best national parks in usa

The Best National Parks in the USA You Need to Visit

The United States is famous for many things, but the country’s national parks are the crowning glory. There are 63 national parks in the USA, each offering something different.

Home to everything from stunning white sand beaches and phenomenal glaciers to rugged mountains and diverse wildlife, there’s a national park for everyone. As a result, it’s no surprise more than 300 million people from across America and the rest of the world visit USA’s national parks every year.

In this post, we will show you the best national parks in the USA. We’ll tell you where you can find them and what they offer. Let’s get started! All of these parks make for great summer vacation trips and some are fun to visit in the winter too.


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The Best National Parks in the USA 

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina is America’s most visited national park. Every year almost 13 million people visit the national park. 

This famous park is best known for its sprawling landscape that features lush forests, streams, rivers, waterfalls, and popular hiking routes. Covered in wildflowers all year round, the Great Smoky Mountains even has a segment of the Appalachian Trail.

For the best views, make sure you visit Clingman’s Dome. This is the highest point in the park and offers the most amazing perspective of the mist-covered mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

2. Yosemite National Park

California is blessed with nine national parks, but none are as popular as Yosemite National Park. Yosemite’s crown jewel must be Yosemite Valley, where enormous peaks such as Half Dome and El Capitan steal the show.

Yosemite offers visitors an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can discover remote hiking trails, observe Bridalveil Fall in all its glory, and take in epic vistas from Tunnel View.

You can find shops, lodging, restaurants, and more attractions in Yosemite Village. These include the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

3. Yellowstone National Park

A fun fact for you, Yellowstone National Park was America’s first national park and third on our list of best national parks in the USA. Yellowstone became a national park in 1872, and it’s been one of the most iconic locations in the US ever since.

Found mostly in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, Yellowstone is an almost 3,500 square-mile wilderness area above a volcanic hotspot. If Yellowstone were ever to erupt, the damage would be catastrophic for the entire world.

Yellowstone is loved for its vast canyons, dense forests, hot springs, geysers, and alpine rivers. The park is also home to hundreds of animal species, including wolves, elk, bears, and bison.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

4. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

On the other hand, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a brand new national park in America. It was upgraded from its status of a national river in 2020. 

Aside from being the newest national park, New River Gorge is also one of the most picturesque. Registering 1.7 million visitors annually, this charming park is tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.

The powerful whitewater river zigzags through the park, while mountain hikes offer panoramic views of the rich landscape. Visitors can stand atop the third-highest bridge in America (New River Gorge Bridge), hike in the mountains, or take to the river in a raft.

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

5. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is doubtlessly one of the best national parks in the USA. This park is home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the Grand Canyon.

Drawing millions of tourists annually, the park spans over 1.2 million acres and is truly a unique destination. Offering otherworldly views and a Mars-like landscape, tourists can tour the north or south rim of the park or camp overnight. 

One of the best things visitors can do here is to take a river rafting tour down the Colorado River. Other popular attractions within this Colorado park include Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio, Lipan Point, Yavapai Observation Station, and Mather Point.

Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

6. Glacier National Park

Sitting on the border of Montana and Canada, Glacier National Park is often regarded as one of the best places in the world to visit – it’s not hard to see why!

Also referred to as the “Crown of the Continent,” Glacier National Park is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty. Home to more than 700 lakes, waterfalls, two large mountain ranges, and more than 1 million acres of forested landscape, this is easily one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever visit.

You’ll also find the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park here.

Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

7. Acadia National Park

Next up is Acadia National Park in Maine. The beauty of this national park is the impressive Atlantic coastline it consumes. This park showcases the best of America’s east coast, offering visitors craggy headlands, deep forests, and towering granite mountains. 

Spanning more than 47,000 acres, the hiking opportunities are virtually endless. Famous sights include the Great Head Trail and Cadillac Mountain. There are more than 158 miles of hiking trails to explore.

Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

8. Everglades National Park

Did you know that Everglades National Park is the only place in the world where the American crocodile and the American Alligator coexist? Well, you do now!

Everglades National Park is found in the state of Florida. It’s one of the most unique national parks in the US and one that shouldn’t be missed. An enormous wetland wilderness, the park consists predominantly of cypress trees and mangroves. 

Tourists should keep their eyes peeled for wildlife as they walk along boardwalk trails or travel by boat through the wild water channels.

Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

9. Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota isn’t usually at the top of most travelers’ bucket list, but there are several reasons why it should be. For starters, this national park is one of the only places in the United States where you could be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. 

Its unpolluted landscape and jet-black skies are ideal for stargazing as well. Interestingly, 40% of this park is underwater. That’s because most of its landscape is covered with wetlands and vast lakes.

Therefore, the best way to explore Voyageurs National Park is by boat.

Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

10. Zion National Park

If you’re heading to Utah, make sure you don’t miss Zion National Park, our tenth best national park in the USA. This wonderful park is the perfect destination for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies looking for their next adventure.

Zion National Park offers challenging hiking trails, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing opportunities. The most notable thing about Zion National Park is its tall red cliffs.

One of the best hikes is the Angels Landing hike, which sees you follow a 1,500-foot natural staircase.

Zion National Park
Zion National Park Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

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Jack Bolton is a content writer and blogger from the UK. He has a strong passion for travel and has an endless bucket list that he’s making his way through!

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