As you may or may not know, the United States is home to some of the most amazing national parks in the world. Today, there are over 63 national parks in the USA. Over the past few years, these US national parks have become beloved destinations for both citizens and visitors from around the world. As a result, the parks have been drawing millions of visitors every year.
From the world’s highest snowcapped mountain peaks to the largest volcanoes to the tallest green lush forests, US’s national parks are home to global treasures. The USA national parks have become a place for enjoyment, education, adventure, and inspiration for this as well as future generations. These natural parks offer great opportunities for hiking, camping, sightseeing, learning about history & cultures, or simply contemplating the wonders of the universe.
All of the best national parks in USA are great, but there are some parks that are a must-visit and absolutely worth it. Hence, in this article, we’ve listed all those national parks that you must visit in the US. We’ve discussed each one of them quite briefly so that you need not go searching at different places on the web. For your better understanding and convenience, we’ve even segregated the list of parks into different places in the US. We’re sure that after reading this list, you won’t require to look anywhere else.
Here is the List of Best National Parks in The US:
California National Parks
If you love the view of waterfalls, then there’s hardly any better place than Yosemite National Park for you. We say so because the park is known for its countless mesmerizing waterfalls. For the best view and experience of waterfalls, we would suggest you visit the park during the springs. Not just waterfalls, there’s a lot more than Yosemite National Park has to offer to its visitors. The offerings include deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and so much more.
Next up, on this list of best national parks in California, we have Joshua Tree National Park. This is a national park where two distinct desert ecosystems meet – the Mojave and Colorado. The park is home to a lot of species of plants and animals.
While you are here, you’ll be able to experience strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. In addition, dark night skies, a rich cultural history, surreal geologic features, and other wonders are sure to offer you memories to cherish for a lifetime.
If you always wished to visit a place with numerous volcanoes, then you need not look any further. Well, Lassen Volcanic National Park has also plenty of other attractions. The park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows flecked with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and more.
We would suggest you visit the Lassen Volcanic National Park from the months of July to September. We say so because these are the months when all the various activities, services, and areas or features are accessible.
Pinnacles National Park is one of the most unique parks out there that took birth from fire. Well, we say so because over 23 million years ago, several volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid. All of these resulted in the ultimately forming of this national park. Pinnacles National Park will offer you one of the most unique landscapes. Pinnacles National Park is a place bursting with oak woodlands, canyon bottoms, prairie & peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and much more.
Next up, on this list of best national parks in California, we have Redwood National Park. The park is well-known for being home to the tallest trees on Earth. Not just the tallest trees, Redwood National Park also has several other offerings. The park is home to vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild rivers, and 40 miles of rugged coastline. Whether you wish to take your leashed pets along with you, camping, enjoy scenic drives, or take a good walk in the woods, you can visit Redwood.
Next up, we have Sequoia National Park, also known as the land of giants. Well, it’s because the park is home to gigantic mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and some of the world’s largest trees. All of these exemplify the diversity of landscapes, life, and beauty of the Sequoia National Park. You can visit the park for hiking, picnicking, camping, drives & viewpoints, lodging, watching & exploring rich wildlife, and much more.
Well, Kings Canyon National Park is the place you can visit for exploring soundscapes, hiking, camping, picnicking, watching wildlife, driving, and much more. We would suggest you to Kings Canyon National Park during the summer. We say so because most of the lodges in the park are operational during the summer months. On top of that, the availability of the Campgrounds is extremely limited in the summer months.
Colorado National Parks
As the name suggests, it is one of the Colorado national parks where you’ll be able to find a spectacular range of mountain environments. It’s no surprise why it is also well-known as the land of extremes. The national park stretches across an area of 415 square miles or 265,807 acres with something for everyone to discover. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to glistening alpine lakes, towering mountain peaks, over 300 miles of hiking trails, incredible wildlife viewing, and more.
At Mesa Verde National Park, you’ll get to experience a rich cultural heritage and history of 26 Pueblos and Tribes. The national park is one of the most sacred places out there for the Ancestral Pueblo people. For the past 700 years, they have been thriving on the mesas and the cliffs of Mesa Verde. While you are here, you can go hiking, camping, attending a cultural dance or demonstration, birdwatching, stargazing, cliff-dwelling tours, and more.
