They don't call it the "great" outdoors for nothing. August 25th marks the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service (NPS) in the United States, marking 100 years of some of the most amazing natural wonders that travelers get to experience.
Whether you're into hiking, climbing, canoeing, camping, or just sightseeing, there are 58 National Parks to feed your outdoor wanderlust and #findyourpark. Check out some of our favorites to put on your bucket list for the next 100 years of exploration...
Gaze Upon the Grand Canyon
If you emptied every single lake in the United States it still wouldn’t fill up the Grand Canyon. Pretty incredible, huh? Watching the sun set over the horizon on the South Rim (specifically Yaki Point) is the kind of moment dreams are made of.
Hike to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
There’s no denying that Yosemite National Park was a major inspiration for Scottish-American naturalist John Muir, whose name is synonymous with the great outdoors. One of the trails to hike to Half Dome, one of the most iconic sites at Yosemite National Park, is even called the John Muir trail. This is definitely one for the bucket list, as the hike from the trailhead to Half Dome gains 4,800 feet in elevation and is 15 to 18 miles, round trip, depending on the route you take.
Find Your Arch at Arches National Park
Arches National Park gets its name from the 2,000 natural stone arches that adorn its landscape. One of the many amazing National Parks in the great state of Utah, hikers and campers alike travel to Arches to see the Windows and similarly incredible views of multiple arches from easily accessible vantage points. Make sure to visit the Turret Arch, pictured here.
Explore The Narrows at Zion National Park
If you’re going to continue your exploration of the national parks in Utah, don’t skip out on Zion National Park and their most popular hike of The Narrows, the narrowest section of Zion Canyon.
This gorge, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty to thirty feet wide, is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park and if you want to explore the Canyon in-depth, you’ll be hiking in the Virgin River. Prepare to get your feet wet but not care one bit. That’s how amazingly beautiful this place is.
Geysers and Grand Prismatic Springs at Yellowstone National Park
One of the most beautiful wonders of any national park is the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in Montana. This natural hot spring is the largest in the United States and one of the three largest hot springs on the planet. With it’s bright display of colors and water temperatures going up to the dangerously hot 160 degrees Fahrenheit (tip – don’t leave the boardwalk), the Grand Prismatic Spring is a must-see for anyone visiting Yellowstone.