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Experience Enchanting Starry Nights at these US National Parks

By: Cityseeker
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Far removed from urban light pollution, these US National Parks provide a canvas for the night sky like no other. As the sun goes down, a breathtaking tapestry of stars, planets, and galaxies emerges overhead. Visitors can witness the Milky Way stretch across the heavens, forming a celestial river of light, or even spot the magical Northern Lights in their emerald hues. Stargazers, astrophotographers, and anyone seeking the wonders of the cosmos will be spellbound by the clarity and brilliance of the night sky in these pristine locations.

Big Bend National Park

Sprawling across over 800,000 acres (3,23,748 hectares), Big Bend National Park is a stunning expanse of chaparral-covered prairie land, arid deserts and staggering mountains. The park's diverse ecosystems contain a range of impressive flora and fauna, including endemic species such as the Chisos Oak. One of the most impressive features of the park, however, is the world-famous Santa Elena Canyon, an imposing channel of limestone carved out by the mighty Rio Grande river. With a host of exhibits regarding the area's Native American history, Big Bend National Park is a hidden treasure of the country's park system.

1 Panther Junction, Alpine, TX, United States, 79834
Great Basin National Park

Spread across 77,180 acres (31,234 hectares), the Great Basin National Park is an ecological haven. Established in 1986, the park has today become a center point of nature and adventure alike. Laced by a tapestry of soaring peaks and vegetation-covered mountains, this sprawling national park is shrouded in pristine allure which is framed by exuberant wilderness including entrancing thickets of sage, pine, aspen, juniper, and conifer. The sweeping topography of this park is cleaved by a tracery of winding trails, crystalline streams, and creeks, resembling a picture drawn straight out of a postcard. A canvas of vibrant beauty come spring, this sprawling national park is a sight to behold, with its interminable offering of aged trees, and rolling woods dotted with dainty campsites. Home to the famed Lehman Caves, the Great Basin National Park hosts an array of activities ranging from hiking, climbing, water sports, winter sports, camping and wildlife spotting among others.

Great Basin National Park, Baker, NV, United States, 89311
Voyageurs National Park

A remarkable destination located on the US-Canadian border, the Voyageurs National Park features a rich tapestry of lakes backdropped by distant boreal forests. A network of waterways featuring the Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan and Sand Point lakes were established along the fur trade route that led to the Great Northwest', thus offering miles of unending shoreline under Aurora-lit skies. With its unmissable location on the Canadian Shield, the park is also stippled with a terrain of millennia-year-old rocks that still induce wonder. With spectacular offerings such as these, the national park is majorly known for its excellent recreational opportunities, from kayaking along its tranquil waters, to paddling to the shore's wondrous bounds.

360 Highway 11 East, International Falls, MN, United States, 56649
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is famed for its extreme arid temperatures. While it's difficult to believe, much can survive the sweltering temperatures, which go up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Centigrade), the park's desert wildlife proves otherwise. Home to the Bighorn Sheep, Coyote and the evergreen creosote bush, the desert changes through the seasons and offers up a burst of colors in spring when the wildflowers bloom spectacularly. Top scenic spots include Zabriskie Point, overlooking the multi-hued Furnace Creek, otherworldly Twenty Mule Team Canyon and the badlands, and the desolate Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.

Off California Highway 190, Death Valley National Park, CA, United States, 92328
North Cascades National Park

Riddled with undulating alpine landscapes which are dominated by country pathways and rumbling, snow-cloaked valleys, this teeming national park is a jewel of the North Cascades. Featuring sites enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places, the park sprawls across several acres, creating delightful patchworks of woodland and wilderness on its way. Fringed by a tracery of craggy hills, parklands and lush forested drapes, the park is interspersed by an array of crisscrossing rivers, lakes and ponds. The highlands and steep terrains of the park are lovingly adorned with carpets of Douglas fir, reed canary grass, bearberries and some other exotic plant species. A haven for intrepid mountaineers and hikers, North Cascades National Park is where species such as marmots, grizzly bears and wolverines lazily amble across mystical, wooded expanses.

