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National Park Week: 5 Breathtaking Park Destinations You Can’t Miss

Apr 17, 2017 10:11 AM EDT

It's time to celebrate the natural beauty of America. National Park Week runs from April 15 to 23, and there's no better time to explore the U.S. national parks than during beautiful springtime.

"There are 417 national parks and each one has a story to tell," acting National Park Service Director Michael F. Reynolds said in an official statement. "There are endless options during National Park Week to discover someplace or something out of the ordinary. Whether one seeks relaxation, exhilaration, or inspiration, there is something for everyone in a national park."

To encourage people to visit their park of choice, all the national parks will be open for free during the weekends of National Park Week on April 15, 16, 22 and 23. Head on to the nearest national park or pick from our recommendations below.

Yosemite National Park in California

One of the country's most spectacular natural sites, Yosemite Valley is a seven-mile wide canyon with an endless array of breathtaking spots: the world's tallest granite monolith El Capitan, North America's biggest waterfalls Yosemite Falls and 3,000-year-old Giant Sequoia trees.

Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

The Grand Canyon's immense size can render even the most seasoned travelers speechless. Stunning views of the 277-mile long, 18-mile wide and one mile deep canyon are a must for every tourist passing by Arizona. Those who are physically able to do so can even hike down to explore the site more intimately.

Glacier National Park in Montana

The world's massive glaciers are disappearing due to climate change, so get a glimpse of some of the most spectacular in North America while you still can. There are pristine lakes, streams and hiking trails at every turn, but the must-see attractions of Glacier National Park are the remaining 25 glaciers, particularly tourist favorite Many Glacier. Scientists predict all of the park's glaciers will be gone by 2030.

Denali National Park in Alaska

Dramatic views are aplenty in the remote wilderness of the magnificent Mt. Denali, which is North America's highest mountain. Denali, encompassing six million acres of land, also provides the best opportunities for wildlife watching with wild mammals like grizzly bears, wolves, moose and Dall sheep roaming the Alaskan park.

Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming

Who hasn't heard of the Old Faithful, Yellowstone's most iconic landmark and famed geyser? Half of the world's hydrothermal features are found within Yellowstone National Park, with bubbling geysers shooting water a hundred feet up in the sky. Glistening hot springs, mudpots, waterfalls and wild animals like the largest buffalo herd in the country make a trip to this site feel like a journey to another world.

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