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There are a ton of things to see among the best backpacking trails in the USA if you want something more than just hiking and camping. Let’s get down to it!

Northern California

Backpacking the Lost Coast Trails in Northern Calfornia

Backpacking the Lost Coast Trails in Northern Calfornia

There are millions of people who flock towards the pretty and breathtaking views of the Golden Coast every year when it gets chilly in other parts of the country. Most of these hotspots are South of the Bay Area.

Once you start heading up North, to the place where the Pacific Coast Highway breaks off from the coastline, you’ll start entering the Lost Coast Trails. This is right along with the state’s King Range National Conservation Area.

It can be considered some of the rockiest beach terrain around this area. This trip will be quite short, but it is quite a challenge for beginner backpackers.

You will need an overnight permit in order to go to this trail from the Bureau of Land Management. This will be available on Recreation.gov.

Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas

Red Rock Canyon, just outside of Las Vegas

Las Vegas is definitely a place that you would not think about when it comes to backpacking. The city is known for its nightlife and amazing casinos.

But did you know how much there is to do out there? If you want to get a bit adventurous, you could get las vegas atv tours and go through the desert on your own.

Apart from this, you can find some of the greatest backpacking trails in the USA near Las Vegas, one of them being the amazing rock formations at Red Rock Canyon.

You could surely drive down this 13-mile stretch but can also choose to soak in the experience fully on foot. You can hop onto the Greenlee trail that is approximately 3 miles long.

It has a ton of open space and is a generally moderate trail. Winter hikes are best here due to the road being open and on top of the Mesa, giving you a lot of sunshine.

They are exactly parallel to the canyons, giving you a breathtaking view while you hike up the trail. You can also look at Gardens of God for the most part of it.

If you love cloud-watching, be sure to take a blanket with you to lie down, and do not forget sunscreen if you do not want to come back burned.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Backpacking in Olympic National Park in Washington

Backpacking in Olympic National Park in Washington

This is positioned beautifully along most of the coastal region of Washington’s Olympic National Park. it is a long 20-mile trail that is perfect for people looking for an adventure.

It is quite ideal for people who have not backpacked before and offers scenic views of the seaside along the entire way. The entire way is mostly flat and is much like a long walk instead of a hike.

You will also find the weather to be quite pleasant most of the time. This actually has one of the lowest elevations as compared to most trails and will help you test your distance-per-day if you are new to this.

You can also camp along the trail on certain pre-established campgrounds that are set up. You do not need a permit to do this.

Central California

Backpacking near Lake Tahoe in Central Calfornia

Backpacking near Lake Tahoe in Central Calfornia

Near the southern end of California’s Lake Tahoe lied the Lake Aloha Trail. It looks like it is custom-built for most entry-level backpackers and will definitely give you a postcard-worthy view all along the way.

This hike will take you alongside a number of alpine lakes. You should be sure to take a slower pace while hitting those inclines so that you do not lose your stamina.

Diving into the clean waters of Lake Tahoe after a sweaty hike would be the perfect way to end this.

This area is home to some of the best backpacking trails in the USA, which is why it might be hard to find campgrounds that are not already taken. You can beat the crowd and plan one during the off-season for reservations.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited parks in the country. The Mount Sterling Loop trail is situated here and gives you an intermediate-level trip in order to reach the peak of the mountain in the park.

You can start in NC and cross through forests to reach Tennessee on your way. Be sure to follow the Big Creek to the top of Mount Sterling.

You’ll even see a fire tower that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s.

This is the perfect place for getting full views of these mountains. This has an elevation gain of around 8,000+ and there are some sharp turns and climbs in this trail.

Death Valley National Park, California

Climbing above Desolation Canyon in Death Valley

Climbing above Desolation Canyon in Death Valley

The scenery looks like it has seriously just been pulled out of Mars. Hiking around this park is as intense as it is interesting.

The trail will take you through quite a stark terrain and you will definitely need a lot of planning on this trip. It is almost 30 miles long and is quite a challenge.

Remember to keep a lot of water with you since you won’t be finding any over here. You can also pack a water filter.

Backpacking can give you the sense of adventure that you have always been looking for. So choose a destination and start packing as soon as you can!

If you are thinking of moving to the US, then you need to make sure that you are properly prepared. There are many steps that you will need to take to ensure that you are legally covered and to give yourself the best shot at success.

Whether you are arriving for new employment or looking to start your own business, here is what you need to know.

Start Preparing Now

Find out as much as you can before you move. Remember that COVID-19 restrictions may still be slowing administration down and affecting travel. Contact your employer for advice on how you can speed up the process.

