Yosemite in Summer

Yosemite National Park was established on 01 October 1890, and is the third oldest national park. The Native Americans called it Ahwahnee, which is believed to mean"place of the gaping mouth." The park ranges from 2,000 feet above sea level to more than 13,000 feet.

Yosemite in Winter

Major attractions are alpine wilderness, groves of Giant Sequoias and the glacially carved Yosemite Valley with three impressive waterfalls, cliffs and unusual rock formations. The most famous are El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks. The Merced river runs through the valley.

Lake Tahoe

Discovered by John Fremont and Kit Carson in 1844, its greatest depth of 1,645 feet makes it the third deepest lake in North America. At a elevation of over 6000 feet this alpine lake is deep blue, absolutely clear and very cold. Its surface never freezes.

Death Valley

From an elevation of 1000 metres at the north end, Death Valley slopes down until it reaches a low point of -86 metres below sea level at Badwater. Extremly high temperatures can exceed 130°F in summer.

Monument Valley

Free standing sandstone rocks rise majestically from the desert floor. They are up to 1,000 feet tall and create a truly magical desert landscape.


Famous for the red arches of Entrada sandstone, they are ranging in size from a Landscape Arch with an 89 metre span to small cavities only 3 feet across.

Bryce Canyon

Erosion resulted in thousands of bizarre and fragile rock formations that come in many subtle shades of pink, white, yellow and red. The Park is named after Ebenezer Bryce, a mormon farmer who was the first modern-day settler in the region. The main ridge forms the Grand Staircase.

Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point State Park

Over millions of years, the Colorado and the Green river carved the flat sandstone rock layers into many amazing forms with a great variety of colours.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon is a deep valley accessible from only one side in the middle of the Sierra Nevadas. Next to it is Sequoia National Park with some of the biggest living trees such as the General Grant tree.

Lassen Vulcanic National Park

Lassen is the world's largest volcano of the plug dome type. The last big, violent explosion was in 1915, but recent volcanic activity continued until 1922. There are many fascinating geothermal features in the Park such as mud pools, hot springs and gas vents.

Haleakala (Hawaii)

The vulcanic peak on the island of Maui can be reached at 10,000 ft (3055 m), with views into the large crater. With clouds hoovering between 4000 and 8000 feet and zero pollution it is a ideal spot for the star observatory. There is a plant so rare, it has not been described by science: The silversword.

Sedona, Arizona and Montezuma's Castle

Sedona is set amongst towering sandstone cliffs. Nearby Camp Verde has the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Early settlers assumed that the structure was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the dwelling was actually inhabited by prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago and abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born.

Grand Canyon

Probably the most famous natural attraction in the USA, possibly in the world. No-one forgets their first sight of the Grand Canyon, created by the Colorado River cutting it over millions of years.