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DEVIL’S TOWER

Geologists classify it as an “igneous intrusion. Native Americans regard the tower as sacred ground. Today, the 1,267-foot formation stands as the centerpiece of Devils Tower National Monument.

NATURAL BRIDGE

Carved by a creek, Natural Bridge in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is one of the most famous natural sites. Standing 215 feet high, with a span of 90 feet, the formation is open to the public. Natural Bridge makes this list because its early supporters were extremely persistent in promoting Natural Bridge, once hailed as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.”

STONE MOUNTAIN

Confederate States of America icons Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, along with their horses, are chiseled into the face of Stone Mountain, located just east of Atlanta, Georgia. Work on the carving began in 1916, but was abandoned in 1925. The sculptor who unexpectedly walked away from the Stone Mountain Carving, Gutzon Borglon, didn’t stay out of sight long — he began work on his signature achievement, Mount Rushmore, two years later. The Stone Mountain Carving was abandoned for nearly 40 years before resuming from 1963 until its completion in 1972. The carving, which is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world, is 400 feet above the ground and measures 90 wide by 190 feet tall. In case you’re wondering, the heads of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore measure about 60 feet tall.

 

THE WAVE

The Wave is a rock formation located on the Arizona/Utah border. Erosion through millions of years created the swirls and ridges in the sandstone that give the area such an otherworldly appearance. Of all the rocks on this list, this is the most difficult to visit, requiring a tough 6-mile round trip hike. Access to the Wave is limited to 20 visitors per day, and applications must be made months in advance.

DELICATE ARCH

At the Arches National Park in Utah, the Delicate Arch stands out above the rest. The 52-foot-high sandstone formation is the state symbol of Utah. It is a strenuous 3-mile round-trip hike.

PLYMOUTH ROCK

Plymouth Rock remains an important part of American heritage. The rock is a popular attraction in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

MOUNT RUSHMORE

Mount Rushmore was carved out of a granite mountainside in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The sculpture is of the faces of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Construction ceased in 1941 after 14 years when funding ran out.