Read city guides for the area you are moving to. Prepare for a background check and a criminal record check.

Find your academic certificates, your bank statements, your driver’s license and any marriage or birth certificates.

Get Insurance

Look for a health insurance policy before you move. Provide as much information as you can to avoid losing out on any payments. Remember that healthcare is not paid for by the state in the US as it is in other countries.

Find The Right Visa

Talk to an immigration lawyer about which visa is right for you. Talk to your employer if they are sponsoring your visa. Prepare all your documents and references as early as possible to avoid delays. Ask your immigration lawyer about which visa you need if you are starting a new business.

Consider that you may need to apply for visas for employees for your business. Find out if the requirements have changed in recent years. Look at H2A visa regulations to learn what is needed for an agricultural business looking for seasonal immigrant workers.

Apply for a visa even if you are moving with an American citizen. Remember that your partner will need to apply for a visa if they are moving with you and are not a US citizen.

Know Your Laws

Research the laws and legislation of the state you are moving to. Be aware that some laws are different from state to state. Find out what tax you need to be paying as an immigrant and remember that you may be paying taxes in your home nation too.

Factor in sales tax on any purchases and remember that it changes depending on the state. Learn the US-specific laws including the drinking age and driving restrictions.

Learn about liability in case of an accident at work or on the road. Tip your service industry employees wherever you go (this is not a law, but it is expected).

While most visitors to Washington, DC typically come to visit the national monuments, Smithsonian museums and the White House, they are missing a hidden gem. The most beautiful gardens in Washington, DC are often free to visit and present endless entertainment.

On the National Mall alone, there are five free gardens to explore. So if you don’t have a car, don’t despair. Read on for a list of my favorite public gardens in Washington, DC.

 

U.S. Botanical Gardens (USBG)

United States Botanical Gardens in Washington DC

United States Botanical Gardens

The number one destination is the U.S. Botanical Gardens, which is located Maryland Avenue SW in Washington, DC. While the conservatory remains closed, visitors can roam outside in the gardens at the front and side of the museum.

To prepare for your visit, consider a virtual tour—both outdoors and indoors. During non-pandemic times, the USBG offered free guided tours.

The three-acre National Garden is enclosed within walls, like a secret garden. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed. It is home to the Regional Garden (featuring Mid-Atlantic plants) as well as the Rose Garden. Children will love the Butterfly Garden.

The nation’s First Ladies are honored with a special water garden. There is a fountain area to relax as well as stone boulders. Occasionally, educational programs occur in the Amphitheater.

Across the street on Independence Avenue lies Bartholdi Park. Not to be missed is the Bartholdi Fountain when visiting gardens in Washington, DC. There are tables and chairs for a quick al fresco lunch.

Follow the circular paths to explore hidden paths and groves of plants. A special delight for cooks is the herb garden where you can take in the fragrance of basil or oregano plants. The U.S. Botanic Gardens is included in the U.S. Capitol Complex.

U.S. Capitol Grounds

Magnolia Trees on the US Capitol Grounds in Washington DC

Magnolia Trees on the US Capitol Grounds

While not a traditional garden, the 58-acre U.S. Capitol Grounds is home to the most extensive array of trees in the Washington DC area.

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed a park-like setting in 1874, which featured curving paths. He removed 400 trees. His design included low border walls, decorative lamps, and a historic shelter for streetcar passengers.

A special delight is the red-brick Summerhouse, set on the slope of the West Front Lawn. In the spring, beds of tulips bloom near the structure.

A visitor could spend an entire afternoon walking around the paths encircling the U.S. Capitol building. According to the Architect of the Capitol, 65 of Olmsted’s original trees are alive today. His design featured native trees, including elms, lindens, buckeyes and oaks.

There are also groupings of evergreen near the base of the West Terrace of the Capitol. In addition, the Capitol Grounds now feature gifted, memorial and commemorative trees, including the 9/11 Anniversary Tree, the Anne Frank Tree and the Emmett Till Tree. Download a map at www.aoc.gov.

There are wrought-iron benches for a rest period. The Capitol Reflecting Pool is a perfect venue for lunch while you watch the ducks swim by.

Smithsonian Gardens

Smithsonian Moongate Garden in Washington DC

Smithsonian Moongate Garden

After visiting a Smithsonian museum, be sure to reserve time to relax at the rooftop Enid A. Haupt Garden. It opened in 1987.

Smithsonian Associates even offers forest bathing class in its Moongate Garden (for a fee). Designed by architect Jean Paul Carlhian, the Moongate Garden features an Asian design inspired by the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China.

