T+L’s Editors Share Their Favorite National Parks Experiences

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Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana

If you visit Glacier National Park, don’t overlook Camas Road, which runs from Apgar Village to North Flork Flathead River. It’s less traveled and has a grand, windswept beauty (part of which shows post-fire regrowth) that’s somewhat different from other parts of the park. —Kathy Roberson, copy and research chief

Devil's tower monument

Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming

This is such a cool spot that I visited with my mom when we went tornado-chasing in Wyoming. It’s a geological wonder that has a lot of Native American folklore associated with it, and it’s also a climber’s ultimate challenge. There are great hiking trails for the less adventurous, too. —Jordi Lippe-McGraw, contributing digital news reporter

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Driving through Badlands National Park is an otherworldly experience—it’s one of the most jaw-dropping, wondrous places I’ve visited. The land is sprawling—layers of ancient earth piled and stacked into these rugged formations that feel like another planet. Such contrast lives in this park—beautiful fields of tall grass and wildflowers brush up against the red dirt rocks. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot bighorn sheep grazing in the fields. Bonus: it’s an easy day trip from quirky Rapid City, South Dakota, and conveniently a (roughly) two-hour drive to the Crazy Horse memorial in the Black Hills National Forest. —Ellie Storck, digital editorial assistant

Acadia national park

Acadia National Park, Maine

I’ve visited Acadia, on Mount Desert Island on the central Maine coast, as a child, as a teen, and as an adult, and each time I go back I am surprised by it. I always remember that I love it there, but when I get to visit in person, the colors, shapes, and textures blow me away as if I’ve never seen them before. The experiences can range from a relaxed, quiet sit on a rock in a stream near Jordan Pond House to a top-of-the-world moment on Cadillac Mountain, from giddy excitement anticipating waves exploding at Thunder Hole to the best-meal-ever feeling of eating lobster on a dock with a double rainbow framing the scene. —Laura Teusink, managing editor

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

This park on the Big Island, which encompasses two volcanoes, is absolutely massive. When my family and I visited, we had limited time—plus, no way could my grandmother and young cousins handle the hiking and camping. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to see the whole park quickly: by helicopter. We booked a day with Paradise Helicopters and first got an incredible overview of the island, from black-sand beaches to coffee plantations to the lush coastline, before heading over the park, where we flew through narrow valleys and over staggering waterfalls, then hovered above the puddles of blazing red lava around Kilauea Volcano. —Stephanie Wu, senior editor

Everglade national park

Everglades National Park, Florida

I grew up in Miami, not far from the Everglades—one of our country’s most overlooked national parks. The swamp has a mysterious allure: you never know when a crocodile will raise his beady eyes above the surface or when an eagle will soar overhead. Behind all that stillness are vast wildlife populations waiting to be discovered.

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