National Parks Seen On the Big Screen

America’s national parks aren’t just scenic, often they make the scene. Check out these national park locations you may or may not recognize from your favorite films.

Photos

Gem Hunter's Paradise

Gem Hunter's Paradise

Covering over 275 square miles, White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is a paradise for stargazers. The park is so remote that light pollution is among the lowest in the entire US. Here, you can clearly see the Milky Way and a shooting star! Visit photographer Nick Parisse’s website to see more of his photos. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Chisos Mountains

Chisos Mountains

High in the Chisos Mountains, a hiker surveys the land as he decides which trail to take. Big Bend is often referred to as “3 parks in one” because of its size and diverse environments -- mountains, desert and river. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Chihuahuan Desert

Chihuahuan Desert

The Chihuahuan Desert, one of the wettest in North America, has dense shrubbery that blankets the Chisos Basin. Here, the sun begins to set behind the mountains as a cold front moves in. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Backcountry Critter

Backcountry Critter

A tarantula makes its way across a backcountry trail in Big Bend National Park, TX. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Pinnacles Trail

Pinnacles Trail

Cacti cover a meadow along the Pinnacles trail in Big Bend National Park. Fall temperatures are mild, and colorful flora is still blooming in the winter. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Rio Grande

Rio Grande

A narrow stretch of the Rio Grande acts as a natural border between the US and Mexico. This view from Santa Elena Canyon, located in the southern region of the park, shows the US on the left and Mexico on the right. The Chisos Mountains are also visible in the distance. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive

Even on an overcast day, the sun still finds a way to illuminate the mountains. This photo was taken on Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

The Big Room

The Big Room

A cluster of stalactites hang from the ceiling of “The Big Room” in Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Cozy Home for Bats

Cozy Home for Bats

With a little natural light, this is a view from inside Carlsbad Caverns. In the summer months the caverns are home to thousands of Brazilian free-tailed bats. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Stunning Stalagmites

Stunning Stalagmites

Light shines on the cavern floor and ceiling, providing visitors with a view of huge stalagmites that can take thousands of years to form. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Scenic Walkway

Scenic Walkway

Visitors get an amazing view of this scenery along a walkway that turns into the entrance of the deepest part of Carlsbad Caverns -- nearly 750 feet deep. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Mineral Deposits

Mineral Deposits

Massive mineral deposits mushroom up from the floor of the caverns. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Natural Cavern Entrance

Natural Cavern Entrance

The natural entrance to the caverns is a paved switchback trail leading visitors underground to discover numerous geological wonders. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Stargazer's Heaven

Stargazer's Heaven

Even the light from a full moon and a few passing clouds couldn’t diminish the clarity of the stars in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, in Salt Flat, TX. Stargazers should add this park to their must-see list. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of America’s least-visited parks. It’s hard to understand why with unobstructed views like this. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Tejas Trail

Tejas Trail

Visible on the left, the sun lights up the switchbacks along the mountainside on Tejas Trail. The strenuous 10-mile, round-trip hike offers visitors some of the most beautiful views in the park. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Devil's Hall Hike

Devil's Hall Hike

The spectacular hike into “Devil’s Hall” brings visitors around mountains and through a dry river channel. In an effort not to unnecessarily detract from the natural views, rock cairns act as trail markers. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Devil's Hall

Devil's Hall

Here’s a view from “Devil’s Hall” as the path narrows. “Hiker’s Staircase” is visible in the foreground. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Epic Mountain View

Epic Mountain View

This is one of many mountain views visitors will encounter while on a backcountry hike through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument offers visitors several recreational activities, including picnicking, hiking, camping, scenic drives and sledding. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Morning at Monument

Morning at Monument

The sun breaks through the clouds on an early morning in White Sands National Monument. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Capoeira on a Dune

Capoeira on a Dune

A well-traversed dune is the perfect place for this traveler to occupy his time and practice the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

National Park Camping

National Park Camping

It’s time to pack up camp and move along as the sun rises. White Sands offers backcountry camping for guests who want to sleep under the stars. Visit Nick Parisse’s website to see more of his photos. 960 1280

Nick Parisse  

Cook Miles Jack

Cook Miles Jack

Cook Miles Jack mixes up dough to make Navajo Fry Bread at Earl's Restaurant in Gallup, NM. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

The view from El Morro National Monument encompasses sparse New Mexican desert and scrubby trees. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument is covered in petroglyph carvings thanks to generations of Native American visitors and Spanish conquistadors. 960 1280

  

Celia Harrison

Celia Harrison

Celia Harrison talks about the cheese business at Sweetwater Valley Farm, a dairy farm in Sweetwater, TN. 960 1280

  

The Lost Sea

The Lost Sea

The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, TN, is America's largest underground lake. 960 1280

  

Sweetwater Valley Farm

Sweetwater Valley Farm

Sweetwater Valley Farm in Sweetwater, TN makes dozens of flavored artisan cheeses. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument towers over central New Mexico's desert landscape. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

A view from El Morro National Monument. 960 1280

  

Earl's Restaurant

Earl's Restaurant

Earl's Restaurant in Gallup, NM, is a local institution that dates back to 1947. 960 1280

