The Top 10 U.S. Wildlife Adventures - Page 2

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A blue heron in Everglades National Park
A blue heron in Everglades National Park  (Rubberball/Getty Images)

Witchita Mountains Scenic Byway, Oklahoma
This route (Okla. 49) passes through one of the U.S.'s oldest wildlife reserves—Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, which with its remnants of mixed grass prairie is reminiscent of the unspoiled Wild West. Along with more than 50 species of mammals, 240 species of birds, and 64 species of reptiles and amphibians, you'll see North American bison in their native habitat. There is also a chance you'll spot Rocky Mountain elk and white-tailed deer, as well as Texas longhorn cattle.

International Selkirk Loop, Washington/Idaho/British Columbia
This 280-mile (450 km) loop route follows rivers and lakeshores, cuts through narrow canyons, passes forested hillsides, crosses lowland meadows, and skirts snow-capped mountains. In fall, thousands of Canada geese stop off to refuel before heading off on their migration route southward.

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Oregon/California
From Oregon's Crater Lake to California's Mt. Lassen, this 500-mile (804 km) volcano-to-volcano route is a birder's paradise. In addition to showcasing volcanic and geothermal features, this drive takes you past Klamath Lake, where a million migrating birds stop each fall; Clear Lake, where white pelicans and double-crested cormorants nest; Tule Lake, where you may spot a golden eagle; Crater Lake, home to red-tailed hawks and horned owls; and Bear Valley, which has the biggest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states.

Wetlands and Wildlife Scenic Byway, Kansas
Two of the largest wetland systems in the world are to be found at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quiviri. More than half of all migrating shorebirds east of the Rockies pass through here, and during spring migration 500,000 birds put down at Quiviri, including impressive sandhill and whooping cranes.
PLANNING: The route is 77 miles (124 km) long.

Nebo Loop Scenic Byway, Utah
From Nephi to Payson, this drive climbs to 9,000 feet (2,743 m) in 37 miles (60 km). Overlooks with interpretive signs offer above-the-clouds views of the Utah Valley, Mount Nebo (the highest peak in the Wasatch Mountains), and Uinta National Forest. A mile (1.6 km) hike from the road takes you to the natural red sandstone amphitheater and spires of Devil's Kitchen.

Reproduced with permission from Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Spectacular Trips, 2010, National Geographic. All rights reserved.

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