Which National Park Should Be Your Next Classroom?

Yellowstone became America’s first national park in 1872, and ever since, national parks have served as areas for conservation and learning. Whether you want to delve into human history, experience wildlife or take a closer look at unique ecosystems, national parks hold something for you! Use this guide to make a national park your next classroom.

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If you love geology…

America’s national parks rock! If your passions lie in exploring the geologic history of a place, the Southwest offers plenty of opportunities to take a look at impressive rocks and views. The Grand Canyon gives you the chance to witness the result of millions of years of erosion through stunning landscapes, while Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are home to vivid colors and rich history.

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If you love hiking…

The National Parks offer countless opportunities to get outside and experience untouched wilderness. From the jaw-dropping views of Yosemite to the spectacular desert of Joshua Tree National Park to the rugged coasts and mountains of Acadia, hiking trails abound. The best part — the difficulty of these trails varies, so hikers of all levels can find solace in nature.

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If you love photography…

National Parks offer incredible scenery and amazing wildlife to photograph, making them popular places for photographers. If you’d like to improve your photography skills and connect with other Road Scholar shutterbugs, consider an adventure to a national park. Educational experiences in Yosemite and Yellowstone will give you beautiful memories while furthering your knowledge of the techniques and secrets of photography.

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If you love to learn about human history…

In America’s national parks, human and natural history often goes hand in hand. An adventure to Colorado includes Native American history at Mesa Verde, where the Puebloan people built cliff dwellings. Montana holds the chance to learn about ranch life on the edge of Yellowstone, and the struggles and triumphs that come along with it. And in Washington D.C., learn about the history and legacies behind each monument and memorial through discussions and museum visits.

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If you want to learn about wildlife…

An incredible array of birds, mammals and fish find their homes in national parks, giving you a chance to observe these animals in their natural habitat. Whether you want to go birding in Glacier National Park, explore the beaches and swamp habitats of Florida or search for caribou and whales in Alaska, you’ll find an astounding classroom to study wildlife.

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And if you want to see even more adventures…

Road Scholar offers learning adventures in national parks across the U.S. Click here to see even more educational experiences in natural and historic environments. To learn more from home, check out our booklist of books about and set in national parks.