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6 State Parks You Must Visit This Summer

6 State Parks You Must Visit This Summer

June 15, 2017

Cover photo by @mattcarrr

With so much attention being drawn to the National Park budget and National Monument redesignations, lots of us tend to overlook the current conditions of our State Park Systems. There are thousands of State Parks across the US, many of which are in more dire straits than National Parks with large fundraising engines. Each of these parks also rarely gets recognition on the scale that the NPS does, which is why we wanted to put together a list of 6 State Parks that are absolutely breath taking and must be given the visibility they deserve. Here are the 6 State Parks that you must visit this summer. 


Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Spanning over 42,000 acres, Valley of Fire State Park is only a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas and is home to famous Aztec Sandstone formations like Elephant Rock.

1st photo by @errincasa

2nd photo by @jamesdcawley


Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Utah

Created by the erosion of Navajo Sandstone, these amazing dunes can shift as much as 50ft in the course of just one year. 

1st photo by @daniel.rigmaiden

2nd photo by @gr0o0ovydanny



Baxter State Park, Maine

Home to Maine's iconic Mt. Katahdin, Baxter State Park marks the end of the Appalachian Trail and is home to lakes, waterfalls, and dark nights (thanks to no electricity in the park.)

1st photo by @vince.cote

2nd photo by @sethgme



Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Packed with spiraling rock formations and inclusive hiking trails, you can find wildlife like golden eagles as well as excellent climbing in this Oregon high-desert preserve. 

Photo of Smith Rock State Park by @dekarabaw



Emerald Bay State Park, CA

This deep blue bay at the southern end of Lake Tahoe is home to incredible kayaking, hiking, as well as a 38 room Scandinavian Mansion by the name of Vikingsholm. 

1st photo by @the_lost_coast

2nd photo by @bluelakevisuals_



Palo Duro Canyon State Park, TX

Known as the "Grand Canyon of Texas," Palo Duro Canyon spans over 70 miles and sports intense red rocks, unique hoodoo formations, and plenty of awesome camping. 

1st photo by @kt.rush

2nd photo by @winged_cage


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