Image source: Flickr - Graham
One of the highlights of traveling in America is the wide range of diverse landscapes. From the towering redwoods in northern California, to the snowcapped mountains of Colorado; from the Everglades in southern Florida to the glaciers of Montana and everywhere in between, you will find some of the most unique and remarkable places to visit. Many of these sites, well off the beaten path, are still largely unknown and untouched by travelers.
I invite you to come along with me and take a journey to a few of these forgotten places scattered around America.
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California
Joshua Tree National Park is a gorgeous desert wonderland located in southeastern California. Visiting Joshua Tree will transport you back in time to the Wild West. Any hiking trek through this 790-acre desert will lead you to stumbling upon abandoned silver mines, old pioneer towns and even gold mills.
The park is huge and offers a lot of hiking trails for all skill levels, with some climbable mountains included that astound you with gaping views of the untouched desert. One perk of hiking in the Joshua Tree desert is the cooler temperature due to the high altitude.
Mountain biking and rock climbing are also among the favorite activities, but if you are looking for something a little different and rather thrilling, then you are in the right place. The park offers some unique activities, like wolf tracking and sand dune shredding, which is like snowboarding but done on massive sand dunes.
Hamilton Pool Preserve, Texas
Let's take a break from the heat of the desert and get ready to go for a dive in one of Mother Nature's swimming holes. Located just 30 minutes outside Austin, Texas is a wonderful and stunning surprise, over 200-acres of beautiful caves and pools.
Imagine how wonderful it would be to just sit back and take in all the waterfalls, caves and pools. You can enjoy a picnic while sitting in view of the 50-foot waterfalls or, for a real treat, take a dip in the crystal clear waters of one of the grottos, a perfect place to escape the summer heat.
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Mammoth Cave, one of the most eerie and mysterious places found in America and an underground wonder that lives up to its name. With over 400 miles of cave to explore, it is the world's largest cave system. This natural preserve is truly a cave lovers delight.
The cave system has diverse underground passages, gigantic stalagmites and stalactites, and a wide selection of experiences and tours from which to choose. The underground portion of these caves also has hidden rivers and springs and is home to some of the rarest species of wildlife, which only live in large caves.
However, there is more to Mammoth Cave than just hiking underground. You can also enjoy some other thrilling adventures above ground including zip lining, rappelling, horseback riding and more.
Black Hills, South Dakota
The Black Hills National Forest located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming lets you experience the vast beautiful wilderness without crowds of tourists. Hike to one of the numerous streams, take the wildlife loop or spend an afternoon swimming in one of the azure blue lakes.
The national park has some amazing rock formations and you can almost feel your stomach drop to your knees as you peer down into the deep gulches and canyons. The Black Hills are spectacular and hypnotizing.
Digging into the great wealth of Americas natural escapes, far away from long lines and thousands of tourists, will provide a trip that isnt just nice, but meaningful.
For your next adventure, why not do something different. Next time you are planning a vacation, take the road less traveled and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Where are your favorite spots off the beaten path?