Death Valley National Park, California
In the northern part of Death Valley, Ubehebe Crater is known as a maar volcano—formed by powerful earth forces. Up to 600 feet deep and half a mile across, it was created as recently as 300 years ago, by steam and gas explosions that resulted from hot magma reaching ground water. The colorful hole in the ground with its striped layers of sedimentary soil can be viewed from the parking lot, but do plan to get out and walk around the rim, if not down to the bottom of the main crater, for an extra-special experience.
Glacier National Park, Montana
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is popular for a reason, but if you’re willing to travel elsewhere, you’ll find other awe-inspiring sights. Fewer visitors make the trek over to the Two Medicine area of Glacier, but those that do aren’t disappointed. Cobalt Lake Trail is just over an 11-mile round trip that gains 1,450 feet on the way up, taking you through an area of beaver ponds, into forests rich with wildflowers, and even across a suspension bridge. The trail ends at the stunning Cobalt Lake, a quiet location with breathtaking views of Mount Rockwell and Sinopah Mountain.