8 Fantastic Road Trips to Top National Parks
National parks in the United States receive millions of visitors from around the world every year and are a great source of income for the states. There is a route that crosses several states of the country that is known as "Grand Circle" and includes some parks. Do not miss all the details of the tour by car through the most important parks!
Valley of Fire, Nevada
This is the oldest in Nevada and is only one hour from Las Vegas. Its name, "Valley of Fire" is due to the incredible formations of eroded red sandstone rocks that formed from sand dunes formed 150 million years ago. The Park is quite large, so it takes several hours to discover it completely.
Zion National Park, Utah
Zion, in the state of Utah, has 4.5 million visitors a year and is the fifth most visited park in the United States. There are many trekking or hikes in Zion national park. These are the best known for two to three days: Observation Point Trail, the narrows, Canyon Overlook trail and Angel's landing trail (the most famous of Zion for its level of difficulty and height!).
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The next stop is at Bryce Canyon, about two hours from Zion. This is another beautiful National Park of the United States. Bryce's colored rocks were sculpted by erosion on pillars called "hoodoos" that form what is known as Bryce Amphitheater, in the heart of the park.
The fundamental panoramic points are visiting Sunset and Sunrise Point, Inspiration Point, Bryce Point and, finally, starting from the Queens Garden Trail that goes down to the valley, at the end of the road begins the Navajo Loop Trail that then goes up to the Rim.
The next stop was at Page, in Arizona. To see, on one side is the Horseshoe Bend and, on the other, Antelope Canyon, the star of the place.
The latter is a striped and bright reddish sandstone canyon, carved by floods and erosion. There are two options to visit: the Upper Antelope Y Lower Antelope In both, the only way to enter is with a guided tour, managed by the Navajos natives (there are several operators for the tours). You have to pay a ticket and book the tour online well in advance, paying on site.
Which one to go to? Both are equally beautiful and have their respective prime-time time of day with the best light. The Upper Antelope is more popular, but there are usually many people. The Lower Antelope, meanwhile, has fewer people and is a bit cheaper.
Grand Canyon, Arizona
And from Page, about two hours by car, you reach one of the most famous parks in the world: the Grand Canyon or Grand Canyon of the Colorado, also in Arizona, established in 1919 and visited by more than 5 million people by a year. It is also 446 km long, 29 km wide and 1.6 km deep.
It is divided into North Rim (Utah) and South Rim (Arizona), which is the one with the best communication and the most popular. The North Rim is about four hours from the South Rim.
For hikes or trekking in the Grand Canyon, you have to keep in mind that everything that goes down, then you have to climb it. There are two very popular treks in the South Rim: the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point and South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point. Both are hard, long hours and you have to be well-prepared to do them. In the North Rim is the hike North Kaibab Trail.
Another easy alternative is to walk along a part of the Rim trail. It is a flat road, has no elevations and goes from the South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermits Rest (or vice versa). It can also be done by car and stopping at several of the panoramic points.
Route 66: Williams and Seligman
From Las Vegas to Grand Canyon (or vice versa) you can replace a stretch of Interstate 40 and go through a part of historic Route 66. It is highly recommended stopping at Williams and Seligman, two towns inspired by the Disney Pixar movie "Cars."
Also known as "The Land of the Giants", the Sequoia Park, created in 1890, is in height and is known to have the largest extent of sequoias in the world. In a whole day you can know all the attractions.
The tour must be started at the "Foothills Visitor Center". To see, on the one hand, there is the famous sequoia General Sherman, the largest living tree in the world of 2200 years old.
There is also a nice walk of only 1 km along the Giant Forest called “Big Trees Trail.” And for the more adventurous, if you are planning for the road trip to the national parks during the spring/summer, do not forget to climb to the tip of Moro Rock: 400 steps to see the best panoramic views.
The last stop of the route is in the famous Yosemite. It is in California, just 3 hours from San Francisco. Since 1984 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its great biodiversity: it has Granite Mountains, sequoias, waterfalls, and valleys. It is visited by about 4 million people a year.
To know all the attractions of Yosemite, it is suggested at least two whole days. Like several of the parks, there is free internal bus service.
The main thing to know is the Yosemite Falls, go to the panoramic point in Tunnel View and walk to the Mirror Lake. For trekking fans, there is a very good one called “The mist Trail” to Nevada and Vernal Falls, the two main waterfalls in the park.
An excellent point to watch the sunset is at Glacier Point, with panoramic views of El Capitan and Half Dome, the most famous rock formations of Yosemite. It is only open from May to October.
You know if you are planning a family vacation with lots of nature and adventure, surely the national parks of the United States are an excellent option. Do not doubt it!
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