North America has some stunning national parks, from the mountains to the oceans there is something for absolutely everybody. This blog will be an expansive journey to search for the most visited national parks in America, the journey will take us to deserts, mountains, wilderness, everglades plus an active volcano. This leg of our trek takes us to Washington and California to see the biggest trees on the planet.
Sequoia Park – California
Sequoia park in California is the second oldest national park in the U.S. It is truly a land of giants and could easily have been the inspiration behind Gulliver’s Travels. This part of California in the southern Sierra Nevada is home to the world’s largest trees, namely the colossal Sequoia. But the land of giants does not end there, there are vast caverns, dark deep canyons, rough foothills and towering mountains.
The world’s largest tree stands at two hundred and seventy-five feet high and is a massive sixty feet in circumference. Its name is General Sherman and its grows alongside other four of the tallest trees on the planet, this is perhaps where John Coltrane got the inspiration for his famous album. Most of the park is pretty inhospitable to travelers as there are no roads and the only way to get around is by foot or on horseback.
Olympic Park – Washington
Olympic Park has a claim to fame that is the only temperate rainforest in the U.S. and is also home to the Olympic Mountains. The park is in a higher altitude than many others and has considerable rainfall each year over its million acres. Enclosed within the park’s boundaries is a vast wilderness which has played witness to thousands of years of the mankind’s history. Due to its colossal size, the Olympic park is home to many ecosystems, including temperate rain forests, glacier-capped mountains and over seventy miles of stunning coastline. The park is like its own self-contained minor planet and a surprise awaits the visitors around every corner.
Badlands Park – South Dakota
Straight out of a wild-west movie, the Badlands are awesome, and it happens to be the most likely place in the United States where you might come across ancient dinosaur bones. The Badlands are an archeological paradise and there many fossil deposits, some of which are over thirty million years old. Fossils may do nothing for you, but the landscape of the Badlands takes your breath away.
The sprawling prairies seem to never end, and every now and then there are unusual rock formations that seem to be sprouting up from the very earth. The Badlands also have wildlife to match its size: bison roam freely along with bighorn sheep. For a bucket list experience, head to the Badlands as the sun is rising and see as the landscape is transformed from monochrome colors to shades of bright orange, green and blue – a true jaw dropping experience.
We take to the saddle and leave the Badlands as we set off into the sunset to travel to Colorado for a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park where we will experience a dichotomy of terrain from lush green vegetation to arid mountains.