America’s most stunning natural wonders

Noble Horvath

Nature at its best A country as vast as the United States is bound to be home to some incredible works of art by Mother Nature. From sprawling canyons and towering sand dunes to huge glaciers and picturesque valleys, these are the most incredible natural wonders found in the […]


A country as vast as the United States is bound to be home to some incredible works of art by Mother Nature. From sprawling canyons and towering sand dunes to huge glaciers and picturesque valleys, these are the most incredible natural wonders found in the US. Click on the Full Screen option to view these images at their best.



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Stretching along the Tennessee/North Carolina border in southeastern US, the Great Smoky Mountains, also known as the Smokies, and the surrounding national park are breathtaking. Covered in thick green forests, the towering peaks of the mountains are best seen from the highest point – Clingmans Dome. Rising 6,643 feet (2,025m), it’s the highest point along the Appalachian Trail and the observation tower is perfect for taking in the majestic scenery.



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One of Alaska’s most impressive icy landforms, the gargantuan Hubbard Glacier is six miles (9.6km) wide and reaches a height of 400 feet (122m) at its tallest point. Located in the eastern part of the state, off the coast of Yakutat, the glacier is famous for being active. Unlike the world’s other glaciers, it’s not retreating but slowly advancing through the gulf.



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Located in the heart of Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a National Natural Landmark defined by towering rock formations, consisting of red, pink and white sandstone as well as limestone. There are interactive expositions on offer to better understand how these unique rocks were formed.



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Often called the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park’s exceptional beauty is best on display at Logan Pass. Home to headwaters that flow as far as the Gulf of Mexico, the national park has more than 700 miles (1,126.5km) of hiking trails for visitors to take in the stunning natural landscape. Located along the Continental Divide, it’s the highest stop along Going-to-the-Sun Road – a scenic mountain road meandering through the Rocky Mountains.



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The kaleidoscopic Fly Geyser in Black Rock Desert is a totally unique sight as it was actually formed due to a human error. In the 1960s, a geothermal energy company drilled on the site in the hope of striking a usable power source. The water they hit wasn’t warm enough but they failed to properly seal the opening they made. Today, the geyser still spews water and steam, and the brilliant colors are formed by the algae it’s covered in.



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A beautiful spot to splash around in summer, this natural swimming hole is just 20 miles (32km) west of the Texas state capital. The bright green pool was once entirely underground until the sheltering limestone roof above it collapsed. A 50-foot (15m) waterfall feeds the pool.



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The utterly epic Monument Valley and its towering sandstone buttes rising up from the barren red-sand desert is an incredible sight to behold. Monument Valley is located on the Utah/Arizona state border and its tallest butte towers 1,000 feet (300m) above the valley floor. From John Ford’s Point overlook, you’ll catch a glimpse of the iconic view of the most famous buttes.



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The chilly waters of Kenai Fjords National Park and its beautiful scenery is really unlike anywhere else in the world. Kayak in Resurrection Bay and you’ll see sculpted glaciers and vegetation-clad rocks protruding from the crystal blue water. Pictured is an area of Resurrection Bay, known as Spire Cove.



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Some 12 miles (19km) from Alaska’s state capital Juneau are these unusual cool blue caves. They’re carved deep through the Mendenhall Glacier and reaching them is no easy feat. Adventurers must hike across a vast ice field, often scrambling over slippery rock faces on the approach. The ethereal caves are worth the effort though. Sadly, the glacier is receding at a rapid pace, meaning the caves might not last much longer.



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The golden mounds of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve are a sight to behold. The protected dunes are the tallest in North America reaching around 750 feet (228.6m) at their highest point. It takes around five hours to reach the summit of Star Dune, the tallest of them all.



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Often considered one of the prettiest beaches in the country, Ruby Beach is the crown jewel of the Olympic National Park in Washington state. Famous for its dramatic scenery of weathered driftwood, large islands known as sea stacks and the Jurassic Park-like forest that surrounds it, the beach is named after the ruby-like crystals in the beach sand.



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You’ll have a hard time believing that these color-splashed mountains are real. With distinct lines of red, yellow, orange and black, these hills show how the climate and the geology has changed over time. Painted Hills Scenic Byway is the best way to explore them as the 161-mile (259km) route joins up the three archaeological sites of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, of which Painted Hills is one.



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Rising an incredible 14,410 feet (4,392m) above sea level, Mount Rainier is of an epic size. There are more than 130 trails snaking their way through the forested area around the mountain, surrounded by lush trees and fragrant wildflowers. Many don’t know it’s an active stratovolcano but it hasn’t erupted since the late 19th century.



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Among the most famous natural wonders in the world, Joshua Tree National Park is the only place in the world where you’ll find these unusual looking trees. The striking spindly trees are relatives of yucca plants and are crucial to the ecosystem of the Mojave Desert where they’ve existed for the past 2.5 million years.



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It’s hard to pick the most beautiful spot in such an incredible national park like Denali but if we had to name one, it would be the scenery that unravels at Wonder Lake and the nearby Reflection Pond. Created by retreating glaciers, the lake offers a picture-perfect setting, framing the Denali mountain (formerly Mount McKinley) – the highest mountain in North America.



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Stretching over 244,000 acres, Badlands National Park is a world of peaks and prairie, where bighorn sheep and bison roam free and hiking trails show off a curious rocky landscape. The Door Trail, a straightforward boardwalk loop, offers fantastic views of the badlands.



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It’s hard to believe that this towering waterfall is just a 30-minute drive from Portland. Crashing over more than 600 feet (182m) of craggy bluffs, the two-tiered waterfalls collect in a deep blue pool at the base. It’s equally stunning when viewed from the base or from Benson Bridge. Built in 1914 and refurbished after a damaging fire, it’s close enough to feel the spray from the waterfall.



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A small geological formation, Turnip Rock leaves a big impression. Located in shallow waters close to Lake Huron’s shore, this peculiar rock took shape due to strong waves crashing against the bottom, causing for some of the lower sections to erode rather significantly. The shallow waters surrounding the rock and the nearby coast are popular kayaking destinations.



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41/41 SLIDES

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