From purple mountain majesties to amber waves of grain, the diversity and drama of America’s natural landscape is rivaled by few other nations. Thankfully, our forefathers had the foresight to preserve our environmental treasures by laying the groundwork for an extensive national park system that continues to expand today. Encompassing swamplands, sequoia forests, active volcanoes and painted deserts, these protected areas provide adventurous visitors with a firsthand look at the unique beauty of the untouched American wild.

While all 59 U.S. national parks are worth a visit, Gayot’s picks for the Top 10 National Parks should provide a good starting point.