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National Parks in the U.S.A.


  • Published: 2009-03-07 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-13) : Author: Mairead Foley
  • Synopsis: Short reviews of the top ten most famous National Parks in America and their locations.

Short reviews of the top ten most famous National Parks in America and their locations.

The Arcadia National Park is located in the state of Maine near the city of Bar Harbor. This is about 350kms up the coast from Boston. This park is mostly situated on Mount Desert Island, but with the Isle au Haut and the Schoodic Peninsula making up the rest, the park comes to about 192 Km.

This makes it one of the smaller National Parks on our list. Most of the mountains in the park are not too difficult, but one definitely worth doing is Cadillac Mountain which is the highest in the park and has the unusual honor of being the first place on mainland USA to catch the sun rising during the winter!

The Denali National Park is found about 380 kms to the north of Anchorage in Alaska. The park covers an area of 24,585 km2 and is where you will find Mount McKinley (called Denali by the native Alaskans).

This is the tallest mountain on the North American continent at 6,194 meters. Some of the wildlife found in the park includes grizzly and black bears, caribou and moose, and such smaller animals as the arctic squirrel, the snowshoe hare and a few others.

You'll find Glacier National Park about 350 kms south of Calgary just inside the Montana border with Canada. This park is true to its name and is home to many easily accessible glaciers. There used to be over 150 glaciers but now there are only 26! Scientists predict they will all be gone by 2030 so be sure to see them before global warming melts them all. The park has over 1100kms of trails making it a hikers paradise.

The Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best known national parks in the country and a definite must see for anyone who is in the area. The park is a mere 400kms to the east of Las Vegas. The Grand Canyon is frequently listed as one of the Natural Wonders of the World. You can charter flights through the canyon but if you really want to appreciate it you can avail of any of the trails that track their way through the multi-colored rocky valleys.

Another very famous park is Yellowstone National Park which is found on the borders between Montana, Idaho but mostly in Wyoming. The park was the first of its kind, and is known for its wildlife (which includes grizzlies, wolves, bison and elk) and its many geothermal features, especially the geyser Old Faithful.

Yosemite National Park, pronounced Yo-sem-it-e, is found in the state of California less than 300kms east of San Francisco. The park is recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, and especially the Giant Sequoia groves where you'll find, and walk under, the "Grizzly Giant" tree (among the biggest trees in the world). The wildlife species you'll find include the American Black Bear, Bobcats, Gray Foxes, Mountain Kingsnake, as well as a wide variety of bat species.

The Zion National Park is located in Utah some 260 kms to the north-east of Las Vegas not too far from the Grand Canyon. The park is home to 289 species of birds, 75 mammals and 32 reptiles. There are several trails to go trekking on and the most recommended would be Angels Landing which offers spectacular sunsets along Zion Canyon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located in western Colorado about 430 kms from Denver. This park is definitely a park for the experienced hiker but there are a few trails that can be enjoyed by amateur trekkers who are just looking to enjoy the fantastic landscape.

The Katmai National Park & Reserve is found in southern Alaska just 460 kms from Anchorage. The park is named after the stratovolcano Mount Katmai and it's famed for having the largest protected population of brown bears.

Some of the activities you can partake in include hiking, backpacking, camping, back-country skiing, fishing, kayaking, and boat tours. The park also has Brooks River National Historic Landmark, which has the highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings in North America. It should be noted though that you can't drive to this park, and will have to fly in.

And finally for this entire list we have Lassen Volcanic National Park. This park is found in northern California about 400kms north of San Francisco. The main attraction here is the Lassen Peak, which is the world's largest plug-dome volcano and it has erupted as recently as 1922. If you feel up to it you can hike to the summit which is 3,189 m high. The rest of the park includes a whole host of hot springs and fumaroles which can be found along the 240kms of hiking trails, forests, lakes, mountain streams, and waterfalls.

Reference: Mairead writes for Novacarhire.com where you can book low cost car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world. Visit Novacarhire.com for all you need to know before you take to the roads in America, like where to go and what to see with your car hire. Book your Car hire USA now at www.novacarhire.com/usa/

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