Planning a road trip out west? Pitch your tent along the way at these amazing west coast national parks for some of the most stunning views ever! In the U.S. alone, there is a wide variety of scenery and animals that can be found in state parks ranging from the East Coast all the way across the country to the west. National parks are protected areas that are protected by the government to ensure they remain untouched and conserved. On the West Coast, there are more than a dozen state parks that tourists can visit. While California is home to the most national parks, other West Coast states also offer beautiful locations that are trip-worthy. Here are 5 of the best West Coast National Parks.
5 Best West Coast National Parks
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1. Mount Rainier, Washington
Mt. Rainier National Park is located in Washington State and is the fifth national park in the U.S. The park covers almost 250 thousand acres of land. The park is named after Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot stratovolcano. The park is full of forest, meadows, valleys, glaciers and even waterfalls. Mt. Rainier is also home to all sorts of fauna, to include black bear, cougar, bobcat, deer, mountain goats and moles. Various bird species also live here.
2. Petrified Forest, Arizona
The Petrified Forest National Park is located in northeastern Arizona. The park is full of petrified wood as well as badlands and desert-like land. The park is said to have fossils from fallen trees that were once alive during the Late Triassic Period, which was about 225 million years ago. The park is home to lizards, bobcats and coyotes as well as various types of grasses and shrubs.
3. Grand Teton, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming and offers beautiful sights of mountains along with lush green forests. Rich in history, the Grand Teton dates back to the time of the first nomadic hunters. The park is said to be a pristine ecosystem that is home to flora and animals that have existed since prehistoric times. Grand Teton is home to more than 1,000 species of plants and over 300 species of birds, as well as dozens of types of fish and mammals.
4. Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park is located in southern Oregon and was made a national park in 1902. It is the state’s only national park and allows visitors to see Crater Lake. Crater Lake, at its deepest, goes 1,949 down and is the deepest lake in the country and second deepest in North America. Outside of the lake, the park is also home to volcanoes and plenty of animals, to include lynxes, pikas, foxes, black bears and muskrats.
5. Great Basin, Nevada
Great Basin National Park is located in Nevada. The park is home to the Great Basin, which is the divide between the Wasatch Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. The park hosts 11 species of trees and more than 800 species of plants as well as dozens of species of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. While Nevada may be best known for Las Vegas, this national park is definitely worth visiting!
Have you ever visited a U.S. National Park? Which National Park on the list would you visit?