Student Story by Nora C.
Joshua Tree Park
If you are visiting the United States of America you have to know that there are a lot of National Parks especially in the east of the country. The National Park Service manages all National parks in the United States. At the moment, there are 59 parks with an area of 210.000 square kilometers. The Joshua Tree Park is one of it and is the closest one to San Diego. It takes about 3 hours to reach the park by car, which is 3000 square kilometers big and has more than one million visitors a year – so be sure to visit it yourself when in San Diego! For this reason it is the easiest way to explore the park by car. The fee is between 20 and 40 USD and the pass allows you to enter the park for seven days in total. In the national Park you also have the possibility to make some BBQ and camp on official camping grounds while exploring the park for a few days. In Joshua Tree Park, two deserts came together, the Mojave and the Colorado desert. Because of this natural phenomenon, there are a lot of different plants and animals that now live side by side. The Joshua tree, which is twisted, spiky, and member of the Agave family, is the name-giver the park – a must-see!
Grand Canyon National Park
Another option besides this beautiful and immense park is the Grand Canyon National Park, which is located in Arizona. However, this is 6-7 hours away from San Diego by car, so it is recommended to combine it with a trip to Las Vegas and the Hoverdam. This is a 450 km long, 6-10 km wide and up to 1,8 km deep Canyon, which was dug into the rock by the Colorado River. There are several possibilities to enjoy the extensive views. One is located at Grand Canyon Eagle Point. The skywalk is the only place where you can step onto a glass walkway, which is a horseshoe-shaped balcony. In addition, there are numerous other viewpoints. For example, the Horseshoe offers a fascinating landscape view. However, you have to enter the Canyonsland National Park to experience this, but it’s worth it.
It contains significant rocks including “The Great Gallery”, which shows well-preserved and life-sized figures. The Horseshoe Bend of Glen Canyon is another place, where the Colorado River was cutting through the rock, but it is one of the most amazing and epic landscapes in the world. Of course, this is a huge park and you have to decide for yourself what you would like to see. These two parks are definitely worth seeing for me. Moreover, it is really important to explore the different sceneries in the US and to get to know much more about this wonderful country.