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WEST

Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is home to some of the largest living organisms on the earth, Giant Sequoia trees. Clustered in groves throughout the park, these trees can stand nearly 300 feet tall and can have a diameter of nearly 25 feet.

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Goat Lick, Glacier National Park

Visitors to Glacier National Park quickly come for many reasons, but often chief among them is the abundance of wildlife. Grizzly bears, mountain lions, elk, moose, lynx and mountain goats all call the park home. Spotting these animals can sometimes be difficult and frustrating experience but Goat Lick, located just two miles east of the Walton Ranger station, and a short drive off of the Going-to-the-Sun road provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to take in all the wildlife the park has to offer.

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Devils Tower, Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower rises dramatically out of the flat plains of northeast Wyoming.  Standing 1267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and over 5,000 feet above sea level, the tower looks as though it has been pushed up from underneath the earth’s surface by something sinister.  Devils Tower is the focal point of Devils Tower National Monument, designated by Theodore Roosevelt as the nation’s first National Monument.

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Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Located in the far northeast corner of the park, the Lamar Valley section of Yellowstone is know for its remoteness. It is also one of the best places to see wildlife in the park and the area with tremendous, isolated fishing opportunities. For those willing to make the drive, the region will surely reward you. Be sure to watch for elk, bison, bald eagles and black bears. Lamar Valley also has the highest concentration of grizzlies and wolves found anywhere in the park.

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Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park

Death Valley, home to the hottest, driest and lowest spot in North America, is home to "The Racetrack," a dry lakebed known for its mysterious sliding rocks. Although no one has actually seen the rocks move, the long meandering tracks left behind in the mud surface of the playa attest to their activity.

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Pictograph and Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park

Great Basin is uniquely situated, both nestled in the shadow of 13,063 Wheeler Peak and atop the beautiful Lehman caves.  Pictograph Cave (appropriately named for the ancient art that resides in it) is one of the Lehman string and an impressive totem for the power of the mountain above.

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Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, Grand Teton National Park

Located in the southwestern corner of Grand Teton National Park on the shore of Phelps Lake, Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve is one of the most pristine, scenic and wildlife-rich areas of the park. Here, elk wander through sagebrush meadows, bald eagles fish for cutthroat trout, and marmots sunbathe on rocks along the trails. There are also eight miles of trails that have been carefully designed to lead visitors to the most scenic and ecologically significant areas of the preserve, including Lake Creek, Phelps Lake and the adjacent ridges.

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Inspiration Point, Bryce Canyon National Park

Just a stone’s throw from the road, Inspiration Point is located in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park, famous for its exposed geologic history. The point looks out over a panoramic plateau of weathered hoodoos, the largest grouping of these formations in the country. Similar to a spire except for their irregular shape, the eerie orange and white hoodoos cover the valley for a breathtaking view.

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Divert off the main drag to check out the 80-foot tall McWay Falls. The turquoise waters plummet into the cove situated right by the sandy shore. The falls flow year round and offer a gorgeous photo op for visitors. Smile everyone, be sure to include your car because its ...

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Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Take the alternate route that snakes along the winding Eel River and pass by some of the oldest redwoods left in the country. Part of the original Route 101, this gem takes visitors to the immortal tree (at 950 years old) and into one of the largest groups of ...

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Humboldt Lagoons State Park

While cruising along the Redwood highway, pull over and take a gander at three natural beauties. Along the 14-mile stretch of road, all three can be seen at separate stops. Slip onto the shoulder at various points to look out over rocky cliffs, scenic lagoons and the might Pacific ...

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Point Reyes National Seashore

Don’t leave the San Francisco area without heading north to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Point Reyes is know for being located right near the migratory pattern of one of the largest mammals in the world, the Pacific Gray Whale. Roll down the windows and breath in some fresh, ...

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Crystal Cove State Park

The Pacific Coast Highway runs right through Crystal Cove State Park. Stop off for and dip your feet into the cool and refreshing waters. Your car will enjoy the well-deserved break too! If you’re hungry for lunch, visit the restored cottage called the Beachcomber Café. Ocean view ...

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Goblin Valley State Park

Getting out to Goblin Valley is about an hour off I-70, but it’s well worth the trek. Once you arrive, leave the car behind and put your feet to work. The park is littered with gorgeous hoodoos, eroded rocks, mushroom-shaped pinnacles and “goblins”. The landscape, reminiscent of a mars ...

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Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument was made for road trippers. For those who don’t enjoy feeling like their on the edge of a cliff, perhaps these roads aren’t the best for you. The monument gives life-on-the-edge a whole new meaning. Use caution, slow down and break for ...

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Lolo National Forest

After spending many quality hours trekking across the entire state of Montana, be sure to give it a proper sendoff by dropping by the Lolo National Forest. The over two million acres that make up the forest includes lodgepole pines, Ponderosa pines and Douglas-fir trees. Try parking under the ...

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Squak Mountain State Park

Whether this is the beginning or end of your journey, stop by Squak Mountain in the Issaquah Alps. The trails that cut through the park were mostly created from old roads and ruins of past home can be seen. Washington is notorious for it’s rain, always be sure to ...

