Do you plan to visit a national park in the US this year? Still trying to decide what to choose? In that case, this list is for you! There are several Best National Parks in the USA, all of which will astound you. Each National Park is unique, with mountains, dunes, beaches, lakes, volcanoes, deserts, canyons, waterfalls, caverns, and more. The United States National Parks provide experiences of every description, regardless of the kind of outdoor activity you enjoy. This blog will discuss the top 11 best national parks in the USA. Read on while you unwind and recline. Check out this article about the necessary hiking equipment for your adventures.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – WYOMING:
Massive waterfalls, mountains, wide valleys, amazing backcountry trekking, a historic lodge to visit (or stay in), and fantastic campsites can all be found in this national park. It also boasts many easily accessible wildlife, including bears, wolves, bison, eagles, foxes, moose, antelope, beavers, and river otters. Yellowstone is a mega volcano, in addition. Therefore, the ecosystem includes:
- Bubbling mud pots in a mystical forest.
- Geysers blast water hundreds of feet in the air.
- Steaming hot springs with a rainbow of thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria.
You will never cease to be amazed by the park. A museum tells the story of the early European-American explorers who returned to the eastern states to tell high society ladies and gentlemen about what they had seen. They inspired “tall stories” because they were incredible (how could someone in 18th-century New York conceive acres of geysers?).
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK – CALIFORNIA:
Joshua Tree National Park should be on everyone’s bucket list. This is one of the best national parks in the USA in Southern California and includes unusual topography, including big rocks, the Mojave and Colorado deserts, Joshua trees, and yucca plants. The desert is stunning, with the many cactus and blooms dispersed across the area.
There are several things to do to keep you busy for a few days. Visit a visitor center in the park to get suggestions on things to do. Camping, rock climbing, mountain riding, and stargazing are a few of the well-liked pursuits. In the evenings, the pitch-black Sky is stunning. Visit the nearby park’s Sky’s The Limit Observatory to view the stars.
There are more than two dozen paths, ranging from basic to difficult, making hiking the main attraction. Hiking is best done early in the day to escape the oppressive heat of summer. 49 Palms Oasis (3 miles) and Lost Palms Oasis are two of our favorite hiking treks (7.5 miles). Both of these pathways lead to a desert oasis with palm palms. Joshua Tree National Park is a fantastic place to visit.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – COLORADO:
Rocky Mountain National Park is a gorgeous spot in one of the most beautiful states in the nation, and it’s a great day trip from Denver or a memorable overnight camping vacation. This offers many activities, including trekking its towering mountains, animal watching, and simply taking in the park’s vibrant wildflowers. The park is a hiker’s paradise with more than 350 miles of trails to explore. The Emerald Lake Trail is a well-liked option for those seeking a demanding trip, while more experienced climbers will choose to attempt the arduous 14,200-foot-high Longs Peak.
While the summer is the ideal season to camp at Rocky Mountain National Park, going there in the fall is also a fantastic delight since the mountainsides come alive with the park’s changing leaf hues. You’re always in for a great adventure at this breathtaking national park, no matter where you go.
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK – CALIFORNIA:
You will know you have “discovered your park” when you first see Death Valley National Park.
There aren’t many trees at all outside those planted around the resorts. Besides a small pool at Badwater Basin, permanent water features still need to be added. However, Death Valley’s vistas are called restless spirits because of their untamed, raw beauty.
We adore Artist’s Palette’s mineral deposits for their wide range of hues. Mesquite Flat Dunes’ flowing sand waves had me spellbound. At the top of Dante’s View, people can see the highest and lowest places in the contiguous United States. At Zabriskie Point, the morning light paints the mountains and valleys while I observe in respectful stillness. It’s a park and a location unlike any other. If you’ve been, you understand what I mean.
The Mosaic Canyon walk is most people’s favorite Death Valley hike. The canyon’s mouth is accessible from Stovepipe Wells Village via a two-mile gravel route. A total of around four miles are covered on the out-and-back trek.
The track is easy to navigate but becomes increasingly difficult as you go along. To reach the end, you must be able to squeeze through boulders and crawl through small spaces. You reach the drywall that signifies the finish after passing through many “narrows” areas where the canyon walls encircle the route. Then turn around and go back to the parking lot.
You can hike as much of the path as you desire, turning around when it becomes too challenging. Almost all tourists can see the natural mosaic rock formations that give the canyon its name because they are right at the start of the route. When you visit Death Valley National Park, We hope you trek this lovely canyon!
MAMMOTH CAVE NATIONAL PARK – KENTUCKY:
Among the numerous, Mammoth Cave is people’s favorite US National Park. The longest known cave system on Earth is found at Mammoth Cave National Park in western Kentucky.
It was once thought that the region had a variety of separate caverns, but ongoing excavation has revealed linking tubes interconnecting them all. In this massive system, there are already 412 kilometers of identified tunnels. This suggests that the park’s main attraction is its cave excursions. If you have the time, we recommend taking more than one trip because there are numerous that highlight various features of cave formations.
The park can appear to be just another temperate woodland from above. Although there are caverns below, this area has vast karst terrain, including sinkholes, bluffs, ravines, views, waterfalls, and caves.
The park has 85 miles of trails, and some are close to the visitor center and fully accessible. There are some paths designed specifically for mountain biking and equestrian riding. All paths have a lot of these fascinating and lovely elements. We advise taking the cedar sink trek for the sink and other intriguing formations. The Green and Nolan Rivers run through the park and provide kayak and canoe rentals for those who prefer to explore on the water.
