The National Park Service celebrated its 103 anniversary this week. There are 419 park units including National Memorials, National Historic Sites and National Preserves, but the premier status is that of National Park of which there are 61. They are of incredible diversity, and present great photo opportunities. Let’s start with some wide scenes, and what’s grander than the Grand Canyon in Arizona?
North of the Grand Canyon are more spectacular desert vistas in southern Utah. The greatest collection of natural arches is in Arches National Park, and here’s Double Arch with some hikers to give perspective.
The park service protects the highest spot in the continent at Denali, and here’s the lowest—Badwater Basin in Death Valley.
Those are all pretty barren! How about some parks with a focus on preserving incredible biodiversity, and their names reveal the stars.
Two parks preserve remnants of the vast hardwood forests that once covered the eastern portion of the continent. One of the newest parks is Congaree and protects river bottomland hardwood forests mainly of cypress and tupelo. Great Smoky Mountains has vast ridges of high mountain forests. Happy Birthday, National Park Service.