America, the undisputed world champion of declaring it's the world champion, can rightfully claim the most fantastic public lands on the planet. One of the founding fathers of our national parks, Teddy Roosevelt, laid down the smack when he urged Congress to protect a ruddy patch of the Southwest. "In the Grand Canyon," he declared, "Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world." America's national parks: the hottest on the planet since 1872.
For more than a century, Americans have been locking their most superlative natural features for future generations -- the biggest, the tallest, the deepest, the oldest, the flat-out coolest. Here we've scoured the 58 parks under the National Park Service (happy 100th this summer, y'all!) and pulled out some of the freakiest records from within.