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Cuyahoga Valley Great

Ohio, Central Region

4.8 (10,410 reviews)

This park along the Cuyahoga River has waterfalls, hills, trails, and exhibits on early rural living. The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail follows the Ohio and Erie Canal, where mules towed canal boats. The park has numerous historic homes, bridges, and structures,[33] and also offers a scenic train ride.

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Olympic Great

Washington, West Region

4.8 (7,905 reviews)

Situated on the Olympic Peninsula, this park includes a wide range of ecosystems from Pacific shoreline to temperate rainforests to the alpine slopes of the Olympic Mountains, the tallest of which is Mount Olympus. The Hoh Rainforest and Quinault Rainforest are the wettest area in the contiguous United States, with the Hoh receiving an average of almost 12 ft (3.7 m) of rain every year.

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Mesa Verde Great

Colorado, West Region

4.8 (6,315 reviews)

This area constitutes over 4,000 archaeological sites of the Ancestral Puebloan people, who lived here and elsewhere in the Four Corners region for at least 700 years. Cliff dwellings built in the 12th and 13th centuries include Cliff Palace, which has 150 rooms and 23 kivas, and the Balcony House, with its many passages and tunnels.

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Kings Canyon Great

California, West Region

4.8 (4,660 reviews)

Home to several giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree, the world's second largest measured tree, this park also features part of the Kings River, sculptor of the dramatic granite canyon that is its namesake, and the San Joaquin River, as well as Boyden Cave. Although Kings Canyon National Park was designated as such in 1940, it subsumed General Grant National Park, which had been established on October 1, 1890 as the United States' fourth national park.

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Isle Royale Great

Michigan, East Region

4.8 (375 reviews)

The largest island in Lake Superior is a place of isolation and wilderness. Along with its many shipwrecks, waterways, and hiking trails, the park also includes over 400 smaller islands within 4.5 miles (7.2 km) of its shores. There are only 20 mammal species on the entire island, though the relationship between its wolf and moose populations is especially unique.

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Grand Teton Great

Wyoming, West Region

4.8 (330 reviews)

Grand Teton is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range. The park's historic Jackson Hole and reflective piedmont lakes teem with endemic wildlife, with a backdrop of craggy mountains that rise abruptly from the sage-covered valley.

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Yosemite Great

California, West Region

4.8 (35,184 reviews)

Yosemite features sheer granite cliffs, exceptionally tall waterfalls, and old-growth forests at a unique intersection of geology and hydrology. Half Dome and El Capitan rise from the park's centerpiece, the glacier-carved Yosemite Valley, and from its vertical walls drop Yosemite Falls, one of North America's tallest waterfalls at 2,425 feet (739 m) high. Three giant sequoia groves, along with a pristine wilderness in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, are home to a wide variety of rare plant and animal species.

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Zion Great

Utah, West Region

4.8 (27,064 reviews)

Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert, this park contains sandstone features such as mesas, rock towers, and canyons, including the Virgin River Narrows. The various sandstone formations and the forks of the Virgin River create a wilderness divided into four ecosystems: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest.

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White Sands Great

New Mexico, West Region

4.8 (9,594 reviews)

Located in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin, White Sands consists of the southern part of a 275-square-mile (710 km2) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals—the world's largest gypsum dunefield. The park is completely within the White Sands Missile Range and is subject to closure when tests are conducted.

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Carlsbad Caverns Great

New Mexico, West Region

4.8 (7,809 reviews)

Carlsbad Caverns has 117 caves, the longest of which is over 120 miles (190 km) long. The Big Room is almost 4,000 feet (1,200 m) long, and the caves are home to over 400,000 Mexican free-tailed bats and sixteen other species. Above ground are the Chihuahuan Desert and Rattlesnake Springs.

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