The USA is the ultimate road trip destination! With wide open highways, palm-lined coastal roads and stunning National Parks. On 25th August 2016 USA National Parks will be celebrating their 100th Birthday. So here are some of the best National Parks the USA has to offer. Hit the road and explore!
1. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
This one’s always a winner! Yosemite is home to some of the most spectacular waterfalls, lush meadows, deep valleys, giant sequoias and black bears. Last year Yosemite made headlines around the world when rock climbers completed the first free ascent of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall (the hardest rock climb in the world!). You up to the challenge?
2. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped straight into a Western movie. The most popular way to take in the Grand Canyon’s magnitude is to view it by helicopter (definitely cool but not the only way!). At the bottom of the Grand Canyon (5,200 feet deep. woah.) runs the powerful Colorado River, renowned for some of the most heart-pumping white water rafting.‘Western River Expeditions’ will take any thrill-seeking adventurer, no paddle experience necessary. All you have to do is look up and take it all in!
3. DENALI NATIONAL PARK
More than 6 million acres of pure wilderness. It includes the tallest mountain on the continent, Mount McKinley. This park is ideal for nature lovers and intrepid explorers. Seriously, the scenery is out of this world! Pack your camera as you could potentially spot a grizzly bear or pack of wolves. Just think of the Instagram. Check Denali National Park out for yourself!
4. CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
This National Park is a World UNESCO Heritage Site encompassing the sacred ancestral homelands of the Hopi and Pueblo people. There are more than 4,000 prehistoric archaeological sites to explore (one for the history buffs). Chaco Culture National Park is the best place for star gazing, the sky is completely clear – so pack your telescope!
5. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
The Rockies! Another must see on any US Road trip. They stretch over 3,000 miles from the northern most point in British Colombia all the way down to New Mexico. You have to drive up the Trail Ridge Road (at the Colorado Park) it peaks at 12,183 feet, take in the spectacular views of wildflower meadows, moraines and glaciers. The air is thin up there so you might feel a little light headed!
6. MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK
The home of the longest cave system on EARTH… over 400 miles of passageways to be precise. It’s also home to thousands of small, flying mammals: BATS! For the braver (and more flexible) ones out there, take a 6 hour “Wild Cave Tour.”
7. GRANT PARK
Maybe not strictly a National Park but definitely worth checking out this summer. Proudly referred to as Chicago’s ‘Front Yard’ (think Central Park). It’s gorgeous. Also, really exciting, one of the World’s biggest music festivals Lollapalooza is being held there between 28-31 July. You could kick off your US road trip with a bang!