Earthly Treasures

This Earth Day, Take A Hike... To These 10 Extraordinary National Parks

These natural spaces are out of this world!

BruceBlock/E+/Getty Images

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park — which sits off Key West, Florida — isn't your typical national park. During the Civil War, this 101 square miles archipelago served as a prison. There you can find the 19th-century Fort Jefferson, which you'll discover is surrounded by coral reefs, seven tiny islands, and lots of marine life.

pfb1/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest National Park feels like a magical fairyland in Arizona. It's most famous for its unique wood stones — they’re actually fossilized chunks of timber filled with bright and colorful quartz, stretching across 85,542 square miles of southwest desert.

Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Big Bend National Park

Western Texas is home to Big Bend National Park, which is filled with canyon walls and desert. It's one of the few places on earth where you can see thousands of distant stars, planets, and even galaxies without using a telescope. It's known for having one of the "darkest measured skies," according to the International Dark Sky Association.

Keith's Color Photography /500Px Plus/Getty Images

Denali National Park

Centered on Denali, the highest mountain in North America, Denali National Park spans six million acres teeming with gorgeous wildlife. Its Alaskan glaciers and valleys are home to grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, golden eagles, and more. It's also the perfect hiking trek and camping spot.

Lea Scaddan/Moment/Getty Images

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park consists of more than 119 underground caves, including a main chamber with limestone formations ranging from 255 feet high and 4,000 feet long.

Peter Unger/The Image Bank Unreleased/Getty Images

Devils Tower National Monument

Located in Wyoming, Devils Tower National Monument looks like a stony sentinel guarding the Black Hills' surrounding prairies and pine forests. The geologic oddity stands at 1,267 feet, with hundreds of parallel cracks, making it a popular climbing area. Visitors can also enjoy easy hiking trails through lush greenery along the Beal Fourche River, truly a sight to behold.

Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Katmai National Park

Alaska’s Katmai National Park was established in 1918, and is home to Mount Katmai and a few other active volcanoes. The Park is also known for its large population of brown bears.

HUM Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Haleakalā National Park

Haleakalā National Park, also known as the "house of the sun," can be found on the island of Maui in Hawaii. A vast dormant volcano, Haleakalā Crater, towers 10,023 feet above sea level and serves as a sacred visage for locals. The park also draws visitors for its unique topography, bamboo forests, endangered species, and sky-gazing.

Looking into the greater of Haeeakala Volcano on Maui.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park rests between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, and is home to the Brandywine Falls. A lush space filled with history and adventure, the park's beaver marsh and the 19th-century Everette Road covered bridge are popular tourist spots.

Zack Frank /500Px Plus/Getty Images

Wind Cave National Park

If you travel to South Dakota, you can visit Wind Cave National Park — one of the longest and most complex caves in the world, and the first to be declared a national park. Tourists flock to the site to see the park's diverse wildlife and unique boxwork mineral formations. But its significance stretches further: Indigenous people have considered it a sacred space for hundreds of years.

Photo by Mike Kline (notkalvin)/Moment/Getty Images