When it comes to driving the nation, some of the best sights to behold are our national parks. From the epic Grand Canyon to Acadia in Maine, the national parks each have something special to offer. The guides on our blog to the national parks offer suggestions for the best hikes, scenic drives, and activities at the parks, along with information on where to stay nearby. As the 100th anniversary of the national park system approaches, there’s no better time to discover the wonders the parks hold.
Northern Arizona’s Vermillion Cliffs National Monument sits on the Colorado Plateau, just below the Utah border. While the name “monument” might conjure up the image of something a bit smaller, you’ll find 280,000 acres of beautiful terrain here, including cliffs, buttes, and canyons. The area was only declared as a monument in 2000, though the land itself was already government-managed.
Located in northwestern New Mexico, you’ll find the ancient Chaco Culture National Historic Park. This park is famous for being one of the most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. The park consist of some of the most historic ancient ruins north of Mexico and preserves some of the most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas in North America.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the first National Lakeshore in the United States. While 2016 marks the centennial of the National Parks Service, it also signals the 50th anniversary of Pictured Rocks. With many things to do and see, it’s a must for anyone who loves the outdoors—and is still trying to Find Their Park.
There are 124 National Monuments throughout the United States. When you are traveling in the Midwest, there are some wonderful National Monuments to see. Remember that there are also National Historic Sites, Seashores, Rivers, Trails and more that are awaiting your visit, in the Midwestern states.
As a result of the creation of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1966, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area now preserves a wonderfully scenic 1.2-plus million acres of mostly desert landscape for your enjoyment. Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are located on the border of Utah and Arizona.
Yosemite National Park in California spans 1,200 square miles, boasting waterfalls, meadows, valleys, and more. Of course, the more time you have here, the better, but there’s plenty to see and do in just one day if you plan in advance.
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, in southernmost Arizona along the border with Mexico, preserves the only setting in the USA where the organ pipe cactus grows in the wild. Named for its resemblance to organ pipes, the “Stenocereus thurberi” can grow to a height of more than twenty feet. Impressive in and of itself, it is also a stunning feature of the rugged desert landscape.
When was the last time you went to New Mexico? Well, let us rephrase that. When was the last time you had a reason to go to New Mexico? Unless you’re from there, have to travel there for work, or have friends and family there to visit, New Mexico isn’t usually on the top of travelers’ lists for destinations to travel to, right? Think again! If you weren’t already aware, New Mexico is home to the White Sands National Monument located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.
The Drive The Nation blog places a special emphasis on America’s national parks, because no other natural attractions in the U.S. match their beauty and splendor. Outdoor adventurers, wildlife lovers and other travelers alike love to explore these amazing places. National parks make perfect road trip destinations because they are cost-effective (an annual pass to 300+ parks for the whole carload costs about $80), educational, and simply stunning. Begin your journey to the national parks with our helpful blog articles.