After the wild extremes of Death Valley and Joshua Tree park, we resume our trek to experience the great national parks of America by visiting the Great Smoky Mountains and then traveling to Utah to see the remarkable rock formations in Arches park.
Great Smoky Mountains Park – Tennessee / North Carolina
Dividing the states of Tennessee and North Carolina are the Great Smoky Mountains and their majestic national park. The Great Smoky Mountains park is the number one national park in the U.S in terms of tourists: over eleven million visitors a year come to this place. Great Smoky Mountains spans across two great states and runs through the equally famous Blue Ridge Mountains. This huge park can be accessed from Cherokee, North Carolina, Gatlinburg and Tennessee. It is home to an amazing one thousand six hundred and sixty different flowering plants more than any other American park. Many visitors make their way to Clingman’s Dome where a spacious fifty-foot observation deck will offer fantastic panoramic views of all the surrounding area.
Arches Park – Utah
Arches park is regarded as a red-rock wonderland, and a visit to this marvelous park in Utah will explain why. It is a wonderland that has unique land formations which are emblazoned in a fiery red hue that makes them stand out from the landscape. The park’s name must not have taken long to come up with, as there are over two thousand stone arches as well as many high peaks, giant rocks and colossal fins. The rock formations are quite incredible, and the whole landscape could be used as a background to a fantasy film as it is so dramatic and unique.
The best part of the day to visit the park is just when the sun is setting, the low trajectory of the sun’s rays lights up the rocks so they almost glow red, and the shadows formed by the great boulders, fins, and peaks cast eerie specters on the dusty ground.
Haleakala Park – Hawaii
This is the only one of the national parks that we have covered so far on this incredible journey that has an actual active volcano! Visitors to this incredible part of the U.S must be intrepid explorers because climbing a volcano is not everybody’s cup of tea. Haleakala Mountain is over ten thousand feet high and resides on Maui Island, the volcano is great for hiking and there is a number of trails that are open to the public to enjoy where hikers may spot one of the endangered species that live on Maui, in fact there are more endangered species in Haleakala park than any other national park in America.
The park is known locally as the house of the sun, and the mountain is visible just about anywhere on the island of Maui. The legend tells us that the demi-god named Maui took a lasso and captured the sun and swung it as he stood on the top of Haleakala and thus slowed it down on its journey across the sky, so the perfect day lasted longer. These national parks are like great getaways for the people of America and the entire world to spend quality time with their families and friends, and to get to know the true nature that the U.S.A has to offer.