A Trip Through American National Parks
The United States of America has lots of beautiful National Parks. You can see everything from animals to waterfalls to rock formations. I decided to take a trip to some of the most famous parks in the country. If you love hiking and nature like me, you’ll want to learn more about these incredible places.
Yosemite National Park
I began my trip at Yosemite National Park in California. I could see the entire valley when I was driving there. There are several huge granite mountains. In between them is a green valley with lots of life. Once I got to camp, I was surrounded by tall pine trees, gentle deer, and giant mountains. I felt tiny!
I walked to Yosemite Falls for my first hike. I saw the waterfall from the road, but now I was up close and personal! I could even feel the water splashing onto my face. I met some people who were hiking to the very top of the falls. I wished them luck, since this is the tallest waterfall in all of North America.
My favorite part of Yosemite is Half Dome. Half Dome is a mountain that is made of granite. It is famous for the round shape of its peak. At sunrise and sunset, the mountain glows pink and orange. I saw people all over the park taking pictures of the peak. Lots of skilled hikers come to Yosemite to hike up Half Dome. The hike is so difficult that you need a permit to do it!
Grand Canyon National Park
The next stop was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The canyon is huge: it is over 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep. The walls of the Grand Canyon have several layers of brown and red rock. These layers reflect millions of years of history. When I first caught sight of the canyon, all I could do was stare at its beauty.
From the top of the canyon, the bottom seems very far away. However, many people hike all the way down! Hikers must be prepared with plenty of food and water. They also face extreme heat in the summer and cold in the winter. To make my trip easier, I hired a mule to help me down. The Colorado River runs through the Grand Canyon. Some people take boats down this river. They get to enjoy an exciting ride through the bumpy water and a great view of the canyon.
Sunset is a magical time at the Grand Canyon. On my last evening, I joined crowds of tourists at the edge. Together, we watched the canyon glow gold, red, and purple as the sun set. The view that night was also incredible. Thanks to the lack of bright lights nearby, the stars over the Grand Canyon are clear and beautiful.
Zion National Park
I headed to Utah next to visit Zion National Park. This park is a favorite of hikers and climbers. The high, red cliffs were beautiful against the green valley. I thought I saw little dots on the cliffs. They were actually climbers going up the vertical walls!
The most popular hike in the park is called Angel’s Landing. Near the peak, the trail becomes very narrow and steep. Hikers have to use chains that are attached to the rocks to climb up. The effort is worth it for the view from the summit. At the top of Angel’s Landing, I could see every part of the park.
The Narrows is another amazing site in Zion. The hike follows the Virgin river. I even had to swim at some points! High brown and red walls stand on either side of the river. These walls make the canyon feel like another world. I did the hike on a hot summer day, so it was extra refreshing!
Arches National Park
I didn’t have to go far to get to our next stop, Arches National Park in Utah. This park is named for its many natural rock formations. The red sandstone arches are all over the park. There are also impressive balanced rocks and tall fins.
The most famous spot in the park is the Delicate Arch. A picture of this arch is on the license plate of every Utah car. Another incredible spot is the Landscape Arch. The Landscape arch is the longest arch in North America. The top of the rock is so thin that it seems like it might break at any moment!
Night is my favorite time at Arches National Park. This is one of the best places in the world to stargaze. The lack of light pollution allows the stars to be clearly seen. The combination of stars and arches create a beautiful scene.
Yosemite National Park
The final stop on our trip was Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This was the first national park in the whole world. There is a lot to see in Yellowstone. There is a huge forest with lots of wild animals, including the largest Bison herd in North America. There are also beautiful lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. The most unique part of the park is its geothermal features like geysers and hot springs.
The most famous place in Yellowstone is Old Faithful. Old Faithful is a geyser that erupts about 20 times a day. Every eruption shoots water up over a hundred feet in the air. Park workers measure the height and time of the blast to predict the next one. It may seem like fun to jump into the water, but it is actually boiling hot.
The same geothermal activity that creates geysers is responsible for Yellowstone’s hot springs. These hot springs smell like rotten eggs thanks to the minerals in the water. However, the bright colors of these springs makes them worth a visit. The Grand Prismatic Spring is the third largest hot spring in the world. It’s deeper than a ten-story building! Its rainbow colors are breathtaking.
These parks are some of the most beautiful places in the world. They help preserve nature and give people the opportunity to see amazing sites. Taking the time to appreciate nature can help improve your life. There are even more national parks all over the United States for people in all regions. I hope you come and visit some of them someday!