5 national parks you need to visit

America’s national parks are some of the most incredible spaces our nation has to offer. Whether it’s the stunning scenery or amazing wildlife, national parks have something to offer everyone.

The first national park was established by Congress in 1872, starting a movement that would spread across the United States and the world. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, and national parks have only continued to grow.

Today, the NPS operates 58 national parks across the United States, from Alaska to Florida, and everywhere in between. While we would advocate that you explore them all, here are the five that you have to see for yourself:

 

Yellowstone

Old Faithful, a geyser in Yellowstone National Park, can spew streams of steam up to 170 feet into the air.

America’s first national park is also one of its most stunning. Yellowstone National Park is made up of parts of three states – Wyoming, Montana and Idaho – and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

The fact that the park sits atop a massive supervolcano is just one incredible natural feature. Yellowstone is also home to hot springs, canyons and geysers, including Old Faithful, the most popular.

 

Yosemite

Another western national park, Yosemite is located in central California. Yosemite is best known for its towering waterfalls, incredible granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees, which are believed to be the oldest living things on Earth.

Yosemite has become one of the more popular parks among tourists and thrill seekers alike. The park’s most famous feature, El Capitan, is a well-liked spot among rock climbers, while the park’s cliffs have become popular proposal spots.

 

Acadia

The only park on this list to be on the East Coast, Acadia National Park is made up of several islands off the coast of Maine. The park is the only national park in the Northeastern United States and the oldest park east of the Mississippi River.

Acadia is known for its proximity to the small town of Bar Harbor, a popular tourist destination, as well as Cadillac Mountain, which is the first place on the East Coast to see the sunrise each morning.

 

Denali

Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet is the highest peak in North America.

The state of Alaska is home to eight national parks and none are more breathtaking than Denali National Park and Preserve. Making up an area that is larger than the state of New Hampshire, Denali is home to a mix of forests, tundra, and mountains.

The parks most notable attraction is Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. The mountain made news in 2015 after President Obama changed the name from Mount Mckinley to Denali, its Alaskan native name.

 

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park, located in northern Arizona, is the second most visited national park in the country, and with good reason. President Theodore Roosevelt said of the park in 1903, “It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world.”

The Grand Canyon is known for its incredible size and depth, as well as the colorful rocks that make up the vast walls of the canyon.

 

by Brett Lemmo

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