Points of Interest at Katmai National Park

Situated in southern Alaska, Katmai National Park comprises a vast, rugged wilderness. This remote location is full of lakes, forests, and mountains. If it’s your first time visiting the park, you’ll want to make sure to hit the main points of interest. 

Brooks Falls

These gorgeous waterfalls are the main point of interest in Katmai National Park. The falls are the primary destination for hundreds of the park’s brown bears to go fishing when they come out of hibernation and the salmon begin to swim upstream to Brooks Lake. 

Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes 

When the Novarupta volcano erupted in 1912, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was left in its wake. Characterized by deep gorges, lava flows, and volcanic ash, this valley can’t be missed on any visit to Katmai National Park. Natural steam and gas vents provide the “smoke” that can be seen rising up from this valley.

Points of Interest at Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon and is home to the deepest lake in the country. There are plenty of activities to do both in and around the lake, including fishing, hiking, and boating. First time visitors to the park won’t want to miss out on the main points of interest! 

Rim Drive 

The 33-mile Rim Drive around Crater Lake National Park is absolutely breathtaking. The road winds around the entire lake providing visitors with phenomenal views over the park’s main attraction. With plenty of scenic pullouts and overlooks, the Rim Drive is a must when visiting Crater Lake National Park. 

Cleetwood Cove Trail 

The Cleetwood Cove Trail leads down into Crater Lake where visitors have the opportunity to swim in the iconic deep blue lake. With shockingly cold temperatures swimmers may only be able to enjoy a quick dip, but it’s definitely worth it. Hiking back up can be challenging, so make sure you’re up for it before you embark on the hike. 

Garfield Peak

The hike to Garfield Peak is difficult but rewarding. Renowned as one of the best hikes in Crater Lake National Park, the trek is 3.6 steep miles round trip and offers summit views over all that lies below. Be sure to bring plenty of water and hiking snacks for the journey!

Wizard Island 

A popular activity in Crater Lake National Park is to boat over to Wizard Island, the island that rises up from the center of the lake. Enjoy touring the island by boat and spend the day hiking, swimming, and exploring Wizard Island. 

Rim Village Historic District 

The historic Rim Village is home to the park’s visitor center, among several other noteworthy attractions. In Rim Village you’ll also find a bookstore, gift shop, iconic Crater Lake Lodge, daily ranger programs, spectacular views, and more.

Points of Interest at Hot Springs National Park

Hot Springs National Park is a small and unique park situated in central Arkansas. Renowned for its natural thermal baths, Hot Springs National Park holds historic significance dating back centuries. If it’s your first time visiting the park, you’ll want to make sure to see all the main points of interest. 

Fordyce Bathhouse Museum and Visitor Center 

From 1915 to 1962 the Fordyce Bathhouse functioned as a luxurious spa, offering a variety of treatments and natural thermal baths. The bathhouse has been preserved and today operates as a museum and the Hot Springs National Park’s visitor center. Come here to learn about the park’s fascinating history and speak with a park ranger. 

Bathhouse Row

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Bathhouse Row is home to eight historic bathhouses built in the 1800s. Sitting directly over natural hot springs, the historic bathhouses are no longer in use. Though the Fordyce Bathhouse visitor center and the Buckstaff bathhouse, which still operates as a spa, are exceptions.

The Grand Promenade 

A scenic walkway leading behind Bathhouse Row, The Grand Promenade offers visitors views of the hot springs and historic bathhouses. This half-mile trail leads from Bathhouse Row into the nearby mountains, making for a pleasant and scenic stroll. 

Buckstaff Bathhouse 

Situated on Bathhouse Row, Busckstaff Bathhouse is the only of the historic bathhouses still in use as a spa. Offering a variety of all-natural treatments and services, Buckstaff still makes use of the healing waters of the hot springs this national park is known for.

Hot Springs Mountain Tower

An enormous observation tower located on Hot Springs Mountain, Hot Springs Mountain Tower offers unbeatable panoramic views of the hot springs, the Ouachita Mountains, and the surrounding areas. Guests to the tower can also visit the small gift shop and cafe. 

Points of Interest at Redwood National Park

One of the United States’ most iconic national parks, Redwood National Park is home to vast groves of giant ancient redwood trees. The park also protects prairies, woodlands, grasslands, and stretches of beach, which make this an incredibly unique and versatile natural getaway. Be sure to explore Redwood National Park’s main points of interest during your visit!

Fern Canyon 

A stunning canyon with ferns dramatically enveloping its walls, Fern Canyon is so scenic it was used as a filming location for one of the Jurassic Park films. Enjoy this one-mile loop around the canyon which will take you past hidden waterfalls and lovely lush scenery.

Lady Bird Johnson Grove

Lady Bird Johnson Grove is a gorgeous grove of redwood trees which honors the former first lady, “Lady Bird” Jonson, who was an environmental activist. Enjoy the 1.5-mile scenic loop while you admire the ancient redwoods along your way.

Klamath River Overlook 

This breathtaking overlook offers views of the Klamath River where it runs into the sparkling Pacific Ocean. A wonderful place for wildlife viewing, at Klamath River Overlook you may have the opportunity to see whales or sea lions!

Big Tree Wayside

As its name suggests, Big Tree Wayside is home to an enormous tree! Thought to be about 1,500 years old and standing at 300 feet tall, this spectacular tree is certainly worth a visit. The walk to Big Tree Wayside is quick and easy, making for a nice short stop along your way.

Trillium Falls 

The 1-mile round trip hike to Trillium Falls offers plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, and you’re likely to catch a glimpse of elk along your way. The trail leads to Trillium Falls, a beautiful 10-foot waterfall in the heart of the forest.

Tall Trees Grove

Tall Trees Grove is home to several of the tallest trees in the world. This 4-mile round trip hike is moderate, so be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes and plenty of water. A permit is also required to hike this trail so be sure to look into the requirements ahead of time! 

Points of Interest at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

An underrated yet strikingly beautiful national park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park has much to offer. Located in southwestern Colorado, the park is defined by the massive 12-mile gorge it surrounds. If it’s your first time visiting the park, you’ll want to make sure to check out the main points of interest. 

South Rim Road

This magnificently scenic drive is an absolute must for all park visitors. Drive along the south rim of the canyon and experience jaw-dropping, vertigo-inducing views as you look down over the steep canyon walls into the gorge below. The drive is seven miles long with twelve scenic overlooks along the way.

East Portal Road

East Portal Road is five miles long and travels all the way down into the canyon stopping at the Gunnison River. View Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park from a completely new perspective when you stand at the bottom and look up towards the steep canyon walls. 

Warner Point Trail 

A 1.5-mile round trip hike around the canyon, the Warner Point Trail offers breathtaking views of the park and is great for all skill levels. As you hike, you’ll be amazed by the sheer magnitude of the gorge and you’ll be breathless as you peer down into the steep canyon. 

North Vista Trail

One of the lesser explored trails in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, North Vista Trail offers spectacular views overlooking the canyon. You’re not likely to encounter too many other visitors along this trail, making it an ideal natural respite.

South Rim Visitor Center 

Head over to the South Rim Visitor Center for information about the park, its trails, and its rich history. Here you’ll have the opportunity to chat with park rangers about where to go and what to see, and you may even learn about a hidden gem in the park as well. The visitor center offers maps, an informational video, and spectacular views of the canyon.