The world is filled with some unique places that look as if they belong in another dimension. We’ve seen them before in images that look too beautiful for us to even believe they actually exist. The more you backpack, the more you discover how fascinating nature really is. We just don’t take enough time to really notice its beauty. The next time you head out on a backpacking trip, search for these places; the ones you won’t believe are actually in America.
The Wave, Utah
Perhaps you’ve seen it in a photo before, but actually hiking through The Wave is an experience that’s surreal. Whether you’re religious or not, there’s no denying that the intricate detail in this canyon looks as if God himself painted it with the Almighty paintbrush. Just over the Arizona border, take The Wave Trail in Kanab, Utah to get here.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park
The colors in this thermal spring are truly unbelievable, and getting to see it with your own eyes will make you appreciate the world you live in much more than you already do. The rainbow in the spring is the perfect demonstration of how we can see color, and depending on what time of year you go, you might even see those colors a bit differently.
Fly Geyser, Nevada
Fly Geyser, though man-made, is a gorgeous depiction of human interaction with nature. Because it’s on private land, many people don’t even know that it exists. The geyser was formed somewhat accidentally, when drilling in the area opened it up. Though you can’t get too close to it, you can take a decent hike in Black Rock Desert and catch a view from the trail.
Prince William Sound, Alaska
Prince William Sound is an absolutely stunning place, that if you told others existed in America, they would think you’re lying. The sound lies near Chugach National Forest, therefore there are many hiking trails surrounding this spot. Here you’ll see glaciers with amazing scenery in the background; a setting that would depict a lovely image of Alaska. No Photoshop necessary.
Thor’s Well, Oregon
Thor’s Well looks like a massive drain for the Earth. Lying right at the Oregon Coast, this magnificent piece of Mother Nature is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Come during high tide to see Thor’s Well really in action, and take the Cape Perpetua Trail in Siuslaw National Forest to enjoy everything this area has to offer.
Painted Hills, Oregon
The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon is home to the amazing Painted Hills, which look exactly how they are described. They give off the illusion that they were at canvas at one point, which expanded and hardened as rock by some kind of magical spell. The Painted Hills Overlook Hike is a fairly easy hike to get here, but if you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, take the Blue Basin Overlook Trail instead.
Northern Lights, Alaska
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights from Alaska, and yes, the sight is just as surreal as Iceland. Anywhere in Alaska can give you a pretty good view, but many tend to go near Fairbanks for front row seats. Luckily, Fairbanks is home to some of the country’s most perfect hiking trails, so you can make the most of your backpacking trip here.
Stargazing at Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Great Basin National Park is one of the best places to see the stars in the entire country; maybe even the world. Nowhere else can you get a view quite like this, that includes thousands of stars, hints of other galaxies, and even planets…without having to use a telescope. Sound too good to be true? Guess you’ll have to see it for yourself!
Tunnel of Light, Arizona
The saying, “the light at the end of the tunnel” never held a truer meaning than it does here in Arizona. Located in Antelope Canyon, the sight here is breathtaking and will teach the true meaning of hiking. The amount of trails in Antelope Canyon are abundant, but this little gem is definitely the star of the Lake Powell area.
Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
If you have megalophobia, then stay away from here. Devil’s Tower is an extraordinary piece of nature that stands high above the ground of the Bear Lodge Mountains, making the jaws drop of any person who sees it up close. Okay, so it wasn’t quite the Devil himself who built it. Devil’s Tower was formed after many, many years of sea levels and climate change. It’s a sacred place for Native Americans, and it’s easy to see why. Take the Tower Trail to get here.
They don’t call it “America the Beautiful” for nothing. All these amazing places are right in your backyard. Bring your camera, but remember that these stunning sights are best seen up close and personal.