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.
Even though it is one of the smallest parks in America’s national parks system, Pinnacles National Park is renown for its breathtaking landscapes and relatively large population of California Condors. Located in central California, roughly 125-miles south of San Francisco and just west of the beautiful Big Sur coastline, Pinnacles National Park may be one of the most underrated national parks in the United States because of its location. Being in such close proximity to so many other larger and equally gorgeous parks, Pinnacles National Park is often overlooked by visitors to California looking to get out and explore the state’s beauty. However, in my Pinnacles National Park guide, I am going to show you why overlooking this amazing park the next time you visit the Golden State would be a mistake.
While Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon may not be as well-known as some of the other parks in the Western United States, that doesn’t mean it isn’t every bit as beautiful. In fact, as lake parks go, it may be the most beautiful in America. Centered around a deep, water-filled volcanic crater that has formed the deepest lake in North America, Crater Lake is also well-known for its rough wilderness and great hiking and snowshoeing trails. If you aren’t into hiking, getting out on the crystal blue waters of Crater Lake to Kayak or go for a swim may be just what you are looking for. Regardless of what you do when you visit, one thing that won’t be in short supply during your stay is tranquility.
Situated roughly 50 miles Northeast of Portland, Oregon, and roughly 96 miles South of Seattle, Washington as the crow flies, Mount Saint Helens is located in a beautiful part of America’s Pacific Northwest that has an abundance of tourist attractions. Visitors to the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument can learn about the 1980 eruption that left such a lasting impact on the surrounding landscape, hike in some of the most beautiful and serene landscape, and marvel at the power of mother nature.
Relive the Movie “The Goonies” Next Time You Visit the Oregon Coast With My Cannon Beach Visitor Guide
In case it doesn’t look familiar, this is the stretch of coastline that was featured in the iconic 1980’s movie, “the Goonies”. You know, the stretch of coast that hid the treasure of the famed pirate One-eyed Willie. It’s easy to see why they picked this location to film. The Pacific Ocean coastline in Oregon is some of the most rugged and most beautiful coastline in North America. In addition to these jaw dropping rock formations, the area also boasts some of the state’s most beautiful beaches and hiking trails.
When it comes to beautiful lighthouses, you can’t find many that are more beautiful than the Heceta Head Lighthouse on the coast of Oregon in the United States. In my opinion, it is the prettiest lighthouse in North America. Perched up on Oregon’s rocky Pacific Ocean shoreline, the lighthouse is the definition of postcard material. It is especially pretty at sunset or when large waves are crashing against the rocky shore.
If you are a big fan of waterfalls, then you are in for a real treat if you ever visit the Portland, Oregon area. There are some incredibly beautiful falls in North America, with Niagara Falls in New York State probably the most famous of those. Though Multnomah Falls in Oregon doesn’t get the notoriety that Niagara Falls gets, it is a beautiful waterfall in its own right.
In the final installment of my Epic National Park Roadtrips series, I am going to focus on a road trip that highlights some of the best national parklands that the state of California has to offer. Not only is the state of California one of America’s biggest states, but it is also one of the country’s most beautiful. For that reason, it should come as no surprise that California is tied with the state of Alaska for the most national parks in the United States with eight.
If you like wildlife, especially marine wildlife, the state of California in the United States has some absolutely wonderful wildlife viewing experiences available to visitors. One of my favorite of these experiences is seeing the large Northern Elephant Seals along the coast of the state. It really is impossible to appreciate how large and powerful these seals are until you see them on a beach with your own eyes.
Today we headed Southeast of Santa Barbara, California to visit a national park that I have been wanting to visit for quite some time. Not only does Joshua Tree National Park share my name, but it is also one of the most underrated parks in the Western United States.