Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Park Wins!

Devil's Tower, Oregon Caves, Ft. McHenry and Statue of Liberty also winners.

After four weeks of voting, the polls are closed and the winners of the 10Best Readers' Choice contest for Best National Monument have been selected.

  • White Sands National Monument
    N.M.

    Like a visit to somewhere totally “other,” a drive through the largest pure gypsum dune field in the world (at 275 square miles) enthralls. The rolling sand hills invite such unusual recreational pursuits as sledding and, in the summer and fall, full moon programs. Five trails encourage visitors to study closely the site’s subtle, seemingly stark, ecological communities.
    Photo courtesy of RobertWaltman

  • Canyon de Chelly National Monument
    Ariz.

    Occupying Navajo tribal lands in its entirety, this natural monument boasts striking rock formations and other dramatic features which visitors can view from its rim drives or by private tours into the canyons via hiking, horseback or vehicle. Navajo families have lived on and farmed these lands for nearly 5,000 years and continue to do so today.
    Photo courtesy of kojihirano

  • Muir Woods National Monument
    Calif.

    Part of an extensive complex of federal and state protected lands, Muir Woods is an awe-inspiring forest of old-growth coastal redwood trees – the tallest living organisms in the world. Six miles of asphalt trails and boardwalks are wheelchair and stroller accessible and connect with other loop trails in the vicinity.
    Photo courtesy of sansara

  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
    Fla.

    On the shores of colonial St. Augustine, the first permanent Spanish settlement in the continental New World, this fort was 23 years in the building, from 1672 to 1695. Francis Drake, James Oglethorpe and other British troops assaulted its thick coquina rock walls in attempts to gain control of the city. Today, historic re-enactors demonstrate colonial and military life in the oldest and only 17th-century fort still standing in North America.
    Photo courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

  • Giant Sequoia National Monument
    Calif.

    This monument protects 33 giant sequoia groves, paying homage to the amazing 250-foot-plus trees, which can grow to 20 feet in diameter and larger. Visitors can enjoy six of the groves on hiking trails and campgrounds within the national monument. The fully accessible Trail of a Hundred Giants, for instance, travels for a half mile, interspersing flora and fauna among the giant sequoias.
    Photo courtesy of Derek Kendzor/Wikimedia Commons

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument
    N.Y.

    Surely America’s most recognizable national monument, the 151-foot statue has graced New York Harbor since 1886, when France presented it to the United States as a gift and gesture of ideological support. Nearly 4 million people visit the monument each year to check out the pedestal or the 24-window crown. Ferries provide transportation to Liberty and Ellis Island.
    Photo courtesy of tupungato

  • Fort McHenry National Monument
    Md.

    Shaped like a star itself, Fort McHenry’s greatest claim to fame is inspiring Francis Scott Key to write a poem called The Star-Spangled Banner. Of course, it later became the U.S. national anthem, based on the fort’s victorious 1814 Battle of Baltimore. Ranger programs, historic reenactments, demonstrations and flag ceremonies interpret the “Birthplace of the American National Anthem.”
    Photo courtesy of Visit Baltimore

  • Oregon Caves National Monument
    Ore.

    One of only a few marble cave formations in the world, the monument also boasts rare plants found nowhere other than here, nestled deep inside the Siskiyou Mountains. Admission to the complex labyrinth of caves is by guided tour only. Seasonal tours include summer Candlelight Cave Tours and October Haunted Candlelight Cave Tours.
    Photo courtesy of National Park Service

  • Devils Tower National Monument
    Wyo.

    Long before Close Encounters brought this natural monument to the surface of the collective American consciousness, it already ranked as one of the most visited attractions in the nation. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the 1,267-foot-high rock formation the first national monument in 1906. Once a sacred Native American site, it today attracts rock climbers and geology geeks.
    Photo courtesy of McIninch

  • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument- Wash.

    The 1980 volcanic eruption that shook the American West has left the landscape of Mount St. Helens a contrast of old growth and devastation that is giving way to new growth. Drive, bike or hike the rugged, fascinating landscape that weaves the story. Visitor centers prepare people entering the site for the telltale signs of the earthquake, which measured 5.1 on the Richter scale, and its aftermath.
    Photo courtesy of Daniel Slocum

The category winner, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in Washington, features a rugged volcanic landscape to explore as well as a visitors center filled with interesting insights into volcanoes and how they work.

Runner-up for Best National Monument, Devils Tower, holds a special place in U.S. history as the first ever national monument, designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

The top 10 winners in the category Best National Monument are as follows:

  1. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument- Wash.
  2. Devils Tower National Monument - Wyo.
  3. Oregon Caves National Monument - Ore.
  4. Fort McHenry National Monument - Md.
  5. Statue of Liberty National Monument - N.Y.
  6. Giant Sequoia National Monument - Calif.
  7. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - Fla.
  8. Muir Woods National Monument - Calif.
  9. Canyon de Chelly National Monument - Ariz.
  10. White Sands National Monument - N.M.

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Mike Wendland (Roadtreking.com), David and Kay Scott (Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges) and Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl (Trans-Americas Journey) were chosen based on their extensive travel experience in the U.S.

Additional nominees included Pipestone National Monument, Colorado National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, San Juan Islands National Monument, Misty Fjords National Monument, Fort Sumter National Monument and Booker T. Washington National Monument.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo

Alert The Experts

Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl

Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl

David and Kay Scott

David and Kay Scott

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland

comments powered by Disqus