Discovering America’s National Parks by William Peterson
Your Ultimate Guide to America's Hidden Gems
Unearth the breathtaking beauty of America's national parks, from the icy peaks of the tundra to the shimmering lagoons of the south. This comprehensive guidebook is your passport to the most awe-inspiring landscapes, intriguing histories, and legendary tales that the parks have to offer.
Why is this book special?
- Mysteries Unveiled: Dive deep into the longest-known cave system in the world and uncover the legends of swamp monsters and white walkers.
- Historical Landmarks: Step back in time and explore the remnants of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress homes.
- A Park for Every Passion: Whether you're an avid bird watcher, a history buff, or an adrenaline junkie, there's a park tailored just for you.
- Detailed Itineraries: Maximize your visit with curated itineraries for those with limited time.
- Fascinating Facts: Learn about the parks that were once inland seas, the headquarters of a notorious pirate, and those sculpted by volcanic eruptions.
- Legends and Lore: Delve into the captivating stories of each region, including a misguided “shortcut” that became a perilous four-month detour.
With over 84 million acres waiting to be explored, the national parks offer endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you're planning a day trip or a cross-country expedition, this guidebook is your essential companion.
Maybe you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but like every American, you carry a deed to 635 million acres of public lands.
Remember, as an American, you have a stake in these magnificent lands. As John Garamendi aptly put it, every citizen holds a deed to these vast expanses. Start your journey and claim your heritage. Discover the wonders that lie in your own backyard.
The United States has 63 national parks, which are congressionally designated protected areas operated by the National Park Service. These parks are designated for their natural beauty, unique geological features, diverse ecosystems, and recreational opportunities. Here are some of the most notable national parks in the US:
- Acadia (Maine): Covering most of Mount Desert Island and other coastal islands, Acadia features the tallest mountain on the Atlantic coast of the United States, granite peaks, ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes.
- American Samoa: The southernmost national park is on three Samoan islands in the South Pacific. It protects coral reefs, rainforests, volcanic mountains, and white beaches.
- Arches (Utah): This site features more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including popular ones like Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, and Double Arch.
- Badlands (South Dakota): The Badlands are a collection of buttes, pinnacles, and mixed-grass prairies. They contain significant mammal fossil assemblages.
- Big Bend (Texas): Named for the prominent bend in the Rio Grande along the U.S.–Mexico border, this park encompasses a large part of the Chihuahuan Desert.
- Biscayne (Florida): This mostly underwater park at the north end of the Florida Keys protects mangrove forests, the Bay, the Keys, and coral reefs.
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison: The park protects a section of the Gunnison River, which has carved sheer canyon walls from dark Precambrian-era rock.
- Bryce Canyon (Utah): Bryce Canyon is a geological amphitheater with hundreds of tall, multicolored sandstone hoodoos formed by erosion.
- Canyonlands (Utah): This landscape was eroded into canyons, buttes, and mesas by the Colorado River, Green River, and their tributaries.
- Capitol Reef: The park's Waterpocket Fold is a 100-mile monocline that exhibits diverse geologic layers.
- Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico): The park has 117 caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles long.
- Channel Islands (California): Five of the eight Channel Islands are protected, with half of the park's area underwater.
- Congaree (South Carolina): This park is the largest portion of old-growth floodplain forest left in North America.
- Crater Lake (Oregon): The park lies in the caldera of an ancient volcano called Mount Mazama.
- Cuyahoga Valley (Ohio): This park along the Cuyahoga River has waterfalls, hills, trails, and exhibits on early rural living.
- Death Valley (Nevada): Death Valley is the hottest, lowest, and driest place in the United States.
- Denali (Alaska): Centered on Denali, the tallest and most prominent mountain in North America.
- Dry Tortugas: The islands of the Dry Tortugas, at the westernmost end of the Florida Keys.
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