Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park is the grand dame of the U.S. National Park System. It’s absolutely breathtaking to stand on the edge of the canyon and marvel at the massive expanse of one of the world’s largest holes.
Zion National Park
Another park known for its spectacular canyons is Zion National Park. The main difference: Canyons here are much smaller and narrower than the big one in Arizona. Located in Utah, the park is excellent for hiking and camping, and is known for its incredible beauty.
Yosemite National Park
Famous for El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite is a nature lover’s paradise. It was the stomping ground of famed photographer Ansel Adams, and it was a treat for Dave to recreate some of his favorite photographs by his childhood idol.
This is a classic Ansel Adams view of Yosemite. Dave said he wanted to include a black-and-white photograph to pay homage to the master.
Haleakala National Park
We said the national parks span all climates and landscapes and the Haleakala National Park in Maui is a prime example of the diversity of the U.S. National Park System. The park is a (dormant) volcano, but the bamboo forest in the center of this hike is wonderful surprise.
Joshua Tree National Park
The otherworldly setting of Joshua Tree is a landscape that is not to be missed. It’s like being on the moon; boulders, cacti, and Joshua Trees litter the rocky terrain. The namesake tree was named by Mormon settlers who thought the trees reminded them of the Biblical figure Joshua reaching up his hands up to the sky in prayer.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoias are the largest trees in the world, and in California’s Sequoia National Park you can see the largest of the large: The General Sherman Tree (which last was measured at 275 feet tall). But there’s a lot more to this national park; the 404,000-acre open space also houses Mount Whitney, the tallest Mountain in the contiguous states.
Denali National Park
Home to the highest mountain in North America, Denali National Park in Alaska is a wonder. As Mount McKinley (the Alaska Natives call it “Denali”) looms overhead, you have the chance to witness the immense beauty of one of the wildest and most untamed wilderness regions in the country.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley is the lowest, hottest, and driest spot in North America, which means it definitely is not for the faint of heart. Just stepping out of your car for a few minutes will make your body sweat.
Badlands National Park
Located in South Dakota, Badlands National Park is another spot that feels out of this world. This huge park spans 244,000 acres of immense sandstone formations, canyons and spires.
Glacier Bay National Park
This Alaska park is comprised mostly of water. As you tour the park by boat, witness the immense beauty of giant glaciers calving into the ocean before your eyes.
Giant red sandstone rock formations intrigued us most about Zion National Park. The park is Utah’s most popular park due to the famous slot canyons, high towers, and columns of vertical rock. This is a park we can’t wait to visit again.