This may be an average answer but Yosemite is one of my favorites. Not because of Half Dome, but rather because of the history and culture that is present within the park. Yosemite also has tons of beautiful waterfalls and its sequoia groves will make you feel like an ant. Definitely a must see.
When I was 12, I went hiking with my dad and brothers in Olympic National Park, WA, up the Lake Constance Trail — rumored to be one of the most difficult trails in the park (3400′ in 2.0 miles). We left late that day, and my dad called the hike off halfway to the top to avoid having to walk in the dark back down.
I went back with a friend about 8 years later, to finish what I had started with my dad and brothers. We were driving up the road to the trailhead and had to come to an abrupt halt where the road turned into a 40-foot precipice where the road had been washed out by a flood on the Dosewallips River about 4 miles from the trailhead.
Last summer, I went up again, armed with my mountain bike, to pedal the 4 miles up from the wash-out to the trailhead, then hike from there. When I arrived, a sign at the trailhead announced that the Lake Constance Route was closed due to a live wildfire.
I guess I can’t call it my favorite place since I’ve never actually been there, but Lake Constance is number one on my priority list for places to visit in a national park. That is, if I’m not somehow fated to avoid it.
This is a great story, are you going to try again this summer? I am going to do half dome for the first time this year with my two brothers and my father. It should be an awesome time.
A few summers ago, I had the pleasure of hiking the Grand Canyon, and the views were truly amazing. At the bottom, there’s a foot bridge that crosses over the Colorado River, and you can really feel the immense power of the rapids standing over it. Although I would caution you not to hike back in the dark; the trails have a lot of mule traffic during the day, and if you can’t see where you’re stepping, your hiking boots will be filled to the brim with mule dung upon your return.
I love the Redwood national park in northern California. I remember going on a family road trip out there as a young child and feeling dwarfed by the trees. Glacier national park was another favorite from my youth.
Now that I live in the south, Joshua tree is a great park to escape to for a weekend of hiking, biking and camping with friends. If you go the right week in March you can see some of the most beautiful wild flowers.
Two amazing places I’ve visited in National Parks include Half Dome in Yosemite National Park and Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. The great thing about Half Dome is that it is very accessible to visitors. Of course, this is also the downside, since it tends to get crowded. But if you time your trip right, it is one of the most beautiful spots in America.
Half Dome (Yosemite National Park):
Longs Peak (Rocky Mountain National Park):
Photos: Half Dome and Longs Peak
My favorite is Hopewell in Ohio. Where you can see mounds built by native Americans, including the famous snake mound
The pic you provided is fascinating. Do you know what the mounds were used for?
Yes, there are actually many mounds at this park. it is widely unknown throughout America (we learned about it in school because i am from Ohio, but for people outside of Ohio, they really don’t know what it is)
But the mounds were used for ceremonies.
They have burial mounds, which are like 5 foot humps they made had families buried under them (most likely from medicine mans family or someone who led the tribe)
There are other mounds, and even a “bowl” were they made a crater in the Earth (which is great for sledding in winter btw) that is believed to be where they would go to watch the stars. I imagine it as the leader telling everyone stories of how the stars came to be, and stories of the past.
the snake is widely unknown. To preserve they have not dug under it (so there could be bodies under it, who knows) but it could have been for ceremonies or offerings, could have been made to represent a calender, or the stars, or for all we know it could have just been made as a place for kids to play or something.
You really have to go there to see how cool it is.
Although it is a National Monument instead of a National Park, Canyon de Chelly in Arizona is absolutely amazing. People still live and carry out their normal traditional lifestyle of subsistence agriculture and ranging. The sheer red walls are absolutely amazing and the Ruins are beautiful. This monument is definitely worth a visit!!
All of the parks mentioned above are incredibly beautiful but I would like to throw the name of the Grand Tetons into the ring. The park located in the Northwest corner of Wyoming is known for its glacially formed mountains, incredible wildlife and beautiful meadows. Grand Teton was one of the places that Ansel Adams loved to photograph. Another plus on the Tetons is their proximity to another fabulous park, America’s first, Yellowstone.
My favorite national park is Olympic National Park. There are sooooo many things to see and do on the Hwy. 101 loop that would absolutely blow your mind. From Second Beach to the Olympic mountains, from beautiful glacial lakes, to natural and wild hot springs this place is just amazing. You will never be able to find so much beauty and diversity in one park. There is even a rainforest! What’s also beautiful is that it’s for everyone. You can easily access most stuff straight from the highway, but there are also hidden trails and adventures to be had off the beaten path. I highly recommend Olympic National Park to any and everyone.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been to many of the National Parks out west. However, I really like Shenadoah. Great views, cool paths and what you make of it (whether you want family-friendly or a more rugged experience).
Redwood Forest in Northern Cal/Southern OR is my favorite place to visit in the US. The biggest and most beautiful trees I have ever seen, and right next to the ocean!
Next would probably be the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, especially in the spring when all the flowers are in bloom.
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