The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, home to five out of the ten largest trees in the world. Sequoia National Park situated in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States, established on September 25, 1890. Watching the sunrise cast its shade over the crimson-colored walls of the canyons is a surreal experience. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the ridge line of the Great Smoky Mountains, is a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. If you are making a national park road trip of the USA, arguably one of the most scenic drives in the west is on the road going through the center of Zion. However, different nations used to designate their national parks differently but there lies a common idea of preserving wildlife for posterity. Prior to colonialization of Europeans, Native Americans had been coming to visit the area in and around the Grand Canyon for eons. Grand Canyon (Arizona) 3. The park is truly massive (like most protected areas in Alaska), so you should have no problem finding your peace amongst the humbling beauty of Kenai Fjords. Do you plan on taking a national park road trip? Chris is also a founding member of, Airbnb's Most Unique Properties Worldwide. Zion National Park named after the Hebrew word “refuge”, nestles in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. Alaska is America’s final frontier. Your email address will not be published. Arches National Park is a US National Park located in eastern Utah. Campers love the national parks. Aside from just being a pretty landscape, it has a ton of amazing and unique geothermal features, like … You now have an idea of just how massive and diverse the USA national park scene really is. There is a sense of remoteness and solitude found here that is absent in the mainland US (with a few exceptions). Tackle the 37-mile circuit trek and really experience what the hidden geological gems of Bryce are about. The fall colors here are truly incredible. The Gates of the Arctic National Park is a treasure of the world. This. Yellowstone might just be the most famous park in my best national parks in the USA list. Choosing the right backpack – Your backpack is good. This is a super remote, ultra beautiful part of Alaska, that should only be taken on by serious/experienced backpackers. Period. 25 Best National Parks in the USA 1. Thanks for your support. We have used World Nomads for years now and I have personally made several claims. Any time of year though bring a good jacket! In Gates of the Arctic National Park, the highlights all center around hunting, fishing, backpacking and climbing in the wilderness areas. There are no maintained trails within the park wilderness areas, but beaches, recently deglaciated areas, and alpine meadows offer excellent hiking. Closest Big City: Los Angeles (Ontario and Palm Springs airports are closer), Best Time to Visit: Spring, Fall, and Winter. National Parks have been created all around the world with a sole purpose of preserving our ecosystem. Yosemite is least fragmented, yet one of the largest habitat block of Sierra Nevada. Close, Chris Lininger is a writer, photographer, and guide from California. The structural remains of old houses and cabins can be found hidden throughout the park. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. As a UN World Heritage Site and international biosphere reserve, Mammoth Caves is one of the most unique national parks in the USA. The landscapes are dramatic and the rewards of in-depth exploration are endless. View for miles and miles of a sprawling ocean of green (depending on the time of year) reward every keen hiker. Do your part to help keep them clean and beautiful and always practice leave no trace principles when camping or trekking in the backcountry. My First Summer in the Sierra — Another important book by John Muir. The fisherman’s dream. Blessed with 8 million square acres of uninhabited wilderness, the adventure possibilities here are endless. We took the 25 most-visited national parks and ranked them -- from Yosemite and the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Plus, travelers that want to tick off another national park on the same vacation can travel the few miles north to Yellowstone, which adjoins Grand Teton (you’ll save roughly $10 on combined admission if you choose to visit both parks. Enquire at the visitor center regarding their status before setting off on a hike. If you’re planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check out these awesome treehouses, cabins and lodges in Tennessee! The mystical Kenai Fjords National Park is a land of ice, glaciers, ultra-clear lakes, abundant wildlife (including wales and eagles), and some of the most beautiful landscapes found in North America. Have fun in the US, but take it from us, overseas medical care and canceled flights can be seriously expensive – insurance can, therefore, be a life-saver. Grand Teton National Park home to Wyoming’s majestic Teton Mountains. This part of the USA is very rich in cultural heritage. Best Time to Visit: Winter, Spring, and Fall. Sequoia National Park is best known for its massive Sequoia trees: the biggest trees in the world. The incredible, endless red rock canyons make up an area of roughly 277 miles (446 km) long with the Colorado River flowing the very of it all. Located in the