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Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China. It became internationally renown since the release of the 2009 movie Avatar. The movie was filmed in these mountains, more specifically, the Hallelujah Mountain (of Avatar) was filmed there and the movie’s editing team simply added the mountains in post-production to make them look like they are floating in the air.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania.
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory, Australia.
  • Serengeti National Park, Mara Region, Tanzania.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, U.S.A.
  • Ahu Akivi moai that face the ocean in Rapa Nui National Park, Easter Island, Chile.
  • Redwood National & State Parks, Humboldt County & Del Norte County, California, U.S.A.
  • The Emerald Lake at Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu District, New Zealand.

Top 40 Most Beautiful National Parks In The World

National Park News, Reviews & Resources (25+) World's Top 40 National Parks

A NATIONAL PARK is a park in use for conservation purposes. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of wild nature for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. Furthermore, an international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and its World Commission on Protected Areas, has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas. While ideas for this type of national park had been suggested previously, the United States established the first such one, Yellowstone National Park, in 1872. The largest national park in the world meeting the IUCN definition is the Northeast Greenland National Park, which was established in 1974. According to the IUCN, there were 6,555 national parks worldwide in 2006 that meet its criteria. In 2013, the IUCN met again, led by chairman Harrison Lee, and planned to revise the parameters of defining a national park. The formal meeting is expected to occur December 14, 2013, in Europe.

National parks are almost always open to visitors. Most national parks provide outdoor recreation and camping opportunities as well as classes designed to educate the public on the importance of conservation and the natural wonders of the land in which the national park is located.

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  • ACADIA NATIONAL PARK - "Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast." Acadia National Park protects the natural beauty of the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States, an abundance of habitats, and a rich cultural heritage. At 3.5 million visits a year, it's one of the top 10 most-visited national parks in the United States. Visitors enjoy 27 miles of historic motor roads, 158 miles of hiking trails, and 45 miles of carriage roads. Maine, U.S.A.
  • Banff National Park - "Rocky Mountain peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, a picture-perfect mountain town and village, abundant wildlife and scenic drives come together in Banff National Park - Canada’s first national park and the flagship of the nation’s park system. Over three million visitors a year make the pilgrimage to the park for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, skiing and camping in some of the world’s most breathtaking mountain scenery. Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site." Canada's oldest national park, established in 1885 in the Rocky Mountains, Calgary, Alberta.
  • European bison in Białowieża Forest.
  • BiaŁowieŻa NATIONAL PARK - ancient woodland that straddles the border between two countries, Belarus and Poland. It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primaeval forest that once stretched across the European Plain.
  • Big Bend National Park - "There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country." Texas, U.S.A.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kanungu District, Uganda.
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Located in south-western Uganda, at the junction of the plain and mountain forests, Bwindi Park covers 32,000 ha and is known for its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns. Many types of birds and butterflies can also be found there, as well as many endangered species, including the mountain gorilla. It is perhaps most notable for the 340 Bwindi gorillas, half the world's population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Kanungu District, Uganda.
  • Canyonlands National Park - "A lifetime of exploration awaits you." Canyonlands invites you to explore a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Rivers divide the park into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different opportunities for sightseeing and adventure." Utah, U.S.A.
  • Crater Lake National Park - "Deep Water in a Sleeping Volcano." Crater Lake inspires awe. Native Americans witnessed its formation 7,700 years ago, when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and one of the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range. Oregon, U.S.A.
  • Death Valley National Park - "Hottest, Driest, and Lowest National Park." In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley. California, Nevada, U.S.A.
  • Denali National Park and Preserve - "More than a mountain." Denali is six million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Travelers along it see the relatively low-elevation taiga forest give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, culminating in North America's tallest peak, 20,310' Denali. Wild animals large and small roam unfenced lands, living as they have for ages. Solitude, tranquility and wilderness await. Alaska, U.S.A.
  • El Yunque National Forest - "The El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rain forest in the national forest system. At nearly 29,000 acres, it is one of the smallest in size, yet one of the most biologically diverse of the national forests hosting hundreds of animal and plant species, some of which are found only here." Puerto Rico.
