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"You can hike to a beautiful place where there aren't any people," he says. Its glacial system includes the 3,000-foot-thick Bagley Icefield and the tidewater Hubbard Glacier, known to calve icebergs over three stories tall.Areas such as the Red Basin Clam Beds are relatively new to Petrified Forest—acquired in 2007 as part of an ongoing expansion that has nearly doubled the park's size to 218,000 acres. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska There's big, there's supersize, and then there's Wrangell–St. The country's largest national park covers 13.2 million acres and boasts nine of the 16 highest U. What's small in this corner of Alaska, a 250-mile drive from Anchorage?Experience both at Lassen Volcanic National Park, 200 miles north of Sacramento.Despite its tempestuous nature, Lassen shows a tranquil side each summer, when snowmelt transforms the park into a lush playland of creek-fed meadows, lupine-lined slopes, and forests filled with the song of mountain chickadees."There's still that sense of discovery." Activities in the rugged wilderness are guaranteed to get your blood racing: hiking along icy Root Glacier, flying to a cabin in the backcountry, rafting and kayaking on the sinuous Chitina and Copper Rivers, and sportfishing for wild salmon.
At a lot of parks, you aren't permitted to go off-trail, explains resident archaeologist William Reitze, but most of Petrified Forest is open to the public.
Four volcano types—shield, composite, plug dome, and cinder cone—await exploration in the park.
Reaching the top of 10,462-foot Lassen Peak, which last erupted in 1917, is a rite of passage requiring a steep, five-mile round-trip hike. Great Basin National Park, Nevada The Great Basin Desert stretches across almost all of Nevada—some 190,000 square miles of sage and scrub that blur together in many people's minds.
Some of the world's oldest living trees, Great Basin's ghostly bristlecones look every day of their 4,000-plus years.
Trails below Wheeler provide access to the trees as well as to alpine lakes and rocky glacial moraine.