The United States are home to 58 incredible National Parks, each one bringing their own fascinating features to the table. If you’ve ever visited one of these parks before, you’ll have some idea of the breath-taking scenery that awaits; soaring granite structures, vast forests, endless waterways, giant glaciers and a huge variety of wildlife, and if you haven’t, you need to visit one at least one in your life!
Here are three National Parks in the United States that i’ve visited and would highly recommend.
The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen. Located in Arizona, it’s one mile deep, up to 18 miles wide and spans an area of 1,904 square miles. Formed 5-6 million years ago, it’s the most spectacular Canyon in the world; there really is no other place like it.
As you get up close and personal with the edge of the canyon, nothing can quite prepare you for its sheer vastness. The red, grey, brown and pink rock that make up the many layers of the canyon walls are a history lesson in itself, crammed with millions of fossils.
The South rim of the canyon is the most accessible part of the park and you’ll be able to see some breath-taking vistas from one of the many viewing points. The Grand Canyon really is one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ things to experience.
- Take a helicopter flight to get a bird’s eye view of the canyon in all its immense glory
- See it all from a different perspective on a thrilling raft ride along the Colorado River
- Don’t forget your binoculars!
The largest sub-tropical habitat in the USA, Florida’s Everglades are an incredible natural wonder. This non-assuming area of mangrove, swamp lands and pine forests is a thriving ecosystem filled with life.
If you’re a nature lover, this is the perfect place for you as the Everglades are well known for the huge variety of wildlife. On a visit here you may spot a Manatee as it glides gently through a saltwater bay, Alligators relaxing underneath the blazing sun, snakes slithering through the grasslands or even the elusive Florida Panther as it stalks its next prey.
There are also over 350 species of birds and countless species of plants. You can explore the serene beauty of the park by boat, walking tour or along one of the driving routes.
- Pay a visit to the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Centre to pick up a map and learn a bit about the Everglades before you head off and explore
- Hire a car and take a scenic drive from Royal Palm to Flamingo; it’s an excellent way to spot the resident wildlife
- Go for a trek along the Mahogany Hammock Trail to see rare, jungle like hammocks and the largest living mahogany tree in the USA
Covering an area of 1,200 square miles in California, this place really is an incredible sight to behold. Home to North America’s highest waterfall ‘Yosemite Falls’ and the world’s tallest granite monolith ‘El Capitan’, you’ll also find acres of forest that’s abundant with animal life including black bear, golden eagle, coyotes and marmots.
It’s also home to the famous ‘Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias’ a large area of this giant species of tree that can grow up to an incredible 76 metres tall. Yosemite has 2 of the 30 largest in the world.
Hike along one of the many walking trails, go canoeing, try your hand at fishing and just spend some time being at one with the stunning natural surroundings. I love Yosemite and I’m sure you will too.
- Hire a bike and cycle along the 12 miles of paved trails for a great view of the park
- Take a guided moonlight tour for uninterrupted views of the dazzling night sky
- Consider going in late autumn for an incredible backdrop of changing colours (plus the park will be generally quieter too!)
Have you been to one of the USA’s National Parks? Do you have a favourite or is there one you’d love to visit? Let me know in the comments below.