Millions of people come to this Sierra Nevada wilderness each year to see jagged peaks, glaciers, lush meadows and some of the world’s tallest waterfalls. Spanning 1,200 square miles, Yosemite offers activities ranging from child-friendly to extreme. Massive granite slopes like Half Dome and El Capitan dominate the landscape, taunting rock climbers. Paddlers dip into lakes and rivers, drivers cruise the dramatic Tioga Road, and day hikers walk by sequoias and canyons. Backpackers take to the rugged John Muir trail, named for the writer who helped create the park in 1890.
Nature is amazing and there’s no better place to experience the great outdoors than in one of the many national parks in the U.S. These vast, iconic spaces are protected by our national government for a reason. You’ll find they’re used for conservation, populated by incredible wildlife and filled with thriving ecosystems we humans are privileged to witness. While Yellowstone was the first public park to be recognized under this designation, the list of national parks has grown to include more than 400 sites, including 63 major national parks, across the continental U.S. as well as Hawaii and Alaska. Adventure seekers will find a host of things to do too, from camping to hiking to stargazing. The next time you’re feeling daring or simply craving some quality time with mother nature, hit the road, pick up an America the Beautiful pass and check out the best national parks in the country (but trust us, all of the parks are amazing and all should be on your list).
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