9 of America’s Greatest National Parks

There are dozens of excellent national parks to visit all across America which preserve the natural resources of the country. They also have a large variety of natural resources across wide areas and delight the visitors year after year with their rich history and wildlife. These historic sites and the scenic trails protect natural and cultural sites throughout the United States. These are nine of the best for lovers of the outdoors.

(photo credit: vtveen)

1. Utah, USA, Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park may not be one of the biggest in America as it’s just over 56 square miles in size. However, its geology is quite unique. The park has several horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres which have been created by the force of eroding rainwater and frost. There are also many other interesting and spectacular limestone formations.

2. Colorado, USA, Rocky Mountain National Park

This park features the Rocky Mountains, with the highest point being the 14,259-foot Longs Peak. It’s a breathtaking sight as is the rest of the 416-square mile park. There are actually about five dozen mountains here that are higher than 12,000 feet. There are also thick forests and alpine flowers as well as a wide array of wildlife, which includes bighorn sheep.

3. Florida, USA, Everglades National Park

Florida’s wilderness is the biggest subtropical area in America even though only about 25 per cent of it remains. You’ll find American crocodiles, West Indian manatees, and Florida panthers here as well as sawgrass coastlines and prairies and mangrove tunnels. The Everglades is actually a river not a swamp, but only flows at a rate of about a quarter of a mile each day.

4. Utah, USA, Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah features deep chasms and narrow canyons in a variety of fantastic shades and colors. The valley floor of the park is at an elevation of 4,000 feet and the highest point reaches about 9,000 feet. The views from the lower areas are especially awe-inspiring as you’ll see a wide range of domes, pinnacles, spires, and arches.

5. Washington, USA, Mount Ranier National Park

Mount Ranier in the state of Washington stands 14,410 feet tall, making it the Cascades’ highest peak. The park is filled with rain forest, mountain meadows, glaciers, and wildflowers. The wilderness area is one of the most beautiful in the nation and has often been called a paradise.

6. Hawaii, USA, Volcanoes National Park

Two of the planets most active volcanoes are located here, which are named Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The park’s landscape seems to be forever-changing. It starts at sea level and reaches its highest peak at Mauna Loa. Kilauea is the easiest volcano to reach for visitors and you can get a good view of it by taking the Crater Rim Drive. The 11-mile route takes you through rain forest, desert, and black-sand beaches.

7. Texas, USA, Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Parks is more or less made up of three different parks. It’s home to the Rio Grande, Chisos Mountains, and the Chihuahuan Desert, making it a diverse geologic and biologic area. The park also belongs to one of America’s biggest transboundary protected regions. Over two million acres of the Chihuahuan Desert and 200 miles of the river are protected by Mexico and the USA.

8. California, USA, Redwood National Park

This park is home to some of the planet’s tallest trees, with many of them being over 300 feet in height. The park also has Redwood forests that sit next to 450 miles of rugged coastline that stretches from the California/Oregon border to Monterey Bay. Some Native Americans believe the Redwood tree is sacred as it has a heart.

9. Tennesse/North Carolina, USA, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This amazing park lies across the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. It attracts more visitors to it than any other American national park as about nine million people come here each year. It’s filled with forested ridges, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a wide variety of animals and plants. It’s also home to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.