Boasting its breathtaking collection of forests, mountain ranges, valleys, and deserts, the US is adorned with a wealth of stunning national parks that are ripe for exploration. As the handful of dazzling options makes choosing which spots to hit such a complicated decision, we thought that creating a shortlist of the best national parks to visit might help make it easier for you to plan your next trip. Whether you simply want to get back in touch with nature or have been itching to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes and geographical wonders that the great outdoors has to offer, here are some of the best national parks in America that you would want to stop at the next time you hit the road.
The Top 5 National Parks in the US
From Yellowstone’s distinct geography to the striking southwestern landscape of Death Valley, the various national parks in the US have a little something to offer the outdoor lover in you. With a staggering number of places that feature awesome levels of charm, adventure, and biodiversity, a trip to these mind-blowing spots provides a slice of excitement and fun for everyone. So, grab your gear and pack your bags as we head off for the best national parks to visit in America.
Death Valley National Park
Rising 11,000 feet above its neighboring valley, the legendary and remarkable landscape of Death Valley is defined by the beauty of its vibrant colored rocks, amazing canyons, and magnificent sand dunes that make a visit to this jaw-dropping national park a trip of a lifetime. Outfitted with out-of-this-world landscapes, a rich history and a host of endemic wildlife, any visit to the hottest and driest place in North America will no doubt be sweaty but great. Sprawling along the borders of the Mojave and the Great Basin deserts, as well as the eastern border of South-Central California, the amount of open space in this remarkable place makes it a stargazer’s paradise.
From camping to strenuous hikes to relaxing walks and playing golf, the ways you can make your trip to the world’s hottest and driest spot are endless. As most guests would probably plan a visit to Zabriskie Point where the sunrise is simply lovely, you can head off to the Golden Canyon in central Death Valley and get prepped for an extreme kind of recreation. Regarded as one of the most popular off-road destinations in the US, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes offers a seemingly limitless roll of sand that features a backdrop of what appears to be a marvelous purple mountain. An easy stop and a must-see for anyone who visits Death Valley, you can surround yourself with peace, silence, and unadulterated nature in a brilliant sea of sand. Make sure you layer up with sunscreen and that you pack enough water as both the sun and the sand can be extremely hot.
Blessed with an abundance of wild animal and plant life, Death Valley is known to produce lovely blooms of spring wildflowers which you can view in various exhibits. While it does not happen every year, favorable climate conditions fill the desert with shrubs of pink, white, gold, and purple that set the stage for the world-renowned Death Valley Super Bloom. Home to an astonishing 400 animal species, the most popular among them is the Desert Bighorn Sheep which tourists would often spot trotting along the Titus Canyon. With temperatures that can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius all while featuring mountains with snow-capped peaks, Death Valley without a doubt is a land of extremes. However, with all the beauty and pleasure that it brings, wanting to come back for more is extremely a possibility.
Grand Canyon National Park
Known as one of the most iconic attractions in the world, the Grand Canyon is frequented by millions upon millions of tourists every year. While many of us have probably seen the pristine views of this phenomenal destination in books, postcards, and online, no words can explain the feeling of bewilderment the moment you first set your eyes on the jagged yet spectacular red rock walls of this historical valley. Colossal and simply breathtaking, the sheer size of the canyon makes it easy to see its beauty from every angle, but we suggest that you trek your way to either the South or West Rim since they are the canyon’s vantage point. While the South Rim undoubtedly provides visitors with the best views, the West Rim houses the Skywalk which is a glass walkway that extends 70 feet into the canyon, resulting in overwhelming angles to enjoy this world-renowned place.
A stone’s throw away from the fabulous city of Las Vegas, it is an ideal spot to get fresh air and relax as it offers a more serene setting that suits the traveler looking to unwind. Situated 5 miles outside the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend tops the list of spots where this already pristine destination offers more spectacular views. Visitors can choose from several guided tours that allow them to enjoy this horseshoe-shaped bend from the air, the river, or on foot for a more complete and enjoyable experience. Set off on a mule ride from the canyon’s less-visited side, jump into a raft and run the rapids of the Colorado River or throw caution to the wind, close your eyes, and skydive and make your visit to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World one that you will never forget.