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SOUTHWEST

Dagger Flats, Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park gets its name from its location, right at the “big” bend of the Rio Grande River. Situated in the heart of the Chihuahuan desert, Big Bend National Park has one of the most extensive primitive road systems found in any park. These primitive roads offer excellent opportunities to explore the desert in an off-road setting and Dagger Flats is one of the absolute best places to start an off-roading adventure.

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Lake Havasu State Park

Driving through the Arizona desert in the dead of summer is a reminder of just how precious a resource water is. Remember to keep yourself (and your car) hydrated on this part of the drive, and then head over the original London Bridge to Lake ...

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Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument

After riding through the vast farmlands of north Texas, stop off and get a glimpse of some of the most unique landscape in the country. Unparalleled vivid flint deposits make up the monument. Keep your eyes peeled for antelope, coyotes and those elusive ...

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Red Rock State Park

After miles and miles of green road signs and asphalt, pull over and take a gander at the high cliffs of Red Rocks State Park. Colors comparable to rust, copper and blood take shape in the ancient cliffs. Consider this part of the trip during the Red Rock Balloon ...

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Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Taking the hairpin-filled Sitgreaves Pass past Oatman, AZ is an unforgettable experience. Wild burros roam the streets of Oatman, so be sure to watch the road! Travel down to Topock and view the ruins of old gold mining towns that once thrived years ...

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ALASKA & HAWAII

Crater Rim, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The drive to the Crater Rim travels 11 miles around the top of the Kilauea volcano’s caldera and provides visitors access to one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The Crater Rim is the centerpiece of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and one of the national park system’s most profound geologic treasures. Visitors will experience firsthand the power of an active volcano by looking deep into its center from an unprecedented access point.

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MIDWEST

Sheep Mountain Table, Badlands National Park

Formed primarily by the powerful geologic force of erosion, the Badlands are a unique spectacle. Deposition of sediments began 69 million years ago when an ancient sea stretched across what is now the Great Plains. After the sea retreated, successive land environments, including rivers and flood plains, continued to deposit sediments.

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McCormick's Creek State Park

If you’re driving at night, be sure to stop when you’re tired! Pressing on while exhausted is extremely dangerous for both you and others on the road. McCormick’s Creek State Park is filled with exciting activities and is an amazing location to stay overnight. During the day, the park ...

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Graham Cave State Park

Learn about both the natural and human world at Graham Cave State Park. Evidence shows that hunter-gatherer humans lived in the area for the past 10,000 years! Visitors can learn about the artifacts found near the cave as well as explore the mouth of it. While visiting, make ...

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Wilson State Park

Set on Wilson Lake, this state park is a great place to throw down a picnic lunch. For those feeling a little more ambitious, try and catch your own lunch! It’s way more exciting than taking your car to the drivethru window. Fishing is permitted at the lake and ...

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Badlands National Park

Often overshadowed by Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park shines in its own right. With erosion rapidly shaping and changing the face of the landscape, the park’s jagged sandstone rises out of the prairie for captivating photographs. Take the Loop Road, but the dirt roads are best. Use caution when ...

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Meramec State Park

Divert from the planned route and take Highway 44 to the park. At Meramec, you’re ready to explore the caves that American outlaw Jesse James once hid in. Meramec Caverns (and Fisher Cave) are fascinating places to hike through and a cool respite from the heat of the ...

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NORTHEAST

Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, off the coast of Maine, has been shaped and formed by the power of the sea. Nowhere is the sea’s power on display more than at Thunder Hole, where waves, water and air combine to make one thunderous boom!

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Green Lakes State Park

Located a short scoot off the thruway, Green Lakes State Park encompasses two lakes with unbelievable blue-green waters. Both lakes reach depths of over 175 feet and have hiking trails that loop past the lakes and back to the beach. Kill the car’s air conditioner and feel nature’s way ...

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Wells State Park

Only minutes from Old Sturbridge Village and a stone’s throw from I-90, Wells State Park is superb pit stop for a little R & R. Walker Pond is the hallmark of the park and provides brilliant hikes along the shore. If you too tired, just sit on the tailgate ...

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SOUTHEAST

Roaring Fork, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With more than 2,000 miles of streams, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. The reason for all the beautiful waterfalls is simple; the Smokies have the two prerequisites for stunning cascades, ample rainfall and elevation change.

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Prince William Forest Park

While rolling through the foliaged filled mountains of Virginia, make a side trip to the often overlooked Prince William Forest Park. Put your skills to the test and go on an old school orienteering adventure. Stop letting your car’s GPS do all the work. Who needs it when you’ve ...

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Woods Bay State Natural Area

Filled with Spanish moss and stunning swamps, stroll along the boardwalk trails to get a close up glimpse of where the water meets the land. Back in the 19th century, the area was home to two mills powered by the water. Luckily, you don’t need to travel in a ...

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Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Unless you’re car’s day job is working duck tours, leave it behind. At Jonathan Dickinson State Park, you can do work canoeing or let the concessioner’s do it for you. Take a nice, relaxing boat tour of the river or tour Trapper Nelson’s homestead. No matter which adventure you ...

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Cumberland Island National Seashore

Park the car in St. Marys and hop the ferry to Cumberland Island. Home to sea turtles, wild horses and historic ruins, the island is pure magic. Visiting the island requires some legwork, but those willing to make the trip are rewarded. The state’s largest barrier island is home ...

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