The last couple of weeks have been heavy on the fitness side, so what better way to break back into the outdoors by paying homage to National Parks Week?
If you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you know where I stand on our public lands. They are definitely a treasure, and they’re most beautifully preserved in our national parks.
I’ve been to a few, and two of my favorites are tucked inside some of America’s great mountain ranges: Rocky Mountain National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So in this post, East meets West with photos from these great American landscapes.
The Appalachians have had a long time to perfect their allure, and the monarchs of this range are in its southern reaches. Great Smoky Mountains National Park packs a wallop when it comes to scenery.
For instance, take a look at this scene from halfway up Mount LeConte…
As you hike these mountains, you’re going to pass through ecosystems that range from low-lying broadleaf forests to spruce-filled woodlands more than a mile high.
And just about every overlook has a surprise waiting to be discovered.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
In the lower 48 states, no mountain range is as mighty as the Rockies. And I think that’s what people were trying to encapsulate when they designated a specific slice of Colorado to become Rocky Mountain National Park. Big, burly mountains and alpine landscapes dominate the land.
The park’s centerpiece is one of the state’s iconic mountains, Longs Peak.
If you want to feel small, hike here. These mountains will do the trick.
So there you have it. The weekend is coming up. If you’re in range of one of our national parks, do yourself a favor and go. Breathe some clean air, see some cool places, unplug and take advantage of a wonderful piece of our national heritage.