On days that I feel trapped in my citygridscape–dodging blasts of wet and heavy air and effectively hibernating through what surely must be the last days of the longest winter in memory (a winter that has included both a coldpocolypse and a snowpocolypse)–I need reminders that these United States include stunning natural wonders that I could get to for the mere price of one large burrito, one all-day drive, and one subsequent oil change.

The Badlands, South Dakota

More like the BESTlands.

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White Sands National Monument- Alamogordo, New Mexico

Only the largest gypsum dune field IN THE WORLD. And it’s in AMERICA’S BACK YARD. WHY DO WE NOT ALL LIVE ON A GYPSUM DUNE RIGHT NOW?! Excuse me while I buy an VW bus.
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Grand Prismatic Spring – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The most beautiful pigmented bacteria microbial mats that you’ll ever see.

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Photo Credit: Mother Earth News

 

Old Faithful Geyser – Yellowstone National Park, Teton, Wyoming

Can we all just take a minute and think about how crazy geysers are? Water. Shooting out of the Earth. This one does it every 91 minutes, to boot.

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Photo Credit: nationalgeographic.pny.com

 

Mount Gould – Glacier National Park, Montana

A hydrological divide that separates the Atlantic and Pacific watersheds. WHAT?!

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Mount Grinnell – Glacier National Park, Montana

I can’t even.

 

Lake McDonald, Montana

Just look at those pebbles. Look at ’em. The leaf is a little dramatic, if you ask me.

Mount Gould - Glacier National Park, Montana, Photo Credit: Jason Savage, http://500px.com/jasonsavage, landmarks in usa, north american landmarks, famous landmarks in north america, north american landmarks, landmarks of north america, american landmarks, american famous landmarks, landmarks in north america, natural landmarks in north america, north american monuments, landmarks in north america, famous north american landmarks, landmark in north america, famous landmarks of north america, famous landmark in north america, important landmarks in north america, natural attractions in north america, a famous landmark in north america, american landmarks, famous monuments in north america, monuments in north america, landmarks north america, landmark of north america, famous landmarks in north america, north america landmark, usa landmarks, famous landmarks in usa, landmarks of usa, famous landmark in usa, important landmarks in usa, natural attraction in usa, a famous landmark in usa

Photo Credit: Jason Savage, http://500px.com/jasonsavage

 

Antelope Canyon – Page, Arizona

It’s a freaking masterpiece.

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Photo Credit: Jan Parker

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Slot Canyons – Escalante, Utah

What the heck.

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Photo Credit: Andi Hofstetter, http://ppcdn.500px.org

 

Devil’s Bridge – Sedona, Arizona

It’s just the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. NBD.

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Paria Canyon, Coyote Buttes- Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Coconino, Arizona

This one’s called “The Wave.”

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Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Holy freakin’ heck.

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Fly Geyser – Reno, Nevada

Remember that time when we meditated on geysers? It’s water. Shooting out of the earth. Out of nature’s blobular supersoaker.
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Sailing Stones – Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California

Scientists can’t figure out how the stones move. Well, they think they’ve figured it out. Maybe. I like to believe it’s magic.

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Photo Credit: Dan Sorensen

 

Firefall – Yosemite National Park, California

Okay, so get this. There are two weeks in February where the evening light catches Horsetail Fall on El Capitan just so and it looks like the waterfall IS ON FIRE. WHAT THE HECK.

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Photo Credit: John Harrison

 

Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Remember IT from Looney Tunes? That’s all.
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Underground Garden, Lava Beds National Monument – Tulelake, California

Now you’re just showing off, California.

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Glass Beach, Mendocino, California

WHAT. It looks unnatural, BUT IT IS. NATURAL.

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Photo Credit: artinnaturephotography.com

 

Thor’s Well – Cape Perpetua, Oregon

If you ever want to kayak into The Underworld (or the WONDERWORLD), here’s the entrance. PS, don’t actually do that.

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Photo Credit: Alan Howe, http://500px.com/alan_howe