10 Best National Parks in USA
Yosemite National Park. Source: NPS.

10 Best National Parks in USA

1. Yosemite National Park

Located in California, Yosemite National Park was created in 1864 and has more than 1,000 square miles of protected and conserved area. Among the most iconic landmarks are Half Dome and El Capitan, both located in the Yosemite Valley. Tunnel View Outlook and Glacier Point are yet two other attractions where you can get amazing views of your surroundings. Featuring breathtaking natural monuments, the nature of Yosemite is really privileged which is why the park is at the top of the best national parks in USA. In addition to the great granite peaks, there are also valleys, trails, beautiful waterfalls, millennia-old Sequoia trees, daunting cliff faces, and some of the most unique rock formations in the country. The best way to explore the park is by car. Guided tours and climbing lessons are available year-round.

Best National Parks In USA
Top of the list of the best national parks in USA, Yosemite National Park. Source: NPS.

2. Yellowstone National Park

Home to dramatic peaks and pristine lakes, Yellowstone National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and one of the most visited of the best national parks in USA. Yellowstone features mountains, verdant forests, canyons, geysers, and waterfalls with multicolored pools around hot springs. The national park is huge and even has its own canyon – the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. In addition, you can discover the dramatic Upper & Lower Falls, and the Hayden & Lamar Valley. The most classical attractions are the Old Faithful geyser and some beautiful thermal lakes, such as the Morning Glory Pool, the Mammoth Hot Springs, and the Grand Prismatic Spring. In addition to the 300 geysers, visitors can still practice various activities including hiking on marked trails, birdwatching, mountain biking, canoeing, and sport fishing.

Best National Parks In USA
Yellowstone National Park. Source: NPS, Jeff Vanuga.

3. Glacier National Park

Located on the border between Canada and the US, the Glacier National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and one of the best national parks in USA. There are 680 miles of trails, 700 lakes, and countless mountains. Not to mention a wide range of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, cougars, bighorn sheep, and the mountain goat. Some of this national park’s highlights include Apgar Nature Center and Lake McDonald. But the real climax involves a variety of trails for all skill levels. You can hike the easy Trail of the Cedars or the challenging Grinnel Glacier. The scenic 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road is a National Historic Landmark through the park.

Best National Parks In USA
Glacier National Park. Source: NPS.

4. Grand Canyon National Park

Considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon National Park is a spectacle in itself. The gorge is the result of a natural process that has been going on for millions of years. This is only possible because the Colorado River, which passes through the gorge, is responsible for the erosion that shaped and sculpted the rocks. In total, the canyon extends 277 miles in length, up to 18 miles in width, and a mile deep. Located in Arizona, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best national parks in USA. The Grand Canyon National Park has two main entrances, the South Rim and the North Rim. The South Rim is the most accessible and most visited by tourists, which includes the Grand Canyon Village, the popular Bright Angel Trail, and Desert View.

Best National Parks In USA
Yavapai Observation Station, Grand Canyon National Parl. Source: NPS.

5. Zion National Park

Located in the southwest corner of Utah, Zion National Park covers a total area of 230 square miles with the main attraction being the apricot-colored Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and 2,600 feet high. In addition to incredible landscapes, Zion National Park is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, as well as immense walls – mostly formed by sandstone, which complement the beauty of the place. The entertainment options are many, offering trails of easy to difficult levels, as well as walks between the sandstone walls, on the banks of rivers and valleys that have many trees. The park is also well-known for its spectacular night sky making it one of the best national parks in USA.

Best National Parks In USA
The Sentinel stands, Zion National Park. Source: NPS.

6. Grand Teton National Park

The Grand Teton National Park is located in the state of Wyoming, south of the famous Yellowstone. This is actually the fifth most visited of the 10 best national parks in USA. The most striking landscape in the park is that of the Teton Mountains, which gave the park its name. These impressive mountains can reach an altitude of 14,000 feet. Some of the park’s popular landmarks are Jackson Hole Valley, Jenny Lake, Teton Park Road, many hidden waterfalls, and crystal-clear lakes that reflect the surrounding mountains. For those into kayaking and rafting, the Snake River is the place to go. On the other hand, if you are a history buff be sure to check out the historic districts of Menors Ferry and Mormon Row.

Best National Parks In USA
Grand Teton National Park. Source: NPS.

7. Bryce Canyon National Park

Home to the famous hoodoos, or fairy chimneys, Bryce Canyon National Park is practically a rock forest with an incredible and unique look. Hoodoos are irregularly shaped rock pillars, with various shades, formed over the years by the action of the climate. Snow, sun, and wind are responsible for sculpting the incredible pillars that can reach the height of a 10-story building. Located in southwestern Utah, the park’s most popular attractions include Inspiration Point, Bryce Point, and Sunrise Point. Bryce Canyon National Park offers attractions such as hiking and rides in off-road vehicles. Overall, the park offers a great structure for visitors wanting to explore its horseshoe-shaped canyons and limestone rock formations, making this one of the best national parks in USA.

Best National Parks In USA
Bryce Canyon National Park. Source: NPS.

8. Arches National Park

Arches National Park is one of Utah’s 5 national parks and offers a unique landscape to visitors featuring a red rock paradise with over 2,000 natural arches and beautiful trails. For example, if you want to do a moderate trail that will take you to the most beautiful arch in the park, then you need to explore the trail to Delicate Arch, which is a 3 miles round trip. However, you can also choose shorter walks such as Balanced Rock and the Double Arch trail. Amongst the thousands of natural sandstone arches and red rock formations, the park’s classical landmarks include the Landscape Arch and Windows Section.

Best National Parks In USA
Delicate Arch, Arches National Park. Source: NPS, Neal Herbert.

9. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park has majestic nature rising over 12,000 feet into the Colorado Sky. You can discover the Rocky Mountains through trails since there are more than 320 miles of prairies, mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. Or if your level of adventure is moderate, you can do like most visitors and rent a car to cover the 30 miles of stunning scenery on the Trail Ridge Road. Some of the most popular attractions in the park are the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and Downtown Estes Park, where you can get delicious homemade ice cream in one of the best national parks in USA.

Best National Parks In USA
Fern Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park. Source: NPS, John Marino.

10. Haleakala National Park

Located in Maui, Haleakala National Park is home to a dormant volcano with landscapes worthy of a science fiction film involving rocks, small mounds of earth, and reddish aridity. The summit of the mountain is 10,000 feet high, so no plants or animals are inhabiting this little piece of land. This is also one of the best places in all of Hawaii to watch the sunrise which gives it the nickname of “House of the Sun”. The last park on the list of the 10 best national parks in USA is Haleakala National Park. This national park is the perfect spot to explore breathtaking waterfalls and hiking inside a real crater. One of Haleakala’s most popular activities is driving through the park’s viewpoints, stopping whenever something different arises.

Best National Parks In USA
View of Haleakalā Crater from Sliding Sands, Haleakala National Park. Source: NPS.

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