The great national parks around the world are remarkable as they are the last great wildernesses, they are pockets of protected land that are undisturbed by man. They show society what the landscape used to look like thousands of years before man started to develop. They also preserve the flora and fauna that is natural to the habitat. In part one of the world’s greatest national parks we strode out into the wilderness of the Grand Canyon, saw the great animals of the Serengeti and marveled at the hot springs in Yellowstone. In this blog we continue our journey of more of these incredible places and travel to Grand Teton National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains and Sequoia.
Grand Teton National Park
Visit Grand Teton to see how the wilderness used to be in Wyoming, long before man set foot on that land. Grand Teton itself is fourteen thousand foot mountain that towers over the Jackson Hole Valley. The lakes of Jackson and Jenny sparkle against the sky and reflect the mountains making them look even more immense.
The best time to visit Grand Teton is in Summer, that way trekkers can see marvelous vistas of the Teton Mountains as well as exploring breathtaking waterfalls and places of natural beauty. Many visitors head down to the Snake River to enjoy rafting or kayaking whilst others immerse themselves in the past history of this once Frontier Land.
If you are looking to see wildlife, then expect everything from moose, antelope, black bears, and bison to cross your path. Grand Teton National Park has been voted not just the best national park in the United States of America but the best national park in the world.
Great Smoky Mountains
Keeping with the mountain theme we pass into Tennessee and North Carolina to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The border between these two great states runs through the park and this whole area has seen many settlers through the ages come and live, from the Paleo Indians to the 19th Century Europeans.
Ten million visitors a year visit this impressive national park, and it is completely free. If you prefer to stay in your vehicle, then take the stunning drives to Roaring Fork or Cades Cove. If you favor the outdoor activities then there are plenty including cycling, fishing or hiking.
Sequoia National Park
Entering the Sequoia National Park is a bit like entering Gulliver’s Lilliput but in reverse. It really is a humbling place with some of the most giant trees in the world dwarfing everything around them. Situated in California in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the national park was formed to protect these giant Sequoia from logging and to preserve the natural habitat of the area.
Most visitors come to see the immense General Sherman Tree, the tallest in the world which stands a massive 275 feet tall and its base is over thirty-five feet in diameter. Activities in Sequoia include hiking, snowshoeing and exploring caves. Sequoia is the final destination of this blog’s national park discovery park, in part three we pick up our exploration of the world greatest national parks when we visit the Rocky Mountains.