslands. A serene virtual walk among the towering Redwood clusters of Lady Bird Johnson Grove will make you forget that you’re inside altogether.
10. Zion National Park, Utah
Thrill-seeker’s paradise is still incredible from a desktop. This virtual trail allows you to brush up close to the powdery sandstone cliffs of the Court of the Patriarchs. The Three peaks take their names from biblical figures Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
[Featured Image: @jkputnamphoto]