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The Natural Beauty of the United States

23 February 2018

Happy Birthday Mr President! No, we're not talking about the current one, we're talking about the original. The number one. The man who started it all: George Washington, who is celebrated on Presidents Day, that took place on the 19th of February this year. What better way to celebrate his country than having a look at some of its most spectacular natural wonders?

The Grand Canyon

The iconic Grand Canyon. Nothing can come close to this incredible place, once home to a plethora of Native American tribes, traditions, and an enormous landscape-carving river. Located in Arizona but made by the Colorado River, this canyonland is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, and was one of the places to be made a National Monument by Theodore Roosevelt, another great American president. One of the most famous views of the Grand Canyon is by the South Rim, which is accessible by the Grand Canyon Railway - fantastic for us, as it combines two of our favourite things: incredible natural beauty, and a magnificent heritage rail experience.

Yellowstone National Park

This one is fun, but tempered with a bit of apprehension, as scientists believe it's probably going to be the end of at least a good chunk of North America. This spectacular national park was formed over the plug of the Yellowstone Caldera - a super volcano that apparently could blow at any time. Ignoring that, however, one can't help but be grateful for it, because it's due to the placement that it has so many incredible natural sights and geothermal features. 'Old Faithful' geyser has to be the most famous of sights, an incredible natural fountain of boiling water named because it will faithfully go off every 45 minutes to 2 hours. In the animal kingdom, even more of a treat has come about, as wolves have recently been re-introduced, stabilising the ecosystem, and making it so even more varieties of animals and plants can flourish as they once did.

The Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountain Range is technically only half American, as this mountain range stretches way over 3,000 miles from the middle of America to the west of Canada. Therefore, the part that's being focussed on is the Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the most famous sections. Located near Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain National Park is, in a word, breathtaking. Whereas much of what surrounds Denver is a bit brown and flat, the Rocky Mountains are a complete world away. With incredible peaks that seem snow-capped all year long, thick pine forests, incredible blue lakes, a myriad of flora and fauna, and craggy and imposing mountain peaks, it's a place that seems far removed from the rest of the world. Here, one can certainly spend days just enjoying the surroundings in peace.

Niagara Falls

A great favourite of people who love to go over dangerous things in barrels, Niagara Falls is one of the most incredible waterfalls, not just in North America (as it's shared with Canada), but the world. These iconic falls are made up of three waterfalls, but the most famous is the smallest of the waterfalls, Horseshoe Falls. Here, millions of people a year come to witness the spectacular sight of millions of gallons of water crash into the relatively placid lake below, in a thunderous roar that is remembered with much fondness by all of those who have been lucky enough to witness it. Whether you're viewing the falls from a boat, or walking nearby to see the enormous Bridal Veil Falls, for those going on a natural beauty tour of the USA, Niagara Falls certainly has to be a stop.

Monument Valley

Strap on your chaps, jump on your horse, and prepare to hear the unmistakable strains of 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' playing on a loop in your head, and head to Monument Valley. Known by the Navajo people as Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii (pronounced 'tsheppy nuhtees-kai'), the valley of the rocks is most famous for being the place where every Western film worth its salt has been filmed, this incredible sight is also worth visiting for its spectacular views. Even the drive up to it is eerily beautiful, as the lone highway going in a straight line in the middle of an arid landscape suddenly gives way to this epitome of barren beauty. The red colour comes from the iron oxide, the buttes are thanks to erosion, and tales of its beauty comes from literally everyone who sees it.

Because we could only fit five things on this list (and it was very hard to do so), we know we've not mentioned some really exceptional places, so why not put your favourite in the comments below?

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