810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA, United States, 98284
Canyonlands National Park

Painted from nature's own brilliant easel, the Canyonlands National Park is a soul-stirring canvas awash in myriad colors of amber, purple and walnut. Its landscape undulates to manifest dramatic mesas, unusual arches and prominent buttes, all strewn across four distinct territories with their own set of idyllic vistas and experiences. Their names are as fascinating as their terrains, carved by the Colorado and Green River duo. From hoodoo-like formations in the Needles district, to the iconic Mesa Arch in the Island in the Sky district, to an array of other vistas that unfold across the desert, the park is streaked with earth's artistry. Amid this exceptional topography, one can also find a thriving wildlife, from 273 species of aviary creatures that circle the park, to majestic mammals like cougars and bobcats who bask under the golden sun.

Off Highway 211, Moab, UT, United States, 84532
Joshua Tree National Park

Not far from Los Angeles, San Diego or Las Vegas, Joshua Tree National Park is a magnificent confluence of the Colorado and Mojave desert ecosystems. The park is framed by wind-blown desert terrains, enigmatic rock formations and gorgeous wilderness which enlivens its arid landscape. This desert park is home to numerous varieties of plants and animals that brave the climatic extremes and unpredictable rain. Even the park's namesake, the Joshua tree, resides here and blooms in the spring. With almost 800,000 acres (3,23,748.5 hectares) of land and three ecosystems surviving within it, the park offers glimpses of either a California Mountain Lion stalking its prey or a California Desert Bat flying overhead. Strewn across the park's seemingly-desolate expanse is a troupe of campsites, whereas its marvelous, inky black skies have been a subject of many astronomical observations. It also plays host to an array of activities like hiking, birding, and climbing.

Off Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA, United States, 92277
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located in Snake River Plain in central Idaho. This facility is one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continent, and the protected areas also feature volcanic landscapes with three major volcanic fields. It also has one of the deepest known open-rift cracks in the world. Replete with scenic nature trails that wind through the park's spectacular geological features, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

1266 Craters Loop Road, Arco, ID, United States, 83213
Grand Canyon National Park

Closely interwoven bands of layered rock skirt a sea of gigantic ancient boulders, coming together to form a surreal panorama that melts into Arizona's vast landscape. From high above the topmost point of the canyon, the mighty Colorado River appears as a muddy sliver, belying the tumultuous nature of its waters that carved through ancient layers of rock and birthed the steep canyons surrounding it. Over several millennia, the river snaked its way through the rugged landscape, constantly deepening and pushing the edges of the canyon, oblivious that its aggressive course unraveled years of geological history. For years, the canyon was home to indigenous Native American tribes, before Spanish explorers and American trappers settled into the river basin. Today, the Grand Canyon continues to instill a deep sense of wonder and mystique in whoever visits it, an eternal ocean of auburn rock that spreads majestically under deep blue skies.

20 South Entrance Road, Grand Canyon, AZ, United States, 86023
Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is home to North America's tallest sand dunes which measure roughly 750 feet (228 meters) above the San Luis Valley floor. The formation of these dunes took place approximately 440,000 years ago. Sand and soil deposits from the Rio Grande River led to the formation of these dunes. Though the sand dunes are the primary attraction, the park is also home to several wildlife species including the Sandhill crane, the Great Sand Dunes beetle, and bighorn sheep which are one of its most notable inhabitants.

11999 State Highway 150, Mosca, CO, United States, 81146
City of Rocks National Reserve

The City of Rocks National Reserve lies near the Idaho-Utah border. Its granite rocks are popular among rock climbers. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, try mountain biking, horseback riding, or hiking. The sharp rocks and steep cliffs may make the hike more challenging, so it is better to be fully prepared for it. The terrain is also great for sports such as skiing and snowshoeing during the winter. Choose to set camp in this beautiful location and come back with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Birch Creek Road, Almo, ID, United States, 83312
Valles Caldera National Preserve

Valles Caldera National Preserve is a surreal landscape located in the beautiful New Mexican setting of Jemez Springs. Born from a massive volcanic eruption millions of years ago, the preserve comprises a diverse terrain that is home to fresh streams, blooming meadows, and vibrant wildlife. Apart from its natural beauty, it is also historically significant for having been the abode of Native Americans for centuries. Thanks to its magnificent landscape, Valles Caldera National Preserve is ideal for a variety of adventures like cross-country skiing in the winter and equestrian trail riding in the summer. Activities like fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing are also popular throughout the year.

39201 New Mexico Highway 4, Jemez Springs, NM, United States, 87025
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