With over one hundred different locations, national monuments are as rich in geographical beauty as they are in history.
What many don’t realize is that not all are statues or buildings. In fact, the majority of declared monuments are natural wonders. While they may not be as frequently visited as others, these protected areas are worthy of your next adventure.
Location: Cedar City, Utah
In search of breathtaking views? Look no further. Cedar Breaks is a natural amphitheater that sits over 10,000 feet above sea level and is home to various flora and fauna. Due to its elevation, the visitor center is only open from June through October.
Location: Yavapai County, Arizona
Nestled in the desert 40 miles north of Phoenix, Agua Fria is rich in Native American culture. Featuring historic pueblos and pictographs, this protected area is home to hundreds of ancient sites that can be explored by car or on foot.
Agate Fossil Beds
Location: Harrison, Nebraska
Situated atop grasslands, Carnegie Hill and University Hill are home to a number of well-preserved 20-million-year-old mammal fossils. The monument also has hiking trails and a visitor center with multiple fossil exhibits.
Location: Grand Portage, Minnesota
Located on the breathtaking north shore of Lake Superior, Grand Portage was once a vital center of fur trade activity and home to the Oijbwe tribe. Visitors can experience the sights of a previously bustling depot that has been reconstructed in its exact location.
Location: Custer, South Dakota
With over 180 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, Jewel Cave is the third-longest cave in the world. Tours are offered all year around so visitors can experience the sparkle and shine of the calcite crystals that helped the monument earn its moniker.