If you’re an outdoorsy person, then state parks are beautiful places to explore nature. You’ve likely been to a few of Colorado’s state parks in the Rocky Mountains, like Black Forest or Rocky Mountain State Park. However, there are even more beautiful parks in the U.S. that have plenty to see and do, just like those parks here at our home in the Rockies, which is what ParkDIA is going to discuss in this blog. We’re skipping over some of the more well-known parks, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, for some equally beautiful and exciting parks you should make a visit to.
Lost Dutchman State Park
Situated less than an hour from Phoenix, this park is like something out of a Western, with high buttes and cactus forests around all the trails backing into the Tonto National Forest. This park has a beautiful nature trail for those looking to explore the Great Outdoors, and for those looking for a more challenging hike, be sure to try the Siphon Draw Trail to the top of the buttes central to the park. It may not be a mountain, but the view is breathtaking all the same.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
A little redundant, but incredibly close to Memphis is Fall Creek Falls State Park. This state park bares its key feature twice in its name — its waterfalls. There are several waterfalls in the park, but Fall Creek Falls is the most notable, being one of the highest in the eastern United States. There are several trails to explore, some are casual hikes around the lake, others are overnight trails that weave through the hills, and falls scattered throughout the park. Beat the humidity with the lakes at Fall Creek Falls on your next trip.
Iao Valley State Park
In Central Maui, Iao Valley State Park is home to one of the island’s most recognizable features — the Iao Needle. This 1,200-foot mountain is covered in lush, tropical flora and has a breathtaking view from the very top. The Iao Needle was used as a lookout tower by the people of Maui, and the view from the peak will show you why. Dive into the rainforest and see if you can scale the Needle itself.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
The Anza-Borrego Desert has three of its sides up against California’s southeastern mountain ranges and the Carrizo Badlands to the east. It’s a pocket of rocky roads and desert trails, though a pocket might be an understatement. There are over 500 miles of trails in the park, allowing for hiking, biking, and off-roading. The canyons, mountains, and caves around this park all demonstrate the effects of winds to the earth after thousands of years, carving out rocks and trails to walk through today.
Letchworth State Park
Called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is a cross-country canyon covered in mountains. There are three major falls you can hike, bike, or ride by, but you could also schedule whitewater rafting with a local rafting company to experience the rapids yourself. Inside the forests are historical cabins and lodges, restored for modern use. Explore the New York wilderness in Letchworth’s canyons for something like Colorado on the east coast.
Wherever you decide to go, to one of the parks listed here or somewhere else, be sure to leave your vehicle somewhere safe. When flying out of DIA, we know that parking can be expensive. Choose ParkDIA for our 24-hour security lot and worry less about your vehicle while you’re away. Reserve your spot today and get back to exploring the wildness of the United States.