Monday, September 21, 2015

Some of the United States’ Most Underrated National Monuments

The United States National Park System maintains more than 50 national monuments throughout the country. These monuments often go ignored as crowds flock instead to national parks, but many of these protected areas offer incredible sights.

The Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction, Colorado, for example, offers an amazing look at deep canyons and towering sandstone formations. Visitors can follow the trails of explorer John Otto and see golden eagles and coyotes in addition to the beautiful landscape.

Another underrated attraction is White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Here, visitors can walk on sand that is so white that it resembles snow. Exploring the dunes is an experience unlike any other in the U.S.

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in eastern Oregon will delight visitors who are interested in paleontology. The area contains fossils of both plants and animals that date back between 7 and 44 million years.

Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah includes a three-mile natural amphitheater with unbelievable vistas dotted by ancient bristlecone pines -- some over 1,000 years old. Visitors can also enjoy challenging day hikes. The best time to visit is during the summer, since snow can largely cover the monument between October and May.

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