Currently, there are 58 National Parks in the U.S. From national monuments and historical sites to places of conservation, there’s no shortage of National Parks. But how can you pick the best one to visit? Here are six suggestions:
Haleakalā National Park
A special place in Hawaii, this park explores the history of Hawaiian culture. The landscape is uniquely Hawaiian, with sub-tropical rainforests and volcanic terrain, which makes hiking here an unforgettable experience. Haleakalā National Park is also home to a variety of endangered species which exist nowhere else.
Denali National Park
Six million acres make up Alaska’s Denali National Park. Taiga forests blend into the alpine tundra and snowcapped mountains as you travel higher in elevation. This park is also home to North America’s tallest peak, Mt. McKinley, at 20,320-feet. If you’re ready to climb one of the seven summits, this is a good place to start.
Biscayne National Park
Located just outside of Miami, Florida, this park holds 10,000 years of human history. From shipwrecks to pineapple farmers, you’ll have the chance to learn about it all. Additionally, Biscayne National Park protects the sensitive coral reefs in the area. You can explore the park by boat or canoe, or choose to snorkel through the aquamarine waters.
Zion National Park
From sandstone cliffs to slot canyons, Zion National Park is one of the Southwest’s gems. One of the most popular hikes in the park is The Narrows. This hike takes you through the Virgin River along the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. The Subway, another popular hike, requires bouldering, rappelling and wading through waters. If you’ve got a sense of adventure, go for it!
Yellowstone National Park & Grand Teton National Park
These parks are so close together, you can’t visit just one. Yellowstone was the first National Park, established 1872. Today, the 3,500-square-mile, which spreads from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is visited by more than three million people each year. The volcanic hotspot is home to more than 100 animal species, canyons, alpine forests, rivers, hot springs and geysers.
Less than 100 miles away, is Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. The Tetons are some of the most magnificent mountains found in the United States. Both of these parks are beautiful and easily explorable, making these two National Parks must-sees for teens with wanderlust.
For more on National Parks, visit FindYourPark.com.
Contributed by Lauren Topor