Enid Haupt Garden Parterre in Washington DC

Enid Haupt Garden Parterre

The Haupt garden is conveniently located next to the old Smithsonian Castle. This 4-acre venue also features the Fountain Garden and the French-styled Parterre.

Wander down the brick paths, rest at the fountain or read a book while admiring the flowers. Pose in front of the Renwick Gates or the Downing Urn. This Haupt garden is actually standing on the roofs of the National Museum of African Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the S. Rillon Ripley Center.

As you walk through the end gates, be sure to devote some time to the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. The air is perfumed year-round with the four-season garden that includes fragrant flowers and interpretative signage.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington DC

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

This open-air gallery is situated on the National Mall, with direct views of the U.S. Capitol on the left and the Washington Monument on the right.

The sunken sculpture garden is embedded 14 feet below the surface of the Mall. Visitors explore different rooms that divide up the open air gallery.

There are 30 works of arts ranging from abstract to modern. The plants provide a backdrop for the modern art. In addition, gardeners regularly change the plant palette to reflect the changing seasons.

Do not miss the Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC. A special treat is to visit the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden after a major snowstorm when the artwork is buried under a blanket of snow.

National Gallery Sculpture Garden

National Gallery of Art Outdoor Sculpture Garden in Washington DC

National Gallery of Art Outdoor Sculpture Garden

One block away, the National Gallery of Art “planted” its gated outdoor Sculpture Garden on the corners of Constitution Avenue, 7th Street NW and Madison Avenue NW.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden features lush plantings, trees and bushes as well as important artwork. Do not miss the secluded area which features Marc Chagall’s Orphee.

The 1969 stone and glass mosaic can serve as a meditation point. The 10-feet by 17-feet mosaic features characters from Greek mythology.

Other fun sculptures include Robert Indiana’s bright-red AMOR and Barry Flanagan’s Thinker on a Rock. Plan to visit around lunch or mid-afternoon to enjoy a meal at the Pavilion Café, which operates from 11 am to 4 pm.

The last two gardens in Washington DC will require a car, but they are definitely worth a visit.

National Arboretum

Located in NE Washington at New York Avenue and R Street, the U.S. National Arboretum is free to explore.

This is a must-see venue if visiting gardens in Washington, DC. It is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm, except December 25.

The 446-acre campus features 9.5 miles of winding roadways. Typically, 600,000 visitors explore each year. It is a favorite destination of dog owners.

Traffic peaks in the spring to see the Japanese cherry trees and the azaleas. Favorite flowers and bushes include azalea, boxwood, daffodil, daylily, dogwood, holly, magnolia, and maple.

The modern architecture visitors’ center includes a fountain and pool with aquatic plants. Also not to be missed are the Flowering Tree Walk, the National Herb Garden and the Asian Collections. The Arboretum is also home to the National Capitol Columns.

Dumbarton Gardens

Dumbarton Oaks Gate in Washington DC

Dumbarton Oaks Gate

Dumbarton Oaks is a country estate sited in Washington, DC. Located in Georgetown, the Dumbarton Oaks mansion and surrounding gardens represent bliss.

Owned by Robert and Mildred Bliss, the estate was conceived as a retreat. The 1801 Federal-style home was purchased in June 1920.

The owners hired landscape architect Beatrix Farrand to design terraced garden rooms and vistas. The couple “gifted” the property to Harvard University in 1940 when it transitioned from a private estate to a research institute. Dumbarton Oaks is located at 1703 32nd Street NW.

 

 

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A visit to Denali National Park has the potential to be one of the most memorable adventures you will ever experience. The vast national park located in interior Alaska offers some breathtaking views, including spectacular sights like Mt. McKinley and other peaks. This expansive park also features scenic wilderness with a unique boreal and tundra landscape. 

The best part is that the national park offers something to all types of travelers and explorers. Whether you seek adventure, or prefer to relax in the wilderness, this national park provides options for both. Here’s a comprehensive list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park.

 

1. Bus Tours

The national park spreads across a whopping 7408 square miles, and bus tours are the best way to explore it all. No Denali expedition is complete without taking one of the three renowned bus tours of the National Park.

Though all three bus tours are full-day activities, they cover different distances, sights, and experiences. The Tundra Wilderness Tour takes eight hours and is the most popular among the three.

It covers wildlife, landscapes, and plants of the national park. You can expect a few restroom stops and quick breaks for stretching your legs and photographs.

2. Hiking

Denali National Park is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise. The national park offers adventurous hiking trails leading to scenic views. Whether you are looking for a day hike, customizable hikes for large groups, or multi-day hikes, you can find all these things to do in Denali.

