South Dakota: Badlands
Aside from being a diverse display of geologic deposits, the Badlands are also one of the most prolific fossil beds on earth. A 40-mile scenic byway through Badlands National Park brings visitors up close to the colorful strata of the rock formations.
Tennessee: Fall Creek Falls
One of the tallest single-drop waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, Fall Creek Falls is 256 feet high. A short walk from the parking lot leads to an overlook of the falls, and a steep trail leads to the base of the falls.
Texas: Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park abuts the Rio Grande River along the Mexican border. It contains the Chisos mountains and miles of limestone canyons carved into the desert by the river.
Utah: Bryce Canyon
Eroded by wind and water over millions of years, the thousand-foot limestone and sandstone columns at Bryce Canyon are striped with orange, pink, red, and white layers. Rather than being an actual canyon, the odd-shaped spires are a geologic formation called a hoodoo.
Vermont: Huntington Gorge
A dangerous chasm that has claimed dozens of lives, the Huntington Gorge is a series of cascades and waterfalls in a narrow rock slot in Richmond. While swimming in the gorge is not recommended, areas further downriver offer safe trails to the water’s edge and countless swimming holes.