One of the greatest pleasures of being a certified pilot is exploring the many natural wonders in the United States. Flying over these amazing sites—from vast canyons to colorful lakes to expansive national parks and more—will leave you speechless as you take in a unique birds-eye view. So, if you’re looking for a new place to fly, or are dreaming of chartering a course to an unexplored destination, head to one of these seven natural wonders that you can fly over and see from the plane.
1) Grand Prismatic Spring
While the entirety of Yellowstone National Park will offer impressive views from above, the Grand Prismatic Springs are truly one of the more impressive sights in the area – so much, in fact, that it’s the most photographed natural wonder in the entire park. Taking flight over the largest hot spring in the U.S. will let you take in its vivid color scheme and expansive size. When you’ve checked that off your list, you can fly over other park-favorites like Old Faithful and the Mammoth Hot Springs to make a day of it.
2) Acadia National Park
One of America’s pristine maritime treasures is Acadia National Park. Its wind-blown, tide-splashed coastline never ceases to amaze spectators, especially those looking down from above. Pilots can fly along the Atlantic Coast, head inland over Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak on the Atlantic seaboard and through to Monument Valley, where sandstone buttes shoot up to 1,000 feet above the desert floor. For equally stunning panoramas, fly over the area during the fall to see some stunning colors.
3) Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park encompasses more than 1.5 million acres of wetland on the southern part of Florida. From above, you’ll see endless, untouched natural wilderness that consists of mangrove forests, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods. The park is surrounded by a number of explorable areas, including the 10,000 Island Preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, Faxahatchee Strand Preserve, Collier-Seminole State Park and the Florida Keys. A flight over the Everglades is the best way to gain an appreciation for the beauty of this unique area on the southern tip of our country.
4) Grand Canyon
You don’t have to be an expert tour guide to know that the Grand Canyon is one of the most awe-inspiring places in the U.S., and a trip here should be on every pilot’s bucket list. With its immense, almost overwhelming size, the Grand Canyon provides aviators with some spectacular views. The best times to visit are spring and fall, where pilots will be greeted with less turbulence and colorful scenery below. Winter provides smoother air and a snow-covered canyon beneath you. Before flying in, check the designated flight routes, as there are airspace restrictions at the Grand Canyon.
5) Northern Lights
The best place to see the aurora borealis is from the air. At the northeastern tip of Minnesota, in Superior National Forest, pilots can get the chance to fly among the marvelous dance of colors reflecting in the sky. The vast dark skies of Northern Minnesota make the perfect canvas for the bright green, violet and yellow northern lights. Make your flight during late fall and early spring for the best chance to experience the northern lights – just make sure you have the appropriate rating to fly at night!
6) Niagra Falls
Straddling the U.S.-Canadian border, Niagara Falls is America’s earliest natural attraction, and seeing its immense power from the sky is an unforgettable experience. Pilots will marvel at the country’s largest waterfall, which heaves 1.5 million gallons of water off of the 173-foot Horseshoe Falls every second of the day. And the views don’t end there – once you’ve flown over the falls, you can head to Letchworth State Park, just 100 miles east of Niagara Falls, and experience the “Grand Canyon of the East”. If that’s not enough, there are other impressive waterfalls nearby, including Central New York’s Rexford Falls, Oriskany Falls and Chittenango Falls, all stunningly beautiful from above.
7) Hubbard Glacier
Those who are making the trip to Alaska must make the stop to see the natural beauty known as Hubbard Glacier, located off the coast of Yakutat. More than six miles wide with a 400-foot-tall face, this active glacier will leave you stunned just looking at its sheer size. Plus, it’s the best way to see the glacier, as most cruise ships and boats can’t get close enough due to the thickness of the ice where it meets the ocean. As America’s last wild frontier, piloting over Hubbard Glacier and through the skies of Alaska is sure to be a life-changing experience.
Do You Want to Explore these Natural Wonders?
Whether you’re someone that wants to learn to fly or a certified pilot that wants to further their education, Inflight Pilot Training can help you gain the freedom to explore North America’s most exciting destinations.
We are a leading flight instruction company serving Minneapolis/St. Paul and the surrounding areas. With a reputable training program and an extensive roster of highly skilled, certified flight instructors, we can give you the freedom to fly wherever you wish.
For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.