Great American Wilderness: Touring the National Parks of the Midwest

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USD 4. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview This text provides a practical guide to the great American national parks, how to avoid the crowds, walking tours, facilities and how to get there. It includes information on accommodations and dining, camping and tours. Product Details.

Train to America’s National Parks

Average Review. Write a Review. Anonymous More than 1 year ago. Related Searches. American Indians and National Parks. Many national parks and monuments tell unique stories of the struggle between the rights of Many national parks and monuments tell unique stories of the struggle between the rights of native peoples and the wants of the dominant society. View Product. American Wilderness: Alaska and the National Parks, Alaska—America's forty-ninth state—has a long and rich history.

You may not be in search of game, but perspective, as you clamber up the slopes of the mountain called Grand Singatook. You may bear your toddler son on your back and your younger son in the womb. Your father may offer to carry his grandson and encourage you to take his canteen and firearm.

You may hold the gun and regret it, and switch back.

The Size of the Largest National Parks Will Blow Your Mind

You may pause to note snow arnica nodding its battered bloom, stray bones and shed antlers, inuksuit. The land is truly sacred, and the mountain a weather-maker. From it, one may begin to comprehend our vast Inuit lands and the stories of survival inscribed within them. Within the preserve you may visit the ,acre Imuruk volcanic fields or Serpentine hot springs Iyat in Inupiat amid granite spires. Or you may remain on the life-thrumming coast.

On the final night of my trip, we traveled along the Chukchi Sea coast toward Ikpek lagoon, across eroding strands of fine sand beaches. I was on foot, despite having had hip surgery some weeks before, and suffering through a cough that would later result in a positive TB test. We built a driftwood bonfire and gathered starfish, shells, even plastic trash. The lagoon was still. We saw neither polar bear, nor walrus, nor seal.

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Neither did we visit whales on their migrations, yet the blue-white churn of the Chukchi Sea seemed to afford me and the dozen Inupiaq children who chose to spend the evening in the company of their visitors a moment to consider the cerements of the sea and our rightful, if imperiled, place on its shores. Joan Naviyuk Kane has authored nine books and raises her sons as a single mother in Alaska. On Veterans Day last November, I traveled to one of my favorite hidden gems: Manassas national battlefield park.

I rode a horse through the battlefield, taking in the sights and sounds of a now-peaceful landscape that once saw intense fighting between fellow countrymen. As I rode and looked out on Manassas battlefield, I was amazed at how visitors could see the way the terrain shaped the battle and troop movements over years ago. I was also encouraged to see engaged volunteers rebuilding fences and maintaining the park.

Manassas national battlefield park is one of many lesser-known parks that are worth a visit. Many Americans do not have to travel very far to enjoy one of these treasures — in some cases, they are just down the street. I encourage all Americans to get outside and enjoy a park this summer with their families.

Ryan Zinke is the US secretary of the interior. Location: Newhalem, Washington, miles north-east of Seattle Best place to stay: Goodell creek campground, small and central, along the Skagit river Best hikes: Hidden Lake trail strenuous , Maple pass trail moderate. Glacier national park, located in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, is home to 26 glaciers, a world-famous scenic drive, a healthy wolf and grizzly population, and a rare triple continental divide. North Cascades, about two hours north-east of Seattle, houses over glaciers, more than any other US park outside Alaska.

It has the wildlife: black bears, marmots, wolverines, gray wolves, eagles and osprey.

A Guide to National Parks in Michigan | Michigan

It has the glacier-fed alpine lakes, the steep mountain peaks, the backpacking routes and the scenic drives. What it does not have: crowds. North Cascades was the 40th park we visited during our whirlwind year of visiting all 59 national parks, finishing up on the National Park Service centennial in August We had traveled north from the much-loved parks along the west coast and were ready for a break from humanity.

North Cascades gave us what we needed: during our long day hike on the Fourth of July trail, switchbacking through miles of quiet forest, stepping over waterfalls that crossed our path, and eating lunch with peek-a-boo glacier views, we saw fewer than five other hikers. Much of the hiking was inaccessible and snow covered when we visited in early May, but peaceful camping in the nearly-empty Newhalem campground, lower-elevation hiking to spots like Thunder Knob and Ross Dam, and stunning views straight off the road at Diablo Lake overlook and all along the North Cascades Highway made for a good consolation.

If you want to experience the natural beauty preserved just outside of the urban San Francisco Bay Area, drive just 90 minutes north. Visit the Point Reyes national seashore on a good day and you may see elephant seals, tule elk, or migrating gray whales.


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Round a corner on its miles of hiking trails and catch a view of white caps on the Pacific. From February to late August, enjoy spectacular wildflower blooms along the hillsides and in the valleys. In winter, keep an eye out for red and white-speckled fly agaric mushrooms or the booted knight mushroom. When the tide is high, Alamere falls cascades over a 30ft shale cliff directly into the Pacific Ocean. For a less strenuous day, try a stroll to the Point Reyes lighthouse. History buffs can take a 0. Then as night fell, we threw sleeping bags in the back of the wagon and were lulled to sleep by the whooshing of canyon winds stirring the pines.

