Located in the North Dakota Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt National Park was named as a tribute to President Roosevelt who fought fervently to preserve what are now many of the United States’ natural parks. The park protects rugged landscapes and a variety of wildlife. If it’s your first time visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park, you’ll want to be sure to explore the park’s main points of interest.
Maltese Cross Cabin
Situated at the entrance of the park, the Maltese Cross Cabin was built in 1883 and was used by Theodore Roosevelt before his presidency. This historic cabin is a popular site for park visitors to tour and discover its fascinating history.
Prairie Dog Town
There are several prairie dog “towns” scattered throughout the park where visitors can look on as prairie dogs bob their heads in and out of their burrows in the ground. One of the park’s most noteworthy prairie dog towns is located nearby Skyline Vista, just after entering the park.
Painted Canyon Visitor Center
Boasting a phenomenal overlook of the vast Badlands, the Painted Canyon Visitor Center is a favorite stop for the majority of park visitors. Head here to learn a bit about the history and landscape of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and speak to a park ranger.
Located at the end of the Theodore Roosevelt North Unit Scenic Byway, Oxbow Overlook offers breathtaking panoramic views over the vast Badlands and an oxbow in the Little Missouri River which winds through the picturesque landscape.
Elkhorn Ranch Site
After experiencing personal tragedy, Theodore Roosevelt sought solitude in the Badlands’ Elkhorn Ranch Site. The remote site is today identified by a sign detailing the history of Roosevelt’s ranch alongside the Little Missouri River.
Scenic Loop Drive
Head to Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s South Unit to drive along the paved Scenic Loop Drive. 36 miles of picturesque pullouts, wildlife, and informational signage, the Scenic Loop Drive is a great way to get a comprehensive feel for this part of the park.
Voyageurs National Park protects a vast landscape in northern Minnesota, near the US/Canadian border. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, waterways, lakes, and forests that draw visitors from around the country. If it’s your first time visiting Voyageurs National Park, you’ll want to be sure to explore the main points of interest!
Ash River Visitors Center
Situated in the historic Meadwood Lodge, the Ash River Visitor Center offers a variety of resources to park visitors. Watch an informational film, speak with a park ranger, and learn more about the history and features of the park. Ash River Visitors Center includes a boat launch and paddle launch area as well.
Ellsworth Rock Gardens
Created by Jack Ellsworth on the north shore of Kabetogama Lake, the Ellsworth Rock Gardens comprise a gorgeous terraced rock garden worth visiting. Rife with flowers and sculptures, the gardens are one of Voyageurs National Park’s main points of interest.
One of the more noteworthy lakes in this largely water-based park, Rainy Lake offers visitors a variety of activities. Hiking trails and boat tours are available, and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center offers guests a chance to learn more about the park and speak to a ranger to help plan their trip.
A gorgeous lake in Voyageurs National Park, Namakan Lake is dotted with small scenic islands. Perfect for boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and exploring, this lake offers visitors endless outdoor activities to enjoy.
Kettle Falls now consists of a large scenic dam that replaced the original waterfalls once in its place. The powerful dam is a result of the waters of Namakan Lake entering Rainy Lake, creating a truly breathtaking feature in Voyageurs National Park. Visit the historic Kettle Falls Hotel nearby for a charming dose of history.
Situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota lies Wind Cave National Park. This unique destination protects a massive cave and is home to a variety of wildlife, including bison and prairie dogs. If it’s your first time visiting the park, you’ll want to be sure to explore the main points of interest!
You can’t visit Wind Cave National Park without visiting the namesake Wind Cave! The best way to explore the cave is on an organized tour, so be sure to book yours in advance. Visitors will love the unique boxwork found throughout this complex cave.
Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center
The starting point for all cave tours, visitors to the park will definitely want to stop by the Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center. Learn more about the history and features of Wind Cave, speak with a ranger, sign up for a tour, and enjoy a variety of nature exhibits.
Wind Cave Canyon Trail
The Wind Cave Canyon Trail is a 3.8-mile round trip hike that offers incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature immersion. Accessible for all skill levels, the Wind Cave Canyon Trail offers phenomenal views over the canyon below.
Rankin Ridge Trail
The Rankin Ridge Trail is a 1-mile loop that offers striking views of the surrounding Black Hills. The trail winds through a pine forest dotted with vibrant wildflowers. This hike is moderate, so be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes and bring plenty of water with you.
Boland Ridge Trail
4.8 miles round trip, the Boland Ridge Trail offers opportunities to view wildlife in its natural habitat as well as panoramic vistas over all of Wind Cave National Park. A moderate hike, visitors will climb the ridge to achieve truly breathtaking views.
Pinnacles National Park is a rugged park situated along California’s Central Coast, just south of San Jose. The park protects the remains of an extinct volcano and an extensive remote mountainous region. Visitors to the park will want to be sure to visit Pinnacles’ main points of interest!
Condor Gulch Overlook
Hike the Condor Gulch Trail one-way to get to the breathtaking Condor Gulch Overlook. The trail can get hot, especially during the day, so be sure to bring plenty of water and proper sun protection.
Bear Gulch Reservoir
Take the Moses Springs Trail to the scenic Bear Gulch Reservoir, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the unique surroundings. Once you’ve had your fill of the reservoir, use the Bear Gulch Trail to complete the loop.
Balconies Cave Trail
One of Pinnacles National Park’s most popular trails, Balconies Cave Trail leads visitors through a long, narrow cave. You may have to wade through water or work your way through difficult rock formations, so be sure to bring a flashlight!
Bear Gulch Cave Trail
This trail climbs through a talus cave and is accessed by the east entrance to the park. Make sure to bring your own flashlight for this trail as well. Bear Gulch Cave is open seasonally, so if you’re visiting the park when it’s open you definitely won’t want to miss it!
High Peaks Trail
Among the more popular of the park’s trails, High Peaks Trail is a one-way hike that can be combined with various other trails to create a loop. The hike offers spectacular views over the gorgeous landscape of Pinnacles National Park.
Situated in northern Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park is defined by vast, rugged wilderness that seems to stretch on and on. The entire park is located above the Arctic Circle, so conditions can be harsh and unforgiving. Visitors to Gates of the Arctic National Park will want to explore the main points of interest.
The Arrigetch Peaks are a grouping of rugged granite peaks in the Endicott Mountains. These scenic peaks can be seen around the head of the Kobuk River and the tributaries of the Alatna River.
Alatna National Wild and Scenic River
This gorgeous winding river is popular for float trips due to its calm nature and breathtaking landscapes. Said to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the country, the Alatna River is a can’t miss on any trip to Gates of the Arctic National Park.
This glassy lake feeds the powerful Kobuk River. Walker Lake holds both cultural and historic relevance and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark.
A striking mountain in the Brooks Range in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Frigid Crags provides a dramatic frame for the area’s spectacular landscape. The mountain was so named by explorer Robert Marshall in 1929.