And the Award Goes To…

Many people have asked me what my favorite park is. Answering that question is difficult; I’ve felt connected to most of the national parks I’ve visited and struggle choosing simply one that takes the cake.

Ask any parent who their preferred child is and (hopefully), they’ll respond “all of them”. After all, each child has his/her own merits and unique attributes. While there have definitely been some parks I haven’t enjoyed as well as others, I have decided to give awards to some of my most-liked places.

(1) Best Hiking: Smokies

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This park has an infinite number of hiking opportunities, including the famous Appalachian Trail. There are summit hikes, waterfall loops, and simple walks in the woods.

(2) Best Exploration: Badlands

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Most parks have a very strict code regarding staying on the designated trails. The Badlands let’s you go anywhere, meaning you can explore to your heart’s content.

(3) Best History: Mesa Verde

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This is a “full-immersion” historical park where visitors get to check out ancient dwellings. You can still find broken pieces of pottery left behind over 800 years ago.

(4) Best “Pure Fun”: Great Sand Dunes

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Sand boarding was insanely fun. Even full-grown adults prance around like little kids out here on The Dunes.

(5) Best Canyon: Black Canyon of the Gunnison

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Though not as big as the Grand Canyon, Black Canyon holds its own with its sheer walls, gorgeous river, and dark-colored rock.

(6) Most Isolated: Great Basin

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Not only is this park in the middle of nowhere, it has very few visitors and multiple opportunities to truly get away from it all.

(7) Best Lil Town: Estes Park (outside of Rocky Mountain)

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This pic was taken right outside of Estes Park. This town boasts some pretty awesome eateries, eclectic shops, and amazing views.

(8) Best Desert Park: Zion

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Although not all of Zion is within a desert ecosystem, a large portion of this park is an arid environment.

(9) Best Wildlife Park: Yellowstone

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A handsome-looking bison at the side of the road. Yellowstone has a ridiculous amount of wildlife, housed at various places around the 2.2 million acre park.

(10) Best Overall: Grand Tetons

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This park has it all: mountains, lakes, and forests. There’s enough beauty, adventure, and history to make every visitor happy.
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