Posted June 05, 2013 by

Colleges with the Best Natural Landscapes Nearby

Picture of Yellowstone National Park

Picture of Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The American landscape is full of rich natural beauty and studying in one of these lush landscapes can be a life-changing opportunity. If you love spending time outdoors hiking, biking, kayaking or camping, consider adding these truly awe-inspiring landscapes to your bucket list when planning to study in America.

Where to Go and What to See

Everglades – Located in the south of Florida, the Everglades make for some pretty great camping, bird watching and exploring. Spend time canoeing, kayaking and fishing; camp out year round; or photo hunt for wildlife including the endangered manatee, sea turtles and crocodiles.

Yosemite – Northern California’s Yosemite has been captivating visitors since naturalist John Muir focused American interest on it. From waterfalls to flower-filled meadows and giant sequoias, Yosemite offers the type of scenic beauty America is known for. If you enjoy rock climbing, you must climb El Capitan. Much of the park closes for the winter; however, you can still ski and snowshoe in Yosemite Valley in the winter.

Death Valley – The dramatically-named Death Valley boasts temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit from mid-April through October. If you’re traveling in an air conditioned car, you’ll be fine visiting during the hot season if you simply want to drive through the valley and experience the dry, hot landscape. During the so-called cool season, Death Valley offers campsites, trails backcountry roads ideal for backpacking, mountain biking and hiking. Don’t miss the salt flats that make this landscape unique and memorable.

Grand Canyon – Don’t miss the Grand Canyon at either sunset or sunrise, when the canyon walls light up with color. You’ll need a few days if you plan to hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon, but even day hikes offer a memorable way to explore this American landmark. Try a burro ride to take a memorable story back to your home country. Study in Flagstaff, a fun college town very close to the Grand Canyon.

Yellowstone – On the Wyoming/Montana border, Yellowstone National Park offers geysers that shoot water into the air, range landscapes filled with bison, bear and fox and rivers perfect for fishing or floating. While the park is open year round, many of its roads close in winter. Camp, hike or fish in Yellowstone to experience a taste of the American West and imagine the country’s frontier past. Cody, Wyoming or Bozeman, Montana offer study opportunities close to Yellowstone.

Rocky Mountains – Colorado’s Rocky Mountains combine hiking, wildflowers, rock climbing and mountain biking. Visitors should note that the air here is thin and plan to acclimate to the higher elevation before being active to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Go horseback riding, backcountry camping or skiing and snow shoeing in the winter. Nearby Boulder offers plenty of chances to study and escape to the mountains for recreation.

Be Prepared

One caveat before you let loose on that mountain bike or schedule a four-day kayak trip: America does not have universal health insurance. It’s a very good idea to purchase health insurance for international students in the USA before you arrive in the country, just in case anything happens while you’re exploring the beautiful terrain of America’s parks.

All you need to do now is go… and have fun!

Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on education and social media. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

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