As the National Park Service gears up for its centennial in 2016, it's re-branding to attract a broader audience. So far, the only major change has been to the logo, which trades the busy nature scene sketch for a single white arrowhead. Park Service representative Kathy Kupper said more changes will come, but they'll mostly take place in 2015 and won't affect the parks themselves.
"Baby boomers grew up with parks, but 50 years ago or so, distractions like Disneyland and theme parks began to pop up," Kupper said. "Now, with the internet age, we began to worry that they could be forgotten. So we're revamping a little."
While a new look is welcome, longtime park patrons known that what makes parks significant isn't the packaging, but what's inside their borders. Still, the more popular parks get crowded – Yellowstone gets an average of 26,500 visitors every day in July – so it's wise to seek out new territory. In that spirit, we rounded up 23 of the most scenic national parks and their best attractions, from the quiet lighthouses at Michigan's Isle Royale to glaciers only viewed by seaplane in Wrangell-St. Elias.
With more than 700 miles of trails that cover two mountain ranges, 130 lakes, and hundreds of historic chalets, Glacier National Park is a hiker's dream. The National Park Service reports that nearly half of the park's visitors go on a hike, where they are likely to view the area's many wild animals which include mountain goat, moose, grizzly and Canadian lynx. It's not bad for driving, either: Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses the Rockies and northern Montana, offering some of the most stunning roadside views in the country.
DON'T MISS: Grinnell Glacier Trail is an 11-mile day hike open during the summer months that skims Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lakes before becoming a 1,600 foot climb up to Grinnell Glacier.
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