When visiting Seattle Washington, it is probably quite impossible not to notice the beautiful scenery that surrounds this great town. I can think of few cities in America that are so strategically located to take advantage of the best of nature. Not only are the surroundings lovely, but the climate is also very mild for most of the year. The drawback for some is the rain as it rains about 50 percent of the time in this city. I suppose that I could sacrifice humidity and stifling high temperatures in exchange for a few rain showers, but that’s just me.
It would seem that I am not the only one that has noticed the beauty that seems to surround the Seattle area as there are several national parks in these areas that are a sure sign someone else has noticed. In fact, that is what I’ll be discussing. The national parks that are within easy driving distance of Seattle Washington. If you love nature, any of these parks has a great deal to offer and if you are really adventurous, you can try visiting them all (though I really feel you would be hard pressed to get the most out of your experience in a national park after just one day).
The first national park on my list is the one that comes first to my mind when I think of Seattle even though it is a monument rather than a park. It is called the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and was created for the purposes of research, education, and recreation. Within the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument the environment is left to its own devices in recovering from the disaster. The last time Mt. St. Helens erupted was in 1980.
The next national park on my list is indeed a national park it is called Mt. Rainier National Park and is only a short drive from Seattle. Mt. Rainier is an inactive volcano and the park was founded in 1899. This park receives visits from nearly two million people each year. There are many activities that can be enjoyed here from camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and fishing to taking simple nature walks in order to enjoy the beautiful scenery. This is one park that I really don’t recommend trying to conquer in a day, there is simply too much ground to cover and you might miss something really cool if you rush through. I understand that time is limited and you may not have the time to properly explore all the park has to offer on one vacation. If that is the case, I seriously recommend finding one or two things to do and see while there and concentrating all of your efforts on those things.
Located about two hours outside of Seattle, Washington is the North Cascades National Park. Often referred to as the North American Alps, this mountain range is spectacularly beautiful. There are many activities available within the park such as camping, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, and float trips along the Skagit and Stehekin rivers. For me, simply enjoying the stunning views of this national park would be enough without the benefit of the other activities that are available. This is a great way to spend a day, two days, or even an entire vacation. I especially recommend river floating if you have children. It is a great way to enjoy your time together and fairly enjoyable for everyone. You may even be able to get them to take the headphones off for a little while.
Everyone has certain things that appeal to him or her most about a prospective vacation location. For me, a great amount of appeal comes in the things I can see, touch, smell, and experience. Nature is one of the things that we can’t always experience at home or if we can, we simply take it for granted. While on vacation, the ability to experience the best that nature has to offer is a wonderful thing. I hope you will visit at least one of these parks during your visit to Seattle.
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