You can take one of the many guided hiking tours offered by professionals, or choose to hike on your own. If going your own way, the maintained hiking trails at the entrance of the park and the Denali Backcountry are the two options available for you.

Any which way, hiking through the wilderness of this national park is indeed bliss. Ensure you pack the appropriate hiking gear and follow all safety precautions if you wish to hike on your own.

3. Flightseeing

Fancy a bird’s eye view of the national park and the reserve? Make a once in a lifetime memory and splurge on a flightseeing tour over Denali National Park. What better way can you take in the mighty mountain peaks than by soaring above them?

Instead of a flight, you can also go for a helicopter, some of which actually land on the glaciers. Or maybe you want to opt for Heli-hiking to combine an epic helicopter ride with an adventurous hike through the backcountry. 

Flightseeing is an ideal option for people who prefer sitting in a relaxed airplane while witnessing the wildlife and plants from a higher view. The duration and distance of the flight seeing excursions differ from company to company. So, it’s better to compare various flight seeing services and select the one matching your preference.

4. Off-roading

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, it’s time to get your feet dirty by hopping onto an ATV or a Jeep across the muddy trails of this Alaskan national park. You can either enjoy an off road adventure as a passenger or take control by hiring a vehicle for yourself.

The jeep excursions take you through the national park highways, whereas the ATV rides take you through the Denali backcountry. You can also stop your ATV wherever you want for a quick photoshoot. Regardless of the vehicle, off-roading is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park.

5. River Rafting

Part of the beauty of Denali National Park is the impressive rivers that cut through the landscape. Is there a better way to explore those majestic waters than in a raft? River rafting not just allows you to explore the rivers, but also offers a unique view of the glaciers and wildlife across river banks.

You can opt for a relaxing trip on the Nenana River or go for a more adventurous rafting trip packed with adrenaline. Here again, there is a multitude of options depending on whether you want to grab a paddle along with the professional guide or sit back and enjoy the view.

There are also options ranging from a quick two-hour rafting experience to an entire day trip that includes a picnic lunch on the beautiful riverbanks.

Final Thoughts

That sums up the list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park. Hopefully, the list inspires you to create a fantastic itinerary that matches your preferences. You can also check out the Visitor Center at the park’s entrance to get a better picture of the things you can do during your trip.

As a vacation destination, Florida is unmatched. From the picturesque barrier islands of the Panhandle to the stunning Atlantic beaches around Fort Lauderdale and the gorgeous Gulf Coast, there are plenty of famous places that draw people to Florida year after year. With all the amazing wildlife, vibrant cities, and natural wonders, Florida is a pretty special place. You can find amazing sights and experiences across the entire state. If you are planning to cruise from Fort Lauderdale and want to see some of the most amazing spots Florida has to offer, here are four amazing natural wonders of Florida.

 

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Florida's natural wonders - The white sand beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore

The white sand beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola is a gorgeous panorama of long, empty beaches, rolling dunes, and picturesque waves punctuated by dolphins. A wonder at any time of the year, this spot truly comes alive in the fall when the vast migration of monarch butterflies pause here on their way to Mexico. During this time, the air is set alight with the fluttering of delicate orange wings.

Lake Okeechobee

Florida's Natural Wonders - Lake Okeechobee Sunset at Flood Dam

Lake Okeechobee Sunset at Flood Dam

You can shade your eyes as much as you like, but catching a glimpse of the far shore of Lake Okeechobee is nigh-on impossible. Even from the top of the bridge at Port Mayaca, Florida’s largest lake stretches out as far as the eye can see. One of the most well-known natural wonders of Florida, Lake Okeechobee has successfully resisted development and remains an untouched haven of natural beauty.

The Everglades National Park

The Everglades - one of Florida's Natural Wonders

The Florida Everglades

The Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the US and one of the largest wetlands in the world. It is a unique ecosystem, stunningly biodiverse, and home to some of the most fascinating and rare species of plants, animals, birds, and marine life anywhere in the world. The Florida panther, the American crocodile, the West Indian manatee, and the snail kite are all only found in the Everglades, and exploring the 1.5 million acres of this ‘sea of grass’ is an astonishing adventure.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Florida Keys - a natural wonder

The Florida Keys

Florida’s best reef is easily accessed from almost every beach in the Keys and provides access to an underwater fantasy world of bright, electric colors and bizarre marine life. Queen angelfish and vibrant parrot fish brush fins with manta rays and groupers, all surrounded by glorious corals and gorgonians. A truly magnificent world of magic found just below the surface makes this a true natural wonder of Florida.