  

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog

The bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dog is doused in mayo and served with a grilled pepper. 960 1280

  

The Lost Sea

The Lost Sea

Tour guide Will Harder escorts sightseers around the Lost Sea in Sweetwater, TN. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

Ruins of an old pueblo building can be found on the slopes of El Morro National Monument 960 1280

  

Sweetwater Valley Farm

Sweetwater Valley Farm

Flavored artisan cheeses from Sweetwater Valley Farm. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument. 960 1280

  

El Guero Canelo

El Guero Canelo

At El Guero Canelo in Tuscon, AZ, customers line up to sample their famous Sonoran hot dog. 960 1280

  

Bandera Volcano Crater

Bandera Volcano Crater

The Bandera Volcano crater can be found near El Morro National Monument in central New Mexico. 960 1280

  

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument

El Morro National Monument hides a secret spring that was once a refuge to thirsty travelers in central New Mexico. 960 1280

  

European Alps

European Alps

Ever dream of skiing the high peaks and endless runs of the European Alps? Well, ski bunny, you better book your flight and hop on the gondola sooner rather than later. Because the Alps are at a lower altitude than many other mountain ranges, they are much more susceptible to the potential effects of global warming, and temperatures in the region are increasing at more than twice the global average. Some predictions give the glaciers only until 2050 before they disappear. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Florida Everglades

Florida Everglades

Encroaching development is just one of many threats to the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. Since 1900 the Everglades have been cut in half, and 14 species of animals that call its cypress swamps, mangroves and sawgrass home are now on the brink of extinction. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

The 118 small islands that make up the city of Venice have been sinking for centuries, but rising sea levels have caused many to wonder how much longer the Floating City will stay afloat. 960 1280

Getty  

Tuvalu

Tuvalu

The tiny Polynesian nation of Tuvalu, located halfway between Australia and Hawaii, could be completely swallowed by the Pacific Ocean if sea levels continue to rise. The highest point of the 9-island country (encompassing only 10 square miles) is only about 15 feet above sea level, and even a rise of a few inches could have devastating consequences for the tiny nation.  960 1280

Getty  

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa

A change in rainfall patterns and an increase in land use have caused the Sahara desert to gradually advance southward. If the growth continues, it could drastically change the landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Timbuktu, Mali

Timbuktu, Mali

The 3 mosques of Timbuktu in Mali, built during a golden age between the 14th and 16th centuries, are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Their walls are mainly built of mud, and any increase in temperature or rainfall could spell disaster for these incredible pieces of history. 960 1280

Getty  

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia, Argentina

The pristine landscape of Patagonia in Argentina could look drastically different to future visitors. The awe-inspiring glaciers have already begun to shrink because of increases in temperatures and decreases in precipitation.  960 1280

Getty  

French Vineyards

French Vineyards

Better start stocking up on French wine. Temperature increases in traditional winemaking regions of France, such as Bordeaux, have caused winemakers to worry. Grapes are hyper-sensitive to climate change, and any increase in temperature could be detrimental to the vines … eliminating the production of varieties that have been a mainstay of the region for centuries. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro could look drastically different in our lifetime. The snow is rapidly melting, and scientists predict that it will only be white-capped for another 15 years. 960 1280

Getty  

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska

The state of Alaska currently has more than 100,000 glaciers, but 95% of them are shrinking. The global rise in temperature is happening much faster at higher latitudes, and Alaska’s annual average temperature is increasing twice as fast as the rest of the US. As Glacier Bay gets warmer, snowy winter scenes like this one will be harder to come by. 960 1280

Getty  

Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal, Guatemala

The structures of Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites of the Mayan civilization, are mostly made of soft limestone -- soft enough to erode when subjected to rain and wind. Tourists aren’t helping, either; many have been known to leave with small stone “souvenirs.” 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

The Monteverde cloud forest in the mountains of Costa Rica has become a major ecotourism destination because of its incredible biodiversity. Global warming, however, has scientists worried. Many have warned there will be a decline in the low-level clouds that this lush ecosystem is famous for, with the resulting rise in temperatures threatening many plants and animals. 960 1280

Getty  

Maldives

Maldives

Located southwest of India, this archipelago of 1,190 tiny islands and atolls is the lowest-lying country in the world, making it particularly susceptible to a rise in sea levels. Roughly 80% of the country is less than 4 feet above sea level, and many inhabitants live along the coast. If sea levels continue to rise, the Republic of Maldives will be the first nation to disappear into the ocean. 960 1280

Getty  

Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

This small town in the hills of Andalusia is famous for its green mountains, pastures and olive groves. The temperature in Andalusia, however, is expected to increase along with the average annual rainfall, which would wipe out the orchards and lush countryside. 960 1280

Getty  

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park has already undergone a significant transformation. The Montana landscape was once home to 150 monstrous glaciers; now there are only 27. Some scientists predict that they will be gone by 2030. 960 1280

Trey Ratcliff through Flickr Creative Commons  

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world’s biggest structure made by living organisms, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But the survival of the reef is threatened by rising ocean temperatures and mass coral bleaching, and it could be completely gone in our lifetime. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

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