"Raw, rugged, and surf-splashed" well define Acadia National Park, which at anchor in the Atlantic just off Maine's coast quite easily could also be described as a Yankee blueblood of the National Park System.
Arches is one of the world's, not just one of the United States', most incredible national parks.
When you gaze at Balanced Rock, climb up into the Windows, or walk under Delicate Arch, it's hard to argue against that claim. The park's rock-itecture -- windows cut from stone, spindly arches longer than a football field, thin fins of rock -- and desertscape are otherworldly.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a globally recognized icon of the American landscape.
Stretches of road elsewhere in the United States may indeed be spectacular, but nothing matches this manicured, uniquely uncommercialized, half a thousand mile thoroughfare through the lofty heart of America’s first frontier.
Southern Utah's national parks all are red-rock wonders.
Zion National Park features towering cliffs of stone. Arches National Park showcases a one-of-its-kind collection of stony arches and windows. Canyonlands National Park is a maze of canyons, and Capitol Reef National Park offers a sprawling rockscape.
Baked by time like some multi-layer geologic tort, Canyonlands in southeastern Utah features a landscape cut by canyons, rumpled by upthrusts, dimpled by grabens, and even pockmarked, some believe, by ancient asteroids.
A hogback running nearly 100 miles north and south through central Utah is the defining spine of Capitol Reef National Park, but this ruddy landscape offers many more geologic and cultural wonders.
Never mind the heat (although, Death Valley does lay claim to the highest officially recorded temperature on Earth.) It's the geology that captures your mind as you roam this sprawling national park. The sand dunes. The eroded hillsides and carved canyons. The alluvial fans painted scarlet, lemon, orange and purple with wildflowers after wet winters.
Though a harbor for the country's greatest collection of tidewater glaciers, Glacier Bay National Park is more than just ice and water.
The park's 3.3 million acres offer the adventuresome opportunities to trek through temperate rain forests, climb snow- and ice-covered mountains, paddle hundreds of miles, and experience the ruggedness of a landscape that John Muir described as "a magnificent picture of nature's power and industry..."
Sweeping, grandiose landscapes are a staple of many of the West's iconic national parks, and among those Glacier easily stands out when you look from horizon to horizon atop Logan Pass.
A colorful rift in the earth millions of years -- and immeasurable gallons of water -- in the making, the jagged maw of the Grand Canyon draws crowds content enough to simply stare across this impressive cross-section of geology from either the South or North rim of its namesake national park.