Saturday, April 9, 2022

6 of the Best Natural Landmarks Around the U.S.

 The best natural landmarks define historic travel across the American landscape. On your next road trip through the U.S., make it a point to visit these six postcard-worthy sites. The experience you’ll have isn’t available anywhere else in the world.

6. Colorado Continental Divide

Independence Pass is among the most popular “Great Divide” stops, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. At more than 12,000 feet above sea level, however, you can’t make the trip on your feet alone. Do yourself a favor and reserve a vehicle suited for the altitude at Fox Rent a Car before you go. That way you won’t need to worry about your own sea-level vehicle stalling out in the mountains.
Sage Advice: Independence Pass closes for the season around the first week of November. You can’t visit again until the Spring thaw.

Image via Flickr by Nan Palmero

5. The Wave

Located in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness in Arizona, The Wave is a geological marvel. To get there, you’ll need to get a special permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and hike through 3 miles of Southwestern desert.
Call Ahead Viewing: Government officials only issue 20 permits per day to reach The Wave. You can ask for a permit ahead of your visit by contacting the BLM here.

The Wave, Arizona

Image via Wikipedia by Greg Bulla

4. Giant Redwood Forest

This forest of ancient trees in Redwood National Park is one of the iconic images of California. Gather your camping gear for a weekend among the tallest trees on Earth, but pay attention to updates from the National Park Service. Various sections close regularly for special events, or impending bad weather.
Planning Your Next Trip: You have your choice between developed campgrounds with modern amenities and backcountry camping for a more rugged experience.

Giant Redwood Forest

Image via Flickr by Joseph Lee Novak

3.  Carslbad Cavern

The main attraction at Carlsbad Caverns National Park is the otherworldly cave of the same name. Take the Ranger-guided cave tour to see underground areas that you can’t visit during the self-guided segments. Rangers offer different tours of varying skill level and physical activity, so don’t be afraid to try one.

Beware of Cave Bats: According to the National Park Service, more than 400,000 Brazilian bats make Carlsbad (and the surrounding caverns) their annual summer home.

Carslbad Cavern

Image via Flickr by Mathieu LeBreton

2. Monument Valley

A trip through Monument Valley demands a vehicle that can handle long stretches of open road on the Colorado plains. The massive sandstone buttes that dominate the landscape evoke images of classic Westerns and provide no shortage of memorable photos.
Take a Guided Tour: If you’d prefer to linger amid the beautiful scenery longer, Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation offers guided (vehicle and hiking) tours throughout the year.

Monument Valley

Image via Flickr by Andrew A. Smith

1. Crater Lake

What remains after the collapse of a massive volcano is one of Oregon’s most recognizable features. Crater Lake and the surrounding park are continually open to the public year round, though winter weather tends to shut down some access roads. The best time of year to have full access to the area is the summer.
Winter Means Business: Snowfall at Crater Lake averages 44 feet per year, according to the National Park Service.
These natural landmarks work equally well as the main attractions or as small stops on your next vacation. And the beauty of the U.S. national park system is these places will always be available for you to enjoy.

Crater Lake

Image via Flickr by Keith Rowley

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