Gunnison National Park is no doubt one of the best options when it comes to national parks in Colorado. The black canyon of the Gunnison National Park will offer you mesmerizing views ad experience of some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. Here, you can go hiking, kayaking, and climbing, and get involved in a lot more adventurous activities. In addition, the Black Canyon is an International Dark Sky Park. Hence, you can visit to experience the wonders of the night.
Texas National Parks
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the best national parks in Texas and there’re reasons why we say so. Well, there is no other national park out there like the Guadalupe National Park. It’s because here, you can get to experience mountains and canyons, deserts and dunes, night skies, and many other spectacular vistas, all in one place.
The national park is known for protecting the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef. Also, it protects an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna as well as the highest 4 peaks of Texas.
Big Bend National Park is a place in Far West Texas, perfect for ones looking to go to some isolated place, amidst nature, and away from all the worldly chaos. Here, the night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. This is one of the Texas state parks where you can explore and discover hundreds of bird species, nature, fossils, geology, wildlife, and more. It is one of the most magical places out there for outdoor adventures such as camping, hiking, scenic drives, etc.
Florida National Parks
The first entry for the best national parks in Florida is Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Everglades is home to numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. In addition, the park also protects an unparalleled landscape, which ultimately acts as the habitat for these endangered species. As you may or may not know, the park is also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.
The next best national parks in Florida on the list is Biscayne National Park. The national park is a watery wonderland, perfect for boating, fishing, diving, canoeing, kayaking, and enjoying a warm breeze & peaceful scenery. From prehistoric tribes to shipwrecks and pineapple farmers to presidents, the history of this national park goes back over 1000 years. Biscayne national park is home to a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, fish-bejeweled coral reefs, and more.
This national park is for you if you would like to explore a 19th magnificent Century Fort, Jefferson. In addition, this is also the place if you would love to explore snorkel crystal clear water, superlative coral reefs, marine life, birdlife, and more. Dry Tortugas National Park is a 100-square-mile park, located almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West. The park is surrounded by mostly open water and is home to seven small islands.
Arizona National Parks
The first entry for the national parks in Arizona is Saguaro National Park, an icon of the Southwest. The park is well-known and popular for being home to the universal symbol of the American west, the giant Saguaro. Well, the giant Saguaro is nothing but the nation’s largest cacti. Apart from the enormous cacti, Saguaro National park is also silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset. In addition, here, you’ll be able to find majestic species of endangered plants.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best options when it comes to Arizona national parks. Well, the park is located in northern Arizona. The park stretches over 278 miles or 447 km of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. Also, the park is one of the most spectacular examples of erosion anywhere in the world. Well, you can visit the place mainly to enjoy a spectacular desert view, hiking, and camping.
Petrified Forest National Park is yet another great option among the best national parks in Arizona. Well, petrified Forest National Park is a place for discovery. While you are here, you can do plenty of adventurous things. You can choose from going on short trails, visiting the paleo lab, going on backcountry hikes, and more. Unlike most of the other national parks out there, Petrified Forest National Park is pet friendly.
Montana National Parks
Glacier National Park is no doubt the best option to go for when it comes to Montana national parks. Well, the park is unlike any other national park out there and we don’t say this for the sake of it. Glacier National Park is home to melting glaciers, alpine meadows, carved valleys, spectacular lakes, and plenty of other attractions. Also, the park is home to 700 miles of trails, historic chalets, lodges, and the well-known Going-to-the-Sun Road. This is one of the state parks in Montana, perfect for the ones seeking wilderness and adventure.
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Utah National Parks
When we talk about the national parks in Utah, Zion National Park is the option that strikes the mind first. Well, Zion National Park is one of the pioneers and is the first national park in Utah. Here, you’ll be able to gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky.
Also, there’s hardly any better place in Utah than this national park if you’re looking to experience the wilderness. Here, you’ll get to discover a unique array of plants and animals.
Arches National Park is one of the best Utah national parks out there. Here, you’ll be able to discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms, and textures unlike any other. Arches National Park is also known as the red-rock wonderland. Well, it’s because it is home to 2,000 natural red-textured stone arches. In addition, the park is home to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive rock fins, and giant balanced rocks. If you’re looking for Utah national parks map, then you can also get it here at the Park Store.
Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its red rocks, pink cliffs, and endless vistas. The park is well-known for being the home to the largest concentration of Hoodoos found anywhere on Earth. Well, Hoodoos are nothing but irregular columns of rock. Bryce Canyon National Park is also quite popular for its numerous life communities, fantastic dark skies, and plenty of geological wonders. We would suggest that you go for the free shuttles available to explore the park’s most popular overlooks and trails.
