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Last summer, America’s National Parks celebrated their 100th year of bringing fun, adventure and fantastic scenery to millions of people over the years. Few things are as good for your mental health and physical well-being as visiting national parks. They’re great destinations for getting out into nature for some exercise while taking in stunning landscapes and learning about wildlife. Here’s a list of National Parks that definitely belong on your bucket list:
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Home to the world famous Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park has been a big tourist attraction for many years. The park spans across 3,470 miles and is known for its hot springs and free roaming herds of buffalo. You can also find many other types of wildlife and more than enough stunning scenery to keep your camera happy. When visiting, don’t miss out on seeing Old Faithful erupt a fountain of steam way up in the air. It’s absolutely unforgettable!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton has been a national park since 1929. It’s particularly striking and stately due to its 12 Teton Peaks. The biggest of them is, you guessed it, the Grand Teton. While the other peaks reach up to around 12,000 feet, the Grand Teton reaches up an incredible 13,770 feet and soars over a mile above Jackson Hole, located in the valley below.
Zion National Park, Utah
The magnitude of the colorful red and white sandstone cliffs will leave you in awe. It’s what makes this park one of the most famous in the world. Board an open-air tram to take you gliding along beside the Virgin River and through Zion Canyon for an extra special treat.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon is loaded with incredible scenic wonders. A visit to this park means seeing the Hoodoos, which are crazy looking formations created by eons of wind and water erosion. Adding to the impressive sight is the orange and red tint to the rock that’s been oxidized by iron to create the glowing shades.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Created in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt, Mesa Verde National Park is best known as the home of the ancient Native American Ancestral Puebloan civilization. A famous spot to visit there is the Spruce Tree Cliff Dwelling. This spectacular dwelling was built around 1211-1278 and remains one of the largest and best preserved cliff dwellings in the world.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
If you’re looking to define the word “panoramic,” you will find it here. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the largest parks in the United States, featuring massive peaks and rugged canyons. Trail Ridge Road crests over 12,000 feet with many overlooks where you can view the majestic landscape. The park is split by the Continental Divide which gives each half different climates ranging anywhere from alpine tundra to deep lush forest.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
After taking in the Grand Canyon, Theodore Roosevelt declared “This is one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, must see.” That sentiment is shared by many as the Grand Canyon gets nearly 5 million visitors a year. Join them and take in the incredible sights at one of America’s most famous destinations.
And summer is not the only time to visit one of the National Parks. Fall and particularly October is one of the best times to visit. And AARP members save up to $100 per person off guided tours with Collette, so plan that last minute trip today! Visit gocollette.com/aarp for more information.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.