Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas // nps.gov/gumo
GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK was covered by a tropical sea 265 million years ago. Fossils are visible in the landscape today.
Meet the high country, Texas style. The Guadalupe ocean reef turned desert sky 100-mile views. The park conFly into tains rare treats for Texas, including a coniferous forest and a deep canyon ELP with bigtooth maples grand enough to make a Canadian homesick. Easy Way: The streamside hike up McKittrick Canyon leads into the lush heart of the fossilized ocean reef under a canopy of deciduous trees. A worthy goal is the old Pratt Cabin, 2.3 miles up the canyon. Challenge: Bag Guadalupe Peak and earn bragging rights for having reached the top of Texas. an 8.4-mile round-trip and a 3,000-foot gain to the 8,749-foot summit. Take in views of scrublands and mountains.
Everglades National Park, Florida // nps.gov/ever
The Everglades are full of emblematic skulking in streams, anhingas silhouetted against a solitude is the 1.5-million-acre glory. Find it out on the sawgrass prairie or in the third of the park that lies In the Everglades, a sense of eternity is always a few steps or strokes away. Easy Way: Bring a bike and pedal on a 11-mile dirt road called Old Ingraham Highway. enter a realm of gators, turtles, great blue herons, white ibis and otters. The raised trail starts in pinelands Long Pine Key Road and continues into open glades. Challenge: Rent a kayak at Flamingo Marina. Paddle in Florida Bay around Joe Kemp Key into Snake Bight. A falling tide exposes mud and a fenzy of feeding birds. At night, those in the water might belong to hammerhead sharks that occasionally, and harmlessly, bump your boat.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho // nps.gov/yell
At 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone is the size of a small state and packed with a worth of wonders: spouting geysers, dramatic mountains and rolling plains. plenty of wildlife, including wolves, elk, bison and grizzly bears. You see it all, but a couple of forays afoot will give you a great sample. Easy Way: Hike the one-mile Artists Paint Pots Trail. It leads past multihued hot springs, bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles. Kids love this hike. Who Challenge: A hike up Mount Washburn with an early start gives you a great chance of seeing wildlife, including peregrine falcons, bighorn sheep and elk. Gaze at forested canyon and wide-open slopes with On a clear day, the 3.1-mile, 1,400-foot climb reveals views of Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Tetons. //
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK is home to an amazing collection of thermal features. The more than 300 geysers make up two-thirds of all those found on earth.
June 2010 deltaskymag.com