Glacier National Park

March 24, 2009 by  
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glacier-national-park-588Glacier National Park, known to Native Americans as the “Shining Mountains” and the “Backbone of the World”, is located along the spine of the Rocky Mountains in the NW corner of Montana.  Glacier offers you alpine meadows, rugged mountains, pristine forests and spectacular lakes.  You will find more than 700 miles of trails which makes for a hikers paly ground or for anyone seeking the adventurous wilderness and solitude.

Glacier National Park is composed of more than one million acres of lakes, forests, rugged peaks and alpine meadows, along with glacial-carved valleys in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Its makes a home to over 70 species of mammals including the wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears and gray wolves. There are more than  228 species of birds that visit or reside in the park, including such diverse species as the golden eagles, dippers and the harlequin ducks.  The landscape is a hiker’s paradise that is traversed by more than 750 miles of maintained hiking trails.

The glacier carved terrain is what the park is primarily named for.  The deposited materials and the bedrock exposed by the diminishing glaciers tell a story of  geologic faults,ancient seas,  and the appearance of giant slabs of the earth’s ancient crust overlaying younger strata. The result of these combined forces is some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

In 1932 Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, across the border in Canada, were designated Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This designation celebrates the longstanding peace and friendship between the two nations. Both parks have since been designated International Biosphere Reserves and together were recognized in 1995 as a World Heritage Site. Clearly this resource is deserving of world-class recognition.

Yellowstone National Park

March 24, 2009 by  
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yellowstone-national-park-588You can explore some of the interesting and strangest geological features in Yellowstone National Park. The huge volcanic base is the remains of a massive volcano that erupted many millions of  years ago. This is one of the places where you can see hot water and steam bubbling, hissing and gurgling as it explodes out of the earth.  It is possible to see geysers at several places in the world, but you can see more vigorously active geysers at Yellowstone National Park than any other location in the world.
Yellowstone National Park is the first ever park formed by United States Government in the year 1876 to conserve the natural beauty of this wonderful place. You can see the ranges of American native wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. You can see wild bison, deer, wolves, coyotes, wild elk, moose, eagles and bears in this park. It is not difficult to spot out these wild animals; you can normally see these animals while you travel by a car through the lovely scenery of Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming along the borders of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone is easily accessible from Jackson Wyoming, Cody Wyoming, Idaho Falls Idaho and Bozeman Montana. You can find airports in all of these places and reach the Park in few hours. But it is a must to have a car to enjoy all the attraction in the Park.
You can find the village of West Yellowstone at the western side of the park with a pleasant choice of accommodation, service stations, stores and restaurants. Gardiner, a small town on the northern entrance of Yellowstone offers some of these facilities as well. At the western side of the park you can visit restaurants, stores, and service stations.

Sightseeing is the key attraction in Yellowstone National Park. Once you enter into the park you must be careful on your driving, because other vehicles may be parked in the middle of the park to see the animals. It is quite usual to see wild elk grazing close to the road and oversize bison in the middle of the highway. Mostly the local wild animals are very friendly with the visitors and they no longer fear humans.
It is dangerous to approach the large bison though. You should be very careful during the visit, because Yellowstone National Park is not a zoo; it is just a park so the animals are not tamed.

The most famous geyser, known as “Old Faithful”, is there in front of the visitor’s center. It frequently erupts, roughly every 90 minutes. The park rangers regularly post the estimated eruption times for six or eight geysers that usually remain to preset cycles. To see more than a few geyser eruptions you have to wait with patience. You can find small boxes in the park filled with the interpretive leaflets for a 50-cent donation. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the major attraction and it is an ideal place to take photographs and sight seeing.

Camping, hiking and backpacking are the other major attractions on Yellowstone National Park. You can find 100 miles of hiking trails through the forests, plains and mountains of Yellowstone. Most of the trails are prepared with wilderness camping shelters and backpackers.  Yellowstone Lake and Lewis Lake have boat launch ramps for boating. The Mammoth, Canyon Village and Tower Roosevelt Service Centers have riding stables where you can rent horses and participate in guided trail rides.

