Yellowstone National Park
Do you love wolves, hot springs, geysers, and volcanic hot spots? Then head over to Yellowstone National Park to experience it all. Yellowstone was the first ever national park, not only in the US, but in the world. It’s a favorite vacation spot where there are thousands of animals, millions if you count insects, and if you get lucky, you may even observe some crossing the road. Just make sure to stay in your car!
Yosemite National Park
This park is located in Central California in the Sierra Nevadas. You’ll find giant granite cliffs, lakes, glaciers, mountains, and all sorts of animals and plants there. It’s a great place to go hiking, camping, and exploring. The geology of this park is really interesting, it’s a valley carved out by a glacier. You can find lodging on Airbnb, but keep in mind that 95% of this park is wilderness.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The Rocky Mountains are a range that runs from Canada all the way to New Mexico. Rocky Mountain National Park is about 76 miles north of Denver, Colorado. It’s a given that the view is amazing no matter what direction you face. Geologically, the Rocky Mountains formed from one tectonic plate subducting (moves under) another plate. The mountains are the result of the Earth’s crust bunching up, like a rug bunching up when you try to slide it under a table. There are plenty of trails for hiking and plenty of slopes for skiing. Look out for mountain goats, they climb and roam on the face of steep mountains there.
Grand Canyon National Park
Red rock, a giant canyon carved out by the Colorado River, and breathtaking helicopter rides are the draw. That’s why the Grand Canyon is considered to be one of the wonders of the world. As you hike and explore the park, the layers of sedimentary rock that you see around you are a glimpse back in time. Note, the Grand Canyon can get quite hot, especially in the summer. Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water.
Death Valley National Park
Talking about hot, dry places, head to Death Valley National Park. Due to a lack of surface water, this park, which sits between California and Nevada, regularly registers high temperatures. The highest recorded in recent years was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Monthly rainfall averages less than an inch. If you do go, stay hydrated, stay sun blocked and stay cool.