There is no better way to explore a part of the United States than by visiting some of its national parks. Each and everyone of them are naturally beautiful, but different in many ways. From snow capped mountains in the north to the red-earthed canyons of the south, LUXOS put together a list of the 7 best natural wonders in the U.S. you should visit at least once in a lifetime.
Celebrating their monumental 100th anniversary this year, Grand Canyon National Park is without a doubt one of the most famous national parks in the United States. Located in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is visited by many for its spectacular red rock landscape, scenic panoramic views and unparalleled opportunities for adventure. It was founded in 1919 by President Wildrow Wilson, who wanted to preserve the Canyon and its history for future generations. To celebrate their Centennial year, you may participate in special events, exhibits and demonstrations that will give you a sense of the deep histories and culture that have shaped Grand Canyon’s legacy. Whether you explore the park by rail, plane, or on foot, you will surely discover all the rich, natural beauty and the Grand Canyon has to offer.
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Yellowstone National Park
Located in Wyoming and parts of Montana, Yellowstone National Park is the United States’ first national park, founded in 1872. This wilderness recreation area sits on top of a volcanic spot, and is mostly known for its Old Faithful geyser, forests, alpine rivers and stunning cannons. Yellowstone is a great spot if you’d like to see the wildlife roam its fields. The park is home to a vast array of wild animals, like buffalo, wolves, bison, eagles, and even bears. For a beautiful sight, visit the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the U.S. The colourful rainbow dispersion surrounding the blue water is mesmerising and delightfully vivid.
You will probably recognize this park in several American western films. Monument Valleyy, located in a region of the Colorado Plateau, on the Arizona-Utah border. Not officially a national park, this valley lies in the historic Navajo Nation Reservation. It is widely recognized for its vast sandstone buttes above the valley, the most famous of them being The Mittens. Head to John Ford’s Point for a sweeping panorama of the valley, with its endless blue skies and rugged red earth. Take a tour with a Navajo guide for a peak into the history and culture of the tribe as you explore Puebloan ruins in Mystery Valley and hike the majestic terrain of Hunt’s Mesa. Spend the night at the View Hotel, a Navajo establishment that provides guests with an elegant yet traditional place to stay, with exclusive top-floor rooms that have stunning night-time views of the stars.
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Best known for its beautiful waterfalls, Yosemite National Park is a place for great adventure in the sunshine state of California. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite offers visitors a vast array of opportunities for exploration and adventure. You’ll be able to go down in the deep valleys, take in the sights of the mesmerizing ancient sequoias, hiking and horseback riding. Spend some time at famous sights like Glacier Point, which offers stunning views of high country, waterfalls and Half Dome. In Yosemite village, you’ll find shops, restaurants, lodging, as well as the Yosemite Museum that features the history and culture of the Ahwahnechee tribe that inhabited the valley.
A spectacular cluster of tall, spiraling red rocks, known as hoodoos, is the defining image of Bryce Canyon National Park. Located in southern Utah, Bryce Canyon is a series of amphitheaters on the edge of a high plateau. Bryce Point is perhaps the most famous view point of the canyon, with its incredible vistas of the entire amphitheater and incredible vantage point to watch the sunrises that illuminate the tops of the crimson hoodoos. Utilize the canyon’s hiking trails walk along the connected viewpoints and wander through the nearby forests of the plateau. To take full advantage of park exploration, attend ranger activities like geology talks, an astronomy program or a full moon hike.
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Acadia National Park
Located on the coast of Maine, Acadia National Park is known for its rocky headlands, and the famous granite peak Cadillac Mountain, which happens to be the highest point on the East Coast. One of the best ways to experience the wonders of the island is from the sky! Fly on a Cessna 172 aircraft with an experienced pilot for a stunning aerial perspective of Acadia National Park and nearby Bay Harbor. The park is also home to a vast array of species, like black bears, moose, white-tailed deer, wood frogs and song birds. For some adventure on the water, go kayaking and canoeing on the lakes, or go for a swim at Sand Beach or Echo Lake.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Colorado’s Top 5 Winter Wonderland is a nature-lover’s haven of mountains, forests, and rivers. 12,000 foot Tail Ridge Road is where where you can experience the best Rocky Mountain’s alpine and subalpine spaces, like hiking trails that go from the lakeside to steep mountain peaks. As one of the country’s top wildlife watching destinations, visitors typically enjoy watching and taking photos of the wild animals that inhabit the park, such as winter elk, mule deer and big horn sheep. For a relaxing time with your group or family, enjoy a nice meal at one of the many picnic areas in the park, surrounded by the trees and mountains.
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