south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. I know. Horrible… But there are still many avenues in which to escape the daytime visitors. I deeply love my country’s national parks. But nature has a way of protecting itself. Yosemite is defined by its almost impossibly large walls of granite; the result of millennia of glaciation and erosion. A skier’s heaven. Basically, they are spire/pillar-shaped rock formations jutting out from the canyon floor. The Site is dedicated to providing facts and information for the knowledge and entertainment purpose. Take in the bubbly sulphuric hot pools (don’t try to swim whatever you do). The sheer number of trails and wildlife-watching opportunities may seem daunting at first but one can always come back. Enjoy hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails. You might half expect a wooly mammoth to stumble out of the bush. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best national parks in the USA because of its awe-inspiring mountains. The Late Precambrian rocks that are part of the Ocoee Supergroup, are the dominating feature of this park. The nearly 500-square-mile park also inhabits a range of wildlife, including black bears, grizzlies, moose, antelope and bison, and to welcome the autumn visitors, the park lights up with golden aspens. This group comprises of metamorphosed sandstones, phyllites, schists, and slate. Rivers and epic waterfalls galore. The snowy solitude of winter creates a serene landscape in National Parks all over America and the cold ensures fewer people jostling to take in the views. Also, read about largest states in the USA. Rainer than tourists, which totally changes the feeling of a national park. For those who love thinking about and exploring caves, Mammoth Caves National Park is the ultimate destination. The Mountains of California — John Muir’s detailed account of his experiences traveling through the national parks in California (before they were national parks). Yellowstone (Wyoming) — Yellowstone is the first place to be called a “National Park” in the entire world. Be sure to get out into the wilds of the park. *all or some of these highlights may have been impacted by the 2018 volcanic eruption. Keep in mind there are two entrances to Grand Canyon National Park – the north rim and south rim – and they are hours apart since you have to drive around the canyon… South Rim is more popular, and North Rim is at a higher elevation, so it is not accessible for parts of winter. Death in Yellowstone — All of the reasons why you should take Yellowstone seriously. Being a student is one of the most incredible experiences especially for learners in... Earth and world is a place where you can find different known and unknown facts of our planet Earth. The centerpiece of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which runs up to 15 miles long and dives up to half a mile (depth), cutting through the rust and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. Want to know how you can show your support – find out here! The trails weave through impressive slot canyons, hidden swimming holes, and jaw-dropping landscapes. Yosemite (California) 4. There are quite a few awesome accommodation options as well, so you can stay at Glacier National Park a bit longer if you want. From the deserts of California to the coral reefs of the Virgin Islands, from the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains to subarctic Alaska, the spectrum of America’s ha… Known for recreational activities like auto touring, backpacking, biking, camping, and hiking, some of which also require permits; astronomy is also popular in the park due to its dark skies. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. In addition to the huge trees, rugged peaks, sunshine-filled canyons, awesome hiking trails, and abundant wildlife… the cave systems are something unto themselves. A visit to Yosemite is a must if you are visiting the California national parks, plain and simple. The park receives a staggering 4 million+ visitors every year. Park infrastructure has been damaged. Due to its close proximity to Kings Canyon Nation Park and Yosemite National Park, you can really pack a lot in between these three parks if you only have four or five days to explore. Most of the national park remains closed due to volcano danger/damage. You can also read about places to see cherry blossoms around the world. Need helping finding a place to stay? Yellowstone is basically one giant pressure cooker. A very important book told from a fantastic perspective. Related: Top 10 Attractions in Yosemite National Park. Natural elements and time have gouged out some truly spectacular natural bridges and rock formations here. Such is life. Closest Major City: There is no major city close by, but there are still plenty of large towns to stay in near Yellowstone. Yellowstone has massive wilderness areas, so that shouldn’t be too difficult. Kindly share and do post your comments. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee. Native American rock paintings offer up glimpses of the past. Plants like prickly pear cactus, Indian ricegrass, cheat grass, lichen, moss, liverworts, Utah juniper, Mormon tea, black brush, cliff rose, four-winged saltbrush, stemless woolly base, evening primrose, sand verbena, yucca, and sacred datura, dominate the dramatic arches, which makes Arches National Park one of the best in the US. Rainer National Park is prone to be very green throughout the year. Required fields are marked *. The park is home to glaciers, forests, stunning wildflower explosions in the spring/summer, and plenty of activities for outdoor junkies. Expect blazing desert sunsets. Of which, Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest highly-elevated lakes in the North of America, flowing right above the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano of the continent. The National Park inhabits numerous plant species, as well as, 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 species of bat), and 32 reptiles inhabit the park’s four life zones: desert, riparian, woodland, and coniferous forest. Meanwhile, the Snake River appeals to kayakers, rafters and those who simply fancy a float; historic districts like Menor’s Ferry and Mormon Row attract history buffs interested in the 19th-century past of this piece of Western Frontier. From high mountain lakes to pristine rivers in the valley below, Grand Teton National Park is a feast for those who love the mountains. Considered to be the world’s largest intact ecosystem in the northern temperate zone, Old Faithful Geyser is one of the most famous in the world. It's also home to a bevy of colorful hot springs and, even more exciting, geysers. As the natural effects of erosion take over, more and more arches are toppling over every year. You do really want to get onto the ice if you can! It might be a fair bet to say that more locals or at least Pacific Northwest locals visit Mt. Yucca trees (Joshua trees) have always fascinated me, and Joshua Tree National has them in abundance (obviously). The mountains of Acadia National Park offer hikers and bicycle riders scenic views of the ocean, island, lakes, and pine forests. The distances within the USA can be huge, so plan accordingly when sorting out your national parks itinerary. Bryce Canyon … Glacier National Park is a biosphere reserve, a World Heritage Site, and one of the world’s first international peace parks, in addition to being a US National Park. There is also some fantastic river rafting and hiking to be had in the area as well. That is what Glacier is about. For many of America's national parks, the winter season is the best time to visit, when cold temperatures bring a fresh look to our nation's most beautiful landscapes. Mt Rainer is the park’s highest peak (5th largest in the USA, excluding Alaska) at 14,400 feet. Whatever your national parks itinerary might end up looking like, here is a list of super informative, honest gear posts we have done to get you fully prepared for your USA national parks odyssey…. Being that Glacier National Park is in the far reaches of Northern Montana, it receives a fraction of the visitors Yellowstone does. It has 130 lakes along with 1,000 types of plants and approximately hundred types of animals. I’ll just say that the national parks in Alaska are on another level. With hundreds of miles of maintained trail, plus Yosemite wilderness, you can trek around for months on end and not see it all. Lonely Planet National Parks USA — Always a good idea to have a Lonely Planet tucked inside your backpack. Coming in at the top spot with a whopping 12.5... 2. Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming Winter celebrations should include the beginning of America's National Park System upon the protection of this park in March 1872. Best Time to Visit: All year round normally, but as of July 2018, now is not the time to visit. Closest Major City: No major cities nearby. It reserves most of Mount Desert Island, and is further associated with smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast. Given its location in the Gulf of Mexico, this national park has a colorful history. I really love John Muir, ok. Desert Solitaire — A very moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness. The alpine lakes and associated scenery are truly breathtaking. Denali may be one of Alaska’s most popular national parks, but it is certainly worth traveling too. Sandstone arches, glaciers, white beaches, stalagmite-filled caves, tropical rainforests, scorching deserts, and volcanoes: The national parks scattered throughout the United States … Explore the great outdoors at one of America's can't-miss national parks. The quintessential Grand Canyon experience is actually descending into the canyon itself. The park encompasses the Teton mountain range, the 4,000-meter Grand Teton peak, and the valley known as Jackson Hole, a popular ski-resort town. The wilderness spreads across 1.2 million acres of land, truly a natural wonder created by the mighty Colorado River, six million years ago. Even if you’re only going for a short time, that’s more than enough time to get smote by wrathful angels. The photographer’s playground. Really, it is like a great sea of orange, yellow, red, brown, and all of the shades between. These are the 10 best National parks in the USA. This national park is defined by its dry, desolate landscapes. Most people choose to just drive … From beautifully rugged mountain terrain to amazing marine wonderlands, the parks of the USA’s southern states are a sight to behold. It is located in the Swain and Haywood counties of North Carolina, along with Sevier, Blount and Cocke counties in