If you’re the intrepid kind who loves the idea of going off the grid, spends most of your time outdoors either hiking, biking or indulging in any adventure activities and are itching to test your newly acquired DSLR, then this list is for you! Although, even if you don’t like spending days away from the comforts of a hotel or your home but enjoy spending a day out in the lap of nature, quickly add these national parks to your bucketlist.
Grand Canyon National Park
There are places in this world that can make your jaw drop with awe, and Grand Canyon NP is definitely one of them. The moment you lay your eyes on the Canyons, you don’t want to blink. You start questioning the existence of the universe, the Earth and the mankind. I wish I had 360 degree vision to not miss any single frame.
Imagine witnessing a dazzling sunrise or a glorious sunset at the Canyons. Just the thought of it gives me jitters.
I recommend spending at least a day or two exploring the monumental canyons, admiring the history of its formation from over a million years, hiking to the spectacular Havasu falls and camping among the majestic canyons.
Death Valley National Park
Its hard to believe there exists a huge land without a single tree, right in the US and that you would use the word “beautiful” to describe it. The incredible beauty of the raw Earth in its absolute natural form, without a single tree in sight for miles is an unconventional view. The Badwater Basin, where salts have accumulated over time forming patterns on the ground and the Artists Palette, where all you want to do is sit and paint the landscape are some of the key “places to see” in the park. My favorite part was the roads throughout the park. See the pictures to know why.
Camping and biking through the park is favorite with the outdoorsy kind.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Mountains, forests, waterfalls, wildlife all in one park, thats Rocky Mountain NP. Multiple trails to pick from and great mountain views no matter which direction you look in. My favorite part about exploring the park was wildlife spotting. Elks are easy to spot but moose and deer like their privacy. Summer is the busiest season of the park where you have to reach early to reserve a parking spot.
Wildlife and landscape photographers have a wide scope to flex their skills here.
Joshua Tree National Park
If Death Valley has no trees, Joshua Tree NP has just the one kind at every few steps. Edgy and unconventional, Joshua trees are unusual just like the history associated with them. A camper’s paradise, the park hosts thousands of avid campers throughout the year. Drive through the park hitting the most popular spots like Skull Rocks, Jumbo Rocks, Barker Dam and Key View Point if you’re short on time and can’t camp overnight.
Night sky photography is a common interest among the visitors of this park.
Note:As a travel blogger, I feel like its my duty to raise awareness among people to travel responsibly. When social media hosts pictures and blogs about National Parks, the posts go viral and people flock the parks to visit the ‘Most Instagrammable’ spots. More crowd, means more waste and that just means places being treated like trash cans. So no matter where you go, pick up after yourself. Leave no footprints. The upcoming generations will thank you for leaving places in their natural state for them to experience what you have experienced now.