National Parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon are rightfully some of the most famous destinations in the U.S. They’re iconic and beautiful, and deserving of their formidable reputations. But there are more than 400 parks, preserves, reserves, seashores and other units under the protection of the National Park System. Iconic park sights such as Old Faithful are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the natural beauty of the United States. Here are eight other national parks you don’t want to miss.
Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Best known as home to the stunning Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park is a glacier-carved natural wonder. Take the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive 10,000 feet up, then hike to the summit to see the only glacier in Nevada, the Wheeler Peak Glacier. While you’re there, be sure to examine the bristlecone pines, some of the world’s oldest trees, the last remnants of a Pleistocene forest… some of the trees are 3,000 years old, before Rome was even established as a city! Once you’ve admired the views, head underground to see Lehman Caves, a marble cavern ornately decorated with cave formations and 1.5 miles of underground passages. The park averages about 80,000 visitors a year and is a must-visit on a southwest road trip.
Congaree National Park, South Carolina