Situated roughly 50 miles Northeast of Portland, Oregon, and roughly 96 miles South of Seattle, Washington as the crow flies, Mount Saint Helens is located in a beautiful part of America’s Pacific Northwest that has an abundance of tourist attractions. Visitors to the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument can learn about the 1980 eruption that left such a lasting impact on the surrounding landscape, hike in some of the most beautiful and serene landscape, and marvel at the power of mother nature.
Imagine a place where cactuses grow to be as big as telephone poles, the sunsets look like they came right out of a postcard, and the roadrunner you grew up watching on cartoons really does scurry around the landscape. If that sounds intriguing to you, then you will absolutely love Saguaro National Park in Arizona.
This beautiful desert park also includes over 100 miles of great hiking trails and a number of paved roads that assist visitors in seeing the park. Visitors to the park are able to hike, camp, bird and animal watch, go star gazing at night, or just relax and enjoy the serenity of the desert. One thing this park is never in short supply of is peacefulness.
Switzerland is an absolutely beautiful country. Situated in the heart of the European Alps, Switzerland has some of the most stunning mountain landscapes in all of Europe. However, because Switzerland is the most mountainous country in Europe, people tend to overlook the fact that Switzerland’s beautiful landscapes consist of more than just mountains. Some of the most beautiful lakes, valleys, and cities that I have seen in my travels I saw while visiting Switzerland.
Perhaps no other city in Switzerland combines the mountains, a beautiful lake, and a charming city into one package like the city of Lucerne. Just a short lift ride from being in the thick of the Swiss Alps, and sitting on the coast of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes, Lucerne really does have it all. Not many other places can you go sailing in the morning and then take a trip up into the mountains in the afternoon.
Today we headed Southeast of Santa Barbara, California to visit a national park that I have been wanting to visit for quite some time. Not only does Joshua Tree National Park share my name, but it is also one of the most underrated parks in the Western United States.
The first epic national parks road trip in my series covers some of the most well-known and popular national parks and monuments in the United States. After flying into Rapid City, South Dakota and renting a car, you will start exploring almost immediately. With the Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore in the Rapid City area, you will get your first taste of America’s national parks and monuments right at the start.
If you are into outdoor adventure, then the beautiful city of Zermatt in Southern Switzerland should be near the top of your destinations list. World renown for its skiing, mountaineering, and hiking trails, Zermatt is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Every year, people from around the world visit Zermatt to ski on its amazing slopes, hike on the many miles of beautiful alpine hiking trails, and to view and even climb the neighboring mountain peaks.
Zermatt is home to the Matterhorn, which may be one of this world’s most beautiful and enchanting mountains. With its jagged peak, which is often made more alluring by cloud cover, the Matterhorn looks like it could have been conjured up on a Hollywood movie set. It is only the 10th highest mountain in Switzerland, but it may be the most famous because of its sheer beauty. But as beautiful as the mountain is, it can also be deadly. Since 1865, roughly 500 people have died on the mountain. This is an average of roughly 3 or 4 people a year. So if you are going to try and climb the mountain, make sure you know what you are getting into before you set off.
Everything in Texas tends to be big, and the national parks that reside within the state are no exception. Big Bend National Park even has the word “big” in its name. With a total size of 801,163 acres, Big Bend ranks as the fourteenth largest national park in the United States and the seventh largest park in the continental United States. Not only is the size of the park big, but the vistas are large, the hikes are large, and the hearts of the people in this part of the country are large as well.
The peak season to visit the many beautiful national parks in the United States is during the summertime, but the parks can be just as beautiful and fun to visit in the wintertime. A fresh layer of snow can make the parks look entirely different and in many cases opens up new and interesting ways in which you can explore the parks.
The Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu is one of this world’s greatest hikes for explorers and adventurers. Since the world became reacquainted with Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail following its rediscovery by Hiram Bingham in 1911, adventurers, academics, and world explorers have been flocking to Peru to hike the trail each year. Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, and then declared one of the world’s New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. This has only increased the popularity of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. This has led to an increase in the number of visitors to the area from in the low 100,000’s in the 1980s to over 1.2 million visitors a year today.
Machu Picchu is both an architectural marvel and a stunning piece of artwork wrapped up into one iconic travel destination. Considered one of the new wonders of the world, Machu Picchu is one of South America’s, if not the world’s, most recognizable places. Because of its beauty, tourists flock to Machu Picchu each year to get a glimpse of it first hand and to try and capture its essence in photographs. However, capturing this beautiful place in photographs is not without its challenges.