National Parks are National Treasures

4/22/2020

From sea to shining sea, our national parks protect and preserve what’s best about our nation. With stunning natural beauty, amazing wildlife, inspiring history and lots of opportunities for fun and recreation, there’s no wonder why they’re often called “America’s best idea.” Generations of visitors have explored the parks and come away with a deep appreciation for these special places. Over the years, we’ve written about many of our national treasures. As you join us in celebrating National Park Week, please check out a few of our guides by clicking on the links below to better understand and appreciate your national parks.

 

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

A view looking down at people walking along a long wooden boardwalk past a large blue pool of water bordered by bright colorful lines of dirt.
Grand Prismatic Spring at Midway Geyser Basin paints an incredible picture in vibrant blues, yellows and oranges. Photo by Natalia Ornia (www.sharetheexperience.org).

The world’s first national park, Yellowstone is a fascinating wonderland of geysers, mountains, rivers, wildlife and forests sitting on a massive supervolcano. 

 

Glacier National Park in Montana

Two jagged, rocky mountains rise above a field of pink wildflowers.
Fireweed lines the road at Glacier National Park. Photo by Shan Lin (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Often called the Crown of the Continent, Glacier’s sweeping valley views and gorgeous alpine lakes make it one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

 

Zion National Park in Utah

A shallow river flows through a narrow red rock canyon with high walls.
The Narrows is a great hike in Zion, but please plan ahead. Photo by Kevin Roland (www.sharetheexperience.org).

There’s something magical about Zion. The desert canyons, rock formations and cool river valleys feel like they were sculpted just for you.

 

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

High snow covered cliffs surround a large, round blue lake with a small cone shaped island in the middle of it.
The water of Crater Lake is a deep, gorgeous blue. Photo by Vince Warren (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Crater Lake is famous for its beautiful blue color, snowy winters, amazing volcanic history and unbelievable views.

 

Everglades National Park in Florida

A alligator walks across a concrete path as four people with cameras look on.
An alligator in the Everglades. Photo by National Park Service. 

The world’s best known wetland, the Everglades are home to an incredible variety of wildlife that live in the “sea of grass.”

 

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

Pink sunset clouds float in the sky above a massive canyon landscape.
With wide vistas and a view of the Colorado River, Hopi Point off of Hermit Road is a popular viewpoint. Sunset photo by Jack Denger (www.sharetheexperience.org).

President Theodore Roosevelt captured the spirit of the Grand Canyon when he said, “In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.”

 

Death Valley National Park in California

Two small rocks sit on a flat desert plain under a starry sky.
Rocks and their trails lit by the moonlight. Photo by Cat Connor (www.sharetheexperience.org).

As the hottest, driest and lowest national park, Death Valley is a land of extremes, offering visitors a striking contrast of landscapes to explore -- from snow covered peaks to lush wildflower meadows to seemingly endless desert plains.

 

Olympic National Park in Washington

Five deer stand on a grassy hillside with large snow capped mountains in the background.
Deer frolicking in Olympic National Park. Photo by Jason Horstman (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Olympic is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. With mountain ranges, rainforests, dramatic valleys and gorgeous sandy beaches, you’ll need more than one visit to see it all.

 

Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky

Thin streams of a narrow waterfall flow over the edge of a rock ledge leading down from a green forest into a dark cave.
A small waterfall at the edge of a cave entrance. Photo by Eric Blankenship (www.sharetheexperience.org).

An underground limestone labyrinth, Mammoth Cave preserves the world's longest known cave system. Touring the cave is an adventurer’s dream, with tight spots, interesting creatures and ornate rock formations to discover.

 

Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska

Three brown bears hunt for blueberries on a grassy field covered in low bushes and colorful plants.
Grizzly bears  eating blueberries in late summer. Photo by Jacob W. Frank, National Park Service.

Home to brown bears, Alaska Natives and America’s tallest mountain, Denali can be overwhelming.

 

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado

A frozen lake is surrounded by tall rocky mountains on a cloudy day.
A dramatic winter moment in the park. Photo by Crystal Brindle (www.sharetheexperience.org).

With elevations from 7,860 feet to 14,259 feet, Rocky Mountain makes you feel like you are on top of the world.

 

Yosemite National Park in California

A tall waterfall flows over a high gray rock cliff with a forest at the base.
Stroll along Yosemite Valley Loop Trail for amazing views of Yosemite Falls. Photo by Phillip Abrams (www.sharetheexperience.org).

Yosemite became a national park in 1890 and more than 125 years later, it’s still wowing visitors.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Georgia

A metal sign reading Ebenezer Baptist Church hangs on the outside of a large brick building.
Sign on the front of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Photo by Tami Heilemann, Interior.

One of the best places to learn about the Civil Rights Movement is Dr. King’s home and church in Atlanta. Walking in his footsteps and connecting with him as a leader and a human being helps preserve his legacy and keep his dream alive.

 

There are over 400 National Park Service sites across the country, each with a story to tell. From the popular parks highlighted here to hidden gems you might not have heard of, there’s so much to discover. So hit the road and we’ll see you soon in your national parks!

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