DAPULSE

3 US National Parks with Amazing Biodiversity

The United States is a country of great biodiversity. From mountain peaks to arid deserts, there are so many beautiful ecosystems to explore. National parks are some of the best places to see this rich biodiversity in action. Here are three parks where you can see hundreds of species of plants and animals in one location.

Great Basin

State of Nevada

Great Basin National Park is a hidden gem in east-central Nevada. According to Reserve America, it is one of the least visited national parks. The park ranges in elevation from 5,000-13,000 feet, shifting from desert valleys to alpine lakes right before your eyes. Because of this drastic change in elevation, visitors to Great Basin can see prickly pear cactus, bristlecone pines, desert bighorn sheep, and yellow-bellied marmots all in the same park. 

Great Basin boasts over 300 animal species and over 800 species of plants—including 11 species of conifer trees! Hike the 2.8-mile Bristlecone Trail to learn about the significance and impressive lifespan of the bristlecone pines that dot the landscape of the park’s higher elevations.

The Smoky Mountains

State of Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles two states, Tennessee and North Carolina, and it doesn’t take visitors long to understand why it is one of America’s most popular national parks. Smoky Mountains By Owners says that with an amazing selection of lichen, and several endangered species including a number of salamanders, the biodiversity of the Smoky Mountains is great for nature lovers.

Wildflowers bloom practically year-round in the Smokies, and there are over 1,500 flowering plants, more than any other US national park. Because of this impressive display, the Great Smoky Mountains are also home to an astounding number of insects and birds, important pollinators for wildflowers. One of the best places to experience the park’s spring wildflowers is the ¾-mile loop Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, which is located four miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Isle Royale

State of Michigan

The Greatest Road Trip claims that Isle Royale National Park, located in the state of Michigan in the northwestern part of Lake Superior, is a birding paradise. In 1980, this remote wilderness was declared a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve, a designation acknowledging both its amazing biodiversity and its commitment to conservation.

The park is home to 600 flowering plants as well as sugar maples, white cedar trees and various lichens, ferns, and mosses. It also enjoys over 250 birds regularly seen in the park. Look for nesting merlins in the late spring, or brush up on your bird songs to identify one of many songbirds found on the trails.

US national parks provide so many opportunities to explore the biodiversity of this land. Pick a park today and connect with nature in an unforgettable way!

Dreaming about where to go and what to do on your next trip? Check out these travel articles from DAPULSE:

Alejandro M

Lead Editor at DAPULSE, and Music Enthusiast.

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