The North American continent, which consists of 23 nations, has so much to offer to nature-loving travelers. It is very diverse in geography and wildlife that it’ll be hard to make a narrow list.
You have everything from majestic canyons, to mysterious caves, and gigantic trees, to miles of desert, to glorious waterfalls.
There are hundreds of national parks all over, each offering something unique for its visitors. This list will require some hiking boots and possibly a handheld GPS. Here are our top picks places every nature lover should visit in North America.
The Most Breathtaking Natural Wonders in North America
The Most Breathtaking Natural Wonders in North America
1. Zion Canyon, USA
Zion National Park in Utah, U.S.A is so enchanting that it seems unreal! The colors are so vibrant, from ruby rock formations to emerald grass, to clear blue skies. Zion is one of the most famous parks in the USA for good reasons.
The main highlight is the Zion Canyon, which has an average of 2,000 feet in depth. You can hike its floors in the areas called “The Narrows” and “The Subway.”
The park is huge, so there’s a lot of room for exploration. Look out for are the natural rock arches; there are plenty of these around the park, but the most famous ones are Crawford and Kolob.
In some parts of the park, you can go biking, camping horseback riding, swimming, and kayaking. This place has so much to offer, so it’s earned a spot on this list.
2. Yosemite Valley, USA
Yosemite is another very famous park in the US. It’s shaped by glacial erosion and is famous mainly for its glorious waterfall. However, there’s a lot more to see and experience within the 1,200 square-mile park.
Other features that define Yosemite are Half Dome and Glacier point. There’s also some ancient sequoia trees, deep valleys, marvelous meadows, and amazing wildlife.
Like Zion, you can camp, hike, bike, and do a lot of fun activities in Yosemite National Park. For hikers, there are plenty of trails, but the main ones are the John Muir Trail or the Mist Trail.
3. Grand Canyon, USA
One of the most famous and most powerful landscapes in the world, for a good reason, is the Grand Canyon.
The canyon, carved by the Colorado River, shows billions of years of Earth’s history. It’s just one of those places that will blow your mind, especially when you see it in person.
A unique experience you can have here is a mule ride to the floor of the canyon. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking.
A one day trip only covers so little of the grand canyon, so consider camping for more opportunities to explore. Plus, the night sky from the canyon is incredible!
4. Jasper National Park, Canada
This place is bursting with natural beauty! You have mountainous terrains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows, rivers, and incredible wildlife. It’s like this corner of the world was given more attention than the other places.
Among the wild things that walk around this area are grizzly bears, elk, and moose. It’s also home to 70 species of mammals and thousands of species of insects. Due to this diverse wildlife, it’s been cited as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Aside from nature and wildlife viewing, there’s also so much to do in this place. Camping is very common, especially in the summer. There are many trails for hiking and biking, as well as places for boating and paddling.
Around November to April, you can ski and snowboard at Marmot Basin. You’ll find that there’s lot to do, so allow yourself at least a week to enjoy this place.
5. Huatulco National Park, Mexico
The Huatulco National Park is relatively new compared to the other national parks on this list. It was established in 1998, declaring the park as a protected area. It’s known for its tropical forest, coral reefs, diverse wildlife, and pristine bays. Like the others on this list, you can enjoy plenty of hiking trails and camping.
But what makes it unique from the others is the rich and colorful marine life which you can explore by snorkeling and even diving.
Photo credit to Efra Tzuc | CC 1.0
6. Tamul Waterfall, Mexico
It’s hard to believe that this place is only a few hours drive from the border of Texas. The 105-meter waterfall is magnificent in itself, but the journey towards it also beautiful.
The journey takes you through the turquoise river, transparent pit called Cueva del Agua and high rocky walls and landscapes. If you’re up for it, you can even swim in the Cueva del Agua.
7. Mendenhall Glacier Caves, Alaska, USA
The Mendenhall Glacier Caves is over 13 miles long of icy caves, and the journey to it is one for the books! The first mile is relatively easy, but the next two are unmaintained and strenuous.
You will hike through a rainforest, slippery bedrocks, muddy areas and steep hills. But once you get to the top, you will realize that it was worth all the effort. From this point on, every step you take through the icy walls and slopes will just amaze you big time.
It was honestly difficult to make this list, considering all the beautiful natural places North America has to offer. These seven can’t even begin to scratch the surface!
There’s so much more to explore and discover, but I hope that this helps you begin your journey.
We’d love to hear about your experience too! If you’ve been to any of these places, let us know what you think. You can also tell us other places you think are worth visiting in North America. Feel free to use the comment section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associate’s blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow me on Twitter and on Google+
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