Here are 10 of the most visited National Parks. Get your bucket list out! These are some of the most beautiful places in the world.
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6. Glacier - Glacier national park is located in Montana on the US / Canadian border, and covers over a million acres. It was first inhabited by Native Americans, and became a national park on May 11, 1910. Last year it was visited by over 2.4 million people. It includes a thousand different species of plants, hundreds of species of animals (including Grizzly bears, moose, and goats), over 130 lakes, 25 glaciers, and elements of 2 mountain ranges. In addition to the many natural wonders, the park's Going-to-the-Sun Road is considered by many to be one of the world's most spectacular drives.
5. Olympic - Olympic national park is located in Washington State, on the Olympic Peninsula, for which it gets its name, and covers almost 1 million acres. President Teddy Roosevelt originally declared the Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909 and later President Franklin Roosevelt established it as a national park in 1938. The park has 4 distinct regions, including the Pacific coast, west side rainforest, subalpine forest, and wildflower meadow. It also has no roads, so visitors to the park, of which there were over 3 million last year, must hike it to explore its natural beauty.
4. Yosemite - Yosemite national park is located in California. It covers an area of almost 750,000 acres and host about 3.8 million visitors a year. The park includes the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the 7 square mile Yosemite Valley. The park was signed in to law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864, creating the Yosemite Grant â the first time park land had been set aside specifically for preservation and public use. The name Yosemite means âkillerâ in Miwok and referred to the name of a renegade tribe which was initially driven out of the area.
3. Yellowstone - Yellowstone national park is located primarily in Wyoming, but also extends into neighboring Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone is the worldâs first national park and was established by the US Congress in 1872, and signed in to law by President Ulysses S. Grant. It covers over 2.2 million acres and is home to mountain peaks, alpine lakes, dense forests, and geothermal features, including the Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone Lake is one of the highest elevation lakes in the US and is centered over the Yellowstone volcano â the largest super-volcano on the continent. The park includes hundreds of species of mammals, including bears, moose, bison, wolves and sheep, and several that are endangered or threatened. It is visited by over 4.1 million people a year.
2. Grand Canyon - Grand Canyon national park is located in Arizona. It covers over 1.2 million acres and hosts close to 5 million visitors a year. The name derives from the valley created by the Colorado River and is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The canyon is 277 miles long, a mile deep and up to 18 miles wide at spots. It was officially designated a national park in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it in to law. President Teddy Roosevelt had previously enacted the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908, saying âThe Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison â beyond description; absolutely unparalleled through-out the wide worldâ¦You cannot improve it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your childrenâs children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.â
1. Great Smoky Mountains - Great Smoky Mountains national park is located on the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain, which itself is a division of the Appalachian Mountains. It covers over 500,000 acres and was first inhabited by the Cherokee people. The park is over 95% forest and its location, high humidity and precipitation create an environment for over 10,000 species of plants and animals. Some estimates say an additional 90,000 species may also be present. It is also home to over 100 species of trees and the Appalachian Trail which passes through the center of the park. It was enacted in 1934 when Congress passed a bill that President Franklin Roosevelt signed in to law and it was the first national park to receive federal funding.
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