  • Everglades National Park - national park in the U.S. state of Florida that protects the southern 20 percent of the original Everglades. In the United States, it is the largest subtropical wilderness, the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone.
  • Glacier National Park (Canada) - "With exceptional alpine scenery and deep valleys filled with ancient forests, Glacier National Park is a year-round paradise. Scale its heights following trails pioneered by legendary Swiss mountain guides, take a gentle stroll amid moss-draped old-growth cedars or hike through alpine meadows strewn with lichen-covered boulders. After a day’s exploring, sink into an armchair before a roaring fire and steep yourself in the history of Rogers Pass, the final link in the railway that brought Canada together as a nation." Established in 1886, the park includes a portion of the Columbia Mountains.
  • Glacier National Park (U.S.) - "Crown of the Continent." Come and experience Glacier's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you. Located in the U.S. state of Montana, south from the Canadian borders of Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Gorkhi-Terelj National Park - Attractions include Khagiin Khar Lake, a 20m deep glacial lake 80 km upstream from the tourist camps, and Yestii Hot Water Springs, natural hot springs 18 km further upstream. The park also has a Buddhist monastery that is open to visitors. Park wildlife includes brown bears and over 250 species of birds. The Tuul River flows through the park. The park has many rock formations for rock climbers, and includes two famous formations named for things they resemble: Turtle Rock (Mongolian: Melkhii Khad) and the Old Man Reading a Book (Praying Lama Rock). Mongolia.
  • Grand Canyon National Park.
  • GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK - Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, which is often considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Arizona, U.S.A.
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park - "Dunes Among Diversity." Open all day and night year round, the tallest dunes in North America are the centerpiece in a diverse landscape of grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. Experience a starry sky on moonless nights, or a surreal walk on the dunes under bright full moonlight. Colorado, U.S.A.
  • Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park - "Born of Fire... Born of the Sea." Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes in the world. Extending from sea level to the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two of the world's most active volcanoes - K?lauea and Mauna Loa. Hawaii, U.S.A.
  • IguazÚ National Park - Iguazu Falls are located within the Iguazu Falls National Park, a protected area over 67,720 hectares (167.34 acres) on the Northern border of the Province of Misiones, Argentina. The Park comprises a series of 275 waterfalls at the heart of the Paranaense Rainforest, located 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) from the Iguazu River feeding into the Paraná River, where the Argentine, Brazil and Paraguay borders meet, and where the cities of Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) face each other. Province of Misiones, Argentina.
  • Jotunheimen National Park - "The home of the Giants." With over 250 mountains of almost 2000 meters high, including the 2469 meters Galdhøpiggen, Jotunheimen offers nature at its peak. Hike, bike, climb or ski. Flow with rivers and listen to waterfalls. Camp wild and free, spend the night sleeping inside the park’s wooden huts, cabins and lodges or built a fire in a suite of a boutique hotel called Herangtunet or stay nearby the Besseggen at Gjendesheim. In the Home of the Giants you touch the sky walking over the famous Besseggen ridge with Beitostølen nearby. Fly with eagles standing on top of the mighty Galdhøpiggen or just lie on your back in the lush meadows of this natural beauty embraced by picturesque Lom, the green slopes of Gudbrandsdalen, traditional Valdres, the waters of the Sognefjord and the eternal ice of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. Jotunheimen, Norway.
  • Keoladeo National Park - Ghana, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 302001, India. Famous avifauna sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the summer season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and a variety of other invertebrates.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park - At 5,895 m, Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. The mountain is encircled by mountain forest. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in the park. Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania.
  • Kootenay NATIONAL PARK - located in southeastern British Columbia, and is one component of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. The park consists of 1,406 sq km (543 sq mi) of the Canadian Rockies, including parts of the Kootenay and Park mountain ranges, the Kootenay River and the entirety of the Vermilion River. While the Vermillion River is completely contained within the park, the Kootenay River has its headwaters just outside the park boundary, flowing through the park into the Rocky Mountain Trench, eventually joining the Columbia River. It ranges in elevation from 918 m (3,012 ft) at the southwestern park entrance, to 3,424 m (11,234 ft) at Deltaform Mountain. British Columbia, Canada in the Canadian Rockies.
  • KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - "Kruger Park is South Africa's most exciting African safari destination." Steeped in legend and history, the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa is waiting for you to explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. South African National Park and one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 sq km (7,523 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 km (220 mi) from north to south and 65 km (40 mi) from east to west. Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa.
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara" means "spotted" in the local Maasai language of Maa, due to the many trees which dot the landscape. Wildebeest, topi, zebra, and Thomson's gazelle migrate into and occupy the Mara reserve, from the Serengeti plains to the south and Loita Plains in the pastoral ranches to the north-east, from July to October or later. Herds of all three species are also resident in the reserve. All members of the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros) are found here. Kenya.
  • Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park - "Welcome to the Navajo Nation’s Monument Valley Park. You are experiencing one of the most majestic – and most photographed – points on earth. This great valley boasts sandstone masterpieces that tower at heights of 400 to 1,000 feet, framed by scenic clouds casting shadows that graciously roam the desert floor. The angle of the sun accents these graceful formations, providing scenery that is simply spellbinding." Elevation: 5,564 feet above sea level. Size: 91,696 acres (spans Utah & Arizona). Colorado Plateau: western Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona, U.S.A.
  • Nahanni National Park Reserve - "The Cirque of the Unclimbables’ granite spires rise out of the lush alpine meadow, at Nájljcho (Virginia Falls) the South Nahanni River surges over a drop twice the height of Niagara Falls. Nahanni National Park Reserve, encompassing 30,000 square kilometers, is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. The Dehcho First Nations welcome adventurers to Naha Dehé, land of peaks, plateaus and wild rivers."
  • PERLIS STATE PARK - "The Park is situated on the longest continuous range of limestone hills in the country, called the Nakawan Range. The Nakawan Range has beautiful, heavily forested slopes, sheer cliff faces, streams and extensive cave systems. Some of the major attractions in Perlis State Park includes the various caves such as Gua Kelam and Gua Wang Burma which is located within the 500 year-old Setul limestone formation. The Park consists of Mata Ayer Forest Reserve and Wang Mu Forest Reserve with a total area of about 5000 hectares." Malaysia.
  • PILANESBERG GAME RESERVE | NATIONAL PARK - "he crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg National Park - a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature. The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills - the formation rises from the surrounding plains like a bubble. The structure of the park is termed the 'Pilanesberg National Park Alkaline Ring Complex'. The park now has in excess of 7 000 animals including 24 of the larger species. Today, Pilanesberg National Park accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa. Also home to the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros)." Sun City, South Africa.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  • Plitvice Lakes National Park - "The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species." The oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. The national park is world famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. Location: Lika-Senj County, Karlovac County, Croatia.
  • Purnululu National Park - "The Bungle Bungle Range, in Purnululu National Park, is one of the most striking geological landmarks in Western Australia, offering a remote wilderness experience." Purnululu attracts visitors for a whole range of reasons; the sheer grandeur of the sandstone massif, watching it change to a golden colour late in the day, walking through some of the marvellous gorges, and for the really well-prepared, a walk along Piccaninny Creek for an overnight camping experience. Other walks include the Echidna Chasm Walk, Mini Palms Walk, the walk to Kungkalanayi Lookout, Cathedral Gorge, the Domes Walk, Homestead Gorge, Piccaninny Creek Lookout, Whip Snake Gorge and the Northern Escarpment Walk. Kimberley region of Western Australia.
  • Ahu Akivi moai that face the ocean in Rapa Nui National Park.
  • Rapa Nui National Park - located on Easter Island, Chile. The island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeastern extremity of the Polynesian Triangle. The island was taken over by Chile in 1888. Its fame and World Heritage status arise from the 887 extant stone statues known by the name "moai", whose creation is attributed to the early Rapa Nui people who inhabited the island around 300 AD. Much of the island has been declared as Rapa Nui National Park which, on 22 March 1996, UNESCO designated a World Heritage Site under cultural criteria (i), (iii), & (v). The Rapa Nui National Park is now under the administrative control of the Ma'u Henua Polynesian Indigenous Community, which is the first autonomous institute on the island. The indigenous Rapa Nui people have regained authority over their ancestral lands and are in charge of the management, preservation and protection of their patrimony. Easter Island, Chile.
