For the ultimate Western experience, joyride along U.S. 89 (a.k.a. the National Park to Park Highway), which connects six of the country’s greatest parks, winding through a landscape of hoodoos, geysers, lakes, and majestic peaks. Here are the best places to savor the mythical, the weird, and the glorious features of these fire and ice lands

Peter Olsen Photography/ Getty

Here’s something we can all agree on: This country deserves to have its very best places protected and enjoyed. That’s what happened on August 25, 1916, when the ­National Park System was born. The first two parks, Yellowstone and Yosemite, were established in the West. In fact, our region is so rich in national parks that one road, Highway 89, connects six of them, each a world unto itself. The 1,400-mile stretch, bookended by the ice-carved peaks of Montana’s Glacier National Parkand the symphonic chasm of the Grand Canyon,is a highway of epic proportions.