1. Zion National Park
Zion National Park is a national park located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (593 km2) park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park’s unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Common plant species include cottonwood, Cactus, Datura, Juniper, Pine, Boxelder, Sagebrush, yucca , and various willows. Notable megafauna include mountain lions, mule deer and Golden Eagles, along with reintroduced California Condors and Bighorn Sheep.
2. Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a U.S. national park in eastern Utah. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
The park is located near Moab, Utah, and is 119 square miles (310 km2) in size. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Since 1970, forty-three arches have toppled because of erosion. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.
The area, administered by the National Park Service, was originally designated as a national monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated a national park on November 12, 1971. More than 833,000 people visited in 2006.
3. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a national park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of 761,266 acres (308,073 ha) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Yosemite is visited by over 3.5 million people each year, many of whom only spend time in the seven square miles (18 km²) of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granitewaterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Although not the first designated national park, Yosemite was a focal point in the development of the national park idea, largely owing to the work of people like John Muir and Galen Clark. cliffs,
4. Denali National Park
Denali National Park and Preserve is located in Interior Alaska and contains Mount McKinley (Denali), the tallest mountain in North America. The park and preserve together cover 9,492 mi² (24,585 km²).
The word “Denali” means “the great one” in the native Athabaskan language and refers to the mountain itself. The mountain was named after president William McKinley of Ohio in 1897 by local prospector William A. Dickey, although McKinley had no connection with the region.
Charles Alexander Sheldon took an interest in the Dall sheep native to the region, and became concerned that human encroachment might threaten the species. After his 1907-1908 visit, he petitioned the people of Alaska and Congress to create a preserve for the sheep. (His account of the visit was published posthumously as The Wilderness of Denali, ISBN 1-56833-152-5). The park was established as Mount McKinley National Park on February 26, 1917. However, only a portion of Mount McKinley (not even including the summit) was within the original park boundary. The park was designated an international biosphere reserve in 1976. A separate Denali National Monument was proclaimed by Jimmy Carter on December 1, 1978.
5. Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States’ oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the major natural wonders of the world. The park covers 1,902 mi² (4927 km²) of unincorporated area in Coconino County and Mohave County.
Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona State Route 64. The Highway enters the park through the South Entrance, near Tusayan, Arizona, and heads eastward, leaving the park through the East Entrance. All park accommodations are operated by the Xanterra corporation. Park headquarters are at Grand Canyon Village, a short distance from the South Entrance, being also the center of the most popular viewpoints. Some thirty miles of the South Rim are accessible by road. A much smaller venue for tourists is found on the North Rim, accessed by Arizona State Route 67. There is no road connection between the two within Arizona except via the Navajo Bridge, near Page, Arizona, entailing a five-hour drive. Otherwise, the two rims of the Canyon are connected via Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Hoover Dam.
6. Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress as a national park on March 1, 1872 , is located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho. The park was the first of its kind, and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular features in the park.It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is dominant.
Indigenous Americans have lived in the Yellowstone region for at least 11,000 years. The region was bypassed during the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 1800s. Aside from visits by mountain men during the early to mid-1800s, organized exploration did not begin until the late 1860s. The U.S. Army was commissioned to oversee the park just after its establishment. In 1917, administration of the park was transferred to the National Park Service, which had been created the previous year. Hundreds of structures have been built and are protected for their architectural and historical significance, and researchers have examined more than 1,000 archaeological sites.
7. Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park, in southwest South Dakota, United States preserves 244,000 acres (98,740 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.
The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (25,958 ha) of the park as a designated wilderness area and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America.
The Stronghold Unit is co-managed with the Oglala Lakota tribe and includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances, a former United States Air Force bomb and gunnery range, and Red Shirt Table, the park’s highest point at 3,340 feet (1,020 m).
8. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southern Florida, due east of Homestead. The park preserves Biscayne Bay, one of the top scuba diving areas in the United States. Ninety-five percent of the park is water. In addition, the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 207 mi² (700 km²).
Elliott Key, the park’s largest island, is considered the first of the true Florida Keys being formed from fossilized coral reef, i.e. Key Largo limestone. The islands farther north in the park are transitional islands of coral and sand.
The major attraction of the park is scuba diving or snorkeling on the coral reef inside the bay. It is also possible to take a glass-bottom boat tour of the bay, or rent kayaks to explore the bay and the islands (Florida Keys) in it. While accessing the historic homes of Stiltsville is currently not allowed by casual visitors, these structures may still be observed from boats.
9. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawai?i on the island of Hawai?i. It displays the results of hundreds of thousands of years of volcanism, migration, and evolution—processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with complex and unique ecosystems and a distinct Ancient Hawaiian culture. K?lauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the most massive, offer scientists insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and visitors’ views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The volcanic activity generated in Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park helped create Kalapana (now covered by lava from recent eruptions) and other black sand beaches. Within the park boundaries are the Thurston Lava Tube, a lava tube approximately 540 years old with a short hiking trail running through it, and the K?lauea Caldera, skirted by the Volcano HouseHawaiian Volcano Observatory which operates the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum. Hotel, and the
10. Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park preserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast of Maine. Originally inhabited by the Wabanaki people, the area includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. In addition to Mount Desert Island, the park comprises much of the Isle au Haut, a small island to the southwest of Mount Desert Island and parts of Baker Island, also nearby. A portion of Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland is also part of the park. In total, Acadia National Park consists of 30,300 acres (47 square miles or 123 km2) on Mount Desert Island, 2,728 acres (4.6 square miles or 11 km2) on Isle au Haut and 2,366 acres (3.5 square miles or 9.2 km2) on the Schoodic Peninsula.