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The 7 - One Question... - Favorite National Parks
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samoflange
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#1 Posted on 9.8.13 0951.18
Reposted on: 9.8.20 0951.38
I just got back from a two week tour through parks in Colorado and Utah. We visited five national parks, one national monument, and one state park. Our group was made up of experienced backpackers, and we hiked all day and slept under the stars in the backcountry areas.

I had been to a few national parks before this trip, but hadn't quite grasped how incredible it is that these places exist for us to visit. There is only one here in New England (Acadia in Maine), and the others I've been to were all during childhood so I didn't see much of them nor do I have very vivid memories.

The national parks I visited on my recent trip were Rocky Mountain, Great Sand Dunes, Black Canyon, Arches, and Canyonlands. I also visited Colorado National Monument and Goblin Valley State Park. They were all fantastic in their own way, but Canyonlands was the one that has stuck with me the most these past few days. Looking out from the viewpoints was like looking at a massive painting because everything was so pristine and still. The backcountry sunsets and sunrises were spectacular, as were the evening thunderstorms because of how far you could see them coming and going.

Next year, my wife and I are planning a multi-month cross country road trip and we plan to visit as many parks as possible, as well as all the major US cities we have not yet been to.
Thus my question:
What are some of your favorite national or state parks?

(edited by samoflange on 9.8.13 1051)
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Leroy
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#2 Posted on 9.8.13 1000.15
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1001.21

I'm usually pretty cynical about these things - but Niagara Falls was amazing. The sheer enormity and amount of water is just staggering. And it really is true that the Canadian side is better. Way better.

Everyone should also see Yosemite at least once - especially when the falls are in full force. Zion National Park is also worth a visit if you are passing through, but the surrounding town is useless.

Packman V2
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#3 Posted on 9.8.13 1059.45
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1102.40
I went to the Grand Canyon this year for the first time, which is surprising since it's been a state away for most of my life. Truly awe inspiring.
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#4 Posted on 9.8.13 1301.35
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1303.40
    Originally posted by samoflange
    There is only one here in New England (Acadia in Maine)


You could spend days here (and we've been many times). Lots of hiking and beaches and mountains and rocks. And it's not far from home.
theremin
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#5 Posted on 9.8.13 1411.43
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1412.30
My immediate thought was Gallatin National Forest, in Montana.

If you're gonna count the falls, I guess it's that.
DrDirt
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#6 Posted on 9.8.13 1436.47
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1436.49
Grand Canyon, Acadia, Estes park are of Rocky Mountains. Maybe my favorite is Mesa Verde in Colorado, simply incredible ruins of cliff dwellings.
cranlsn
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#7 Posted on 9.8.13 1450.37
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1450.51
Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky is very nice as well. We have family in the area, and even accounting for all the tourist traps, there is a lot of beautiful areas to see. Natural Bridge and the Red River Gorge are two off the top of my head.
Whitebacon
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#8 Posted on 9.8.13 1637.24
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1637.25
    Originally posted by Leroy



    Everyone should also see Yosemite at least once - especially when the falls are in full force. Zion National Park is also worth a visit if you are passing through, but the surrounding town is useless.




I live an hour or two away and I take this place for granted. I don't think I've been up there in ten years or so.
Mike Zeidler
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#9 Posted on 9.8.13 1752.41
Reposted on: 9.8.20 1752.55
Garden of the Gods in southern IL is also pretty neat, though unnecessarily dangerous, as you can take a running leap off the cliffs if you want, as there's no guardrails.
AWArulz
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#10 Posted on 11.8.13 1641.06
Reposted on: 11.8.20 1643.03
I love Yosemite, but my favorite, perhaps because I have been there so many times is Smokey Mountains National Park in Tennessee/North Carolina. Lots of trails, lots of animals, different things - plus the tourist trap towns are close for that kind of fun
OndaGrande
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#11 Posted on 12.8.13 0030.57
Reposted on: 12.8.20 0031.30
The Grand Canyon's awesome and I live 4 hours from Yosemite/King's/Sequoia but haven't been to either since the 80's. I am just a few minutes drive from Montana de Oro State park, so I go there all the time. It's got beaches with tidepools and miles of trails along creeks and up through some decent size hills and it's got to be my favorite. There are actually lots of cool state parks & beaches as well as county parks all along the coast and the Point Reyes National Seashore up north of San Francisco is really great. We also have some nice tracts of the Los Padres National Forest in my area.The Cleveland NF & San Bernardino NF in southern California have some great spots I've always loved too. Joshua Tree and Death Valley are really beautiful in the spring.
Whitebacon
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#12 Posted on 12.8.13 0212.10
Reposted on: 12.8.20 0212.15
I am frequently in your neck of the woods and I can't second the Central Coast and it's state parks enough.
OndaGrande
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#13 Posted on 15.8.13 1618.45
Reposted on: 15.8.20 1619.19
Right on WhiteBacon! I've driven by the Pinnacles several times this year but have always been busy on my way to/from the bay area, I gotta stop by there some time and check it out.
Tenken347
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#14 Posted on 22.8.13 0842.21
Reposted on: 22.8.20 0843.41
    Originally posted by cranlsn
    Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky is very nice as well. We have family in the area, and even accounting for all the tourist traps, there is a lot of beautiful areas to see. Natural Bridge and the Red River Gorge are two off the top of my head.


My wife and I were in Natural Bridge this summer, and it (along with all the attendant tourist trap stuff) was totally fantastic. The caverns there are great (and I'm a big fan of natural caverns), and if you like kitschy stuff, it's hard to beat the wax museum.
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