Canyonlands National Park is one of the places out there where a lifetime of exploration awaits you. Here, you’ll get to explore a wilderness of countless canyons. Also, you’ll get to explore fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. Well, Canyonlands National Park is divided into four districts namely Island in the Sky, The Needles, The Maze, and the rivers themselves. The park is ideal for anyone looking for a lifetime sightseeing and adventurous experience.
Located in south-central Utah in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure in the US. It is one of the best national parks in Utah. The best part about this national park is that it is home to the world-famous Waterpocket Fold. Well, the Waterpocket Fold is a geologic monocline (a wrinkle on the earth) that extends to approximately 100 miles. Apart from the Waterpocket Fold, the park is also filled with cliffs, canyons, domes, and a lot more surprises.
Well, we are sure that you must have heard of this national park before. We say so because Yellowstone National Park is the first national park established in the world. The park spreads over 2.2 million acres and is home to many unique hydrothermal and geologic features. The park features geothermal areas containing about half the world’s active geysers. In addition, it’s home to geologic wonders like the famous Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. No doubt why it’s considered one of the best Wyoming national parks.
Alaska National Parks
At Denali National Park and Preserve, you’ll have a lifetime experience of solitude, tranquility, and wilderness. This national park is nothing but 6 million acres of wild land, bisected by one ribbon of road. Here, low-elevation taiga forests give way to high alpine tundra and snowy mountains. Well, if you are looking for wildlife and wilderness, Denali is the place you should straight head to.
Next up, on this list of Alaska national parks, we have Kenai Fjords National Park. It is one of the few places in the world where the mountains, ice, and water all meet together. At Kenai Fjords National Park, you can go hiking the Harding icefield trail, kayaking, experiencing the Exit Glacier, and more. Whereas, if you wish to travel deeper into the park, then the best way is to take a boat tour. Well, these boat tours depart Seward’s small boat harbor every day during the summers.
As you may or may not know, out of all the national parks in Alaska, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve is the largest. Not just this, but the national park is also the largest in the entire America. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve rises from the ocean up to 18,008 ft. and stretches over 13.2 million acres.
Well, the size of the park is the same as the combined size of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland National Park. The park is home to some of the largest volcanoes, the greatest concentration of glaciers, wildlife, and a lot more opportunities for adventure lovers.
Established in the year 1918, Katmai National Park & Preserve is one of the best Alaska national parks. It was also established for protecting human history and the habitat for salmon and thousands of brown bears. Katmai National Park is home to some creatures, mainly thousands of brown bears, that will remind you what it is to be wild. The park features a vast wilderness including a range of wildlife, plants, natural features, and environmental influences.
This national park was established to present & protect the diverse arctic ecosystems of Alaska’s central Brooks Range and the habitat of many plant and animal species. Well, the park stretches over 8.4 million acres and holds opportunities for adventure seekers out there. Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve is the perfect place out there to explore and discover. It’s because there are no specific roads, trails, established campsites, or set routes. You can visit the park for backpacking, birding, camping, and floating.
Kobuk Valley National Park is yet another great option when it comes to Alaska national parks. It is the perfect place for wilderness adventure. Some of the facets of the park include Caribou, sand dunes, the Kobuk River, and Onion Portage. The park is home to half a million Caribou and the famous Kobuk river, which has been an ancient path for people and wildlife.
New Mexico National Parks
White Sands is one of the best national parks in Mexico and there’s hardly any place like this anywhere else in the world. As the name suggests, the park features the glistening white sands of New Mexico. This makes it one of the world’s great natural wonders. Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin, White Sands National Park is also home to the world’s largest gypsum dune field. Well, the park was established to protect and preserve a major portion of this unique dune field along with the wide species of plants and animal population.
Next up, we have Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Unlike new Mexico national parks, it’s filled with a lot of ancient features and attractions. The park is home to high ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the places of beauty and wonder. There’s no other place on Earth like this national park. We say so because the park lies beneath the surface are more than 119 caves and also above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Ohio National Parks
Out of all the national parks in Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the best. The park protects and preserves native plants and wildlife populations. Also, it provides routes and many other opportunities for visitors to adventure, discovers, and explore. Like most other Ohio national parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is filled with forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. While you’re at this state park Ohio, you can even walk or ride the Towpath Trail.
