America’s Best Desert National Parks

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America’s Best Desert National Parks

The simple word alone brings images of searing heat, mirages, orange seared rocks, and sheer exhaustion, dust, and lone lizards. I am of course talking about deserts.

Whilst the harshest landscapes in the world are usually found within a desert area, these are often the most beautiful too, because only the strongest flora, fauna and wildlife can survive in such a harsh and unforgiving environment.

There are of course safety precautions to be taken when visiting any desert national park, such as plenty of water, a hat, sun-screen and seeking out as much shade as possible, however if you bear all this in mind, listen to national park instruction, then you should be able to visit safely, easily taking in the amazing sights before you.

America probably has more desert landscapes than anywhere else in the world, so the national parks are geared up for visitors, in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Here are four you should have on your must-visit list.

Death Valley

Probably one of the most famous, this National Park sits around 282 feet below sea level, and reaches daily temperatures up to 109 degrees in June. Hot, hot, hot! There are very few good quality trails, and it is pretty much wilderness we’re talking about, which makes it all the more amazing. Furnace Creek Visitor Centre is the best starting place for a trek to Marble Canyon, through canyons up to 3500 feet. Go very well prepared!

Joshua Tree, California

Perfect for rock climbers the world over, you can easily sign up for a course if you’re not so experienced and hone your skills in this stunning park. You will find huge boulders to climb, as well as the name suggests, Joshua trees. Sunset and sunrise is a particularly magical time to visit, as the colours change. There are plenty of campsites around too.

Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona

Yee ha! This is where wannabe cowboys should head, right at the base of the Rincon Mountains, near Saguaro National Park. This is a ranch with horses, and you can learn all the tricks of the trade, as well as taking part in one of the many mountain biking tracks. There are daily guided hikes around the area too.

Moab, Utah

Perfect for mountain biking, with around 150 miles of set trails. Great for intermediate bikers and hikers, you can hire equipment, as well as staying at one of the many campsites to base yourself. Quite a popular and easily accessible national park, with shuttles from nearby towns, and good roads.

Harsh landscapes, action, adventure, and amazing scenery – deserts might be hard-going places, but the best things in life are always a little testing to say the least.

Photo Credit: gtall1 via photopin cc

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