In addition, Mammoth Cave is one of only a few US parks that is both an International Protected Biosphere and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK – UTAH:
Canyonlands, in Southwestern Utah, is only a little more than 30 minutes from Moab, another popular location for outdoor enthusiasts. Although other lovely national parks are nearby, such as Arches, Canyonlands stands out due to its immense size. Mesa Arch’s views are like looking down into a world where enormous beasts previously roamed. We’ve frequently compared it to standing on the footprint of an unidentified mega-dinosaur.
A landscape photographer’s fantasy comes true here. But Canyonlands is more than just a place for photos. Mountain riding is fantastic there. But remember that you almost certainly need a permit to ride a bike on many trails. Climbers will like accessible technical climbing, which doesn’t require a permit. Needles and Islands in the Sky are popular campfire songs. Needles offers the most “modern” camping facilities, although each has its own. Additionally, this location is fantastic for astronomy. No light pollution exists in this area.
Spending many days in Canyonlands is simple if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. However, there are routes at both Needles and Islands in the Sky that range from easy to difficult, and that may be completed in a few hours to many days if you’re only interested in a day trek. There is certainly something here for everyone, despite the cliche. Canyonlands give you a slight sense of insignificance, which we occasionally need to be reminded of. It is simply breathtaking.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – TENNESSEE AND NORTH CAROLINA:
The most frequented national park in the US is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is situated in Tennessee and North Carolina. It provides attractions for everyone, from tourists who want to walk on paved trails or take in the scenery from picturesque overlooks to professional hikers searching for challenging ascents. Even the busiest paths let you have a chance to get lost in the peaceful surroundings as the beauty of the undulating, forested mountains draws you in. If you’re more interested in history than hiking, the park contains a variety of old structures, including farmhouses and a church. The Cades Cove scenic loop is an excellent spot to learn about the area’s past.
Our favorite thing about the Smokies is all the waterfalls. The terrain is dotted with variously sized and intense waterfalls. While some may be seen directly from the side of the road, others need a more extended trip. A park ranger recommended Grotto Falls to us, and we were really happy. Although the falls are not especially enormous, they are exquisitely tucked away within the vegetation, and you can wander behind the river to take pictures. The trek was just the right length—less than a mile and a half round trip—not too flat to be monotonous, but not too challenging. There were guests of all ages visiting the falls, including grandparents in their 80s
ZION NATIONAL PARK – UTAH:
The first of Utah’s Mighty five parks, Zion National Site, is impressive and beautiful and a fantastic park to experience with the whole family. Zion Canyon, 15 miles long and a mile deep amid red, pink, and tan sandstone cliffs, results from years of uplift and erosion. The park offers spectacular hiking paths of various difficulty levels and is renowned for its hiking. But you can get out of your automobile to enjoy Zion’s splendor. The park’s greatest vistas may be seen along several picturesque routes. Angel’s Landing is the most well-known walk in the park and one of the most well-known in the whole country. You should pay attention to this trail (or its vistas)! Although less dangerous, it is longer and steeper than Angel’s Landing.
The vistas from the top make the 8-mile roundtrip with a 2,120-foot elevation rise worthwhile. Try canyoneering or rock climbing if you’re feeling daring. Or get permission to trek across Zion Canyon’s most small stretch, the Narrows. Remember that this hike involves walking in the Virgin River, so dress accordingly!
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK – VIRGINIA:
People’s favorite US national park is Shenandoah National Park. We adore how the landscape changes with the passing of the seasons and how stunning the Blue Ridge Mountains seem when the sun sets behind them. I’ve been to this park several times during the year, and every time we get to go back, it is a pleasure. It is most well-known for Skyline Drive, a picturesque driving road through the park with several overlooks to take in its splendor, and it has always included accessibility as part of its purpose. There are cottages here for Appalachian Trail hikers, but there are also well-known hikes like Old Rag Mountain. The landscape’s splendor, especially stunning in the fall, never gets old. Since Skyline Drive changes so radically from season to season, taking pictures of it is one of the tourists’ favorite pastimes.
GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK – NEVADA:
The Nevada desert is home to the alpine beauty that is Great Basin National Park. It is one of the least frequented national parks in the US, is almost in the middle of nowhere, and is home to some of the oldest living trees on Earth, the bristlecone pines. The trip to the alpine lakes began after we settled into the ideal campground in the Upper Lehman Creek Campground, one of five in the park. Instead of returning the next day, we merged it with the Bristlecone trail to make it shorter.
You may keep going after the Bristlecone Trail ends with visiting Nevada’s only glacier. This set of trails is ideal for late afternoon. You may unwind on the lakeshore after a couple of hours. On your trip, take a tour of Lehman Caves as well. We advise doing the one-and-a-half-hour tour. Great Basin is a laid-back park, making it simple to unwind and enjoy your vacation.
HAWAIʻI VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – HAWAII:
No site on Earth is more breathtaking than the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. It covers an area of 323,431 acres and is home to two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano in the world, and Kilauea, which just erupted. Kilauea is a recent eruption. You can feel like you’ve just arrived on the moon when you first visit the park. On both sides of the road, infinite fields coated in volcanic ash give the park a bizarre and distinctive appearance. A trip to the park can be quite varied: Start by going to the information center, where you can learn about short and long walks, the main sights to view, and driving routes. The park is also quite simple to navigate with a rented car.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park was named a World Heritage Site in 1987 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980. The park was just recognized in 2012 in the fourteenth quarter of America the Beautiful Quarter series. Do you need any more justifications to go?