Finding Inspiration In America’s National Parks
This week marks the 100th birthday of America’s National Park Service (NPS)! In light of the centennial celebration, the NPS has waived entrance fees to all parks for this weekend, August 25th-28th, 2016. Whether you make it out in the next few days or not, if you haven’t seen our country’s national parks they need to move to the top of your bucket list! Home to some of the most outstanding scenery, outdoor recreation, and stargazing in the world, American National Parks are nothing short of spiritual, and a fantastic place for inspiration. So get proactive, pack up the car and plan a trip.
Here are five of our favorite National Parks:
1. Zion National Park
If you don’t have immediate plans to travel into space and visit another planet, we have a suggestion for a close second. Zion National Park is so colossal and foreign, you might feel like you’ve entered a vortex to Mars. There is no adequate way to describe the overwhelming size and beauty of the red rocked mountains. There are hikes for every fancy whether you want to stroll through deer filled meadows to see waterfalls, clamber up angel’s landing to feel closer to heaven, or walk through the famous river gorge, The Narrows. Zion’s magnitude and unique terrain will shock and delight.
2. Glacier National Park
Located in northern Montana, Glacier National Park is an ideal summer spot in all its picturesque magic. The park is amply dotted with gorgeous pink, purple, and yellow wildflowers and full of marmots, chipmunks, and goats, all surrounded in a unique outline of magnificent mountains. If you’re up for a walk, the 12-mile Highline Trail takes you along the Continental Divide and treats you to spectacular scenery throughout alpine meadows, breathtaking mountains, and sparkling lakes.
3. Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is saturated with everything natural. The wildlife is outstandingly abundant. It’s not unlikely to catch a glimpse of moose, elk, deer, foxes, or bobcats. There are a variety of fantastic hikes weaving around a roaring river up into the mountains, many of them ending in delightful alpine lakes. If you hike high enough you’ll hit the alpine tundra where you’ll likely find snow and a lack of trees. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a whack at Long’s Peak, the highest summit in the park and only 14er (14,000 feet).
6. Olympic National Park
Nestled in northwest Washington, Olympic National Park is one of the quietest parks in the west. Home to the stunning Hoh forest, Olympic is the epitome of Pacific Northwest loveliness. Treat yourself to a hike through the tranquil woods, lush with vegetation and blanketed in moss to reach Sul Duc Falls, a stunning forest scene complete with big walking bridge, powerful waterfall and beautiful light through the trees. There’s also a fabulous drive up to Hurricane Ridge with incredible views of the surrounding mountains the whole way up.
7. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park feels like a Disney movie in that you didn’t think its brand of beauty could really exist. Famous for its massive, pristine waterfalls, and colossally huge rock mountains and cliffs, Yosemite is unmatched in its magnificence. Rock climbers from all over the world come to partake in multi-day climbs on the 7500 foot high granite wall, El Capitan, and those who are less vertically inclined can watch from the valley below. Hike to Yosemite Falls and you’ll likely see a rainbow or two and if you’re lucky, maybe even Rapunzel!
These are only a few of the many outstanding National Parks in the United States. There’s a reason it’s called “America the Beautiful!” Get out there, explore and surround yourself with the best that nature has to offer us. There’s no telling what you’ll be inspired to do in your own garden!
Did we miss one of your favorites? Tell us in the comments!
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