In the winter, Yellowstone Park becomes a wonderland of snow filled landscapes combined with boiling hot springs, columns of fluttering white vapors and river steaming waters. It is possible to see the strange and beautiful lands in the winter season, but it is difficult to drive a car there. Most of the roads in Yellowstone remain closed from November to March. In order to protect the fragile environment and the wildlife, the National Park Service strictly limits the number of visitors and the number of snow vehicles entering the park. So it is important to make prior reservation to visit the Yellowstone National Park in winter season.

Zion National Park

March 24, 2009 by  
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zion-national-park-588Zion National Park is located in southwestern Utah, 309 miles south of Salt Lake City, and 43 miles northeast of St. George. Most of the visitors prefer to enter in this park through the south entrance next to the town of Springdale. Private motor vehicles are strictly prohibited in Zion canyon, shuttle bus service is there to serve you.
Zion National Park is a beautiful area and nothing can go beyond it’s beauty. The size of Zion is same as Yosemite but the graciousness and attractiveness of the figure is really incomparable. Zion is a wonderland of image descriptions. The height of the valley is nearly 2,000 feet and it has the floor of creamy sandstone.

Zion National Park attracts most of its first time visitors with its gigantic stone sculptures, green forests and roaring rivers and breathtaking vistas, and the first time visitors will never forget the experience in their life with the various collections of colors, a lively mixture of vermilion, magenta, cyan and azure. Zion National Park is the all time favorite destination for the tourist to experience the American West, both for the first timers and regular visitors.

The complete area of Zion National Park is more than 147,000 acres. The territory passes from desert to forest. The weather and temperature will vary from time to time; you can experience more than 100F in the summer and in winter it is often covered with snow.

Major Attractions:

Hiking is the best source to explore the entire Zion National Park. You can see many paths with picturesque views. Familiar day-hikes comprise the Emerald Pool Trail which breeze through the forest of maple, cottonwood and oak trees and numerous waterfalls to reach the scenic Emerald Pools. The most exhausting day-hike is Angeles Landing Trail; this is a 1,500 feet peak, which gives you wonderful views into Zion canyon.
You are not allowed to over night hike in Zion National Park with out prior permission from the tourism office. This park offers many backpacking potentials. Most of the land in Zion National Park is rocky and uneven, but the scenery is worth watching.

Rock-Climbing is an additional trendy activity in the park. It is an ideal place for skilled climbers, because most of the rocks are loose and climbers have to place their own protection. This highest sandstone precipice all over the canyon presenting you lots of challenging routs and it is really a heaven for skilled climbers.

Riverside Walk:

To get the real experience of Zion National Park, it is better to follow the Riverside Walk up the Virgin River. The cement path is only for 2 miles long and it is possible to see many trailside and hanging wildflowers on the way. It is better to bring hiking boots and be prepared to get wet. Because, most of the canyons are narrow for side paths forcing the hiker to get in to the river over slippery rocks. You are not bound to get permission for day hiking, but it is better to confirm the weather condition and have a word with ranger before you start, because fresh floods are common in this area.

Arches National Park

March 24, 2009 by  
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The Arches National Park is a famous red sandstone area with huge profusion. You can get a location map of the Arches National Park from the visitor center, containing all sizes of the park structures ranging from the 89 meter huge Arch to the smaller openings like one meter wide. It is possible to see many more outstanding rock structures sprinkled over the 73,000-acre park. You may have to spend several days to explore the entire beauty of this park.

It is just 20 miles south of I-70 and just north of Moab, the largest town in southern Utah. You can see lot of mountain bike shops and hotels in this town. You can consider the town as one of the uranium-mining industries hub.

The main path of the park scales up a vertical precipice containing numerous pointed summits where you can feel the wind breezing from side to side of the carved red rocks. The highway crosses Courthouse Towers and Park Avenue. The area is a plain landscape with some remote rock edges. It is possible to view the vistas in many movies like the recent Louise and Thelma. The Window Section concentrated more on the other creations including arches. They have their own name like Double Arch, Balanced Rock and Cove Arch. It is possible to see the entire area while traveling on the road.