  • Redwood National & State Parks.
  • Redwood National & State Parks - "So Much More Than The Tallest Trees." Most people know Redwood as home to the tallest trees on Earth. The parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild river-ways, and nearly 40-miles of rugged coastline. For thousands of years people have lived in this verdant landscape. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks are managing and restoring these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all. The four parks, together, protect 45% of all remaining coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) old-growth forests, totaling at least 38,982 acres (157.75 km2). These trees are the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on Earth. Redwoods have existed along the coast of northern California for at least 20 million years and are related to tree species that existed 160 million years ago. Coast redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth; as of September 2006, the tallest tree in the park was Hyperion at 379.1 feet (115.5 m), followed by Helios and Icarus which were 376.3 feet (114.7 m) and 371.2 feet (113.1 m) respectively. Located in the United States, along the coast of northern California.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park - "Feel Like You’re On Top of the World!" Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road - which crests at over 12,000 feet including many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds - along with over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights, and fun times. In a world of superlatives, Rocky is on top! Colorado, U.S.A.
  • Serengeti National Park, Mara Region, Tanzania.
  • SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK - "Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value, it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa." The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was established in 1952. It is home to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth - the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. The resident population of lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, and birds is also impressive. There’s a wide variety of accommodation available, from luxury lodges to mobile camps. The park covers 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km), it’s larger than Connecticut, with at most a couple hundred vehicles driving around. The Park can be divided into 3 sections. The popular southern/central part (Seronera Valley), is what the Maasai called the “serengit”, the land of endless plains. It’s classic savannah, dotted with acacias and filled with wildlife. The western corridor is marked by the Grumeti River, and has more forests and dense bush. The north, Lobo area, meets up with Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve, is the least visited section. Tanzania.
  • Skeleton Coast National Park - located in northwest Namibia, and has the most inaccessible shores, dotted with shipwrecks. The park was established in 1971 and has a size of 16,845 sq km (6,504 sq mi). The park is divided into a northern and southern section, the southern section is open to those with 4 wheel drive vehicles, they are allowed to go up (north) as far as the Ugab River Gate (where a sign with a skull and crossbones warns you to go no further). The northern section can only be reached by a fly-in safari, and the area is off-limits to all vehicles.The attraction of this remote area lies in the colour, changing moods and untouched profile of its landscape. Its aura of mystery and mightiness is largely due to the dense coastal fog and cold sea breezes caused by the cold Benguela ocean current from the Arctic, and bones scattered on its beaches from where the park's name derives. The landscape in the park ranges from sweeping vistas of wind swept dunes to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountain ranges. Its level coastline characterises the park, only occasionally broken by scattered rocky outcrops. The southern section consists of the gravel plains, but north of Terrace Bay high dunes occur in the immediate vicinity of the coast. Namibia.
  • The Emerald Lake at Tongariro National Park, Ruapehu District, New Zealand.
  • Tongariro National Park - "Tongariro is New Zealand's oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area. This status recognises the park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features." Located in the central North Island. The fourth national park established in the world (October 1887). The active volcanic mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro are located in the centre of the park. New Zealand.
  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park.
  • Udzungwa Mountains National Park - "Experience rainforest adventure. Endemic birds and primates. Magnificent waterfalls." National park in Tanzania with a size of 1,990 sq km (770 sq miles). The habitats contained within the national park include tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe. There is a vertical height range of 250–2,576 metres (the peak of Lohomero), which incorporates the Udzungwa Mountains part of the Eastern Arc Mountains. There are more than 400 bird species, 2500 plant species (25% of which are endemics) and 6 primate species. It has the second largest biodiversity of a national park in Africa. Tourism in the Udzungwa Mountains national Park revolves around hiking and trekking, as the park has no roads and is accessible only on foot. The hiking trails range in difficulty from the short one-hour Sonjo trek to the extremely challenging 6-day camping trek the Lumemo Trail. The most common walk is the Sanje Waterfalls trail which takes approximately four hours to complete and allows the visitor access to the stunning 170 m waterfall and includes swimming in the waterfall plunge pools as part of the activity. Tanzania.
