North America is home to some of the most iconic natural landscapes you can ever imagine. From the frozen tundra of Alaska, to the tropical jungles of Mexico, North America is one vast place abounding in natural wonders. While there are many places to visit in the continent, one of the best things to do is visiting the many national parks across the continent. There are indeed many such protected areas found throughout the vast landscape and you couldn’t possibly visit them all in one lifetime! And if you need a reason why you should travel with your kids, we’ve already talked about that! The best national parks that we at GRFK have visited and our kids loved include:
- Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, U.S.A.
If there is protected area in North America that has become world famous, it would be Yellowstone. Located in the Northern Heartland of the United States, it has become one of the most well known protected areas, as well as one of the most pristine landscapes on the continent. The park is located on top of a super volcano which is why the place abounds with several geysers. The park is today home to an abundance of wildlife, which includes among others, wolves, grizzly bears, bison and more.
- Banff National Park – Alberta, Canada
One of the most iconic protected areas in all of Canada, Banff National Park it is located in a vast and pristine tract of the Rocky Mountains. It is the oldest national park in all of Canada, and also one that attracts millions from around the world. Of the many attractions that the protected area offers, some of the most important are that of the snow-capped peaks, coniferous forests, meadows and sparkling lakes. Other attractions include the chance to go on hiking, canoeing, biking and other outdoor activities which the park is well known for.
- Yosemite National Park – California, U.S.A.
Situated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Yosemite National Park is one of the most iconic protected areas in all of California. Tucked away in one of the most pristine areas of the state, the national park is well known for its array of waterfalls, including the Yosemite Falls, the tallest falls in all of North America. In addition to this, there is also an abundance of other natural features such as mountains, thick forests of giant Sequoia trees, rivers and more. Last but not the least, the park is home to an array of wildlife such as black bears, bobcats, bighorn sheep, coyotes and numerous species of birds.
- Lagunas de Montebello National Park – Chiapas, Mexico
The park is located in the tropical stretches of the Chiapas province in Mexico, well known for its beautiful hills and forests. With an abundance of 60 multicolored lakes, pine forests and other natural wonders, it is one of the most beautiful destinations in this part of Mexico. In addition to this, the park also happens to be the site of two important Mayan Ruins, which makes it all the more interesting.
- Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona, U.S.A.
You might not have heard of the park, but you’ve probably head of the place. Situated in the state of Arizona, the Grand Canyon National Park is named after the canyon located in it. The canyon, which is a vast 277 mile long chasm, is the result of the landscape being ‘carved up’ by the steady and gradual flow of the Colorado River. Not many people realize that there is actually a river at the base of the Grand Canyon, but that’s the fact. At the base of the Grand Canyon, one can find the Colorado River, still steadily carving up the landscape, with each passing day. It would be interesting to note that the landscape is also home to several indigenous tribes, such as the Havasupai, Pauite, Hopi, Navajo and more, who either live in or around the protected area. Also to be noted is that the canyon has several sites all around it which are considered sacred by these various tribes.
- Islas Marietas National Park, Nayarit
This is one protected area in Mexico which has a very interesting history. It is the site of a vast archipelago which is home to many species of aquatic life. What is interesting about the place, is that it was a location for bomb testing many years ago and it also has underground volcanic activities! There are however, very stricter regulations on how to visit the place in order to protected the natural heritage of the site and you’d need to make sure you meet all the requirements if you want to visit the place.
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia, Canada
This is one of the last pristine tracts of protected areas along the eastern coast of the Pacific. Situated a short distance from the city of Vancouver, the Pacific Rim National Park is a collection of three distinct units, namely the Long Beach, Broken Group Islands and West Coast Trail. The national park is most well known for being home to temperate rainforests, which is unique in this non-tropical area given that most rainforests tend to be tropical. In addition to this, the waters of the protected areas, as well as the areas around it, are home to numerous species of aquatic life including the rare mighty humpback whales.
- Fundy National Park, New Brunswick, Canada
The park occupies roughly eighty miles of coastal areas in and around the Bay of Fundy, along the Atlantic coast of Canada. The protected area covers a wide range of natural landscapes, which include but are not limited to the world’s highest tides, cliffs of sandstone, waterfalls, pristine shorelines, thick forests and more. Another interesting attraction in the protected area, are the tides themselves. During low-tide, the water level drops by as much as 12 meters, exposing the bare ocean floor and all it encompasses ranging from debris to marine life. Famous for its hiking trails and breathtaking views, this is one of the most splendid sites in all of Eastern Canada.
There are many more amazing national landscapes in North America that you can look forward to visiting if you’re a fan of the natural world. So, if you are visiting this continent soon, know that you’ll be in for a treat when you finally land and get started with exploring.