The United States has no shortage of destinations for those looking to get closer to nature. Home to almost 60 national parks, the US offers desert, mountain, subtropical, wetland, and a multitude of other ecosystems, and with them, a fantastically diverse array of wildlife. Whether your goal is to see dolphins or grizzly bears up close, head to one of the following locations for a truly wild trip.
1. Everglades National Park
Located on Florida’s southernmost tip, Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Known for its fragility, the area is home to dozens of protected spies, like Florida panthers, manatees, and crocodiles.
The park is also known as a haven for various wading bird species, and hosts a massive mangrove tree ecosystem.
2. Denali National Park
In the centre of Alaska, Denali National Park is prime territory for spotting golden and bald eagles. On land, the park is populated by moose, caribou, brown bears, and even porcupines.
All of Denali is overlooked by the snow-covered peak of Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America.
3. Yellowstone National Park
The world’s first national park, the sweeping Yellowstone covers swaths of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.
Though Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring are both popular attractions, the area is also known for its incredibly abundant wildlife, from grizzly bears and bison to wolves, lynx, and elks.
4. Glacier National Park
Just poised on the Canadian border in Northern Montana, Glacier National Park is a magnificent stretch of land that, as its name suggests, was carved by glacial movements.
Hundreds of animal species call the park home, including grizzly bears, moose, and mountain goats, as well as lynx and even wolverines. The World Heritage site stretches far enough to comprise different ecosystems, from tundra to prairie.
5. Rocky Mountain National Park
The world-famous Rocky Mountains offer all of the incredible views and hiking opportunities that you’d expect. They’re also home to a vast array of wildlife, from bison and mountain lions to black bears and rattlesnakes.
You may also spot bald eagles soaring above the pines.
6. Land’s End Park
This petite park in San Francisco comprises the shoreline adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Though Land’s End only covers a small amount of turf, visitors can get up-close-and-personal with dolphins, porpoises, and even the occasional gray whale.
7. Yosemite National Park
Known around the world for its stunning granite hills, waterfalls, and sequoia forests, the park also attracts wildlife lovers with its diverse fauna.
From bobcats and cougars to spotted owls, bats, and bighorn sheep, there’s a wide variety of nature to observe.
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(Featured image: Bald Eagle © Wendy Nero, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock.com)