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - "A living cultural landscape where earth and memories exist as one." Formerly called Uluru (Ayers Rock – Mount Olga) National Park, features spectacular geological formations that dominate the vast red sandy plain of central Australia. Uluru, an immense monolith, and Kata Tjuta, the rock domes located west of Uluru, form part of the traditional belief system of one of the oldest human societies in the world. The traditional owners of Uluru-Kata Tjuta are the Anangu Aboriginal people. More than just a photo opportunity, our iconic rock formations hide ancient wisdom and diverse plant and animal life. Look closer to discover an awe-inspiring environment where Tjukurpa whispers the creation stories. Location of a world-renowned sandstone monolith, which stands 348 metres in height and bears various inscriptions made by ancestral indigenous peoples. Northern Territory, Australia.
  • Virunga National Park.
  • Virunga National Park - "Virunga is truly the crown jewel of Africa’s national parks. The park contains over 50% of sub-Saharan Africa’s biodiversity and is home to about 200 of the earth’s last 720 critically endangered mountain gorillas." Virunga National Park (covering an area of 790,000 ha) comprises an outstanding diversity of habitats, ranging from swamps and steppes to the snowfields of Rwenzori at an altitude of over 5,000 m, and from lava plains to the savannahs on the slopes of volcanoes. Mountain gorillas are found in the park, some 20,000 hippopotamuses live in the rivers and birds from Siberia spend the winter there. Virunga National Park is unique with its active chain of volcanoes and rich diversity of habitats that surpass those of any other African park. Its range contains an amalgamation of steppes, savannas and plains, marshlands, low altitude and afro-montane forest belts to unique afro-alpine vegetation and permanent glaciers and snow on Monts Rwenzori whose peaks culminate in 5000 m height. The property includes the spectacular massifs of Rwenzori and Virunga Mountains containing the two most active volcanoes of Africa. The wide diversity of habitats produces exceptional biodiversity, notably endemic species and rare and globally threatened species such as the mountain gorilla. Province of North-Kivu and Orientale province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - "Eternally Warm-Hearted." On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders. Magma is close to the surface in Yellowstone. Magma plumes carry heat from deep in the earth to the surface and create “hot spot” volcanism. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 sq km), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-elevation lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. The caldera is considered a dormant volcano. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Located mostly in Wyoming, with small sections in Montana and Idaho, U.S.A.
  • Yoho National Park - "Named for a Cree expression of awe and wonder, Yoho lies on the western slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Vertical rock walls, waterfalls and dizzying peaks draw visitors from around the world. With exceptional hiking and sightseeing, the park offers a unique glimpse of Canada’s natural wonders, from the secrets of ancient ocean life to the power of ice and water." Yoho covers 1,313 square kilometres (507 sq miles), and it is the smallest of the four contiguous national parks. Located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide in southeastern British Columbia.
  • Yosemite National Park.
  • Yosemite National Park - "Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra." First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more. Internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Covers an area of 748,436 acres (1,169 sq miles; 3,029 sq km. Almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. Yosemite was central to the development of the national park idea. Located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, bounded on the southeast by Sierra National Forest and on the northwest by Stanislaus National Forest. Tuolumne, Mariposa & Madera counties, California, U.S.A.
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China.
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park - "China's National Park." Unique national forest park located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China. In 1982 it was recognized as China's first national forest park with an area of 4,810 ha (11,900 acres). Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is part of a much larger 397.5 sq km (153.5 sq mi) Wulingyuan Scenic Area. In 1992, Wulingyuan was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most notable geographic features of the park are the pillar-like formations that are seen throughout the park. They are the result of many years of erosion. The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. Much of the erosion which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. These formations are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings. It became internationally renown since the release of the 2009 movie Avatar. The movie was filmed in these mountains, more specifically, the Hallelujah Mountain (of Avatar) was filmed there and the movie’s editing team simply added the mountains in post-production to make them look like they are floating in the air.
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