Top 5 Sacred Natural Wonders in the United States

The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, and summer is getting closer. It’s hard to stay cooped up behind a desk when it’s so wonderful outside. Don’t worry though, EdenKeeper is here to distract you with some beautiful pictures and interesting information. Below are five natural wonders in the United States with a history that is both sacred to native people and modern settlers. One of them is even haunted!

Check them out and let us know how they inspire you!

Crater Lake, Oregon

By Zainubrazvi (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Native Americans were living in the vicinity of Mount Mazama when it erupted in 2290 BCE, so it’s easy to see why the volcanic crater and subsequent lake came to hold such significance for native groups. It was considered taboo to hunt on its upper slopes, and only people who had been properly trained and cleansed could visit the site. Llao, the Klamath god of the underworld, was said to reach out of the waters and kill human trespassers who didn’t belong. “You had to be clear your mind of anger, of any bad thoughts that would cloud your mind,” a native Klamath told historian, Douglas Deur. “You had to be clean to go there.” Now Crater Lake is US national park. If you visit consider the geologic unrest and turmoil that created such a beautiful place.

Vortexes, Sedona, Arizona

Photo by Keith Kuddeback

While humans have inhabited the Sedona area since at least 9000 BCE, the Vortexes really came to fame as a spiritual place in 1987. That was the year of the Harmonic Convergence, when believers flocked to mystical places across the planet, including Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, Mount Tamalpais in California, and the Great Pyramids in Egypt, hoping for a global awakening of harmony and love. Some 5,000 people also visited Sedona believing that the vortexes contained powerful centers of kinetic energy. A few hundred of them even stood in front of a formation called Bell Rock, waiting for its lid to open and revel a UFO. Bell Rock hasn’t revealed its extra terrestrial secrets yet, but there’s still time…

The Great Serpent Mound, Ohio*

By Eric Ewing (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

While the history of the Great Serpent Mound is still contested, it is believed that the 1,348-foot earthwork was created around 1000 CE by members of the Fort Ancient culture, which thrived in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky during that time period. The Great Serpent Mound is aligned with both the summer solstice sunset and the winter solstice sunrise, indicating that the site may have been used for an ancient astronomical ritual. In 2008, Serpent Mound was selected by the Department of the Interior for inclusion on the Tentative List of sites to be submitted to UNESCO for inscription on the prestigious World Heritage List.

Enchanted Rock, Texas

By K B [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The massive pink granite dome rising above Central Texas has drawn people for approximately 12,000 years and sparked so many myths and legends, it more than earns its name. Several figures are thought to haunt the rock including a distraught Indian princess, a doomed Indian chief, brave Indian warriors, and a hideaway European woman. Native people believed that ghost fires caused the dome to flicker at night and ghostly groans could be heard from inside the rock. “The Indians no doubt had an awe for the mountain that they expressed in narrative detail,” wrote folklorist J. Frank Dobie in Legends of Texas. “The early Texans heard these accounts; then the descendants of those early Texans invented a story in which the Spaniard played a part to fit the legendary atmosphere of the mountain.”

Mount Kilauea, Hawaii

By Hike395 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Native Hawaiians revered the summits of the five island volcanoes as sacred. The summit of Kilauea is the body of the Hawaiian deity, Pele, goddess of fire, lightening, wind, and volcanoes. According to Hawaiian mythology, Kamapua’a, the god of rain, covered the summit of Kilauea with fern fronds. Pele, choked by the trapped smoke, emerged with a vengeance. To prevent a war, the other gods called a draw and divided the island between Kamapua’a and Pele, with Kamapua’a getting the moist, windward side of the island, and Pele ruling the drier Kona side. Kilauea began its current eruption in 1983, so Pele seems to be making the most of her freedom.

* Yes, the Serpent Mound is not a “natural” wonder. But it was too wonderful to leave off the list!

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About the Author

I'm an organic-eating, energy-saving naturalist who composts and tree hugs in her spare time. I have a background in environmental law, lobbying, and field work. I believe in God; however, I do not call myself a Christian or a Jew or a member of any religion. I am merely someone who finds a spiritual connection to all humans and the environment. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .