The oldest park in the U.S. National Park system, Yellowstone was established in 1872 and it covers almost 3,500 square miles (9,000 km²). But, those dry facts don’t begin to convey the magnificence of this heavily forested, geyser-strewn land in Wyoming.
It’s no accident that nearly three million visitors enjoy the park every year. There are Grizzly bears and herds of buffalo to view. There are trout streams off the Yellowstone River the like of which can be found in few other places. Then, there are the famous geysers, over 300 in all.
The most famous of all – Old Faithful – fully deserves its name. Erupting in a two-story stream of hot water every half hour to two hours, you couldn’t set your watch by it. But you never have to wait too long to see one of nature’s wonders, either. It lasts anywhere from a minute to five minutes, so you won’t miss it if you glance away.
And how could you not look away with so many other fascinating things to see? Read more…
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At just over 400 square miles (nearly 266,000 acres), Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t the largest in the system by any means. But any of its millions of annual visitors will agree there is none finer.
One of the main reasons has to be granted to Trail Ridge Road. Crossing the park from east to west, this 50-mile drive drops into the Kawuneeche Valley, where visitors can see the Colorado River. Along the way, you’ll climb up to over 12,000 feet through some of America’s highest peaks.
But those statistics don’t begin to describe the breathtaking scenery you’ll see along the way. Read more…
There are some sights and sites that words will never properly describe. Yosemite National Park is in that class. But that is about the only group it’s in because this magnificent natural wonder is otherwise in a class by itself.
True, there are dozens of National Parks, many of them heavily forested and offering mountains and streams. There are thousands of other forests around the U.S. with lakes, rivers and mountains galore. But Yosemite is unique.
For those who love backpacking, or just seeing some of the finest natural scenery on the planet, Tuolumne Meadows is one good example of Yosemite’s unique features. At 8,600 feet (2,620 m) it offers pure air, bright sunshine and a chance to get away from the crowds that sometimes make this park a challenge. Read more…