Yellowstone National Park
Famed for its amazing natural features, deep-rooted history, and diverse geography, Yellowstone has long been one of the United States’ most loved parks. Featuring lush forests, fascinating springs, peaceful and gentle lakes, as well as towering greeneries, it holds the distinction of being the world’s first official national park. Sprawled across 3,400 square miles, it houses an array of wildlife including wolves, moose, bison, and bears. Known for its vibrant colored pools and for featuring the world’s tallest active geyser, visitors patiently wait around 60-110 minutes to see eruptions that would often last around a minute and a half.
While visitors would often lose themselves exploring at their leisure, activities abound for those who seek to find ways on how they can better enjoy the park. Unquestionably a larger-than-life thermal experience, the Grand Prismatic Spring is recognized as the largest hot spring in the US and the third largest in the world. A must-see attraction and considered by many as the highlight of any visit to Yellowstone, its brilliant rainbow colors afford it a dreamlike appearance and keep it incredibly breathtaking all year round. If you are one of those who can’t help but get their adrenaline pumping, the Dunraven Pass allows you to enjoy the views while on a horseback trek while the Mammoth Hot Springs will get your heart racing if you decide to immerse yourself in its high-spirited river rapids.
|Yellowstone and Grand Teton Visitor Guide|
Yosemite National Park
Known for its spotless, sun-kissed beaches and promenades adorned with palms, California is home to a set of awesome national parks. Yosemite is a 1,300 square mile open space that features thundering waterfalls, enormous sequoia trees, and nature-carved valleys, which effortlessly earns it as one of California’s best national parks to visit. Ideal for those who want to experience the best outdoor activities of the golden state, Yosemite is filled with awe-inspiring views and what to do’s which makes this time-tested national park worth all its hype. From sprawling meadows to towering cliffs, this historic spot shows that Yosemite is hands down nature on a grand scale.
Known as the most recognizable spot in Yosemite, Half Dome is perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks of the national park. Offering stunning angles from various viewpoints, this geological wonder, which seems to be keeping a watchful eye over the valley, can be summited as long as climbers secure the required permits. Respected as one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, the Yosemite Falls is made up of three waterfalls that any adventurous junkie can climb if you are up for a hike. Several accredited guides offer an all-day trek to the crest of Upper Yosemite, which is the highest waterfall among the three, as it offers an incredible view of the entire area as well as the most heart-stopping vantage point of the falls.
Zion National Park
Decorated with plunging canyons and intricate rock formations, Zion National Park lures more than 4 million visitors annually because of its long list of attractions to see and enjoy. Mystical and expansive, it is well-known for its hiking trails in places such as Angel’s Landing Zion Canyon and Cathedral Mountain, but it also offers experiences that do not involve your hiking boots. Standing as a majestic host to adventure seekers, it offers outdoor activities of all kinds that range from horseback riding, trail hiking, and mountain climbing. A favorite of stargazers, it provides the best opportunity for everyone to sit back or put their heads down as they watch heavenly bodies glide by.
Identified as the most sought-after hike in all of Utah, traversing the world-famous Angel’s Landing leads you to one of the most photographed views in the hiking world. A hike that is not for the faint of heart, it involves hanging on for dear life on a chain bolted to the side of a cliff with a beautiful view of the drop. Easy to access yet overwhelmingly spectacular, Canyon Overlook is a one-mile, two-hour trip that rewards trekkers with perhaps the most stunning view of the entire national park.
|Zion National Park Visitor Guide|
Gifted with 63 major national parks scattered across the country, the US is undeniably a vast place that offers a wide range of adventures for tourists. While we visit places in America for a variety of reasons such as enjoying the thrill of world-famous theme parks and the feel of state-of-the-art city life, planning a trip to these exceptionally beautiful national parks guarantees to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that you won’t soon forget.
And as you check out more places to visit on our website, we couldn’t agree more that the best adventures that we can truly have are the ones that are out there for they offer views and adventures that are genuinely out of sight.
We just booked Christmas in Death Valley. Can’t wait! Really must see Yosemite, though.
Awesome!!! Death Valley is on my to-do list for the next few years! Have an amazing trip!!