The national parks in the U.S. and Canada preserve some of the most beautiful and diverse places in the world. On our adventures we take you inside these unique habitats to learn about and enjoy all that they offer. While the towering Montana mountains do make for some world-class views and hiking trails and the canyon cutting Colorado river is one of the planet’s best rafting waterways, there is more to these places than you might think. Here are ten things you might not know about where we go on our adventures:
Montana Family | Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is known for being rich with wildlife and geothermal features but did you know it has 290 waterfalls that are 15 feet or higher, including Silver Cord Cascade, which is 1,200 feet high?
Montana Family | Big Sky, Yellowstone & Paradise Valley
Another thing you might not know about Yellowstone: The national park actually has one of the world’s largest petrified forests. The forest is believed to have been created from the ash that surrounded the valley’s trees after the supervolcano laying under the park erupted.
Alaska Family | Kenai Peninsula
The Harding Icefield rests partially in Kenai Fjords National Park. The icefield’s conditions are so rough that it did not have its first documented mountaineer crossing until 1968, fifteen years after the first summit of Mt. Everest.
California Family | Yosemite National Park
We often speak of Yellowstone being the first national park, which is true. However, the Yosemite Grant, signed in 1864 by Abraham Lincoln, was the first time the U.S. government set aside land for preservation and public use. This precedent made way for Yellowstone to become the first national park in 1872.
Montana Family | Great Western Adventure
On this adventure, you’ll wind up and over Montana’s tallest mountain range on the Beartooth Highway, which late CBS correspondent Charles Kuralt dubbed as “the most beautiful drive in America.”
Wyoming Family | Yellowstone/Teton
The Teton Range in Grand Teton National Park is the youngest mountain range in the Rockies. The range is only 6-9 million years old, so the peaks are more dramatic looking due to the lack of erosion.
Utah Family | Bryce/Zion
Zion National Park is an exciting place for bird lovers. In the park, you can see the California condor, owner of North America’s longest wingspan, and the peregrine falcon, the world’s fastest animal. While not nearly as rare as the condor, which almost became extinct, seeing this falcon is still a treat – it has been clocked at 242 mph!
South Dakota Family | Black Hills to Mt. Rushmore
The Black Hills of South Dakota and Wind Cave National Park are both “under-discovered.” Wind Cave itself is incredible because, in addition to being the sixth longest cave in the world, it is the “densest” cave on the planet. That means that no cave has more passage way per cubic mile than Wind Cave.
Alberta Family | Banff to Jasper
Archeological evidence suggests that there was human activity in Banff National Park 10,300 years ago!
British Columbia Family | Whistler
Stanley Park, Vancouver’s urban park and popular picnic area, is almost entirely surrounded by water and is 10% bigger than New York’s Central Park
If you would like to learn more about these adventures, join Dan Austin and Kasey Austin for a free webinar on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 7pm EDT and 4pm PDT. Register here!