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Old 08-21-2014, 06:38 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,438 posts, read 18,351,454 times
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It's not on most people's radar but Olympic National Park is absolutely epic and my favorite national park. Olympic is split up into three sections; the beach, the rainforest, and the mountains. The mountain area up at Hurricane Ridge has alpine meadows, evergreen forests, and intense jagged snow capped peaks. I swore that the Van Trapp family would appear at any moment. The Hoh rain forest has some great trail to hike through the moss draped canopies.

On to the beaches, I had my best camping trip ever in La Push, WA where the evergreen rainforest comes right up to the beach. I was lucky enough to be there on a sunny summer day and then watched the sunset over the roaring Pacific surf with tall white sea spray crashing onto giant boulder rocks. It put me into a trance. On the sandy beach there are scattered giant sea stack rocks the size of buildings. One can walk the beaches for distant miles and not see another soul for hours. It's not your fun in the sun kind of beach destination, but Olympic National Park's beaches are soul stirring and amazing.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 08-21-2014 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,438 posts, read 18,351,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petroglyphin View Post
Agreed on the Grand Canyon for sure. You definitely have to go beneath the rim to truly understand how magnificent that work of nature is!
The Grand Canyon was the most unforgettable hike of my life. I hiked Bright Angel all the way down to Indian Garden and back in one day. It was spring so the garden's trees were flowering. The layers of color, rock, and earth are amazing. I noticed the signs saying "Down is optional, up is mandatory". The Grand Canyon kicked my arse. When turning back and looking up I had that pit of my gut feeling and thought "Oh S**t"!!!! I made it up, took several breaks and stops along the way. I drove back to Albuquerque the next day and called in sick to work the following day. I couldn't move.

I want to go back again, only because I'm up for the challenge and I'll be in much better shape.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 08-21-2014 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:17 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,847 posts, read 30,381,599 times
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I am no fan of National Parks, but I would definitely choose Big Bend.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in the lower 48.
285 posts, read 238,032 times
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I love the Utah parks: Zions, Arches, Canyonlands
also really like Denali and Acadia
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Juneau
601 posts, read 712,676 times
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Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, Katmai, Lake Clark
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:30 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,438 posts, read 18,351,454 times
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Bucket list of ones I haven't been to yet....

Bryce Canyon
Arches
Saguaro
Carlsbad Caverns
Haleakala
Grand Teton/Yellowstone
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,100 posts, read 1,075,580 times
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I used to think Zion was my favorite, but it felt like an amusement park when we were there in June. All of the Utah parks are absolutely amazing, but Capitol Reef combines a lot of the features of the others and is off the beaten path. Apart from that, I would say Great Sand Dunes in CO (beauty, variety, solitude, and few rules) and Olympic for diversity, trees, water, and all-around greenery.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale AZ
556 posts, read 632,978 times
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ooh, i almost forgot Canyonlands! its like another planet...
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
220 posts, read 148,193 times
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What a great thread!

What national park isn't awesome and jaw dropping?

1. Acadia National Park in Maine has great views! And it's in a fun town- Bar Harbor, Maine.
2. Joshua Tree National Park in California is a rock climbers paradise. You can do free climbing here as well.
3. Volcano's National Park in Hawaii. It is unreal.
4. Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. You will have to pinch yourself. Wow!
5. Kenai National Park in Alaska. Here's your chance to climb a glacier (guided of course). Can't be missed.

Well, those are all the one's I've been to so far! : )
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:41 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,621 posts, read 15,081,361 times
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Yosemite for sure.
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