You can reach the picturesque Delicate Arch by walking towards a little, credible hanging bridge that passes through soft uncovered silkrock and it is just a mile travel from Wolfe Ranch. Delicate Arch is the most celebrated arch in the park, it was accepted as the state sign also. You can see this symbol on the registration plates of Utah Centennial transport vehicles.

It is highly recommended that 4 wheel drive vehicles are utilized to visit this park, because the total area is occupied with profound sand with vertical position. The major area to be covered with a 4 wheel drive vehicle is Klondike Buffs, the most picturesque area of Arches, which fins to the northwestern side of the park. It is not so easy for hiking in this park as the temperature can reach nearly 110F, so plan accordingly.

Grand Canyon National Park

March 24, 2009 by  
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grand-canyon-588The Grand Canyon Nation Park located in Arizona is one of the world’s natural wonders and one of America’s top tourist attractions attracting nearly 5 million visitors a year. It is considered as one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. You can simply take a breath taking view of the steep sided gorge, take a biking or hiking trip through the numerous trails in the canyon or even take guided tour where you will learn a great deal more about the Grand Canyon and it’s history.  Camping adventures are also available to those who are interested.

Here is a brief description of the Grand Canyon and it’s history:

The canyon was created over a 17 million year period by the natural erosion process of the Colorado River. It is situated within one of the country’s  first natural parks, the Grand Canyon National Park.  The canyon is approximately 277 miles long, and reaches depths as deep as 1 mile. The width of the canyon varies between four to eighteen miles. The layers of rock that are exposed in the canyon are like time stamps of a 2 billion year history of the Earth.

The canyon was once inhabited by Native Americans, where they would build their houses in the canyon and it’s numerous caves. The Pueblo people considered this a holy site and also made settlement in the canyon.

The Grand Canyon may not be the deepest canyon in the world, however, it is very well known for its awe-inspiring size as well as it’s intricate  and colorful landscape. The panoramic view from the rim it provide it’s visitors in unrivaled anywhere in the world.

Additional attractions and historical buildings along the Grand Canyon:

Along the South Rim, primarily in the Grand Canyon Village, you will find several historical buildings.  Buckey O’Neill Cabin, the El Tovar Hotel and the Grand Canyon Railway Depot are few noteworthy buildings found here.

The Buckey O’Neill Cabin, located in the south Rim is considered one of the longest continually standing structures here. It was built by William Owen O’Neill during the 1890’s. Currently, the cabin is used as a guest house for vacationers who want to visit the Grand Canyon.

The El Tovar Hotel  is considered to be the South Rim’s most luxurious lodge. This hotel, constructed in 1905 is 4 stories tall and was planned by Charles Whittlesley. You can find a gift shop and a restaurant inside this hotel.

Of the fourteen train stations ever built in the United States, the Grand Canyon Railway Depot is one of only three log-cabin-style railway depot existing today. It was constructed in 1909.

Other attractions include Lipan Point and Toroweap Overlook.  Lipan Point is a promontory or headland situated on the South Rim. By visiting in this place, you can have a great view of the Unkar Creek area in the inner canyon as well as the various rock strata in the area. Toroweap Overlook or Tuweep provides the most heart-stooping view of the canyon below. It is located 3,000 feet above the Colorado River. According to the National Park Service, this is the most remote in the country.

Recreational activities you can engage to

Other options you can do to have a more leisurely view of the canyon is through the Coconino Canyon Train, which is a ninety-minute train ride that start at the old Grand Canyon Depot in the Grand Canyon National Park and passes through 24 miles of the canyon’s landscape.

If you’re the more adventurous type, you can view the canyon in a more vertical perspective by going on board a small airplane or a helicopter. However, some scenic flights are not permitted if they fly within the 1,500 feet of the rim due to recent incidence of crash.

Aside from the usual sightseeing of the Grand Canyon, you can do a lot of recreational activities. Among the popular activities are hiking, running, whitewater rafting and camping. While you’re at the floor of the valley you can traverse it on the back of a mule, by foot or by raft from upriver.

Truly, the Grand Canyon is an impressive and must visited tourist attraction. If you haven’t visited the place yet, then it is about time for you to experience the excitement and the adventure of a lifetime.