Marble Canyon offers a first view of the Colorado river and glimpses of river runners. The road winds on to the Kaibab plateau, and the first ponderosa pines appear on limestone cliffs. Franklin Martin stands on the edge of the Grand Canyon.


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  8. Far below the striped sandstone cliffs, I can see the blue ribbon of the Colorado River flowing through the bottom of the great gorge. A silvery side creek flows into it, the Little Colorado, with a blur of turquoise water where the two rivers meet. Few tourists have heard of it. Franklin and his wife, Anna, run a tiny family tour business, Sacred Edge Tours, that brings a maximum of seven people at a time in an SUV across scrubby wilderness, a few miles from the nearest highway, to this unspoiled rocky edge.

    Highlights from U.S. National Parks - Midwest Region

    A visit to the East Rim not only provides a uniquely clear and private view of the river — in the company of someone like Franklin it is a way of connecting with that deeper history. More recently, too, the Navajo have been instrumental in defending the canyon from big business : Navajo voters recently saw off plans by an outside developer to build a giant tram system and resort on this spot.

    As a cool breeze wafted up from the gulch, Martin remarked that the canyon was sighing with relief. Joanna Walters is a freelance news, features and travel journalist, based in New York City.

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    Location: Stanley, Idaho, about miles from Boise Best place to stay: Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch , a small, rustic-luxe lodge with a prime view of the Sawtooth range Best hike: Seven miles one-way from Tin Cup trailhead, 18 miles south of Stanley, to Alice lake, a gorgeous alpine lake ringed by peaks.

    Established in and overseen by the US Forest Service, the Sawtooth national recreation area is , acres — with miles of rugged, sun-drenched hiking trails, or so locals who live in the tiny, dusty town of Stanley, more than alpine lakes formed from receding glaciers, and a staggering, godly range of some 40 peaks 10,ft tall.

    We were winding our way up, up, up through groves of aspens and fields of bright-yellow balsamroot to a picnic at a nameless alpine lake beneath a snowcapped spire known as Thompson peak. Not all outings call for a guide.

    follow site The best way to kick off a day in the Sawtooths is to stop, first, at Stanley Baking Company for fluffy sourdough pancakes and a fresh-baked berry scone before choosing your own adventure: a Class II-III raft down the sparkling Salmon river? Or a relatively lazy hike that begins with a brief speedboat shuttle across Redfish Lake to a trailhead that leads a gently undulating four miles to Bench lake. Location: Western North Carolina Best place to stay: Black Mountain campground, where you blessedly lose cell phone service Best hike: Table Rock mountain and its panoramic payoff overlooking Linville gorge.

    The hazy-blue Great Smoky Mountains drew more visitors than any other national park in America last year, who all seemed stuck behind the same ponderous RV with Florida tags on the main mountain pass between Cherokee, North Carolina , and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Drive less than two hours to the Bohemian boomtown of Asheville, and Pisgah national forest offers the same Appalachian reward in a roomier retreat.

    Pisgah rings Asheville with rock-hopping rivers and waterfalls, firefly-lit campgrounds and hikes through temperate rain forest that can feel more like the Pacific north-west than the American south. The tallest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell, rises 6,ft from the artsy South Toe river valley. Every summer, Pisgah holds new surprises for the kids as they grow. At Sliding Rock, line up for a turn to shoot down a 60ft waterfall into Looking Glass creek. Cynthia Barnett is the author of three water books including Rain: A Natural and Cultural History , and is the environmental journalist in residence at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

    It has a single spectacular national park, Congaree, which exists in old-growth, bottomland-swamp splendor less than an hour south of the state capital, Columbia. But I often favor the back roads and byways leading to more remote treasures. In total there are more than , acres to hike, hunt, camp or simply find solace in tall trees and birdsong. The landscape offers recreational forays as wild and remote as even the most adventurous would demand but is tame enough around the edges to embrace the novice.

    Location: North-eastern Minnesota Easiest entry point: Lake One a number of campsites available without portaging; quota permit required and reservations recommended Best hike: Kawishiwi Falls trail with views of Kawishiwi Falls and Fall Lake dam. Well past dusk on my birthday in late August , I paddled my kayak as loons called and air chilled rapidly around me.

    I kept one eye on a steadily darkening opening in the trees — my path out of the Kawishiwi river and towards my bed for the night. I was alone in the Boundary Waters canoe area wilderness BWCAW , exhilarated by the night and the encounter I had just had with a family of river otters. North Cascades National Park Washington. Olympic National Park Washington.

    Denali National Park and Preserve Alaska. Hike the highest point in America. Gates of the Arctic National Park Alaska. Float the headwaters of the Alatna River , beneath snowy mountain peaks and following the traditional paths of its native peoples. Glacier Bay National Park Alaska. Image via Paxson Woelber.

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