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View Poll Results: What are your favorite US National Parks?
Acadia 8 17.39%
American Samoa 0 0%
Arches 5 10.87%
Badlands 2 4.35%
Big Bend 1 2.17%
Biscayne 1 2.17%
Black Canyone of the Gunnison 3 6.52%
Bryce Canyon 6 13.04%
Canyonlands 4 8.70%
Capitol Reef 3 6.52%
Carlsbad Caverns 2 4.35%
Channel Islands 1 2.17%
Congaree 1 2.17%
Crater Lake 5 10.87%
Cuyahoga Valley 2 4.35%
Death Valley 6 13.04%
Denali 6 13.04%
Dry Tortugas 2 4.35%
Everglades 7 15.22%
Gates of the Arctic 1 2.17%
Glacier 8 17.39%
Glacier Bay 3 6.52%
Grand Canyon 11 23.91%
Grand Teton 5 10.87%
Great Basin 2 4.35%
Great Sand Dunes 2 4.35%
Great Smoky Mountains 6 13.04%
Guadalupe Mountains 1 2.17%
Haleakalā 0 0%
Hawaii Volcanoes 3 6.52%
Hot Springs 1 2.17%
Isle Royale 2 4.35%
Joshua Tree 7 15.22%
Katmai 0 0%
Kenai Fjords 1 2.17%
Kings Canyon 1 2.17%
Kobuk Valley 0 0%
Lake Clark 0 0%
Lassen Volcanic 1 2.17%
Mammoth Cave 3 6.52%
Mesa Verde 3 6.52%
Mount Rainier 5 10.87%
North Cascades 6 13.04%
Olympic 7 15.22%
Petrified Forest 1 2.17%
Pinnacles 1 2.17%
Redwood 6 13.04%
Rocky Mountain 8 17.39%
Saguaro 2 4.35%
Sequoia 8 17.39%
Shenandoah 3 6.52%
Theodore Roosevelt 2 4.35%
Virgin Islands 1 2.17%
Voyageurs 1 2.17%
Wind Cave 0 0%
Wrangell-St. Elias 2 4.35%
Yellowstone 17 36.96%
Yosemite 19 41.30%
Zion 6 13.04%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-27-2015, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Westminster/Huntington Beach, CA
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Joshua Tree - One of the most beautiful, interesting, and unique desert landscapes in the country. Awesome for rock climbers of any skill as well.

Channel Islands - This is a bias, as the park is only a 2 hour boat ride from the nearest marina to my house. It's not very well known (I believe this is the least visited national park in the country?), but totally interesting. Half of the park is actually underwater, and it has a compelling natural history as well. Home to the 13,000 year old Arlington Man, which up until recently, were the oldest human remains found in North America. Also was home to several colonies of the Pygmy Mammoth, which can be found no where else in the world and stood only 5 feet tall.

Redwood - Magical. Completely alien world and the size of the trees is something you can only understand by seeing them for yourself. When I went I felt as if dinosaurs could appear at any moment. Also extremely quiet. Spent an evening camping there once and while sitting outside as it started getting dark there was complete silence. No animals, bugs, rustling, trees blowing, etc. Nothing.

Yosemite - No explanation needed.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,087 posts, read 1,068,704 times
Reputation: 1933
A few of my favorites, and why:

Great Sand Dunes- There's something magical about the San Luis Valley, I can't explain it. The tallest sand dunes in North America on high desert ringed by jagged ranges in every direction. The dunes themselves can be finicky- if you go at the wrong time, everything you own will be filled with sand- but it is an absolutely giant playground with plenty of space to spread out. And very few rules about how you have to play....

Capitol Reef- Off the beaten path, Capitol Reef has many components of the other national parks in UT, but gets far less traffic. And that means something to me- I love me some UT geology, but on our last few visits, Arches and especially Zion felt far too crowded. Capitol Reef still has that of that raw, quiet scenery and energy of the area, but with a level of solitude you won't find in the other parks these days.

North Cascades- Alright, I'm biased- NCNP is the closest park to me, but it's not nearly as busy as Rainier or even the Olympics. It has a very rugged, frontier-ish feel, and I love the fact that you can transition from temperate rain forest to jagged peaks and glaciers to drier ponderosa forests and eventually shrub-steppe scenery to the east.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,628 posts, read 3,969,311 times
Reputation: 6623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iaskwhy View Post
Please explain your selections if you desire.
Good thread...+1

Of the ones I have been to Great Sand Dunes. It is the only time I have felt like I was on a different planet. Rising out of the high desert shrubbery along the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the highest sand dunes in North America. The dunes rise up to 750 feet high.

When I lived in Colorado I went there three times. I couldn't get enough of it. It is the must see place in Colorado. Each time I had family come visit me I took them on a little road trip down there. Why? You have to see it to believe it, and after you see it the experience will stick with you forever. It isn't a zoo like Rocky Mountain Park and the views of the San Juans in the distance and nearby Blanca Massif and Crestones are more beautiful than anything on the Front Range. Black Canyon was cool, but it wasn't as memorable as the dunes.

Park your car and begin to walk west down the sand sheet. Not only do you surprising have solititude, but you have this: https://www.flickr.com/photos/massey...57645010939082 or you can climb High Dune https://www.flickr.com/photos/massey...57645022133114 (hopefully the load times won't be ridicuoulsy slow). All of this, since the last time I checked, costs $3 dollars for a 7 day pass!

Of the ones I want to visit: Isle Royale, Wrangell St. Elias, and North Cascades. Isle Royale because you are on an island in the middle of Lake Superior in pristine wilderness with moose and wolves. Wrangell-St. Elias because I want to see Mount St. Elias rise over 18,000 feet in person, hike the various glaciers, and do some amazing ice climbing. North Cascades for its raw beauty. It takes me back to my trip to the Argentine Lake District.
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Carrboro, NC
1,461 posts, read 1,444,844 times
Reputation: 1878
Arches - Otherworldly rock formations, beautiful red sandstone desert setting with an amphitheater view of surrounding mountains and canyons, and of course the arches. Landscape Arch, Double Arch, and Tower of Babel were personal favorites.

Yellowstone - Mammoth hotsprings, Grand Prismatic Spring, hundreds of geysers and other volcanic forms, plus canyons, waterfalls, and some pretty good mountains too. Enough stuff for 3 national parks.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison - An underrated park that I felt like propping up. Tacked it on to a trip to other things and very glad I did! Pure vertical domination is what this canyon is all about. Very different in character from the other large canyon parks. Colorado has 5 great parks--all of which I've been to, and most people would probably list one of the others as their favorites, but I think this might by my personal favorite. The Painted Walls and Devil's Point were some of the highlights.

Great Smoky Mountains - The best eastern park. The Jumpoff+Charlie's Bunion, The Chimneys, Mt LeConte. Some of the most extreme eastern wilderness. Ruggedness bathed in lushness.
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