When the National Park Service was created to protect America’s picturesque mountains, forests and seas, many hailed it as the country’s ‘greatest idea.’ After a couple of decades, citizens can’t still get enough for they frequently visit them with their families and loved ones. Among the most popular are definitely Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. However the country has so much more to offer than just those two. If one just looks hard enough, they will be able to discover numerous more treasures lurking in the corners. For the ones who want a different kind of adventure, these unique national parks might satisfy their tastes.
Image source: nationalgeographic.com
For the junkies who love to go spelunking, Mammoth Cave National Park will definitely not disappoint. Its name isn’t the only thing that is big about it. Researchers were able to create a humongous 400 mile map of its interior, making it the world’s longest cave system. Its beautiful cave formations will take anyone’s breath away and its numerous perfectly preserved fossil specimens will stir up visitors inside.
Image source: travelercorner.com
For a more extreme experience, Death Valley National Park absolutely fits the bill. Not only is it extremely hot during the daytime when temperatures can easily reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can get extremely cold as well. This is evident in the snow-capped mountains nearby.
Image source: mustseeplaces.eu
The ecosystem of the Everglades National Park in Florida is just perfect for the numerous endangered animals and plants that inhibit it. The Florida panther, West Indian manatee, and the American crocodile are only a few of the 36 protected species that live inside its territory.
Millions of tourists, both local and international, visit the national parks each year, translating to more than $16 billion of revenues for the US economy. The parks are also responsible for creating more than 200,000 jobs (whether directly or indirectly), making them an important aspect of the job market. While the ever-increasing influx of visitors might put these natural wonders in danger, it would only take some expert policies, creativity, and strict regulations to keep the parks pristine while generating significant revenues at the same time.