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Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. There's plenty to do and see at the park; from feeling the cool spray of a waterfall, camping under the stars to exploring a historic mill and even viewing the great black bears. Plan your trip with the Great Smoky Mountains Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1.      Cades Cove

Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working gristmill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. The valley has a rich history. For hundreds of years, Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821.

Great Smokey Mountain Guide for iPhone, iPad & AppleWatch

2.      Rainbow Falls

If you're adventurous at heart then hiking the Rainbow Falls Trail may be for you. The first mile of this popular but strenuous trail follows LeConte Creek. Later on, a log footbridge crosses the creek about 2 miles from the trailhead, and and the trail then crosses a tributary of LeConte Creek without the help of a bridge. After another two bridges, you will finally be rewarded by your first view of the falls, named for the rainbows seen in the mist that is caused by the afternoon sun.

Travel to the awesome Great Smokey Mountain with eTips Travel Guide

3.      Hike the Smokies with the Family

There are several family-friendly short nature trails that every member will enjoy. The trails are perfect for exploring with children or for those who need an easy hike. Be sure to keep track and record the mileage from each trail excursion, even if it is the same trail day after day and the park will award you with mileage stickers and pins.

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Reasons to Go Into the Wild at Yosemite National Park

Reasons to Go Into the Wild at Yosemite National Park

National Park-founder John Muir once said "The mountains are calling and I should go." Taking a note from Mr. Muir, you should too! Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, glaciers, and biological diversity with almost 95% of the park is designated wilderness. A visit to such an overwhelmingly stunning park can be quite daunting especially for first-timers so be sure to download the Yosemite National Park Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1.      Hiking

There is so much hiking to be had in Yosemite. Panorama Trail is an 8.5-mile one-way trip from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley and takes you past hidden gems like Panorama Point and Illilouette Falls, before joining the Mist Trail to incorporate Nevada and Vernal Falls too. If you're feeling lucky and up for a mighty challenge then you can apply to undertake the infamous Half Dome Hike – a 10-12 hour trek to the summit of the park’s focal peak, which only allows around 300 people on the trail each day. Equipped with torches and a sense of adventure, you can also opt for a "Flashlight Hike" offered by nearby hotels. You’ll be led through the woods around the area to learn all about the trees and wildlife that make up the forest and makes for a great opportunity for some stargazing.

Yosemite National Park Travel Guide

2.      Water Activities

First formed by the actions of mighty glaciers, Yosemite’s astonishing scenery is also the result of many millennia of the weathering actions of wind and water. So it's only natural that rafting, boating, and water activities are quite popular at Yosemite. Today, rivers and lakes are some of the park’s biggest attractions, especially for swimmers and paddlers of canoes and kayaks. For thrilling white-water action, venture outside the park boundaries, especially along the mighty Merced River. Adrenaline junkies will surely enjoy the wild and scenic stretches of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers just outside the park offer thrilling whitewater rides.

Yosemite Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch

3.      Winter Sports

If you're looking for a unique way to visit Yosemite then head over sometime between December to March and strap on some skis, snowshoes, or hit the slopes for some downhill adventure! Yosemite is home to the oldest downhill skiing area in California and offers downhill skiing and snowboarding. You'll find groomed trails perfect for cross-country skiers, chair lifts that take Alpine skiers to the top of the runs in minutes, a challenging terrain park for snowboarders and skiers to test their limits, and a tubing area where the whole family can experience the thrills together.

 

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3 Reasons to Explore the Grand Canyon, Nature’s Work of Art

3 Reasons to Explore the Grand Canyon, Nature’s Work of Art

Yes, the Grand Canyon is what it is--GRAND. And it's not just its immense that astounds; this steep-sided canyon flanked by beautifully colored layers of red rock and is carved by the Colorado River. It is nature's masterpiece with nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history. Erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Prepare to be mesmerized with the Grand Canyon Travel Guide and Offline Map as your tour partner in this majestic place.

1.      Antelope Canyon

A trip to Arizona with not be complete without a visit to the stunning Antelope Canyon. Created by rushing and powerful water, Antelope Canyon was discovered many centuries ago by Najavo tribes and given the English name ‘Antelope’ due to the many antelope that grazed here during the winter season. Antelope Canyon was formed by erosion of the Navajo Sandstone primarily due to flash floods. Rainwater runs into the basin above the slot canyon sections, picking up speed and sand as it rushes into the narrow passageways. Over time the passageways eroded away, making the corridors deeper and smoothing hard edges in such a way as to form the magical characteristic "flowing" shapes in the rock.

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2.      Horseshoe Bend

The Horseshoe Bend is absolutely stunning and if you’re into geology, it’s incredible that it even came to be. This place has become highly memorable and many people seek it out when they are in the Grand Canyon area. For years, many visitors were not aware that the Grand Canyon is surrounded by many small canyons, but today the Horseshoe Bend how become one of the most photographed geological attractions in the world.

3.      Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls is part of the Havasupai American Indian Reservation. Havasupai means “people of the blue-green water”, an apt description when you see the lustrous, natural water color. High calcium carbonate concentration in the water creates the vivid blue-green color and forms the natural travertine dams that occur in various places near the falls. Due to flash floods, the appearance of the falls and its plunge pools has changed multiple times. Prior to the flood of 1910, water flowed in a near continuous sheet, and was known as Bridal Veil Falls. Currently, water sprouts from one single shoot.

Grand Canyon Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch

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