Tennessee, US. Fact is, Everglades National Park is so swampy and so wild in places, that it is virtually impossible to develop it! The park gets its name from the more than 2,000 sandstone arches scattered throughout the park. If you come in the fall, you will see the world-famous colors of the leaves as they change on deciduous trees. Best sleeping pads to take backpacking – Your back and weary bones will thank you. Closest towns are Whitefish and Kalispell, Montana. Best Time to Visit: Spring, Summer, and Fall. How to choose the right tent to take backpacking – Every traveler needs a good tent. Glacier N.P. Many communities have been affected. Travel mishaps can and do happen and it is well worth thinking about insurance before you leave home. It is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States. Made famous by James Franco’s self-amputation in the movie 127 Hours, Canyonlands is an adventurer’s wonderland. And since it sees quite a few visitors over the year, Rocky Mountain NP offers amazing places to stay at. Dry Tortugas National Park is part of the Everglades & Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve, established by UNESCO in 1976. The US is home to 58 national parks, all filled with breathtaking landscapes and rampant wildlife...so narrowing this list down to 10 was difficult. Yosemite National Park is … Best Time to Visit: Late Spring-Early Fall. You can also find many unique accommodation options near Joshua Tree NP – from restored camper vans to stargazing tiny houses, you’ll find all sorts of special places. Thinking about visiting a bunch of national parks across the USA in one go? Check in with the NPS to assess dangers and difficulty. Yosemite Park in north-central California has been inspiring people for centuries. Rather than frantically hitting up Google, read our comprehensive list of the best national parks in the USA … We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! If you only have a week or two, I recommend not biting off more than you can chew. Whatever you want to call it Grand Teton National Park has got it all. This travel guide will help you get to grips with 25 of the best national parks in the USA. The park is famous for its orange-red hoodoo rock formations punctuated by outlying pine forest. They can be quite aggressive during the mating season. Since the wedding represents one of the most important days in life, a lot... Travelling can do so much good for our physical and mental well-being. Indeed, the parks preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement. Yellowstone National Park. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a22ea7adcad137263acafca4f63b7c11" );document.getElementById("bb6136472c").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. There are enough backcountry trails to keep you busy for a lifetime. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The crowds that do gather here have a different vibe as well. It is not difficult to see why Hawaii Volcanoes is one of the best national parks in the USA. Why not get a quote from them yourself? Dramatic desert landscapes take over all of your senses from the moment you step foot in the park. Though if you do find yourself in LA en route to Joshua Tree, be sure to check out my Los Angeles travel guide. Yosemite National Park. There’s a reason the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the nation: It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World due to its awe-inspiring scale and size. Enjoy and explore the drives to the picturesque Cades Cove or along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail and outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and fishing. Enjoy what you do get to see and explore the places you connect with until your heart’s content. Finding the right backpack, sleeping bag, camping hammock, travel jacket, and backpacking stove for yourself is just as important as planning the details of your national parks trip. Join me as I break down the highlights and natural wonders each national park offers backpackers, what to pack for your national park backpacking trip, USA national park maps, backpacker safety information, and much more. Every year without fail, some aloof tourist is sent to the hospital due to general stupidity and lack of common sense. Established, in 1980, Kenai Fjords is a relatively new national park. Hopefully, the drilling will cease before too much damage is done. A little morbid maybe, but super interesting and entertaining. Famous for its giant sequoia trees, trees here average the height of a 26-story building. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is on Hawaii Island (the Big Island). Best of luck on your USA national parks adventure! Whether you want to hike, ski, or float the snake river with a beer in hand, there is something for every backpacker in Grand Teton National Park. It takes some effort to get here, but once you do, it is bound to be the backpacking trip of a lifetime. When it comes to National Parks in the northeastern corner of the US, Acadia sits atop the throne. There is an abundance of wildlife in Arches. From vast variety of plants/tree species to the animals that call the Smokies home; the park is teaming with life. Explore the most popular national parks in United States of America with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. For more inspiration, check out What’s in my backpack? It turns out that the all-you-can-eat buffets are an excellent deterrent from keeping folks from actually exploring or hiking. Best National Parks in the USA: West Coast, Best National Parks in the USA: East Coast, How to choose the right tent to take backpacking, accommodation options near Joshua Tree NP, tourist that gets seriously injured or killed by a buffalo, treehouses, cabins and lodges in Tennessee, General Sherman (the largest tree in the world), Trail Ridge Road (highest paved road in the US). If you love adventure and outdoor sports, Denali has plenty to keep you busy for a thousand lifetimes. Best national parks (57) #1 - Zion National Park Rocky Mountain National Park… There is some excellent skiing and winter-related sports to be had here too. Yosemite. Let me list out 10 best National Parks in the USA. Wildlife lovers can enjoy looking out for more than 100 species of birds, dozens of reptiles and mammals, and more than 1,000 interesting plant species. The world-famous Delicate Arch certainly won’t be around forever. Best time to visit: Anytime that is not the middle of summer. I don’t think it is too far a stretch to say that Dry Tortugas is one of the best national parks in the USA to enjoy some scuba diving. It is one of the largest fauna, thus, being one of the most popular in the Continental United States. Be sure to consult with the NPS website and always carry a good map with you! This is the place for backwoods camping and hardcore hiking. Whilst trekking through the marshland, keep an eye out for moose! This is primarily due to its relative proximity to many east coast states. Arches National Park isn’t just a Utah highlight, it is high on the list of best national parks in the USA, without a doubt. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. They represent the finest that America has to offer. Life on Hawaii’s Big Island might sound dreamy as hell on the surface — and in many ways, it is — though as recent events have shown us, all hell can break loose at a moment’s notice. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism to discovering a dead body. With breathtaking views into Canyonlands … The first Utah national park on my list is the epic Zion National Park. If you like mountain biking or rock climbing, Joshua Tree is perfect for that. MSR Hubba Hubba 2-person tent review – My favorite backpacking tent on the market. What to pack for this kind of a backpacking trip depends on several things. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular US national parks, one of our biggest tips for … MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe review – The ultimate lightweight backpacking stove to fuel your adventures. Acadia is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails that take you through marshland, forests, mountains, and wave-battered coastal stretches. Canyonlands is another magnificent marvel of the power of natural erosion. Wildlife, too, finds refuge in the wild lands in America’s national parks. Hennessy camping hammock review – Quite possibly your new best travel mate. One of America's most popular national parks is Yosemite National Park in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. There are some fantastic hiking trails for those seeking to get out into the Maui wilderness. Luckily, there are many options to stay in Yosemite, so you can get some rest and recharge in between your adventures. There is plenty of accommodation near Zion. The park includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes, in addition to Mount Desert Island. National Parks in the USA helps us in conserving endangered species around the world. Discover some of the best natural beauty the region has to offer as we take in spots including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited park, and the awe-inspiring Mammoth Cave National … Shenandoah National park is simply the pride of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is not to be missed if you find yourself in this part of the USA. As of July 2018, the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano continues to dramatically change the landscape of the Big Island. Great Smoky Mountain National Park is home to the oldest mountains in the US and draws more visitors than any other national parks in the country. National Parks Outdoors and Adventure Travel's Best Hiking Camping Gem Hunter's Paradise Covering over 275 square miles, White Sands National Park is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. Ranier National Park is one of the many gems of the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. Joshua Tree National Park straddles the Colorado Desert and the Mojave Desert, the latter of which is higher and cooler. Usa list a holiday in the USA is very rich in cultural Heritage, Island, lakes, and spectacular... Winter-Related sports to be a fair bet to say that the policy covers your needs get... Pick on my best National parks in the US daytime retreats use this Site we will assume that are... Wyoming, Montana, it is humbling to be a mind-blowing experience area in around! Pick on my best National parks in the USA diverse destinations on my list is the state of,. Two, i promise you that the policy covers your needs a bevy colorful. 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