Wyoming National Parks
When we talk about the best national parks in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park tops the list. The park is home to the Teton Range, which is well-known as being the mountains of the imagination. It’s after this mountain range after which the park has been named. Apart from the Teton Range, the park has a lot more to offer. Grand Teton National Park is filled with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, alpine terrain, two hundred miles of trails, the Snake River, and much more.
Oregon National Parks
One of the best national parks in Oregon is home to the world-famous Carter Lake. The lake is the deepest in the USA and one of the most pristine on Earth and scientists marvel at its purity. The lake was formed over 7,700 years ago as a result of a violent eruption and the collapse of a tall peak. It is one of the best Oregon state parks for artists, photographers, sightseers, and adventure seekers. Here, you can go camping, hiking, trolley & boat tours, bike ride, and more.
Georgia National Parks
Out of all the national parks in Georgia, Tbilisi National Park is the most famous and well-known all around the world. The national park is located just 20 km away from Tbilisi city center, the capital of Georgia. Unlike other national parks, you need not wait for springs or summers to visit this park. Instead, you can plan to visit Tbilisi National Park in all seasons.
The park offers bicycle routes, pedestrian & horse-riding trails, hiking trails, picnic areas, camping areas, and fireplaces. In addition, the park features beautiful landscape views, diverse vegetation, and the Zedazeni Church of VII-VIII centuries.
Algeti’s National Park is one of the best places out there to enjoy the weekend. This GA national park is 1 hour away from Tbilisi and filled with plenty of beautiful landscapes. At Alget’s National Park, you’ll find various nature and eco-tourist attractions. Here, you can go horse riding, walking, hiking, camping, and a lot more. Also, you’ll be able to visit Algeti River Valley, ridges covered with forests, Rope Park, and more.
Mtirala National Park is one of the newly established Georgia state parks as it was established in the year 2007. It is situated in the southwestern part of the Caucasus, Lesser Caucasus, between the Municipalities of Kobuleti, Khelvachauri, and Qeda. To be more specific, the park is located in the extreme western part of the Achara-Imereti range, on the Kobuleti-Chaqvi range, near the Black Sea. If you want to have the best experience, we would suggest you visit the park during spring, summer, and early autumn.
Last, on this list of national parks in Georgia, we have Kolketi’s National Park. This park is located in western Georgia as well as includes the east coastline of the Black Sea and Lake Paliastomi basin. Unlike most other Georgia state parks, Kolkheti’s national park can be visited throughout there year. You need not take care of visiting the park only in springs, summers, or such particular seasons. Throughout there year, here, you can enjoy sport fishing, bird watching, and several eco-educational tours.
Washington National Parks
Let’s start the list of national parks in Washington with Mount Rainier National park, an icon on the horizon. The park ascends to 14,410 feet above sea level. The name of the park stands for any active volcano, Mount Rainier, an icon in the Washington landscape. Spawning five rivers, Mount Rainier National Park is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A. The park is one of the best places out there for wilderness, hiking, climbing, camping, lodging, and more.
Next up, on this list of Washington national parks, we have North Cascades National Park. Well, this national park is less than three hours from Seattle. At North Cascades national park, you’ll be able to explore and discover jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. When you’re here, you’ll be able to experience and witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth’s changing climate. In addition, you’ll have a memorable experience listening to cascading waters in forested valleys.
Olympic National Park is one of the Washington state parks that is known for its diversity. The park is home to an incredible range of wild coasts, glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate lush rain forests, etc. Olympic National Park, encompassing nearly a million acres was established to protect and preserve a vast wilderness. Also, the park has been protecting and preserving thousands of years of human history along with several distinctly different ecosystems.
Hawaii National Parks
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is born of fire as well as the sea. Well, it’s because the park extends from sea level to 13,681 feet. Also, the park encompasses the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes. The two volcanoes are Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.
It was established to protect and preserve some of the world’s most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes. Apart from being one of the best Hawaii national parks, it is also International Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Haleakalā National Park is a unique place that vibrates with stories of ancient as well as modern Hawaiian culture. The park offers a sacred and rare landscape to its visitors unlike anywhere else in the world. In addition, the park protects the bond between the land and its people.
Haleakalā National Park is also home to some of the world’s most endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else. Amid stark volcanic landscapes and sub-tropical rain forests, we’re sure you’ll get to renew your spirit here.
