National Parks of the Southwest

By: cameron van

resources. The numerous National Parks that dot the countryside are proof of the endeavor. The Southwest portion of the United States has some of the most memorable National Parks in the country and even around the world.

The Lassen Volcanic National Park in California is best known for the numerous wilderness lakes that fill the park. There are over 50 within the 160 square miles. The main feature of the park is Lassen Peak. It's a 10,000 ft volcano that was last active in 1914.

Another National Park in the state of California is the Redwood National Park. Here the giant Redwood trees are protected from timber companies. The seasons are mild, but the winters can be extremely wet.

Bryce National Park is found in Utah. It is known for the amazing columns and spires that have been formed over millions of years. The Native Americans used a name for the park that is roughly translated to "rocks standing like men in a bowl-shaped canyon." It offers some amazing hiking opportunities.

Zion National Park is another park in and is probably best known for the deep canyons and towering cliffs. A hike up the Virgin River is one of the best ways to see the wonders of the park.

The Arches National Park is home to the largest collection of natural bridges in the world. The largest of these formations is Landscape Arch which is about 306 feet from base to base. Summers can get extremely hot, so visits in the fall and spring are the most popular.

The Petrified Forest National Park can be found in Arizona. As the name suggests, you will find plenty petrified wood, but you will also discover prehistoric animal fossils, Indian ruins and amazing rock formations and desert landscapes (including the Painted Desert).

Mesa Verde National Park is the site of prehistoric Indian ruins. The cliff dwellings are thought to be the largest in North America. These spectacular structures were built within caves and outcroppings in the cliffs and are only accessible by climbing up the steep rock walls of the surrounding cliffs. Some of the structures are up to four stories tall.

The countryside of the Southwestern portion of the United States holds many natural and man-made wonders. Take some time to visit some of these treasures that are housed right in your own back yard.

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