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.
Only 300 miles north of Las Vegas, Great Basin feels like its much farther from the neon lights and plastic shopping centers of Sin City. Known for its ancient bristlecone pines and marble caves at the base of Wheeler Peak, the Nevada park has five campsites scattered throughout with toilets, picnic tables, tent pads, and grills.
Don't Miss: The glacier-lined summit of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak is worth the effort. You can reach the trailhead from the 12-mile Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, which begins at the park's eastern boundary and crosses through groves of aspen, Englemann spruce and limber pine trees.
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