The park is a rolling and pastoral landscape situated on the slopes of the world’s largest volcano. The Kahuku Unit has been one of the biggest cattle ranches in Hawaiʻi. For over 150 years, the unit has been producing beef and hides. Located on the volatile shoulders of Mauna Loa, the park stretches over a 116,000-acre landscape. It is shaped by both man and nature.
Maine National Parks
When it comes to the best national parks in Maine, Acadia National Park tops the list. Well, the park is also referred to as the crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast. The park protects and preserves the natural beauty of the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the US. It’s also one of the Maine national parks that protects and preserves an abundance of habitats and a hundreds-years old rich cultural heritage.
Arkansas National Parks
Hot Springs National Park is a rare and special place on Earth where history and nature meet. It is one of the best national parks in Arkansas and Arkansas state parks. As the name suggests, it’s filled with ancient thermal springs. Apart from thermal springs, the park is home to numerous mountain views, incredible geology, forested hikes, and abundant creeks. It is one of the most unique and beautiful Arkansas national parks out there.
Michigan National Parks
As the name suggests, Isle Royale National Park is nothing but your invitation to a royal and superior wilderness. This is one of the few Michigan state parks that has something or the other for backpackers, hikers, boaters, paddlers, or divers out there. If you are looking for opportunities for adventure, then this is one of the best national parks in Michigan you should head to. The park is a perfect place to discover and explore as it’s a rugged and isolated island far from civilization.
Kentucky National Parks
Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the most famous and popular national parks in Kentucky. As the name suggests, the Mammoth Cave National Park is home to some of the world’s longest-known cave systems. Well, the park is more than a cave as it’s also filled with rolling hills and deep river valleys. It is one of the state parks in Kentucky that protects and preserves thousands of years of human history and the rich diversity of surrounding plant and animal life.
Virginia National Parks
Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., it is one of the best national parks in West Virginia. It is one of the largest Virginia national parks, stretching over 200,000 acres of protected lands. This Virginia state park is home to cascading waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, wooded hollows, and plenty other spectacular vistas. Shenandoah National Park protects and is home to deer, songbirds, black bears, and other endangered animal species of the world.
Nevada National Parks
Great Basin National Park offers a stunning and surprising diversity of the larger Great Basin region. This Nevada state park is a land bursting with tons of opportunities for adventures and places to explore. While at Great Basin National Park, you can go camping at the park, visit Great Basin Astronomy, explore Lehman Caves, and much more. All these make it undoubtedly one of the best Nevada national parks. It is one of the national parks in Nevada that’s a whole lot more than just desert.
South Dakota National Parks
When it comes to the best national parks in Sound Dakota, Badlands National Parks is the best option to go for. This South Dakota state park is a place bursting with mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, and a lot more. Also, Badlands National Park is well-known and popular for being home to one of the world’s richest fossil beds. The park spreads over 244,000 acres and is known as the land of stone and light.
Wind Cave National Park is a place where you’ll be able to discover the biodiversity of the Prairie. It is one of the oldest national parks in America. Wind Cave National Park is unlike any other South Dakota national park as it is a maze of passages. It is one of the longest and most complex caves in the world and the park is named for the barometric winds at its entrance.
South Carolina National Parks
If you are looking for South Carolina national parks, you need not look any further than Congaree National Park. As the name suggests, the park is home to national and state champion trees. Also, the park is home to the largest intact expanse of hardwood forest in the southeastern United States. There are hardly any other national parks in South Carolina that offer opportunities for adventure as Congaree National Park. The park offers visitors opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, camping, and more.
So, these were our picks for the ‘Best National Parks In The USA’, you can visit without any second thought this year. Above, we have discussed each of these parks in brief. However, still, we would suggest you visit the official sites of these parks and have a look at other important details. Make sure that you carefully go through the rules & regulations, pricing, timings, routes, weather conditions, visitor limits, restrictions, and other crucial details about these parks.
We would like to appreciate you for sticking till the very end of our article. We’re sure that you’ll be able to find the right national park as per your budget, needs, and preferences. Now, it’s time for you to plan and book a trip to one of these parks with your loved ones for a lifetime experience.
Above, in this article, we’ve covered everything that you need to know about the best national parks in USA. Still, it might be a case that you have any further queries, recommendations, etc. So, make sure that you let us know about it by dropping a comment. Meanwhile, you can check our site for more such articles.