American National Parks are a thing of wonder. There are so many and all have such beautiful and distinct features it seems that, simply by not visiting them, you're wasting away a big part of what America itself is. Budget traveling isn't the first thing that comes to mind when one talks about traveling in America, but camping is a whole different ball game. So here's the 10 Best Places to Go Camping in the U.S.
This is one weird lake. There are no rivers flowing in or out of it. The evaporation is compensated for by rain and snowfall at a rate such that the total amount of water is replaced every 250 years. Somehow this makes it one of the purest waters in the world.
Another thing worth mentioning is "the old man of the lake", a tree stump (30 feet high) that has been bobbing vertically in the lake since at least 1986. That's intense.
Originally called the Mukuntuweap National Monument, the park features massive sandstone cliffs, brilliant blue skies, and so many plants and animals, that you really never run out of things to look at. There are also a lot of freestanding arches, many of which look surreal. If you want to see the largest around, make sure to check out the Kolob Arch. Just getting there will take you on a long journey. Worth it.
The name was changed to Zion in 1918 by the acting director of the National Park Service because the name Mukuntuweap was considered (rightly so, I might add) difficult to pronounce. How did they go from that to Zion? I don't know.
Sometimes we seek nature in order to look at great things that make us feel small, even tiny. Insect like. If that's what you're looking for, well this here's the place for you. The sky-piercing trees grow only in this part of the world. The General Sherman, a giant sequoia tree, is the largest living tree in the world (there have been larger ones, but they're no longer living). Kings Canyon National Park is contiguous to Sequoia and just as amazing. They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
The Pisgah Forest is known as the Land of the Waterfalls. Why? Because it has lots of them. With hundreds of trails among Hemlock trees and pretty much waterfalls around each turn, it's a very cool place to explore. It also features about 46,600 acres of old growth forests, which is " a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features". That's pretty f****** amazing.
New Mexico desert and the night sky, now there's a nice combo. It gets me thinking about Aliens... The Carlsbad Caverns National Park hosts full moon walks where park rangers answer questions about the nocturnal creatures in the area, cultural folklore and astronomy, because New Mexico's cultural folklore and astronomy are strongly related. The Bat Flight Program, which runs from Memorial Day to October is also worth looking into, since watching thousands of bats leave their caves at dusk to eat dinner isn't something you see everyday. Unless of course you're a Carlsbad Caverns Park Ranger. In that case, I'm assuming you see it quite often.
This park is on the Pedernales River and all its activities revolve around that: swimming, tubing, wading and fishing. All these activities are allowed only in the river area, so don't do that in the Pedernales Falls area. Be advised: flash flooding is a thing in Texas Hill County, the water in the river can rise from a placid stream to a raging torrent in a few minutes. If you are in the river area and notice the water rising or getting muddy, leave the river area immediately. Other than that, you're good.
Sandy beaches, salt marshes, forests and coastal bays cover Assateague Island, a 37-mile (60 km) long barrier island located off the eastern coast of Delmarva. What I find more amazing about this location is the fact that it features a community of feral horses. This horses have domesticated ancestry, yet they now roam free, as opposed to wild horses which would be horses with no domesticated ancestry. They're different. These feral horses are called Assateague Horse in Maryland and Chincoteague Pony in Virginia. You might be thinking "potato, potahto" but make no mistake, the debate as to whether it's a pony or a horse is a controversial one, so, when in Maryland, be sure to call them horse.
Camping is allowed only on the Maryland side of the island.
The area was originally inhabited by the Wabanaki people. It consists of 49,000 acres of mountains, woodlands, and lakes (lots of them) it has 6,000 lakes and ponds and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, so it's basically a camper’s paradise. It also features an ocean shoreline. There are many, many trails, but each summer several trails in the park are closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons.
It has been nicknamed a "mini Yosemite". Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to seven months in advance. If you wanna hike to the Pfeiffer Falls, you might need to take the rerouted version of the hike since mud slides caused by the Basin Complex Fire (2008) forced them to reroute. Reestablishing the old trail, with the wooden foot bridges, however, was scheduled to begin in 2016. The Big Sur Beach, which is well worth checking out, is not part of the State Park, so it requires a separate entrance fee.
With 1.6 million acres of public land, the Gunnison National Forest features 3,000 miles of trails, a lot of fishing places and great mountain views. Black Canyon, an incredibly steep, beautiful gorge, offers an amazing view of the Painted Wall, Colorado's highest cliff, so check it out. Dispersed camping is free and can be done all year round.
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