The landscape feels otherworldly. As a child, I was convinced the Temple of the Moon in Capitol Reef was proof aliens existed.
If you’ve only got time to visit one state and want to go to many parks, then Utah is your best bet.
Maine is home to one of the most visited and picturesque national parks in the country.
Maine is popular for its lobster, sailing, and fishing scene, but it should be known for having one of the most spectacular national parks.
With the highest point of the country’s eastern coast, Acadia National Park features lush greenery, rocky coasts, and granite peaks.
I spent many summers in the region, but there’s still more to explore. After all, the park has 158 miles of hiking trails.
Glacier National Park in Montana is severely underrated.
Even though many people associate Montana with Yellowstone, only 3% of the national park is actually in the state.
However, Glacier National Park offers a spectacular — yet, at times, terrifying — glimpse into the natural landscape of the historic American West.
I spent the scariest evening of my youth camping out in Glacier with my family. I was 11, and a passing backpacker warned me of a mountain lion spotted nearby. I soon after heard its faint tracks.
Florida and the Everglades are often overlooked.
As a Garden State native, I may be partial to the swamps of New Jersey, but I have to pay my respect to the Everglades.
Also known as the River of Grass, the Everglades doesn’t get enough credit, even domestically. But there is an otherworldly element to its natural beauty and wildness.
I’ll never forget the fiery sunset I saw while driving west across the Tamiami Trail to the Gulf Coast. The surrounding forest and two-lane highway were bathed in an eerily fluorescent glow as alligators darted into the brush along the road.
California is home to the most majestic forests.
If you want to be engulfed by lush, majestic greenery, then Northern California is the way to go.
When I was 11, my family intended to camp at Mount Rainier, but a blizzard sent hikers down the mountain and back toward the base lodge. I knew then I wanted to be like those backpackers in their snow-covered boots and rain-drenched windbreakers.
I haven’t yet peaked Rainier, but there’s still time.
Imbued with spiritual significance, Hawaii’s national parks are stunning and diverse.
I’ll never forget my adventures on the Big Island, traveling from the rainy side in Hilo to the dry, volcanic landscape of Kona.
The majestic beauty of Hawaii’s parks is deeply tied to the island’s native culture and spirituality. For example, Kīpahulu in Haleakalā National Park is believed to be the home of the god Laka, who’s worshipped by canoe builders.
Every bit of Hawaii is magic, and the land that’s designated sacred or special is undeniably stunning.
Wyoming is home to America’s first and prettiest national parks.
96% of Yellowstone, the US’ first established national park, is in Wyoming — but that’s not what put the Cowboy State at top of my list.
In my opinion, Grand Teton is simply the most beautiful place in America.
Take in the beauty by heading to Oxbow Bend at sunset, sunbathing along the shore of Colter Bay, kayaking Jackson Lake on a sunny afternoon, or hiking to the top of Inspiration Point.
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