Wonders of nature: Your favorite parks
Hawaka Winada
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We shouldn't play boardgames all of the time, it's healthy to get out into the fresh air once in awhile and experience the wonders of nature. Here in the US we're fortunate that foresighted people have preserved some beautiful places in national parks and state parks for us to enjoy. Here is a list of my favorites, what are yours?
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1. Board Game: Arch Rival [Average Rating:5.21 Overall Rank:14526]
Hawaka Winada
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Arches National Park, Utah

A wonderland of red sandstone arches and fins, aptly named as the park contains the largest collection of natural arch formations in the world. The most famous is Delicate Arch, a graceful sculpture set on the edge of a natural amphitheater with a sheer drop just behind.



Other must-see areas in the park include the Fiery Furnace, a confusing jumble of narrow passages and hidden arches, accessible only through a ranger-led guided tour (and well-worth the modest fee) and Devil's Garden, a vast area of fins which includes the worlds longest natural arch and the strenuous but fascinating Primitive Trail through Fin Canyon.



Southern Utah is also home to several other beautiful national parks, including Canyonlands, Zion and Bryce Canyon.
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2. Board Game: Yosemite Sam's Treasure Hunt Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Hawaka Winada
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Yosemite National Park, California

Waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs, grand meadows and tall trees, everyone should visit Yosemite at least once. The best time is in the spring when the waterfalls are full.

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3. Board Game: Castle Risk [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:14679]
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Castle Rock State Park, California

Located in the Santa Cruz mountains just south of Silicon Valley, Castle Rock is best known for its weathered sandstone rocks set among mature fir, oak and madrone trees.



A little-known area of the park is the Valley of Stone, a beautiful canyon of talus caves and weird tafoni formations, unfortunately now closed to the public due to extensive damage from rock climbers.

 
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4. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:987]
Hawaka Winada
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Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

Oregon's largest state park, Silver Falls has many waterfalls plunging over ancient lava flows, including three that you can walk behind.



SM Stirling choose the park as the setting for Mithrilwood, the new home of the self-styled Dunedain Rangers in his post-apocalyptic 'Dies the Fire' series of novels.

 
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5. Board Game: Goblin King [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
Hawaka Winada
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Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

An isolated and very desolate area of Utah, Goblin Valley contains hundreds of natural mushroom-shaped rock formations. Through Hollywood magic the rocks came alive in the planetfall scene in the movie Galaxy Quest.



An easy-to-hike slot canyon, Little Wild Horse Canyon, is just outside the park.




 
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6. Board Game: Cold Feet [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Hammock Backpacker
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Glacier National Park

I've backpacked several times in Glacier and I've loved every minute of it. Here is a shot I took a few years ago.

Logan Pass:




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7. Board Game: Twin Peaks Murder Mystery Game [Average Rating:4.26 Unranked]
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Grand Teton National Park

Spent a week in the backcountry coming in from the western side day hiking out of the Alaska Basin. Fantastic landscapes.

Here's a shot from the eastern side of the range just north of Jackson Hole

 
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8. Board Game: The Hills Rise Wild! [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:4739]
Hammock Backpacker
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Although not a National Park, Hocking Hills, Ohio is a close and common destination for my family. We love tramping around in the woods.

Here, my son and I look down on my wife and daughter on another trail.

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9. Board Game: Maori Wars: The New Zealand Land Wars, 1845-1872 [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
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The entire country! There are way too many good places for tramping around to pick a favorite. I took my family there and we spent an entire month traveling the islands camping most every night and tramping during the day. We even got a chance to play some board games with a family in Christchurch I'd exchanged emails with on BGG.

If I had to pick one image to represent our trip it would have to be this one of the Hooker Valley near Aoraki (Mt. Cook):

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10. Board Game: Yellowstone [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:11486]
Brad Miller
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Yellowstone is another of my favorites. Such an incredibly bizarre place. Used to go there all the time as a kid, and love the geysers. Never know when the long-dormant geyser you are looking at might suddenly rumble to life again...

Least I always hoped that would happen.
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11. Board Game: Rio Grande: The Battle of Valverde [Average Rating:5.41 Overall Rank:13167]
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Big Bend National Park in Texas, US. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/304182
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