The following blog is an excerpt from Not-So-Hidden Treasures: Remarkable Hikes All Across the U.S. by the National Park Foundation.
We call them our national treasures – our prized gems! These natural, cultural, and historical sites are our inheritance and they exist for you to explore and understand the power of these places. There are more than 400 national parks with more than 18,000 miles of trails all across the United States – some are probably closer to you than you think! To get you started, check out these nine unique trails that will inspire you to go out on your own #FindYourPark / #EncuentraTuParque adventure.
Hike: White House Ruin
Distance: 2.5 Miles
Unique within the National Park System, all 84,000 acres of Canyon De Chelly National Monument is on the Navajo Nation. Managed in partnership with the Navajo Nation, this special place preserves the important archeological resources and stories of this land and its people. In addition to breathtaking colorful sheer cliffs, the park offers a wild landscape and bounty of extraordinary items including distinctive architecture, artifacts, and rock imagery.
One of the best ways to learn about Navajo culture and history is by heading out on a moderate self-guided hike to White House Ruin. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the park from spectacular scenic drives to free ranger-led programs during the summertime.
Hike: Wilderness Trail
Distance: 8 Miles
To say Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve is huge is quite an understatement! With a span of over 1,100 square miles, it is roughly the size of Rhode Island, and its young lava flows can be seen clearly even from space.
Be sure to pack your camera as this tumultuous volcanic destination is a great place for wildlife viewing and nature photography. The best way to explore the park is to hike the Broken Top Loop to Buffalo Cave before venturing onto the designated Wilderness Trail. Camping is available at Echo Crater to make the most of your crater adventure.