Special Report

The Most Beautiful Attractions in the U.S.

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1. Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska

The Mendenhall Glacier, which originally had two names — Sitaantaagu, or “glacier behind the town,” and Aak’wtaaksit, or “glacier behind the lake” — is 13 miles long, located some 12 miles from Juneau. You can reach the Ice Caves by only two adventurous ways — kayaking or hiking.

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2. El Capitan, California

Standing tall at 3,000 feet, El Capitan is a favorite for visitors, especially photographers. As for rock climbers, it’s the ultimate challenge. If you just want the best views, go to Inspiration Point by foot. El Capitan Meadow offers another opportunity for the perfect picture.

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3. Devils Tower, Wyoming

The 5,112-foot monolith is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians. It is regarded as one of the very best crack climbing areas in North America. However, some routes have been closed since April 1 to protect nesting falcons.

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4. Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado are the tallest dunes in North America. They are popular among tourists, especially for sandboarding and sand-sledding. But don’t plan a trip there in the middle of the day in the summer because the sand surface temperature easily gets to 150 F.

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5. Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

The horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River is only about five miles from Page, Arizona. Hiking is a very popular activity. The trail is just 1.3 miles long, but it gets very crowded. It is accessible year-round. It overlooks the Colorado River, and it’s only seven miles north of mile zero of the Grand Canyon.