For many people living in crowded cities, the national parks of America are an essential part of letting citizens get back to nature – to understand nature’s ying to the big city living yang, and to let one recharge their batteries and take a step back from the rat race.
There are parts of North America that are not covered in condominiums and fast food restaurants, that are buzzing with wildlife and superb flora, have mind blowing rock formations and home to great lakes and rivers. There is a reminder to all Americans of what wilderness and nature are all about; in fact, there are fifty-nine reminders and they are the great national parks of the US. In 2016 there was a survey of the most visited national parks in America, and this blog delves into the findings.
Capitol Reef Park – Utah
Our journey across America to discover the most visited national parks of 2016 takes us to Utah. In fact, there are five great parks in Utah and Capitol Reef is one of the lesser known ones. Designated as a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park by the Dark Sky Association visitors that decide to camp overnight will have extraordinary clear views of the stars in the crystal-clear night sky. This is only possible without pollution, and any awarded Gold Tier places in the world have some of the best clean and unpolluted air on the planet.
Capitol Reef national park also contains a geological anomaly, which is called the Water pocket Fold. This one-hundred-mile-long wrinkle in the earth is an amazing feature that cannot be seen anywhere else in this massive state. The park is also known for its red rocks that are a familiar feature of the other four parks in Utah and amazingly striking.
Hot Springs Park – Arkansas
A small but amazingly beautiful Hot Springs park receives over 1.5 million visitors every year, which is quite remarkable as it is the smallest national park in the USA. Most of the tourists come to see Bathhouse Row where the park allows them to bathe in the natural healing waters of the hot springs. This park is great for a weekend getaway because of its size, even though it has quite a strong smell of sulfur.
Apart from the warm and rejuvenating springs, the park is a jewel in the state of Arkansas, with quaint winding country roads that lead up a small mountain that allows stunning view of the Oachita Mountains that surround the park. There is no doubt that part of the enchanting allure of this park is the amazing mountain views and the feeling of the grandeur of nature.
The variety of the national parks in America is mind-blowing, from mountains to the coast and everything in between. The national parks are one of America’s most valuable assets and should never be taken for granted. In part two of our exploration of the most visited national parks in the United States, we travel to Arizona, Ohio and Florida to see the marvelous wildlife that inhabit the Everglades.