A national park road trip through the mountains of the Western USA

photo by CC user Mark Wagner on wikimedia

Itching to hit the road in search some of the finest sights of nature? A national park road trip through the mountains of the Western USA is the trip you need to do sooner rather than later, as it is filled with moments along the way that will create watershed memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your days. Let’s take a look at just a few of options open to you…

Glacier National Park (Montana)

Comprising the bigger half of the International Peace Park shared with Waterton Lakes National Park to the north in Alberta, Canada, Glacier National Park is an outstanding place to start your nature-filled trip in the Western United States.

Be prepared to pick your jaw from off the floor after a heart pounding drive along the Going to the Sun Road, contemplate life in peaceful surroundings at Hidden, Iceberg or MacDonald Lakes, or cast your line in some of the finest fishing rivers in North America – it’s all at your beck and call.

Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

Some of the most spectacular mountain fronts in the entire length of the American Rockies can be found in Grand Teton National Park, which is situated just south of its more famous cousin, Yellowstone.

The park takes its name from its grandest peak, which soars over 7,000 feet above the valley below to create a sense of awe that few other mountains can. Due to excellent road access to many of these pinnacles of rock, mountaineers of all abilities can put their skills to the test by summer, and by winter, nearby Jackson Hole Ski Resort offers some of the best on and off piste slopes in the US Mountain West.

Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado)

Straddling the continental divide in North Central Colorado, the appropriately named Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses most of the climatic and ecological zones that can be found throughout the mountain chain in the Western USA, making it a great place to observe how surroundings and life changes as you go up higher, or shift from the drier eastern slope to the wetter western slope of the Continental Divide. Hiking, backpacking, camping and fishing are all popular, as is snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter.

Zion National Park (Utah)

Need some rusty rocks to go along with your mountains as you progress along on your journey? Zion National Park is the perfect place to do this, as it is filled with the distinctive Navajo Sandstone that most imagine when they think of the Wild West of yore.

Cutting through the middle of the park is Zion Canyon, a chasm in the Earth that is up to a half mile deep and 24 kilometres long. Rock climbing is very popular, with hiking and horseback riding being the activity of choice among those that prefer to stay on solid ground.

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